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Renting and parking a car in Athens

TonyLoco23
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Renting and parking a car in Athens

Hi,

We will be in Athens for 3 full days. We are staying at the O&B Athens Boutique Hotel near the Acropolis. I wanted to spend one full day in Athens and then spend a day visiting Delphi and another day driving down to Cape Sounion.

Personally I love renting cars and finding my own way to places, being able to simply stop at any beach on the way and go at our own pace is a must, and I hate organized tours. So if we rent a car is it realistic to find parking in central Athens?

Devizes, United...
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1. Re: Renting and parking a car in Athens

Hi there

You don't need a car in Athens, particularly as you will be staying in such a central location. Public transport is excellent in Athens, Metro, buses and taxis but you won't even need those as all of the city's main outdoor sights are contained within a very flat, compact area, maybe a couple of square kilometers at most, making them easily walkable from your hotel.

Add to that the horrendous traffic in Athens and virtual impossibility of finding a parking space

Athens, Greece
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2. Re: Renting and parking a car in Athens

Regarding your day in Athens you simply don't need it as GB wisely says.

Your hotel is right in the center, surrounded by mostly pedestrian zones. It will be a tremendous pain to get in, get out and park with a car, even if you think this can be a convenient option.

I am certainly sure you ARE an experienced driver, but this simply does not apply in central Athens. Or Athens anyway.

It's an unnecessary pain.

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Regarding the Delphi tour, this can be an option but it may need a very very early start on the day, before 06.30am. By 8am all major highways, 10 - 15 miles around Athens will be full and busy and you really want to skip that.

Rentig a car so early is not a possiblity, renting it one night before is also not, since you 'll have nowhere to park it. Commuting early to the airport on the first subway train from Monastiraki station may be a good option. Airport is at the NE of the peninsula, already out of the center getting you on a highway system.

---------------

Simplify the concept. Renting a car for Delphi is something that can work. Renting a car for the center is simly redundant.

Regarding Sounion i 'd be tempted to get the KTEL orange bus which leaves in 10 minutes walking dstance from your hotel, on Fillelinon str.

TonyLoco23
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3. Re: Renting and parking a car in Athens

Awesome advice Nick. Thanks a lot. So you suggest we use a bus to get to Cape Sounion from Athens and for the trip to Delphi we rent a car from the airport?

We will be there in the first week of April. We arrive on a Thursday at 2:45 pm and we leave the following Monday morning. So we will have all of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. What would be the best day to rent the car and go to Delphi? The Friday? Or the weekend? I would imagine that since April is not the tourist season the roads might be quieter on the weekend, is that correct? Or is it the other way around? (i.e. more traffic when people are leaving Athens for the weekend).

According to Google Maps the drive time from Athens airport to Delphi is 2 and a half hours. Is that about right? Perhaps I should have organized this to stay in a different hotel the first night (near Delphi). That way we could pick up the hire car from the airport the first night and drive straight to Delphi, stay there overnightb and then visitr the site the next morning and then drive back to the airport to return the car. That makes a lot more sense right?

Singapore
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4. Re: Renting and parking a car in Athens

You can also take the public bus to Delphi. The bus name is KTEL and it costs around 13 Euro each way. You can reach the bus terminal by taking a public bus from Syntagma Square. I don't remember the bus no, but you can always get more information from the tourist office across the street from the square.

The bus journey to Delphi is about 3 hours and it's so much more convenient than driving there. I heard the traffic is bad. Not to mention that you need to be able to read the road signs correctly, as most of the time they didn't write "Delphi" on it, but another big town further down.

Edited: 16 February 2012, 05:43
TonyLoco23
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5. Re: Renting and parking a car in Athens

Looking more closely at this. I see that the airport is located on the other side of Athens from the direction of Delphi. Which means if we pick up a hire car from there we will have to drive all the way around Athens just to begin the journey. I wonder if perhaps renting a car from the airport the day we arrive and driving over to Delphi is not the best option afterall?

Maybe there is a better place to rent a car from (i.e. somewhere on the West side of the city?) Or as "galaxyraider" suggests, stay all four nights in Athens and simply take the bus. The problem with that is that if the bus is 3 hours each way then that is a lot of traveling to do in one day (6 hours in total!)

Edited: 16 February 2012, 21:24
TonyLoco23
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6. Re: Renting and parking a car in Athens

Ok, lets say that we stick with the plan of renting a car at the airport. We get in at 2:45 pm, so perhaps the best thing to do is rent the car and drive the majority of the distance the evening that we arrive and stay somewhere near Delphi. Then the next day we would visit Delphi and that evening drive back to Athens. In that case what would be a good town to stay in the first night? I.e. somewhere that is about 2/3rds of the distance to Delphi from Athens? Looking at the map it seems like the Towns that it passes through are Kastro-Orxomenus-Livadeas-Arachova.

Are any of these towns nice to stay in?

Singapore
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7. Re: Renting and parking a car in Athens

Even if you're driving, you'll take about the same amount of time. You might save the most about an hour in total (about half an hour each way). I also read form the forum that it's rather difficult to find parking space in Delphi. However, it's still up to your preference. The most important thing is for you to enjoy your trip!

nc usa
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8. Re: Renting and parking a car in Athens

We flew in from the US, arrived mid-afternoon, rented a car at the airport and drove straight to Galaxidi. Spent the night there and went to Delphi the next morning. Worked out great for us...drive not too long on our arrival date and close enough to Delphi to miss most of the tourist traffic in the morning.

Athens, Greece
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9. Re: Renting and parking a car in Athens

It can work indeed.

Airport is North East of Athens.

Delphi is North.

In order to get from the airport to Delphi, you cross Northern suburbs of Athens on a toll highway, called "Attiki Odos" and then you turn right on the E75 = NR1 on Exit 8.

Crossing Athens on Attiki Odos is a breeze compared to trying to get out on no-tolls roads :)

greek-motorway.net/assets/images/ATT_ODOS_id…

It seems as backtracking, but it's actually one of the fastest ways to get out of Athens on a car. Crossing Athens on Attiki Odos from Airport to E75 = NR1 takes 20 minutes appx.

10. Re: Renting and parking a car in Athens

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