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Greece's main highways to the north and the south link up in Athens; both are called Ethniki Odos (National Road). Take the Attiki Odos, a beltway around Athens that also accesses Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, to speed your travel time entering and exiting the city. The toll is €2.80 for cars, payable upon entering this privately owned highway. At the city limits, signs in English clearly mark the way to both Syntagma Square and Omonia Square in the city center. Leaving Athens, routes to the highways and Attiki Odos are well marked; green signs usually name Lamia for points north, and Corinth or Patras for points southwest. From Athens to Thessaloniki, the distance is 515 km (319 miles); to Kalamata, 257 km (159 miles); to Corinth, 84 km (52 miles); to Patras, 218 km (135 miles); to Igoumenitsa, 472 km (293 miles).

Most car rental offices are around Syngrou and Syntagma Square in Central Athens but note it can be cheaper to book from your home country; small-car rentals start at around €20/day.