Before you go: Greece.

Hello Pals,

Before you go to any country you should learn some basics but also double check those important things such as Visa and Vaccines.

  🛂 VISA 
Depending on where you’re from, you may need a visa for the Schengen area. Check here.
Majority of countries do not need a tourist visa and will automatically receive 90 days in any 180-day period.
 💉 VACCINES
Click here to make sure you’ve got the necessary jabs!
💬   LANGUAGE
National Language is Greek. Try and learn common phrases such as hello, goodbye, please and thank you here.
💰  CURRENCY
Euro. Code: EUR.
Check your exchange here.

Here’s a list of things you should know before you travel to Greece.

In this article you’ll find:
Important:
Cultural | Dress Code  | Driving | English
Insurance | Toilets | Transport | Water | Weather
Money: + Tipping + ATMS
Fun Facts: five fun facts!

IMPORTANT

Cultural

  • It’s illegal to take photos of military facilities. Just in 2018 a man was arrested. News Article.
  • Do not input your own opinion into Greek Economics or highly-controversial name disputes. Discuss it via listening to responses, or asking open ended questions.
  • A greek insult is known as Moutza. Don’t use it. Read about it on Wiki here.
  • You will generally not see your bill at a restaurant, until you specifically request it.

Dress Code?

  • Majority of tourist destinations you will be able to wear shorts + singlets without any issues.
  • You will be requested to dress modestly in places of worship, especially if you’re going to the Monasteries. Some will have wraps, but it’s always considerate to have your own.

Driving?

  • You’ll be driving on the right-hand side and people will pass you on the left.
  • Indicators are rarely used, Zebra Crossings are rarely stopped at.
  • I’m putting this in driving, but pedestrian crossings don’t always go at the same time, meaning you will be on the island until it changes. Keep an eye out!
  • Have an International License if renting a car.
    Australia, it depends on which state you’re from. Click your state provider for more info:  VIC: RACV NSW: NRMA QLD: RACQ  SA: RAA NT: AANT WA: RAC TAS: RACT

English?

  • Major cities and tourist destinations, you’ll have no issues speaking English.
  • Most Greeks over the age of 45 have been learning basic english since primary school.

Insurance?

  • You should always have travel insurance when going overseas. At least just to cover you for medical.
  • For short trips I tend to use Tick Insurance (affiliate and for AUS)– it’s 4/5 stars with FeeFo and although I’ve never had to claim – it’s super within budget.
  • Register your trip details with Smart Traveller (Australia.)

Toilets?

  • Majority speaking, you cannot flush your toilet paper. Use the bins provided. This is mostly due to not all homes are on main sewage lines.
  • You may come across a ‘squat’ toilet occasionally. If you’ve ever travelled to Asia, you will have had your fair share – if you’re new to them (don’t worry!) just face the door if you’re squatting and face the wall if you’re standing! Want visuals? Watch a video on youtube here.

Transport?

  • Walk: Tourist areas are often clumped pretty close to each other so if you don’t mind a 15-20 minute walk, this is your cheapest option.
  • Car: depending on the season, you may wish to rent a car on an island or in a smaller town. I wouldn’t recommend driving in the larger cities unless your familiar with similar driving styles.
  • Taxis are the most commonly used for getting from point A-B for longer distances. You should always ask for the meter before getting in a taxi. Ask your hotel/hostel what the rough price should be.
  • Scooters (electric scooters) both Athens and Thessaloniki have electric scooters you can use via App with Lime. See information here.
  • RideShare – Greece uses Beat. It’s a ride-share application. Download at home and upload card once you get to Greece. You may need to call your bank.
  • Buses: All Cities, including islands. They often don’t have a main station, but have a few stations which run transport to different places.

Metropolitan:

  • If you are caught in Greece without a validated ticket, it is 60 x the price. Yes, not six, sixty.
  • The Athens Transport page has all information here.
  • Thessaloniki does not have daily/weekly tickets. It’s best to plan your trip.
  • If you’re going to be taking a lot of transport – you should look at a 5 day consecutive transport ticket which is €9.00
  • Tram/Light Rail: Athens. Information here.
  • Trains; Metro: Athens.

Water?

  • In the larger cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki you are able to drink the tap water.
  • Cities such as Delphi that run of mountainous spring water is also okay.
  • For smaller rural areas and islands, although not environmentally friendly; you should be drinking bottled water.

Weather

LOWMIDHIGHFALL
Nov – MarApr – JulJul – AugSep – Oct
Low Season:Although low season will typically be fewer tourists, lower costs- there will be a range of attractions that will be closed for construction and revamping for the summer period.
Mid Season is where the Ferries are increasing, hotels and businesses are opening more.
High Season High Season is where you’ll need to book a few months in advance, especially if you’re travelling as a group. There will be tour buses, cruise buses and loads of people. All tourist destinations will be busy, but open later than Low of Mid season.

MONEY

*Remember to contact your bank and let
them know you’re going overseas!*

  • You should always have some cash and other cards securely saved somewhere in case of any issues.
  • Australia: I personally use my ING Visa while overseas and withdraw from that as it gives me rebates on all international atm fees (including the ones charged.)

Tipping?

  • Some restaurants will have a bread/cover charge which covers your table + often includes water too. It is not worth arguing about, it’s usually a euro per person.
  • If you get exceptionally good service, you can round up. It’s a personal choice, and it will not go unappreciated. It’s not required.

Working ATMS.

  • Cash is extremely prevalent in smaller, family-run shops.
  • In rural areas and smaller islands, it may be hard to find a working ATM for all cards.
  • Majority of tourist areas will accept a card at stores, but keep smart and remember that cash is key.

OTHER

📡FREE WIFI
– Cafes & Restaurants
– Hostels, Hotels & Airbnb.
– City Centres, Train Stations, Bus Stations.
🔌 POWER
Two-wire plug that has two round pins.
Voltage: 220 Volts. Plug C and F. – used in the Europe.
🥫 FOOD
– Dolmadakia: stuffed grape leaves with rice & meat
Moussaka: similar to a lasagne, made with eggplant and meats.
Tzatziki : strained yogurt, garlic, olive oil as well as fresh dill
Souvlaki : street food available as skewers, pitas in chicken, pork mostly. Falafel occasionally.
🥃 DRINK
Ouzo (alc) a liquor that tastes like liquorice.
Mythos (alc) the second largest brewery in Greece.
Biral a carbonated drink similar to cola.
Freddo Coffee literally cold coffee.

FUN FACTS

  • Greece is the leading producer of sea sponges.
  • The first Olympic Games took place in 776 B.C.
  • The official name of Greece is the Hellenic Republic.
  • Greece has nearly 6000 islands in total, but if going off a minimum size it is around 2000
  • Alexander the Great was Greek.
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Written by CerealSarah

A 27-year-old whose only direction in life seems to be going around the world. Find me on Instagram @ CerealSarah Find me on Facebook @ CerealSarah

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