If you're planning a trip to Athens, Greece, it's important to be prepared for the city's notorious traffic and parking situation.
While driving in Athens can be manageable after some acclimatization, finding a parking spot can prove to be quite challenging, especially in the city center where many of the popular tourist sights are located.
In this article, we'll explore the ins and outs of parking in Athens, including where to park and what prices you can expect to pay. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, this guide will help you navigate Athens' parking situation with ease.
In downtown Athens, there is an environmental zone that was set up in the 1980s to keep the high level of air pollution within limits. It's called the Daktylios Ring.
In a certain area of the city center, access by car is allowed on even-numbered days only to vehicles whose last number on the number plate is also an even number, on odd-numbered days only to those with the last number on the number plate is an odd number.
In the summer months of July, August and September, the rules of the Daktylios Ring are mostly suspended.
The area includes most of the streets in downtown Athens and failure to comply will result in a 200 euro fine.
Parking in downtown Athens is metered from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM on weekdays and from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturdays.
The city center is divided into parking zones. These are marked on a board with the sign P, and there are also stripes in the corresponding color on the road.
- Blue: These parking zones are reserved for residents. Be sure not to park your vehicle here or you will be fined.
- Yellow: Yellow marked parking zones are reserved for special vehicles, you are not allowed to park here.
- White: Paid parking is allowed in the white zones. The maximum parking time is 3 hours.
One hour parking costs about 0.50 euros, 2 hours 1 euro, but 3 hours 6 euros.
Parking Ticket Sales
A parking ticket can be obtained from the machines right next to the parking signs. Please pay attention to the information boards on the traffic signs.
In a zone that requires a parking ticket, it can happen that the ticket machine is defective, then simply get your parking ticket from a kiosk nearby.
Valuables in the Car
Never leave any valuables in the car when parking on the street. Also, make sure not to leave any luggage visible in the vehicle.
As in any big city, there are thieves in Athens.
ParkAround is a special app that shows the nearest free parking space in a parking garage in a parking lot and in a white zone.
The myAthensPass app, allows you to load your credit, debit or prepaid card with the desired amount from 50 cents up to 20 euros, then select a parking space and the parking duration on the digital card and simply enter the license plate number to complete the booking enter.
If you park in Athens in a public, guarded parking lot, you usually have to hand in the car along with the key. It is parked in and out by the employees of the parking lot, the vehicles are often very close together, it is not possible to park without moving the other vehicle, so the key is required.
There are paid multi-story car parks all over the city, many of which are near train stations, tourist attractions, shopping centers and large hotels. The parking garages are guarded. The fees for parking in multi-story car parks are highly dependent on the location. The average fee is €25 per day.
We have put together a few of the largest and most central for you.
- Metropark Athens: The large modern underground parking garage in the center is located near Syntagma Square, Parking Centrum Mitropoleos 21-23 & Patroo 8, 10557 Athens. The three metro stations Syntagma Station, Monastiraki Station and Thissio Station can be reached on foot within 5-10 minutes.
- Parking Siggrou: The Parking Siggrou underground parking garage is located in the center of Athens near the Arcopolis in Leof. Andrea Siggrou 32, Athens 11742. The Acropolis metro station is in the immediate vicinity.
- Parking Kapa: This parking garage is located near the National Theater of Athens at Psaron 4, Athina 104 37. The metro station Metaksurgio is just a few steps away.
Parking at Hotels
Many hotels in Athens offer private parking for a fee. These parking lots are often video-monitored or even completely locked and are considered to be very safe.
Park & Ride
Park & Ride parking spaces are not as common as in other places in Europe, but there are a few. The places are all a little bit outside the city limits and are connected to the subway network. The parking spaces are subject to a fee, but are usually much cheaper than the parking garages in the city center. On average, parking costs 10-15 euros per day.
In Athens there are parking lots near Syngrou-Fix, Nomismatokopio Station, Halandri Park&Ride metro stations.
Parking outside the parking zones is free of charge. You can also park for free in the outdoor areas and side streets. On weekdays after 9:00 p.m. and on Saturdays after 4:00 p.m., parking is also free in the city center, provided you can find a space.
Many hotels offer free parking.
Confiscation of License Plates
If you have parked incorrectly, the law enforcement officers may remove the number plate from your car, for example if the vehicle is obstructing traffic. The best way to get it back is to contact the police. You can reach them on the short code 100, the Tourist Police on 1571. They will get your license plates back after you have paid the fine.
However, you have to attache them back to your car yourself.
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