Greece-gettingaround-feature

Getting around Greece | Trains, buses, ferries and car hire

Travel Greece like a local with this handy guide.

While holidaying in Greece, buses are the most common means of transport. Cities, small towns and even large islands are well connected through the bus network.

Trains have limited coverage and only connect major cities such as Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras and Larissa. Inter-island travel is facilitated by ferries, boats and catamarans.

It’s easy and convenient to rent a car or scooter to explore, especially on the islands where public transport is limited.

Check out the different ways to get around Greece below.


Travelling from city to city

  • Internal flights. The national airline company, Olympic Airlines extensively covers both islands and mainland destinations. Aegean and Sky Express also offer cheap, but infrequent, services.
  • Trains. A cheaper option than buses to enjoy the scenic landscapes. However the state's rail network is quite limited due to a rough terrain and economic crisis, meaning trains run between fewer destinations and are less frequent.
  • Buses. Intercity buses are the most popular option to get around Greece. KTEL is the government-subsidised national network operating a system of routes throughout most of the country. It’s efficient, reliable and affordable, covering long and short routes from the main cities to the islands and include the ferry price in the ticket.

Travelling to the islands

From Santorini to Mykonos, Paras to Crete, a trip to Greece is never complete without visiting its islands. Greece has an extensive ferry network that connects all islands, though you may have to island hop depending on which island you're planning to visit. Ferry options range from large car ferries, which are generally the cheapest, to smaller, high-speed ferries which are faster though more prone to cancellations particularly in high-wind.

Tickets for ferries can be booked online or purchased at the port or at select travel agents on the islands themselves or in Athens. Prices are regulated so booking early or online will not save you anything but peace of mind.

There are two ferry ports in Athens, Pireaus and Rafina. Pireaus is the larger terminal and can be used to connect to the popular islands such as Santorini and Mykonos. During summer, ferries can run multiple times per day however during winter they may only run certain days of the week. Alternatively, larger islands such as Crete have airports which you can fly into from Athens. These can save you journey time compared to travelling by ferry, though may be more expensive. If you want to max out your time and not worry about connections or multiple bookings, island hopping tours are an easy way to a hassle-free trip.

Greece public transport

  • Types of transport. Buses are the most common mode of public transport in cities and islands, plus taxis are available in all tourist regions. Athens has a more developed transport network with metro, trams and trolley buses. There’s also a variety of water transport options to explore the islands, such as tahýplia (high-speed boats), catamarans, ferries, kaïkia (small boats), hydrofoils and cruises. For an immersive experience, rent a bicycle or scooter from one of the many rental shops or discover the region on foot.
  • Paying for transport. While card payments are accepted in Greece, cash is always preferred. There are several passes for travelling in Greece that provide unlimited mobility across all modes of transport. Check out these transport passes in Athens.
  • Getting to and from the airport. Buses connect almost every airport in Greece with their respective city centres. Major cities have dedicated express airport bus services.
  • Best apps for getting around. Tfa tickets is the official transport app of Athens to book public transport tickets. OASA Telematics is another useful app to view the routes, timetables and stops for urban buses.

Taxis and Uber

Taxi. Taxis run extensively throughout Greece, but in larger cities like Athens drivers can reject you if the destination isn’t convenient for them. It’s recommended to book a taxi in advance over the phone or from the Taxibeat app, a taxi aggregator service which is more popular in Greece than Uber.

Uber. Uber is available in Athens and costs €18 - €24 from the airport to the city centre.

$20 off your first ride

Get $20 off your first Uber ride.


Greece car hire rental companies

Exploring Greece by car can be a very rewarding experience as you’re able to reach remote places, beaches and offbeat locations.

You can book a vehicle from Avis, Budget, Hertz, Sixt, Europcar, Enterprise or Alamo from Athens Airport.

avis-featured1-170

budgetLogoNew1-170

Hertz_logo_logotype-700x196-170


Greece car hire deals

Up to 10% off car rentals in Europe

Deal expires

Valid for travel on select dates. Includes free rebooking and cancellation. T&C's apply.

Last verified

35% off car hires 7+ days

Deal expires

Valid on hires of seven days or more. Available at more than 4,000 rental locations worldwide.

Last verified

10% off Europe car hire Valid on select dates. Minimum of 5 days rental. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Show code 13****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

Compare over 800 car hire companies worldwide Rentalcars.com can help you compare major car hire company rates for the best price. Companies it compares include Hertz, Avis, Europcar, Thrifty, Alamo and Budget.

Last verified

Earn more Qantas points Earn more Qantas points when you ride with Avis. Get (4) four Qantas points for every $1 spent on eligible time and kilometre charges.

Last verified


Airport transfers

To avoid taxis book an airport transfer to get directly from the airport to your destination or vice-versa.

Athens Airport private arrival transfer
Viator
Hotel transfers to Thessaloniki Airport
Viator
Santorini Airport or Ferry Port to Hotel transfer
Viator

Follow us for all the latest deals and coupon codes

Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Ask a question