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Oia at the Island Santorini, Greece

Greece Travel Guide

Sun-soaked ruins, endless coastline, picture perfect white-washed towns perched by the Aegean, adventure sports, a thriving culture, and vibrant cities and cuisines – Greece is a country that demands to be explored. As a nation with centuries of history, unique traditions and cultural mores, it is natural that certain aspects of daily life in Greece can be unfamiliar to visitors. To ensure your trip to Greece is as safe, smooth, and easy as possible, find more information on traveling in the country in our Greece travel guide. 

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Visa application

Visa and Entry

As Greece is both part of the EU and the Schengen Agreement -a European border policy that allows for easy travel between Schengen countries, citizens of the United States can visit and stay in Greece for up to 90 days. If you have spent much time in Europe, this may be familiar to you. Bear in mind that you need at least six months of validity of your passport to be allowed inside Greece. 

In addition, you may need to present some indication of your travel plans and intention to leave Greece such as a return ticket, as well as your ability to financially sustain yourself while in Greece.  For the latter, a credit card or bank statement is ideal.

Euro currency, coins and banknotes, Germany

Cash and currency

The official currency of Greece is the Euro and you can find the latest exchange rate here. Make sure to carry some amount of cash with you, as although bank and credit cards are widely used you will likely find some stores, cafes, and restaurants, especially in rural or less touristy areas, only take cash.

You will be able to use any ATM in Greece, however, in rural areas and some of the smaller, more isolated islands, ATMs can be few and far between.

USA travel guide - language

Language

As the Greek alphabet is completely different to the English alphabet, it can be difficult for visitors to the country to learn the language. However, English is extremely widely spoken, especially in areas popular with travelers and in the major cities. You’re unlikely to find a Greek under the age of 50 who doesn’t know at least some basic English or isn’t completely fluent. In fact, according to research, English is more common in Greece than it is in Germany, Italy, and even France, so you should be able to get by without having to study the language.

Medicines

Health Information

Vaccines

Currently the CDC advises all travellers to Greece to be fully immunised against hepatitis A and B, rabies, polio, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza, and meningitis. This isn’t to say you’re likely to get sick in Greece – for example, not a single case of rabies has been detected in Greece since 2014. However, to ensure your journey is as safe as possible, it is good to be prepared.

Emergency contacts:

  • 112 – for all emergencies, this number is common across Europe
  • 100 – connects directly to the Greek police
  • 199 – will connect you to the fire brigade
  • 166 – emergency medical service and ambulance
  • 108 – will connect you to the coast guard
  • 197 – emergency social or psychological assistance
Greece travel guide - getting around

Getting Around

The most popular means of transportation around Greece is by bus, with routes all over the country linking Greece’s towns, cities, and villages. Most of the main bus services are run by KTEL, and are air conditioned, safe, reliable and clean.

Travel to and in between the Greek islands is simple, the most comfortable and scenic method is by ferry or cruise. Numerous catamarans, modern ferries and overnight boats operate between islands, but seats may fill out fast during the season so we advise you to plan ahead.

A large number of domestic flights operate in Greece, especially in the mainland. It is also possible to fly as most islands have airports of varying size.

Generally speaking the Greek islands don’t have a rail network but taxis and buses are common. Cars and motorcycles are also available for hire if you have a valid International Driving Permit. Please note that petrol prices in Greece are the highest in all of Europe and fuel stations may be closed on holidays and weekends. As with the rest of the Continent, expect to drive on the right side of the road in Greece.

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Tipping

Tipping waiting staff and servers is common in Greece, but the level of expectation or the appropriate amount varies depending on the service. For example, in cafes, tipping is not necessarily expected, however leaving a Euro or two when you depart will be appreciated.

In restaurants, tipping is expected. However, some restaurants include an additional service charge in the bill. If this is not the case, adding 5-10% of the overall cost would be sufficient.

If you choose to have a drink at a bar, then you won’t be expected to leave a tip. However, if you are feeling especially generous, rounding up the cost to the nearest Euro is a good rule of thumb.

Get in touch with us today for more information on this colorful and culturally diverse country.

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