Greece travel

This section offers information about how to travel to Greece, why travel there, what to know before travelling and more travel information.

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Where to go? | How to get there? | Preparation | For who? | When? | Need help? | Health | Why to visit | 101 Things to know

Where to travel and what to do?

Discover our travel guides for 90 best Greek islands and mainland destinations. Use the filters to find your best holiday destination according to your preferences. You can also view our list with the top Greek destinations by popularity.
In few words, if you are a first-timer, the most famous Greek islands are Santorini, Mykonos, Paros & Naxos while the most famous places/ancient site to visit in the mainland, except Athens, are: Meteora, Delphi, Epidaurus, Olympia and Mycenae. For Greek islands, the best way to see them is with an island-hopping package.

How to get there & move around?

The transportation for your holidays in Greece is something you should not worry about, as this is one of the most easy-to-reach destinations.
Travel to Greece by plane: Obviously, the fastest and easiest way to travel to Greece is by plane, especially if you live in Europe. Many international air companies have regular flights to Athens and during tourist season, there are many direct flights to some Greek islands, if an international airport is available (Santorini, Mykonos and more). Some locations have a national airport and there are only flights from Athens. An alternative (and cheapest) way to reach your destination is by ferry from Athens ports (Piraeus, Rafina & Lavrio). View ferry schedules from Athens. The best way to travel to a Greek island that does not have an airport is to find the closest International airport. For example, if a traveller wants to go to Amorgos island, he can reach Santorini which has an international airport and then travel from Santorini to Amorgos by ferry. Find the closest airport to your holiday destination.
Travel to Greece by ferry: Ferry companies are operating between Italy and Greece all year round. Particularly there are ferries from Trieste, Venice, Ancona, Bari and Brindisi in Italy to Patra, Igoumenitsa, Corfu and Kefalonia in Greece, facilitating European visitors who want to come to Greece with their car. You can book your Ferry Tickets to Greece with Greeka.

How to reach your destination:

Ways to travel to top destinations


Preparing your travel

Read also about general things to know before organizing your travel:

Documents to travel to Greece

You will find below information about the documents needed to travel to Greece.

Passports

For EU citizens who travel to Greece, no passport is required, just the identity card with Latin characters is enough. For non-EU citizens, a valid passport is necessary to enter Greece.

In case you lose your passport in Greece, the local police and the embassy of your home country must be contacted. It is recommended to have a photocopy of your passport in order to get the process of replacement quicker.

Visas

When arriving in Greece by plane to the airports of Athens, mainland and the Greek islands, all citizens of foreign countries, except for the countries of the European Union, the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, need a visa to enter Greece. For more information, contact the Greek National Tourist Offices in your country or go to your embassy in Greece.

IDs

A passport can serve as an ID. Apart from the official identity card of your country, another form of identification is the driving license.

Animals' documents

Animals (pets) require a valid health certificate to enter Greece.

Travel Formalities

This section provides information about formalities to travel to Greece for EU Citizens, Non-EU Citizens, and animals.

Travel formalities for EU Citizens

For the citizens of the European Union, no passport is required to travel to Greece. A valid ID with latin characters is enough. There are no customs formalities and vaccines required to travel in Greece.

Travel formalities for Non-EU Citizens

For the citizens of non-EU European counties and other countries of the world, a valid passport is required. Citizens of some countries also need a visa to enter the country. There are exceptions for citizens of the USA, Australia, and New Zealand and a few other countries that do not need Visa, but for the majority of the countries, it is obligatory. To learn if you need a visa to travel to Greece, you should contact the Greek Embassy in your country.

Travel Formalities for animals

Animals and pets need a health certificate to enter the country. Kindly contact your vet and the Greek Embassy in your country to get informed on the certificates needed for an animal to travel in Greece.

Who travels there?

The country attracts on average 30 million tourists every year, while in record years this number may reach 35 million tourists. Visitors in Greece cover all categories and ages. There are families with kids searching for a relaxing beach destination, couples or honeymooners on romantic holidays, teenagers and youth looking for long party nights or history lovers on archaeological tours. In every case, a trip to Greece is a dream come true for everyone. The natural beauty, the reviving sunlight and the rich culture open an entirely new world to visitors. Even celebrities travel in Greece in the summer, while many of them have holiday homes in the Greek islands.

What is the best time of year to visit Greece?

Tourist season in Greece is officially April through October, with July and August being the two high season months. If you are looking for privacy, relaxation and less crowded places, then you should prefer the period between April and June. During this season, it will be easier to find budget accommodation and to book tickets for your transportation to and from Greece. Of course, there is always a high season that lasts from mid-July until late August. The popular Greek islands receive the majority of visitors these two hot months, but the more secluded islands keep their calm atmosphere.

Although Greece is mostly popular for summer vacations, tourists should also know that the Greek mainland constitutes a wonderful destination for winter city breaks and ski holidays. Athens is so enjoyable off-season when the ancient sites are not packed with tourists and the weather is not so hot. The most popular ski centers in Greece are Arachova and Kalavryta, while many other centers are found in northern Greece.

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Health information and protections

No special vaccination is required for traveling to Greece and the Greek Islands. If you are under a special medical treatment, you are advised to take these medicines with you while traveling to Greece, as it is a high possibility that you may not find the exact medicines there.
In this section, we propose tourist information about health in Greece.

Information about E111 free health treatment in Greece for Europeans, food and water and summer heat problems.

E111 free health treatment for Europeans

The citizens of the European Union have the right to the E111 document which offers access to free health treatment in public hospitals of Greece. Greek public hospitals are well equipped, at least in the major cities, but often overcrowded. The conditions and services of private hospitals are much better but quite expensive. On the Greek islands and small towns, there are no hospitals but medical and health centers.

Food & Water

Greek products are famous all around the world for their excellent quality. As for the water, in Athens and other large towns, tap water is drinkable. However, in most islands and in few mainland towns, bottled water is recommended in order to avoid health issues during your trip to Greece. Most Greek islands do not have their own water, but water is brought by water tanks from the mainland, therefore it is used only for showering and house cleaning, not for drinking.

Summer heat

Serious health problems in Greece might come from the summer heat, especially in July and August which are the hottest months of the year. Heat may severely affect people with heart and lung problems and sensitive skin as well, especially considering that in summer the temperature may rise to 40-43oC. To avoid health problems in case of extreme heat, drink a lot of water, shower often, avoid physical activities, like walking, biking or climbing, wear light clothing and hat, avoid alcohol, wear sunglasses and sun lotion and generally avoid direct contact with the sun between midday and 4 o'clock in the evening.

Why visit Greece?

Whatever type of traveler you are, you will not be disappointed in your trip to Greece. Whether you like beaches or mountains, winter or summer, relaxing or partying, travel to Greece will be the best choice for holidays in Greece. With an easy connection to Athens or even direct flights from Europe and Mediterranean countries, the Greek islands are the perfect places to gather precious holiday memories. Some of the most popular Greek holiday destinations are Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, and Zakynthos. Nice places for authentic holidays are also Paros, Naxos, and Skiathos.
Why travel to Greece? Loved by people, this country is so rich in culture and beauty that it never seems to be fully explored, no matter how many times you come for holidays. This is, after all, one of the reasons that brought it in the list with the top 20 tourist destinations in the world. Apart from its highly cosmopolitan side and the upscale levels of tourism, Greece has a more substantial way to charm you.
Organize your Greece travel and discover:

With numerous historical sights dating from 3,000 years ago and gorgeous natural beauty, it is not an exaggeration to say that Greece is a real heaven on earth and that everyone should travel in Greece at least once in a lifetime. Plus, over the last years, there is a large effort to develop the beach and sun model into a more modern approach, with agrotourism investments, off-season holiday packages, more authentic contact between locals and visitors, and more.

Why visit Greece? Which are the impulses that push millions of visitors to travel to this small corner of Europe? This section informs you about 12 reasons to travel to Greece.

01

The holiday of a lifetime

A visit to Greece is the dream holiday of a lifetime. When thinking of holidays, people picture the long crystal beaches and the relaxing beach taverns. But be careful because Greece is addictive: if you have experienced Greek holidays once, no other place on earth will be sufficient for you.
Need to organize your holidays? We are here for you!

02

Walking on sunshine

Greece is famous for its perfect climatic conditions. Not tropical and not arctic, this is a fantastic destination for every season. Did you know that most places in Greece get sunshine 300 days per year?

03

Breathtaking landscape

You will love the virgin landscape, the exotic color of the sea, the bright light of the sun. Each place in Greece has a different authentic style, both in the islands and in the mainland. It will take you years to explore all the Greek islands, but only a glance to love them. Have a look at our beautiful photos of Greece.

04

Safety

Greece remains among the safest countries in the world. The criminality rate is very low, especially on the islands. Feel no fear to walk late at night and have chats with the locals. In fact, this will be among the best pleasures during your Greek holidays. Only in Athens should you have an eye open, as pick-pocketing is usually reported in large queues, for example in buses or when boarding the ferry. But this is not the case in the islands, where you can lay back and enjoy a carefree atmosphere.

05

High level of hospitality

Since ever, warm hospitality is one of the main reasons to come to Greece. Feel free to mingle with the locals, have long chats with them or stop them at the street to ask for directions. They love it! Apart from the locals, you will also enjoy a high quality of services in the hotels and resorts.

06

A country with a past

Even in the smallest piece of land in Greece, you will find a connection to the past. All around the country and the islands, there are ancient sites of various historical periods: from remains of ancient Greek temples to Byzantine monasteries and Neoclassical mansions.

07

Healthy and tasty cuisine

Greece is famous for its healthy products, including virgin olive oil, vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, and wine. These products are the basis of the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in proteins and low in saturated fats. These products are cooked together and make delicious dishes. Even in the smallest tavern in Greece, do not hesitate to taste local Greek dishes. They will be totally different than any other ethnic recipe you have tasted so far.

08

Easy to access

There are frequent air connections from the largest world airports to the International Airport of Athens and from Athens, there are almost daily flights to the local airports of mainland Greece and the Greek islands. Also in summer, there are many direct charters and low-cost flights from various European airports to the most popular islands of Greece. As for the ferry connection, there are ferries between Greece and Italy all year round and also between Greece and Turkey in summer.

09

EU Member

As Greece is a member of the EU, clearly other EU citizens do not need a visa to visit the country and stay as long as they like. Also, many citizens of other world countries do not need to make visa arrangements for tourism, including citizens of the USA, Australia, and Russia.

10

Nightlife

You are young in age or young at heart, looking for a place with vivid nightlife? Mykonos, Paros, Ios, Skiathos, Rhodes, Corfu, Zakynthos are only a few of the islands of Greece where parties start in the midday and last till the early hours. Enjoy your cocktail under the hot sun and dance on the sand till your feet can hold no more!

11

English-speaking country

You will find no difficulty to communicate in English with the Greeks. Ask for directions, the order in restaurants, shop or get information in English will be very easy everywhere in the country. In fact, in most tourist places, you will discover that staff of tourist businesses may also speak French, German, Italian or even Russian.

12

Destination of celebrities

Surely you have heard that Greece is among the top summer destination for celebrities and Hollywood stars. Many come and visit on yachts or stay in luxurious beach resorts, while others even have holiday homes in the Greek islands.

An extended list of 101 things you should know

It is difficult for a first-time visitors in Greece to understand or accommodate some Greek practices, habits, and traditions. That is why we have created an extended list for you with things that you should know or things to have in mind before you travel to Greece and the Greek islands. To make it even easier for you, we have divided this info into various categories. This is a very useful page to organize your vacations better, avoid any unpleasant surprises and familiarize with the Greek reality!

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General Info | Packing | Communication | Money | Safety | Shopping | Food and Drink | Driving |

General Info
001

Do not forget your passport

Do not forget your passport and other needed travel documents. Get the phone number of your embassy in Greece, just in case.

002

Do not try to see too many islands/locations.

Enjoy every region and relax, after all that is the meaning of vacations. Do not organize trips every other day to see as many Greek islands / locations as possible. Give every island the time it takes to love it.

003

Make your bookings early

The earlier you book your hotels or air tickets, the cheapest prices you will get. Concerning ferry tickets, it is better to book the Greek ferries early if you plan to travel between mid-July to the end of August. In all cases, book early if you need a cabin or if you are traveling in a car.

004

Hotels ratings

As a hotel rating in Greece may be a bit different than the international hotel rating, make sure the accommodation you book has all the facilities you need. Also note that hotels are rated with stars whiles other accommodations (apartments, rooms, studios, etc) are rated with keys.

005

Persons with special needs

Greece is not organized very well for a disabled person. If you are a person with special needs, book early your special cabin for disabled in the Greek ferries. Unfortunately, ferries in Greece have only a few such cabins. Also, make sure that the ferry and your hotel is easily accessible for you. Moreover, some Greek islands, like the Cyclades, are much troublesome for disabled people. Prefer more "flat" islands.
Read our blog article: Disabled travel in Greece

006

Have cash with you

Make sure you have enough money or you have ways to get some, for example through an ATM. Always have a credit card with you. You will find ATMs but nowdays, all restaurants accept credit cards.

007

Visit some mainland areas

Apart from visiting the famous popular islands, it would also be a good idea to visit some mainland, too. This is the best chance to get to know some traditional Greece but also to discover some of the most important ancient sites of Greece.

008

Smoking country

Smoking is a very bad habit of the Greeks and it results very annoying for tourists. Till recently, smoking was allowed almost everywhere. Only recently, smocking has been prohibided and for once, Greek people respected the law.

009

Stray Animals

Another problem in Greece is the stray animals. You will see many dogs and cats on the streets of every single city or island. Some sensitive locals may give them food, but the problem remains unsolved and it grows with so many locals abandoning new-born animals. Once on holiday, you can support the local shelters with a donation.

010

Churches and monasteries

You will find churches and monasteries everywhere in Greece, As the Greeks are much bonded with religion, there are plenty of chapels in all towns and islands. In fact, there is a particular dress code to enter a church or a monastery. Visitors should be properly dressed, that means no swimming tanks, long trousers for men and long skirts for women.

011

Greek toilette system

Have in mind that the toilette system in Greece is not much advanced as in other European countries. Almost everywhere, they ask that you do not throw the paper in the toilet, but instead, there are small bins next to the toilette to put the paper. These bins are emptied by the cleaning staff.

012

Internet connections

Internet connection is pretty easy in Greece. If you have a laptop, you can connect in the several free WiFi spots in many squares or malls in Greece. Moreover, you can buy a prepaid internet card from the kiosk, which also includes an available phone line you can use for the dial-up connection (Note you need to give an ID). Have in mind that many hotels also offer internet connection and, of course, you can go to the many coffee shops available. Note that there are no roaming charges for European countries and a very good 4G signal is available in Greece.

013

Museums

Get informed on the opening hours of each museum in Greece or archaeological site. Every museum has different working days and hours. The usual practice is that they are open from early in the morning till midday, closed on Sundays and Mondays. Famous archaeological sites are open till sunset, but still, there may be differences between one site and another.

Packing Back to top
014

Do not forget

There are a few things you shouldn't forget when you travel in Greece: your camera, your sunglasses, bathing suit, mosquito repellant and sun cream. Do not worry if you forget anything as you can easily find it in Greece.

015

Pack lightly

Do not take much luggage with you because the trip might be long. Getting on and off planes or ferries will be very tiring if you have to drag your over-packed suitcase. Moreover, the paths in the islands are paved and it will difficult to carry many things. After all, you will not need but a couple of swimming suits, some light summer clothes and a couple of flat shoes or comfortable sneakers for walking. Also, have a light sweater for some chilly evenings because the wind blows often in the islands. Take something even warmer if you going to rent a scooter.

016

Spring and Autumn weather

If you are coming in spring or autumn, make sure you have some heavier clothes with you because the temperature in Greece is still low (about 20-27oC in May and September but nights and mornings are cool). Also have a small umbrella as rainstorms are frequent and sometimes sudden, although they usually last no more than half an hour.

017

Take your camera

You will regret coming to Greece without a camera. You will find camera accessories there (batteries, storage cards, cables). Go home with plenty of memories and photos. Remember that in some archaeological sites or museums, you are not permitted to take photos and in the rest of the museums, you can't use flash because it damages the quality of the marble exhibits. If you get nice shots, you can share them with our online community.

018

Have some maps

Have a map of Greece and the different regions as well as travel guides with you or collect all the information from the Internet, before you come to Greece. You can find free maps in every city and island.

019

Plug adaptor

A few years ago, if your country had 110V electricity, you would need an electric adaptor because Greece has 220V electricity. Nowadays most current electric equipment (laptops, cell phones, etc) use chargers which adapt to voltage changes automatically, so you do not need a transformer for those. However, you do need a plug adapter, which only changes the shape of your electric plug but not the voltage.

Communication Back to top
020

Easy to communicate

It will be easy to communicate in Greece, even if your English is not fluent. Most Greeks are familiarized with tourists and they will help you if you need directions or an explanation. Moreover, most street signs are in both Greek and English, so no reason to really worry about getting lost? Not exactly as most of the time there are not enough signs and many streets have no names.

021

Greeks are friendly people

The Greeks will be more friendly and eager to help if you try to speak some Greek, too. Just a couple of words are fine, they love it when they hear a stranger speaking their language. So, say kalimera instead of "good morning" and efkaristo instead of "thank you", and you will see some big proud smiles in their faces.

022

Be kind to be treated kindly

The Greeks like tourists and feel proud to welcome them, however, they get mad when tourists bother them. Ask questions nicely and do not cause problems. For example, if you are making noise because you are drunk, the Greeks will probably call the police. The locals expect tourists to be decent.

023

Some Greeks can be rude

The Greeks are generally polite, although in some cases they may look bored or indifferent. Do not take it hard, some people are like this to anyone, locals or tourists. You may encounter such indifferent waiters, for example. Don't be upset. Just ask in a polite way to be served and you will be served, even without a smile on the face.

024

Ask for help

Although the Greeks may see that you are having a problem (e.g. you may desperately search your destination on a map in the middle of the street and look confused), they will probably not deal with you unless you ask them a question. If you do ask a question, they will turn their head with a big smile. Their philosophy is not to bother tourists and to let you make the first move.

025

Hand communication

A very common gesture you will definitely see in Greece is moutza: hand extended, five fingers open. This is a very rude gesture to demonstrate disapproval and frequently used by drivers. Do not do that gesture, the Greeks will consider it very offensive.

026

Monetary unit

The official monetary unit of Greece is the Euro and no other money is accepted, so you will have to exchange your currency with the euro. You can do it in the banks, in currency exchange offices or at the airport.

027

Payments with credit cards

Credit cards are nowdays obligatory in all stores (big shopping stores, large supermarkets, malls, restaurants). But always have cash with you, just in case. Also even if the store window has signs that they accept credit cars, better ask before you buy to avoid any unpleasant surprise in the cashier's desk.

028

ATMs

The best way to get money in Greece is through the ATMs that can be found almost everywhere. There are plenty of them in the large cities and the popular islands, however some small towns or remote islands might lack a bank or an ATM. Make sure there is an ATM in your destination or you should take more cash with you.
You have to know that there is usually a daily withdrawal limit in ATMs, so if you have to pay a large amount (like the hotel bill) make sure you have enough money beforehand. Also better get your money from the ATM a day or two before you need them, do not wait till last minute. What if the ATM has broken down or left out of money?

029

Personal checks

Personal checks are not much accepted in Greece unless you have made an agreement with the other part.

030

Safe country

Although the crime rate is on the increase in the last years, Greece is still a very safe country. No comparison to other European countries or the USA, where there are ghettos and gangs. Except for some neighborhoods in Athens, like Omonoia, where it would be preferable not to walk alone at nights, the whole country is extremely safe. Crime in smaller cities and villages is almost inexistent.

031

Pickpockets

The only crime you might experience (mostly in large cities) is some thefts in crowded places or in the public means of transport. Pay attention to your wallet, especially on the buses, subway or trains, and do not leave it exposed.

032

Drugs

Using or selling drugs is strictly prohibited in Greece. The country has some of the strictest drug laws in Europe. You are prohibited to use even light drugs, like marijuana. Tourists do not form exceptions in the application of these drug laws.

033

Woman travelers

Women do not need to be afraid of walking alone in Greece, just stay away from some specific areas of Athens at night. Any other time in any other place is safe. No reason to worry at all in all the touristy areas like Plaka.

034

Lock valuables in your hotel safes

It would be a good idea to lock valuables in your hotel safes, just in case. Although hotel thefts are pretty rare, there is no need to take the risk.

035

Drivers

Pay attention when you cross a street because car drivers seem to totally ignore pedestrian signs. Do not expect that they will slow down when you cross the street. They are more likely to make an abrupt turn past you than slow down.

036

No bay watchers

Very few beaches in Greece have bay watchers, so pay attention when you swim. The Greek sea is not dangerous but you never know, especially if you are not a prompt swimmer. Better go where the locals go, just to avoid any water wells, urchins or jellyfish. Pay extra attention when the beach is pretty remote or if you go for a night swim. Never go for a night swim at a beach you haven't experienced.

037

Emergency call

In case of emergencies, dial 100 for police and 166 for hospital care.

038

Trekking journeys

It would not be advisable to trek in some areas by yourself. Some parts of the islands and the mainland can be extremely sparsely-populated and it may take you hours to reach a village or meet someone. Always take water with you.

039

Drink a lot of water

Drink a lot of water if you go to Athens in the middle of the summer. Temperatures can get very high and this way you will avoid dehydration.

Shopping Back to top
040

Stores are everywhere

Greece has stores everywhere, you will have no problem finding what you need. There are large malls, regular shopping stores, super or mini markets, frequent kiosks (periptero), groceries and gift shops. There are also flea markets and open grocery markets (laiki) in many areas. The center of Athens in the most popular shopping spot in Greece but the flea market of Monastiraki is also very famous to tourists. However, even in small islands, you will not lack anything.

041

Credit Cards

Most stores accept credit cards but do not take it for granted. For example, people in small grocery stores, in remote taverns and in the flea market will probably not take credit cards, so better ask before you buy.

042

Shopping and restaurants hours

Shopping hours vary in Greece. The general shopping hours are: Monday/ Wednesday/ Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm, Tuesday/ Thursday/ Friday from 9 am to 2 pm and from 6 pm to 9 pm. The Greek shop owners keep the siesta at noon, which might be inconvenient for some, but yet it is a nice tradition. Large malls in Athens and other big cities are continuously open till the evening in the weekdays and till the afternoon on Saturdays, Sundays closed. Gift shops in the islands are usually open all day, every day.
Greeks eat late. You can go to a restaurant at 10 pm and you will be served normally.

043

Bargaining

Bargains are frequently seen in Athens and other large towns. If you are seating for a coffee and a bargain approaches you, have your mind for pickpocketing. Kindly ask them to leave.

044

Tipping

There is no rule or norm for tipping in Greece. People do not expect you to tip in anywhere else than in coffee houses, taverns, restaurants and maybe room service in the hotels. But still, it is not compulsory. You can tip as much as you want or you can still no tip at all.

Food & Drinking Back to top
045

All kind of food and drinks

You will find in Greece the type of food and drinks that you experience in the western world. There are, of course, world ranges of cafeterias and fast-food restaurants (like McDonalds or Starbucks) in the big cities and popular islands, but there are also traditional coffee houses (known as kafenion) and taverns.

046

Gyros

The best known Greek food is gyros, a folded type of sandwich with pork or chicken sticks, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and tzatziki/ sauce. You can find it almost everywhere in Greece and people eat it for lunch and dinner, too. You can ask for the (folded) gyros, just for the stick or for the plate. When you order, make sure you define what you want because if you don't, you will most probably get the plate than the sandwich, which is double or triple in price.

047

Other famous Greek dishes

The most frequent dishes you can order in a Greek tavern is Greek (horiatiki) salad, grilled fish of any kind (pay attention because big fish are sold by the kilo and they can be very expensive), fried squids (kalamari) moussaka and pies (cheese pie or spinach pie mostly).

048

Vegetarian

Greeks love meat. Although there are usually not special vegetarian dishes in the Greek taverns, many Greek dishes are composed only of vegetals. But you will not find many vegetarians restaurants in Greece.

049

Bread

Bread is almost always included in the meal. Even if you don't ask for bread, the waiter will bring a basket of bread slices in your table and you will pay extra for it. It is inconceivable for the Greeks to have lunch without bread.

050

Greek eating hours

Taverns in summer are usually open all day. Greek eating hours are much different than westerners. The Greeks usually eat lunch at about 3 in the afternoon and start dinner from 9 in the evening till after midnight.

051

Greek taverns

The atmosphere in the Greek taverns is very festive, especially if the locals frequent there. The Greeks usually speak loud in the taverns, laugh and start conversations. Even if they finish eating, the Greeks do not leave but stay for an hour or two more to discuss with their company. Greek companies are usually large and include family members and friends. The same happens with cafeterias, where people take their time when drinking coffee. Having a coffee in a cafeteria usually takes from 1 to 2 hours. Leisure is an important issue for the Greeks.

052

Taverns closing time

The Greek taverns usually don't have a closing time, they close when the guests leave. This means that they may close at 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning. If there is live music, the closing time extends even more.

053

Hotels breakfast

Breakfast is sometimes not included in hotel rates. Therefore, you can either pay for it separately or have breakfast in a cafeteria. Some people just have a cheese or spinach pie from the local bakery for breakfast.

054

Saturday night in Greece

As people eat late, they also go out late. Usually, they go out for a drink after midnight.

055

Nightclubs in Greece

Nightclubs in Greece open in the midnight and close when the sun rises. There is usually a ticket entrance that includes the first drink. Most Greeks prefer Greek music than international ones.

056

Drinking age limit

There is practically no drinking age limit in Greece. Although the legal age limit is 18 and 16 under supervision, the law is almost never obeyed. Some clubs and cafeterias have signs at the entrance saying that the consumption of alcohol is not permitted to people under 18, but nobody asks for an identity card when you enter the club or when you order a drink.

057

Drinking Attitude

Although the Greeks drink frequently, they expect you to be decent even if you are drunk. Public displays of drunkenness are highly disapproved by Greek society and they may call the police if you get too annoying.

058

Wine and beer

People in Greece drink wine or beer on almost all occasions, even in daily lunches. The traditional Greek wine is retsina and the most frequent Greek beers are Mythos and Alpha. Ouzo, tsipouro, and raki are also traditional Greek beverages and frequently consumed by the locals.

059

Water

Water is usually drinkable in most cities of the Greek mainland, but in the islands, you must drink bottled water. Most Greek islands are not water sufficient and they have to carry water with the tank. This water is used for bathing or doing the laundry, but not for consumption.

Driving Back to top
060

Greeks drive like crazy

It is a common fact that the Greeks drive like crazy, especially in Athens. If you want to rent a car and drive in Greece, always be careful, particularly if drivers in your country are civilized!

061

Do not to drive a car within the city limits

First-time tourists in Athens are advised not to drive a car within the city limits. Better use public transportation or taxis. Buses go almost everywhere in Athens and it is pretty easy to find a taxi, so why bother? After all, if you are a tourist, it is most possible that you will want to move to the center, where cars will not be of use for two reasons: first, the metro (subway) goes to all the sights you will want to visit and secondly, finding a parking seat is a huge problem in the city center and will probably ruin your mood. Better rent a car if you want to drive in the mainland, away from Athens.

062

Traffic Jam

One of the biggest problems you will face when driving in Athens (and the major Greek cities) is a traffic jam. This is due to many reasons, mostly because the streets are narrow and people do not respect signs.

063

Peak hours

It is a common fact that the Greeks drive like crazy, especially in Athens. If you want to rent a car and drive in Greece, always be careful, particularly if drivers in your country are civilized!

064

Don't miss your turn

If you miss your turn, do not expect that you can circle the block and get back where you wanted. Many streets in Greece are one way, so you may need to pass several blocks until you find a legal turn.

065

Huge trucks, lorries, and vans

Huge trucks, lorries, and vans are allowed to move anywhere at any time, even in the most popular or narrow streets.

066

Don't get upset with Greeks attitude

Even if you think that you bother nobody with your driving, people will do get annoyed: if you drive fast, you will be yelled at that you drive like crazy; if you drive slow, you will be yelled at that you block the cars behind! Try not to pay attention or get upset, just go on!

067

People go fast even if they are not in a hurry

If you are stopped in a traffic line, someone will try to pass through the tiny space between you and the other car, just to get in front of you. People go fast even if they are not in a hurry.

068

Motorcycles

Motorcycles will never stay behind your car. They will either go in front of you or at least at your side. They will squeeze past cars to get in front of the traffic lines.

069

Horns often used

When you are in the traffic line, if red goes to green and you don't leave in the first second, you will hear horns and yellings from behind. Horn in Greece is used in all cases: to prevent an accident but also to greet someone familiar in the street. The noise of horns may drive you crazy sometimes especially in Athens center.

070

Change lines when nobody is watching you!

If you turn on the signal to change lanes when driving, the car behind will speed up to get in front of you. Change lines when nobody is watching you!

071

Motorcycles and taxis must be avoided

Most of all beware of motorcycles and taxis. Taxi drivers spend half a day driving and have too many nerves, so they lack patience and may result in unpredictably.

072

Always wear your seatbelt

Always wear your seatbelt. The accident rate in Greece is the biggest in Europe and extra attention is required. Also, there are frequent police blocks, especially on the highways.

073

Parking

Unless you are in the countryside or the forest, be patient when you are looking for a parking seat.

074

Highways

The national highways around Athens are in a good state, but always pay attention because drivers usually raise the speed a lot. Always conform to the speed signs. Usually, the speed rate in the highways is 100-120 km/h. However, some roads in the mountainsides are one-lined, have a lot of windings and pass through villages, so the speed limit is much lower.

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