Driving is not recommended in Athens, as the center city
can be confusing. Cars can’t travel in certain parts
of Athens. There are also one way streets. However, you may
want to rent a car especially if you plan to travel outside
Athens City. Athens' new ring road, the Attiki Odos,
goes right round the city and links up the Olympic Stadium,
the city and also Athens Airport.
In March 2000, Athens launched its Metro System
for the 2004 Olympic Games. There are three lines and the
Metro is a quick, easy and cheap way to travel around Athens.
Line 1 goes south-west to north-east across the city and it
ends at Piraeus Port. Line 2 is the shortest metro line and
it starts in the south city and goes out to Sepolia. The third
Metro Line, Line 3 begins at Syntagma Square in the centre
and goes to Athens Airport. The lines are distinguished by
different colours and the system is very easy to use.
Taxis in Athens are reasonable and quite
easy to find. However, taxis are often shared with others
if passengers are travelling in the same direction. On the
other hand, some taxi drivers will refuse to take you if they
don’t want to go in your direction. Getting a taxi in
Athens can be difficult at certain times of the day, especially
in the early afternoon. Make sure that the taxi meter is running
and that it is not showing “2” - this is the double
fare for use late at night. Taxis are very cheap and commonly
used and you can easily recognise them by their bright yellow
colour. A few taxis can be booked by telephone but this can
be more expensive and it is easier to flag one down. Taxis
can be recognised by the yellow color of the vehicles.
Buses serve the city centre and the main visitor districts
of the city - twenty-four hours a day every day. Blue buses
connect the city to the outer suburbs. At peak hours, Buses
in Athens can be very crowded.
The new Athens Tram System is modern and
clean but again it is often quite crowded. The carriages pick
up speed quickly so when you get on grab a seat or get hold
of a rail. The trams can have three times as many people standing
as sitting. The tram runs from Syntagma Square down to the
sea so you can use this service to go to the beaches.
The light rail and suburban rail systems run from 5 am and
2 am. It starts at Larissis Station and goes to Athens
Airport and also serves some of the suburbs.
Tickets for buses and trams can be bought at many of the
kiosks run by the Transport Authority - OASA.
Tickets for the Metro can be bought at any Metro station.
If you want to go by bicycle, these are becoming more popular
and you can hire one from Pame Volta and
they are at 20 Chatzichristou Street in the Makrigianni district.
The telephone number is 210 922 1578.