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    CHEAP CAR RENTAL ATHENS

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    Car rental in Athens at the Best Prices

    The Greek capital city of Athens is recognised the world over by its iconic Acropolis, being one of the most visited cities in the world. Birthplace to classical philosophy and democracy, throughout its existence, Athens has contributed handsomely to the modern western world, both in terms of the arts and culture. Discover this culturally and historically rich European city from the comfort of a car rental in Athens. The warm welcoming Mediterranean sunshine, Athenian hospitality and culinary delights will keep you coming back for more.

    Exploring this wonderful city couldn’t be easier than with a vehicle from Auto Europe. With over 60 year’s global car rental experience, we have partnered with numerous local, national and international car hire supplier to provide you with great quotations, from a large fleet of vehicles. Along with our many special offers, we also specialise in motorhome rentals and luxury car hire. Contact us today, to find out how we can help you plan your Athenian car rental needs.

    How is the traffic in Athens?

    The driving style in Athens, like in many other Mediterranean cities is slightly aggressive. This is not to say that with a little care, you can’t successfully drive around the city without encountering any problems. Like in all European capital cities, traffic congestion can be particularly problematic at major interchanges, motorway slip-roads and in the city centre. Traffic flow is slightly better during the month of August, when school is out and many Athenians are away.

    Along with the city’s large avenues – making it easier to cross the city – it also has a tolled motorway linking the airport to the city. Known as the ‘Beltway’ the Attiki Odos is by far the easiest, quickest and safest way to get to the airport, city centre and the Port of Piraeus. Many roads in the city centre have been converted to bus only roads, this can also add to congestion.

    When paying a visit to Athens we recommend keeping the following in mind:

    • You drive on the right-hand side and overtake on the left
    • The minimum age to drive is 18. Please note that some car rental suppliers have an older threshold
    • The usage of mobile phones whilst driving is prohibited – although a headset is allowed
    • Seatbelts are compulsory for everyone
    • An appropriate child car seat is mandatory
    • Generally, urban speed limits at 48 km/h, 109 km/h in rural areas and 120 km/h on motorways.

    Where can I park my car rental in Athens?

    Parking in central Athens is extremely difficult; however, on-street charged parking bays do exist and are marked by white lines – with the maximum stay being three hours. Free parking is only available for local residents and these bays are marked with blue lines. Secure car park garages are also available and located throughout the city. These car parks are designated into short and long-stay, with some also offering a valet service. At KED and Athens International Airport, you may pay for your parking using your credit card at the machine upon exiting.

    Athens Airport

    Located around 43kms from Athens and only 45 minutes away is Athens International Airport. This airport is the main aviation gateway to the region and can become particularly busy during the holiday seasons.

    Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" (ATH)
    Address: Attiki Odos, Spata Artemida 190 04, Greece
    Website: Athens Airport
    Telephone: +30 21 0353 0000

    What to do in Athens

    Athens is one of the most visited cities in the world, from those seeking culture, history, amazing food and pretty beaches, its popularity proceeds itself. The historical old town is Plaka, a maze of intertwining narrow streets in a neighbourhood that has been inhabited since ancient times. The area has many traditional artisan stores, quaint shops, traditional Greek taverns and exquisite restaurants. If you’re struggling to agree on what to view whilst in Athens, then these are our recommendations:

    • Acropolis of Athens: Located above the city of Athens and by far one of the most renowned monuments of the city, is the Acropolis of Athens. Containing several ancient structures, the area is of great historical, cultural and archaeological significance. A must see whilst in Athens; lose yourself in this wonderfully historical place. Tickets are relatively cheap and expect it to be extremely busy all year round.

    • Parthenon: Forming part of one of the several buildings located at the Acropolis, Parthenon is a temple dedicated to Athens patron saint, the Goddess of Athena. Dating back to 447 BC, the Parthenon is unmatched as one of the symbols of Greece. It is recommended to arrive as early as 8am to avoid many of the crowds. Make sure you also have comfortable shoes because you will have to do a lot of walking.

    • Syntagma Square: Athens central city square is located in front of the Greek Parliament and is by far one of the most vibrant places in the city. Its adjacent neighbourhoods are awash with artisan stores, charming shops, restaurants and traditional coffee houses. Hadrian’s Library, the Arch of Hadrian, Theatre of Dionysus and the Temple of Olympian Zeus is not too far either.

    • National Archaeological Museum: Considered to be one of the best global museums, the National Archaeological Museum hosts numerous Greek artefacts dating back to 6000 BC. This place is huge, so be prepared to spend at least a day here. Along with Greek exhibits, you’ll also have Egyptian, a Cycladic art collection, exhibits from the Prehistoric, Neolithic era and the Bronze Age. When you’re done, there is also a gift shop and a pleasant coffee shop to unwind.

    • Bay of Zea: If you’re looking for a little entertainment, nice bars, restaurants and a more relaxing day, then head towards the Bay of Zea. This marina and sea port was once Athens biggest military harbour, and even hosted the 1896 Summer Olympics swimming event. Take a wander along its shoreline, or sit and enjoy the day in one of its many taverns and coffee houses.

    Best day trips with my car hire in Athens

    With beautiful beaches along the Attica Peninsula coastline, a car rental from Athens is the ideal way to get around. Get acquainted with the wonderful landscape, its numerous unspoilt and often secluded beaches, mesmerising caves and iconic historical sites. Visit plenty of interesting places in and around Athens. We recommend the following places during your holiday:

    Ancient Corinth: Taking only an hour’s drive from Athens, the ancient city of Corinth is home to many archaeological artefacts. Being excavated since 1892, the site no doubt still has many wonders to unravel. Originally a prosperous Greek city, it was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC. It was reconstructed once more by the Romans a century later. The crowning wonder is that of a classical temple dedicated to Apollo from the 6th Century BC.

    Epidaurus: Along the A8 and then the EO10 from Athens, you’ll come to Epidaurus in around one hour and forty minutes. This 14000 capacity, open-air theatre dates back to the 4th Century BC. The acoustics are amazing, so much so that performances are still held here occasionally to this day. The Temple of Asklepios – one of the ancient world’s main healing centre – is also located here, in addition to the remains of an ancient Greek bath house.

    Hydra: Offering a wonderful break from busy Athens, Hydra Island is only 25-minutes by metro to the Port of Piraeus, and then from here you can opt for a guided tour, with a two hour boat ride to Hydra. Hydra is strictly a no vehicle island and walking is the only way to get around, so you’ll be able to wander its streets and admire its 18th Century mansions at ease. The waterfront has much to offer in terms of coffee houses, restaurants and light entertainment. Since the 1960s, Hydra has also been home to an artist community, making for many studios, galleries and artisan shops to be established.

    Delphi: Taking around two and a half hours drive from Athens, Delphi was once the main religions centre of ancient Greece. Home to the Oracle, who was thought to receive messages from God and provide wisdom to those who searched for it. Nowadays, Delphi has a wonderful museum, bronze artefacts, various pottery and sculptures. This huge site also includes a stadium and theatre.

    Geographic Information & History

    Athens is located on the Attica Peninsula, and is nicely nestled between the Aegean Sea and mountain range. The city has a mild Mediterranean climate, with hot humid summers and mild dry winters. Snowfall is extremely rare but it has occurred on occasions throughout the city’s history. The month of July and August can see temperatures reach as high as 35°C with December and January rarely dipping below 10°C.

    The city of Athens is one of the oldest inhabited cities in Europe, named after the Greek goddess Athena - who gifted an olive tree to the city – Athens dates back at least 5000 years. Much of Athens achievements laid forth the foundation of western civilization itself. From the birthplace of democracy to hosting some of Western Europe’s most important contributors to western culture and philosophy, the city has been home to Plato, Socrates, Hippocrates and Aristotle, to name but a few.

    The city was pillaged twice by its arch rival the Persians, but eventually reunited and took the war into Asian Minor. During Roman rule the city grew steadily but spent most of the Middle Ages in decline. Under the Byzantine Empire, Athens started once again to prosper, mainly in part due to an increase in trade. Eventually the Ottoman Empire took over and the city was neglected once again.

    During the 19th Century, Athens emerged as the capital city of an independent Greece. After periods of dictatorship, the end of the monarchy and further turmoil, the country eventually joined the European Union and the Eurozone. Athens suffered from the 2007 global financial crises, receiving bailouts from the IMF and European Central Bank. The harsh austerities imposed by the government caused much unrest and reduced city services. To date, Athens and Greece are on a relatively slow path to recovery.

    How to get around Athens

    Athens has a modern and well maintained public transport network that covers both urban and suburban areas. The system is well integrated with main transport hubs centrally located. Along with daytime connections, a reduced night service is also in existence. Costs are relatively cheap compared to other global transport networks. The system is comprised of a metro system, trams, buses, trains and trolleybuses that together cover the region.

    Bus

    There are small style buses in Athens which are blue in colour. These small buses are such to allow entry into older parts of central Athens, which are often very narrow. Timetables are available at many bus stops, with additional digital bus arrival displays. Bus 060 will take you from the National Museum to Koloniki, although if you’d prefer to head to the beach, then take the A2, A3, B3 and E2 from the University – Acadamias. It is also good to note that express buses and airport buses operate to and from the airport and other international destinations.

    Trolleybus

    In support of the smaller blue buses you’ll also notice yellow trolleybuses. These trolleybuses run on electricity and can be boarded at a yellow bus stop. Timetables along with digital arrival displays are available at many bus stops. Tickets can be purchased at a relevant kiosk or at some bus terminals. Tickets are valid for 90-minutes. This means that you must complete your journey within that time frame, or face purchasing another ticket. During these 90-minutes you may alight or change trolleybus as you need.

    Tram

    If you’re thinking of heading to the local beaches, then a tram ride might be a good option. The Athens coastal tram will take you from Glyfada to Syntagma Square and Voula. Another tram route exists that will take you effortlessly from Syntagma Square to Pireaus and onto Voula. The tram system can be slower than other transport options; however, you will get to see a lot of the local landscape.

    Train

    Located in Kolonos, Athens Central Train Station is the largest in the country and was opened in 1904. The station is also locally known as Larissa Station, which is also the name of its connected metro station on Line 2. There are currently four trains and three platforms, with train routes available to central and northern Greece, and likewise throughout southern Greece. Previously international train routes existed to Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania and Germany, however nowadays these are no longer in operation.

    Taxis

    Official city taxis are yellow in colour with a taxi sign upon its roof. Taxis are metered but we recommend confirming with the driver estimated costs before you set off on your journey. You can either book a taxi via the phone or pick one up at numerous taxi ranks throughout the city, at main tourist locations and major transport hubs.

    Metro

    Incorporating the original 1869 Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways, Athens Metro is a wonderful blend of modern design with archaeological wonder. The metro station in Syntagma Square for example allows you to view many archaeological artefacts on display along its lobby – making for an extremely interesting journey. The system has a total of 61 metro stations, with a further 6 still under construction. The metro is clean, well-maintained and will allow you to get around the city effortlessly and very economically.

    Useful links

    Tourism Information

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