Greece culture

Greece is a multi-cultural country of great and diverse interests. It has been influenced by its location at the confluence of the East and the West and by the continued occupation of the country and its people from the Romans until its independence from the Ottoman Empire in the 19th Century.

Greeks are particularly proud of their culture; they speak of their country with intense passion, expressing the feeling that Greek culture is a definition of their national and ethnic belonging. Wonderful regional traditions, religion, music, language, food and wine, are the major composites of the culture in the mainland and the islands, creating an incomparable cultural base for everyone wishing to visit and understand contemporary Greece.

Aspects of the Greek Culture

Below we propose inspiring cultural activities and provide information on the main aspects of the Greek culture today; regional traditions, religion, music, language, food and wine, and on many more.

Greek language


Language constitutes one of the most important elements of Greek culture. The modern language is a descendant of the Ancient Greek or Hellenic branch of the Indo-European language. The first written texts was found on baked mud tablets, in the remains of the Knossos Palace on the island of Crete. Linear A and Linear B are the two most ancient types of written language.


Traditions & customs

Traditions in the mainland and the islands either have a Christian religious character or come from pagan beliefs. Furthermore, most of the traditions and festivals still followed and celebrated today are religious. That is why so many panygiria [festivals] are organized in the country, which is actually religious celebrations of saints, followed by traditional music and dance in village public spaces. These "panigiria" are a strong element of the Greek culture and take place all year round, especially in summer.



Religion plays an important role in the understanding of daily culture. 98% of the Greeks are Christian Orthodox. The rest of the population are Muslims, Roman Catholics, and Jewish. Greece and Russia are the only countries to have such a big proportion of Orthodox Christians. The Orthodox Church forms the third largest branch of Christianity, after the Roman Catholic and the Protestant.



Greek music is of unbelievable diversity due to the creative integration of different influences of the Eastern and Western cultures. Music has a long history dating from ancient times, during which poetry, dancing, and music were inseparable and played an important part in ancient Greek everyday life and culture.

Food & Wine

Food and wine

Greek cuisine is famous for its impressively healthy products and the amazing taste of its food and wines. Some dishes can be found across the country, whereas hundreds more are local culinary specialities. The same dishes can be cooked in different ways or with similar ingredients depending on the region. Food is an important part of Greek culture.

Local Products

Fresh produce and food

Many products are characteristic of Greece, including various types of cheese (feta, metsovone, and formaella), virgin olive oil from Lesvos, Crete and Laconia, capper from Santorini, potatoes from Naxos, citrus fruits from Peloponnese and others like honey, wine, spices, nuts and more. These fresh culinary products are widely used in cooking and constitute strong elements of the local culture.



The architecture in Greece has gone through many phases: from the Doric and Ionic style of the temples in Classical times, to the Byzantine style of the churches and the Neoclassical style of recent years. Every architectural style shows the culture and traditions of that era. The architecture in villages and islands is very different from the architecture in large cities.



Most festivals take place in summer. They can be religious festivals (panigiri) on the name day of the protector saint in a village or town, or they can also be cultural festivals with various events. These festivals constitute an integral part of the local culture and attract many visitors.

Cultural Events

Cultural Events

Many cultural events take place in Greece all year round. Particularly famous is the Athens Epidaurus Greek Festival, with events in the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, the Herodeion Theatre in Athens and other venues. Such festivals with music concerts, theatre performances, lectures, and custom revivals take place in all Greek islands and towns, usually in summer, presenting the local culture and occasionally hosting international participation.



Nights in Greece are a delight. A summer night out usually starts with dinner at one of the many taverns and restaurants in the Greek islands and continues with a soft drink in a lounge bar or with a crazy night in a club till the sunrise. It is almost part of the Greek culture to have dinner in a traditional tavern during holidays. Places known for their nightlife are Mykonos, Ios, Crete, Kos, Rhodes and Corfu.


Cafe & Kafenion

Going out for a coffee is a distinctive habit for the Greeks, a strong part of their culture. The average coffee meeting is about 1 and half hours. The Greeks get together over a coffee and chat loudly. In the village squares, you will see the traditional type of cafeteria in Greece, the kafenion. Mostly older men go there to drink their traditional coffee, chat and play cards.


Read also in our blog: Top 4 favorite habits of the Greeks