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    Car hire at Athens airport – the gateway to Greece

    Widely regarded as the birthplace of democracy, philosophy and western culture, Athens has everything any traveller could wish for, and then some: a warm and sunny Mediterranean climate, gorgeous, pristine beaches, fabulous food and a modern vibe set against a rich historical backdrop.

    The Acropolis, visible from almost everywhere in the city, is a constant reminder of the Greek capital's fascinating history. And what a history! 3400 years old and counting, Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world and the oldest capital in Europe. Over the centuries, it went from being a powerful city-state surrounded by other equally powerful city-states to being part of the Roman Empire, to being under Ottoman occupation, to becoming the vibrant, cosmopolitan heart of modern-day Greece. Its long and often turbulent history left its mark not just on the layout and architecture of the city, but also on its character, turning every visit into a truly amazing and enriching cultural experience you won't want to miss.

    Discover the remains of ancient civilizations by spending time exploring the Parthenon, the Theatre of Dionysus, the Temple of Athena Nike and all the other fascinating ruins in the Acropolis. Lose yourself among the winding streets and busy stairways of the colourful and deservedly popular Plaka neighbourhood. Browse the treasures on offer on the Monastiraki flea market. Go for a dip in the warm, deep-blue waters of the Mediterranean.

    And if you'd like to explore some more, by picking up a car hire at Athens Airport you're all set to travel as far and wide as you wish. Popular day trips from Athens include the famous Delphi archaeological site, where the Oracle of Delphi used to dispense wisdom to the leaders and generals of the ancient world; Meteora, with its picturesque monasteries sat atop the region's unique rock formations; and Ancient Olympia, the site of the original Olympic Games.

    With a car hire at your disposal, you also have all the freedom and flexibility you need to head farther out and discover all that Greece has to offer. While the islands are popular choices, mainland cities such as Thessaloniki, Patras and Ioannina also boast a wealth of things to do and see.

    Whatever your plans, Auto Europe helps you find the perfect car for your trip, whether that's a van for a family holiday, a luxury car for a special occasion, or a nice, comfortable economy vehicle for a quick weekend getaway. With over 60 years' experience and strong partnerships both with industry leaders and with local car hire suppliers, we're uniquely positioned to bring you the best service, always at the most competitive prices. Our customers car hire reviews in Athens page will give you an idea of what they experienced with us.

    Airport information

    Located just 22 miles from Athens city centre (around 30 minutes by car), Athens International Airport is the largest and busiest international airport in Greece. It handles more than 20 million passengers every year and provides connections not just to main cities around the world, but also to other cities in Greece, both in the mainland and on the islands.

    Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH)
    Address: Attiki Odos, Spata Artemida 190 04, Greece
    Telephone: +30 21 0353 0000
    Airlines operating at Athens Airport: Athens Airport is the main base for Aegean Airlines and its subsidiary, Olympic Airways. Besides these, a large number of major international airlines also operate at the airport, namely Aer Lingus, Air France, British Airways, Cyprus Airways, easyJet, Emirates, Iberia, Lufthansa, KLM, Ryanair, Transavia and Wizz Air.

    Where to pick up my car hire at Athens airport

    When picking up your car hire at Athens Airport, you want to look for the Arrivals level of the main terminal. That's where the car rentals desks are located. Here are the opening hours of some of the suppliers with desks at the airport. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and that opening hours may be subject to change.

    Car hire desks operating hours

    Alamo at Athens Airport Alamo at Athens Airport
    Attiki Odos, Arrivals Hall, Level 0,
    Spata Artemida, Greece 190 04

    +30 210 353 3325
    Opening Hours:
    Mon-Sun, all day
    Hertz at Athens Airport Hertz at Athens Airport
    Attiki Odos, Arrivals Hall, Level 0,
    Spata Artemida, Greece 190 04

    +30 210 353 490 0
    Opening Hours:
    Mon-Sun, all day
    Budget at Athens Airport Budget at Athens Airport
    Attiki Odos, Arrivals Hall, Level 0,
    Spata Artemida, Greece 190 04

    +30 210 353 0553
    Opening Hours:
    Mon-Sun, 6am-11pm
    Enterprise at Athens Airport Enterprise at Athens Airport
    Attiki Odos, Arrivals Hall, Level 0,
    Spata Artemida, Greece 190 04

    +30 210 353 3325
    Opening Hours:
    Mon-Sun, all day
    Thrifty at Athens Airport Thrifty at Athens Airport
    Attiki Odos, Arrivals Hall, Level 0,
    Spata Artemida, Greece 190 04

    +30 211 103 0650 4
    Opening Hours:
    Mon-Sun, all day


    Athens Airport has two terminals, the Main Terminal and a Satellite Terminal, which are connected by both an underground link and an above-ground walkway.

    All the check-in desks (144 in total) are located in the Main Terminal. This terminal consists of three separate levels: Arrivals and Departures, plus a food court. It handles both non-Schengen flights (Hall A) and intra-Schengen and domestic flights (Hall B). All the car hire desks are also located in the Main Terminal, so that's where you'll pick up your car rental at Athens Airport.

    The smaller Satellite Terminal is used mostly during the high season to help deal with increased traffic. It has two levels, with Arrivals on the ground level and Departures on the first level. It only handles Schengen flights.

    Airport facilities

    A modern airport with state-of-the-art facilities, Athens Airport provides visitors with a superb shopping and dining experience. Not only are travellers in for a treat when it comes to high-street brands, such as Dior, Elizabeth Arden, Armani, Hugo Boss, Yves Saint Laurent and much more, they're also spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants and cafés, where they can get a taste of Greece even before stepping out of the airport.

    As for Internet access, there's free Wi-Fi throughout the terminal. The “ATH Free Wi-Fi” network provides visitors with 60 minutes of free Internet access, at the end of which it's possible to reconnect again for free. Furthermore, there are also Internet Kiosks throughout the airport, which allow travellers to access the Internet for 15 minutes at a time. Finally, the airport also provides postal and banking services, including currency exchange.

    How to get to and from Athens airport

    Athens Airport is located just half an hour from downtown Athens by car, a distance of just over 20 miles. When you rent a car at Athens Airport, the easiest and fastest way to get to the city is by taking the Attiki Odos, a modern express highway that serves the Greater Athens metropolitan area. Just keep in mind that Attiki Odos is a toll-road, so you'll be required to pay tolls. The amount due is dependant not on the distance travelled, but on the car category. Travellers can pay in cash, with e-pass or with a credit card.

    If you'd rather pick up your car in downtown Athens, the airport is also served by Metro (Line 3), suburban rail (with connections to Piraeus and Ano Liosia), and bus services (departing from the Arrivals level and providing connections to both Athens and Piraeus).

    Parking tips

    Parking in front of the airport's main terminal is forbidden. That area is reserved for passenger pick up or drop off.

    Athens Airport offers both short-term and long-term parking. Parking in the short-term parking lots (Short Term Parking 1 & 2) is free up to 20 minutes. The Economy and Long Term parking lots are farther away from the terminal building than the Short Term lots, but a shuttle bus is available to take passengers to and from the terminal.

    When it comes to parking in Athens, you can opt for street parking, for surface parking lots or for underground garages. Street parking can at times be difficult to find and is almost-universally paid. The parking zones are colour-coded, with lines on the asphalt identifying the type of parking permitted. Blue zones are for paid parking, Yellow zones are reserved for commercial, police or government vehicles, and White zones are paid during the week, but free on Sundays and in the evening.

    Parking in surface parking lots is also colour-coded, with Blue indicating parking reserved for locals. While it is often easier to find a place to park in a surface parking lot than on the street, it's important to know that there's usually a time limit of 3 hours for visitors.

    There's no such limit when it comes to underground garages, and these make for a convenient place to park your rental, particularly since they're very often to be found near popular landmarks, as well as shopping centres and markets. For more useful tips and information about driving in Greece, take a look at our driving information guide.

    Useful links

    Athens Airport