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Driving Abroad: What You Need To Know While Driving In Athens

The city of Athens is a major tourist destination; many visitors prefer to bring their cars so they can drive throughout the city and its outskirts.  For many, Athens is the culmination of a continental tour and it certainly makes for a grand finale with its ancient ruins and wide array of historical and cultural attractions.  If you want to visit this magnificent city with your car, you can easily drive abroad to Athens; what you need to know are the following tips that will make your trip all you could wish it to be.

Driving Abroad: International Driving Permits

athens greece

Going to Athens? Make sure to have proper documentation and proper insurance coverage. Image credit by: Stamos, Creative Commons license

When traveling in Greece you should have your valid driver’s license as well as an International Driving Permit.  It’s always a good idea to have this permit when driving abroad.  What you need to know about obtaining one can be found online by visiting the AAA.  According to the U.S. Embassy in Athens, if a “tourist in Greece is stopped by traffic police and is found to drive without the proper documentation… citizen may be arrested and face trial”.  Remember that an international driving permit does not replace the license from you home country; it merely represents your driving privileges in various languages and is a document recognized in Europe.

driving in athens

There can be congestion when driving in Athens. Image courtesy of Magi Edos, Creative Commons license

Driving Abroad What You Need to Know about Traffic

When driving abroad what you need to know is that traffic congestion is one reason why many tourists refrain from driving in Athens.  Moreover, parking can be quite difficult.  You might want to consider leaving your vehicle parked at your hotel whenever it is more convenient to take public transportation or you’re apt to waste valuable sightseeing time hunting for a place to park.   If you do prefer to drive to each attraction, you can search of parking areas that charge you to park.

Staying Safe in Athens

Whenever you travel to an international location it’s a good idea to refrain from wearing expensive jewelry or standing out as a tourist.  Try to dress casually when sightseeing and keep your belongings held fast.  Having your mobile phone is also a good idea in the event you need to place an emergency call.  If you have questions during your stay in Athens you can always contact your embassy.  For questions about sightseeing in Athens you can ask the hotel manager or check online forums for travel tips and advice.

What You Need to Know about Athenian Attractions

There is a quite a bit to take in when one visits a city like Athens.  However, most people agree that there are certain must-see attractions.  When driving abroad to Athens, be sure to check out the following.


This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the most popular tourist attraction of the city.  Dating to the Late Bronze Age, this area is home to incredible sites like the Parthenon and the Erectheion.  Entrance price for this site is 12 Euros.

The National Archaeological Museum

This treasure trove of artifacts and relics from the city’s long history and, indeed, Greece’s past is one of the most celebrated attractions of the city.  View ancient pottery, jewelry, and monuments from the country’s illustrious past.

Theatre of Dionysus

Located on the Southwestern corner of the Acropolis, this Athenian landmark was constructed, according to Lonely Planet, around 342 B.C.; however, earlier theatres made from wood predate the stone structure.


Athens, Benaki museum, modern angel, by Aspa Stassinopoulou. Greece, Image credit: bilwander

Benaki Museum

This museum is regarded as the finest in the nation.  According to Lonely Planet, “The collection includes Bronze Age finds from Mycenae and Thessaly; works by El Greco; ecclesiastical furniture brought from Asia Minor; pottery, copper, silver and woodwork from Egypt, Asia Minor and Mesopotamia; and a stunning collection of Greek regional costumes.”

Of course, these are merely a few of the city’s most noted sites.  Many travelers enjoy the vibrant nightlife as well as the delicious cuisine.  As much as Athens is celebrated for its past, it is a bustling city today noted for its rich array of attractions scattered throughout its various neighborhoods.  Driving is a delightful way to see everything at your own convenience.  By keeping the above tips in mind, you’ll be prepared to enjoy your stay in this ancient capital that is filled with marvelous landmarks and interesting venues.

Laura Ginn

Laura Ginn

Laura Ginn appreciates that drivers who want to drive while they are overseas need to take out a policy that covers them for every eventuality. Find out more about insurance and how to find the best deal at uSwitch.com.

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