Bolt in Athens: A man smiling while talking on the phone in a taxi.

Is Bolt Available in Athens (and the Rest of Greece)?

Bolt may not be available in Athens or anywhere in Greece, but no worries! Find out why and discover the best alternative taxi apps to use on your trip.

When you arrive in Athens, or most of the Greek islands, and realize how difficult it is to find a taxi, you might wonder if Bolt is available in Athens.

Unfortunately, the answer is no. However, we will help you find some reliable alternatives to get you out of a tight spot.

Among them are Uber (although UberX is not available in Greece), Free Now, and Welcome Pickups, which specializes in pre-booked airport and port transfers.

Why Doesn’t Bolt Operate in Athens?

Driver and passengers boarding yellow taxis outside Gate 3 of the Athens International Airport.
Taxis outside Gate 3 of the Athens International Airport.

Despite being available in more than 500 cities worldwide, Bolt does not operate in Athens.

Although there is no official explanation for the company’s decision, the main reason seems to be the extremely high competition in the Greek market on one hand, and the limited number of taxi licenses on the other.

Specifically, the number of taxi licenses in Athens and other Greek cities is fixed and regulated by the state.

Amateur drivers, who often use companies like Bolt and Uber, are not allowed after facing legal challenges from the local taxi driver industry.

Thus, even though there was a plan in 2019 for Bolt to start operating in Greece, beginning with Heraklion, Crete, it did not proceed due to objections from taxi drivers.

Bolt Alternatives in Athens

Bolt in Athens: A passenger holding a phone inside a yellow taxi.

Uber took a different route by suspending the operation of the UberX service and making only the Uber Taxi service available.

So, when you visit Athens and most popular Greek destinations, you have the following options to find a taxi:

1. Uber Taxi

When choosing to use the Uber application in Athens, your ride will exclusively be the city’s classic yellow taxis.

These are vehicles with a legal taxi license and taximeter.

Additionally, you’ll know the registration number and model of the car in advance, and you can pay with your card or PayPal, even if the driver does not have a POS machine.

You can read the full story in “Uber in Athens? What’s Really Going On!“.

2. Free Now

A popular alternative to Bolt in Athens is FREE NOW (formerly mytaxi), especially among the locals.

It operates a taxi and ride-hailing mobile app, and its popularity is such that most taxi drivers use it.

However, it adds a €1.20 fee to your ride compared to hailing a taxi on the street.

3. Taxiplon

Meanwhile, the Taxiplon application is becoming more popular lately, allowing you to also call a taxi.

Be cautious, nevertheless; as you will discover once you arrive in Athens, finding a taxi with any application during rush hour isn’t easy.

Drivers often prefer to turn off their phones and pick up passengers from the street to avoid paying fees to the apps.

4. Welcome Pickups

If you are not in a hurry to reach your destination, you can look for a taxi on the street.

However, if you need to catch a flight, for example, I recommend using a pre-booked taxi to avoid the hassle.

The one I usually recommend, especially for airport and port transfers, is the local startup Welcome Pickups. They offer excellent service and have expanded rapidly to many cities abroad.

Even though their flat rate is a few euros more expensive, they are worth it.

They use only top-rated drivers, wait for you at the arranged meeting point even if your arrival is delayed, and have numerous positive reviews on TripAdvisor and Trustpilot.

How Much Will I Pay for a Taxi?

A moving yellow taxi with a "TAXI" sign on top.

The state of Greece is the one that sets the taxi fares in Athens.

The final price is calculated based on travel time, distance, and any related surcharges. Moreover, taxis have different prices based on the time of day.

Therefore, expect the same ride to have an additional fare late at night, contrasting with the morning.

Specifically, the charges are the following:

Minimum fare4,00 euros
Base fare1,80 euros
Cost per km0,90 euros between 05:00 and 23:59 and 1,25 euros between 00:00 and 04:59.
Cost per minute0,30 euros. This charge only applies when the Taxi vehicle fully stops (e.g., traffic lights, STOP signs, etc.).

Furthermore, there are specific surcharges:

Airport surcharge4,00 euros
Luggage surcharge (heavier than 10kg)0,39 euros each
Harbor or bus stops surcharge1,07 euros

Remember that the car’s taximeter will be operational throughout your journey and will calculate your fare in real-time, minus any surcharges.

The driver will stop the taximeter at the end of the route and determine the final fare, including any applicable surcharges.

On the contrary, note that the rate is flat if you plan to use a taxi to the city center from Athens airport.

Specifically, from 05:00 to 23:59, the route costs 40 euros, and from 00:00 to 05:00, it costs 55 euros. The prices include all base charges and surcharges plus tolls.

Do I Need Bolt in Athens?

A person entering a taxi with a phone and coffee cup in hand.

With the above in mind, you should know that you may not need a taxi if you plan to move only around the Athens city center.

As a rule, stick to the metro: it’s by far the most reliable means of public transportation.

Moreover, try to walk as much as possible.

It’s the best way to enjoy the sights, such as taking a walk to the famous Acropolis, the well-known National Archaeological Museum, and the picturesque Anafiotika.

On the other hand, if you intend to cover long distances, for example, to go to the beach, you can always rent a car.

You can search online for the best prices on

You can also check out my guide with some great ideas about day trips from Athens without the need for a car.

But if you need a taxi, then use one of the above services.

It is definitely better than taking a cab on the road.

Travel and Stay Tips

Scenic view of the Ancient Agora of Athens, with the Temple of Hephaestus and Pnyka in the background.

I hope this article helped you understand what’s going on with Bolt in Athens and Greece.

You can also find additional information about your airport and port transportation in the “Athens Airport to Piraeus Port” guide.

If you are searching for accommodation, don’t miss the “Top 10 Neighborhoods to Stay in Athens for Every Traveler” guide! It includes the most reliable neighborhoods, the city’s best hotels, and the areas you should avoid.

Finally, for more insider tips on Athens, please consider joining our newsletter by submitting the form below.

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Make Your Trip Easier

Airport Transfer
If you want to get to and from Athens Airport with peace of mind, I recommend pre-booking your taxi with Welcome Pickups. Their flat rate is a few euros more expensive than random taxis, but it is totally worth it. They use local, English-speaking drivers, who will wait for you even if your flight is delayed and introduce you to the city during your ride.

I always book my accommodation with a reliable service like They offer a price guarantee and 24/7 support in case of any problems with your hotel. Always make sure you read reviews from other guests before booking.

From day trips to Greek islands to Acropolis Guided Tours, GetYourGuide will help you find some unique ideas for your trip.

Car Rental
If you decide to rent a car while in Athens, check Rentalcars. It compares the most reliable companies and returns the best prices with free cancellation.

Free Athens Tours
If you have limited time or want a local guide to introduce you to the city, check GuruWalk. They offer free tours, and at the end, you give them the amount you think is fair.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you if you get sick or injured while abroad, or if you lose your luggage or your flight is delayed. On my trips, I use SafetyWing as it’s affordable and has a simple claims process.

Sunny Athens is reader-supported. Some of the links above may be affiliate links for which I may receive compensation if you click, at no cost to you. This does not influence my evaluations. Learn more in Advertise Disclosure.

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