Planning on traveling in Greece? Welcome to the blog post that will make your life easier!
Greece is one of my favorite countries in Europe! I’ve spent months exploring mainland Greece or hanging out on an island.
Traveling to Greece is in my comfort zone! But I realize there are travelers out there that might have a lot of Greece travel questions unanswered. Especially with the new requirements coming soon, and unpredictable covid situation.
So I reached out to some readers and asked “What questions do you have about traveling to Greece in 2021?!”
And we got some great ones!
Below we will thoroughly answer all these questions. And I can guarantee you one thing; by the time you reach the bottom of this page, you’ll have some great travel tips and actionable info that will help you plan the perfect Greece trip.
So let’s get started!
- Is Greece in the EU and Part Schengen Zone?
- Do I Need a Visa to Enter Greece?
- Will I Need an ETIAS to Travel To Greece?
- What is an ETIAS for Greece?
- Who Will Need An ETIAS to enter Greece?
- How Long Can I Visit Greece?
- What Currency is Used in Greece?
- Can You Use US Dollars in Greece?
- Do You Leave A Tip in Greece?
- How Do You Get Between the Greek Islands?
- Is Greece Closed Because of the COVID 19 Pandemic?
- When Will Greece Open Borders to Travelers
- Do I need Travel Insurance For Greece?
- Is Greece Safe
- How Much Money Should I Bring to Greece?
- What Clothes Do You Need For Greece?
- What Is The Food Like in Greece?
- What Religion is in Greece?
- When is the Best Time to Visit Greece?
- How Do You Get Around Greece Cheaply?
- What is the Best Way to Travel in Greece?
- How Many Days in Greece Do You Need?
- What are the Best Greek Islands?
- Is Greece Cheap for Tourists?
- Are Things in Greece Expensive?
- What is a Good Basic Daily Budget for Greece?
- What are the Best Things to do in Greece?
- What is the Most Beautiful City in Greece?
- Can You Use Your Debit Card in Greece?
- Can You Drink Tap Water in Greece?
- Besides the Islands Where Else in Greece Should I Go?
- Can You Suggest Some Good Day Trips from Athens?
- What Can You See in Greece in 7 days?
- What are the Best Places to Visit on Mainland Greece?
- What Food Do You Eat in Greece?
- What should I Avoid When Traveling to Greece?
Is Greece in the EU and Part Schengen Zone?
Yes, and yes. Greece joined the European Union in 1981. And is part of the SZ.
Do I Need a Visa to Enter Greece?
If you’re an EU citizen or a citizen of a country that has visa-free travel in the Schengen Zone – which is over 60 countries – then you do not need a visa for Greece. However, new “restrictions” are coming in the form of an ETIAS authorization. Which you will be required to get when visiting any Schengen country.
Will I Need an ETIAS to Travel To Greece?
Yes, once the ETIAS program goes live (currently expected to roll out in late 2022), then getting an approved ETIAS travel waiver is required to visit Greece. You get this online or by using online visa services like ByeVisa.
What is an ETIAS for Greece?
The ETIAS – or rather the “European Travel Information and Authorization System” – is a new system put into place to help the EU keep track of visitors from visa-free countries.
Who Will Need An ETIAS to enter Greece?
Anyone from a non-Schengen country or a visa-free country. These are the people who do not need to apply for a visa to enter the Schengen Zone.
These “visa-free travelers” will need an ETIAS travel authorization to be allowed in. This includes travelers from over 60 countries, like Americans, Australians, Canadians, as well as travelers from the UK.
So before you start pre-booking those Greek ferry tickets or daydreaming about laying on one of the best beaches of Europe, make sure you get an ETIAS.
Note: currently an ETIAS is not required but the program is slated to go towards the end of 2022.
How Long Can I Visit Greece?
For most visa-free travelers, the time you’re allowed in the Schengen zone (SZ) is the same. Within 180 days you can spend 90 days in SZ. After that, you have to leave the Schengen zone for 90 days. So if you want you can spend three months in Greece without leaving the country – or travel and spend a month in Spain.
What Currency is Used in Greece?
The currency of Greece switched to the Euro € in 2002. Before the Euro, the currency of Greece was the Drachma, a currency that has been used throughout several periods in Greek history.
Can You Use US Dollars in Greece?
In a word, no. Shops, restaurants, and hotels in Greece won’t accept the US dollar. And upon arrival, you’ll need to convert your dollars into Euros.
Bank ATMs often give you the best conversion rate. Just make sure to tell your bank that you’re going abroad before heading to Greece.
Do You Leave A Tip in Greece?
Tipping in Greece is expected, but not required.
Since there isn’t a strong tipping culture, there is no set standard for when, where, and how much to tip.
For the most part, tipping is expected at restaurants. But be aware that some restaurants automatically add gratuity to your bill. So before busting out your wallet, double-check the bill. I know a lot of travelers who have doubled tips because they didn’t realize the bill already added their tip. (From my experience it is more likely to see a tip added to your bill when island hopping.)
If the tip isn’t included then you can leave around 6 to 10 percent.
What is the tipping culture in Greece for other things like cafes, bars, and taxis? Here, rounding up to the nearest euro is enough. Say your drink costs €3.80, then round it up to €4. It seems more common to tip on the Greek islands, like Naxos Island, where they get a lot of people.
How Do You Get Between the Greek Islands?
Ferries are the main mode of transportation between the islands. The most popular ferry line is Blue Star Ferries. They have the best prices, and the biggest ferries, but aren’t the fastest.
A handful of islands, like Crete and Santorini, have airports. However, these flights are expensive and not a good fit for budget travelers. Plus, the Greek Ferries are pretty nice. Ferry prices and length vary greatly depending on where you are heading. For example, a ferry from Mykonos to Santorini island is cheaper and quicker than Athens to Naxos.
Is Greece Closed Because of the COVID 19 Pandemic?
Yes, currently traveling to Greece isn’t possible. The borders are closed to most countries to try and limit the spread of the Covid 19 infection.
When Will Greece Open Borders to Travelers
Greece is planning to open to travelers who either are vaccinated, have a negative covid test, or antibodies. The current road map has the country opening to with the aforementioned requirements starting in May 2021.
Many of the Greek islands rely heavily on tourism, so I think the country will be open by summer. Though this timeline could change at any time.
But don’t worry before long we can all start filling out that annoying passenger locator form and waiting in long customs lines. When it comes to the ferry lines, I’d expect to see a reduced number of ferries going between the different Greek Isles. Since tourist numbers will be smaller this year.
Do I need Travel Insurance For Greece?
Travel insurance isn’t required but it’s recommended! Personally, I never travel without insurance.
Last year alone, my insurance saved me over $2000! When the Covid 19 pandemic broke out and countries all over the globe started shutting down borders, my insurance got me on an emergency flight home!
For insurance, I use Safety Wing and can wholeheartedly recommend them! They are cheap, have fantastic customer service, and truly care about their customers. So don’t worry about getting sick from eating that cheap Greek ferry food. You’re covered!
Is Greece Safe
Yes, Greece is a safe country. And the Greek Government relies a lot on tourism. But, it’s always important to be prepared. You should know how to contact the Greek authorities, Tourism Police (yes that’s a real thing), or the local authorities in case the need arises.
How Much Money Should I Bring to Greece?
This depends on your Greece Itinerary and travel style. But my Greece travel guide is a great resource that will help you plan your budget for your ideal Greece vacation for the mainland and the islands in the country. . Some costs rise during the peak season -Mid-June through mid-September- so plan for a higher budget if you are visiting during these months.
What Clothes Do You Need For Greece?
What clothes to pack change depending on what time of the year you are visiting; And where you are going on your Greece trip.
But a couple of modest outfits are clothes everyone should pack. Travelers need to dress modestly to visit religious sites and some ancient ruins. Too much skin showing? Don’t expect to get in!
What Is The Food Like in Greece?
In a word, mouth-watering. Is that two words? Words with hyphens always confuse me. Either way, Greece cuisine is full of fresh bread, potatoes, feta, cucumbers, and of course olives, honey, and yogurt. All these healthy fats make the Greek diet one of the healthiest on the planet. (Apart from the Ferry food)
What Religion is in Greece?
Greece is a religious country. Over 90% of the population belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church. This makes Greece an extremely religious European country.
When is the Best Time to Visit Greece?
The best time to visit Greece is late spring to early summer. This lets you high summer temperatures, and avoid the high season, which comes with high prices, and large crowds of tourists.
How Do You Get Around Greece Cheaply?
The best way to travel around Greece cheaply is by comparing prices. Search sites like Skyscanner and Kayak for cheap domestic flights. Get a quote on train, bus, and ferry tickets. (Rome2Rio is a great resource for comparing prices)
And another way to travel Greece cheaply is by splitting the cost. Find another solo traveller or group up with a few solo travelers to reduce cost.
What is the Best Way to Travel in Greece?
Trains are a popular way to get around Greece, including Peloponnese. For the Greek islands, the best way to get around is by planes, since they are much quicker than ferries. However, while flights save time, these domestic flights can put a dent in your travel budget.
How Many Days in Greece Do You Need?
A minimum of two weeks is needed to explore Greece. This gives you enough time to see the main sites in Athens like the Acropolis, walk through the olive groves, and see some of the ruins of ancient Greece. But this also gives you a few days to enjoy an idyllic Greek island for a few days.
What are the Best Greek Islands?
Mykonos and Santorini are the two most famous Islands. However, Naxos, Paros, and Crete are other great choices. Greek island holidays are unforgettable, with pristine beaches, fiery sunsets, and crystal clear water.
For backpackers, looking for some crazy nightlife, Ios is the party island.
Is Greece Cheap for Tourists?
Compared to its nearby neighbors, like Italy, Greece is budget-friendly. Because Greece’s costs are affordable it makes the country an ideal option for solo travel. It opens the door to all the beauty of the Mediterranean sea to places like Italy Amalfi Coast without breaking the bank.
Are Things in Greece Expensive?
Yes and no. Budget-savvy? Then traveling through Greece cheap is possible. That being said, it’s easy to spend a lot of money at expensive resorts, and overpriced bars.
So is Greece expensive? That depends on how disciplined you are at keeping your Greece cost low. If you pay attention to your spending then Greece is one of the cheapest countries in the Balkan peninsula.
What is a Good Basic Daily Budget for Greece?
Backpackers will want to aim for a daily budget between $40 – $60.
Flashpackers will want between $60 – $100.
Luxury travelers should expect to spend more than $100 every day.
Location is another important factor when thinking about the cost. Northern Greece and Central Greece are a little cheaper compared to the Greek islands.
What are the Best Things to do in Greece?
Greece has endless adventures for a traveler to embark on. But here are twelve of the best things to do when visiting Greece.
- Visit the Acropolis
- Experience Greek Island Cruises on the Aegean Sea
- Drink the Same Water That the Oracle at the ruins of Delphi.
- Win a Leg Race at the Birthplace of the Olympics’ – Olympia Greece
- Day Trip from Mykonos to Delos Island via the ferry.
- See the Sunset at Oia in Santorini Greece, which perfectly embody our quotes about the sunset.
- Climb to the Home of the Gods at the top of Mt Olympus.
- Wander the Venetian style city Nafplio on Peloponnese
- Walk Under the Lions Gate of Mycenae. (And see the Beehive Tombs)
- Bungee Jump the Corinth Canal
- Gaze in Awe of the Rocky Monasteries of Meteora
- Behold the Home of the Minotaur at Knossos, on Crete.
What is the Most Beautiful City in Greece?
Mykonos main town has to be one of the most beautiful cities in Greece. The Venetian-style city of Nafplio on the mainland is another. And let’s not for Oia, hovering off the cliffside overlooking the Aegean Sea.
Greece has some of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Can You Use Your Debit Card in Greece?
Yes, but you should inform your bank that your traveling so they can unlock your card.
Without warning them, many banks will block your debit card when using it internationally, assuming that it’s been stolen.
Note: It’s always important to carry a little Greek emergency cash in case your card gets lost, or blocked by your bank.
Can You Drink Tap Water in Greece?
Yes, the water is safe to drink. Although I’d advise against it, and suggest drinking bottled water when possible.
Besides the Islands Where Else in Greece Should I Go?
A Greece trip isn’t complete without visiting the Acropolis in Athens. There is also Olympia, Meteora, Thessaloniki, Delphi, and Corinth. Northern Greece and Central Greece are teeming with many wonderful sites that most travelers never see.
Can You Suggest Some Good Day Trips from Athens?
Sure can; pick any one of these day trips and you can’t go wrong!.
Aegina Greece is the quickest island from Athens. It takes less than an hour and a half by ferry.
If you love ancient Greek and history then Delphi is a no-brainer. This is perhaps the most popular day trip from Athens.
Ancient Corinth’s another good option. These ruins are some of the most extensive in the entire country. Ancient Corinth was primarily a Roman city. And was made famous because of Paul from the Bible, as well as, Jason of the Argonauts who stole the Golden Fleece.
If you’re new to traveling you might want to find a tour guide to plan these day trips for you. This also gives you access to the Greek interpreter that better explains the culture and history of what you are seeing
What Can You See in Greece in 7 days?
With 7 days in Greece, you can see all the major sites in Athens. Plus, visit a nearby island or another nearby city. 7 days isn’t enough time for Greece. But if it is all you got, it is better than nothing.
What are the Best Places to Visit on Mainland Greece?
We mentioned some already! But here are my 10 favorite places on the Greek Mainland.
- Ancient Corinth
- Beehive Tombs of Mycenae
- Ancient Ruins of Delphi
- Omphalos Stone
- Epidaurus Theater
- Meteora Monasteries
- Mt Olympus
- Litochoro Greece
What Food Do You Eat in Greece?
Oh man, where to start! Here are my favorite foods to overindulge in while traveling in Greece.
- Loukoumades (Think donut holes covered in chocolate and cream)
- A classic Greek Gyros
- Greek Salad
- Chickpea Stew (Sundays on Sifnos)
What should I Avoid When Traveling to Greece?
I love this question, because I am a huge champion for respecting local culture, even if it means getting out of my comfort zone. Luckily, showing respect to the Greek culture isn’t that hard.
Here are some things to avoid doing when traveling to Greece.
- Dress modestly when visiting religious sites. This means having your shoulders and knees covered. This goes for both boys and girls.
- Throw Toilet paper in the toilet. (The pipes in Greece aren’t big enough)
- Take long showers; Greece has a water shortage.
- Show Your Palm
- Don’t Show Disrespect
- Don’t Be in Rush
- Climb Ancient Ruins or Touch Things in Museums. In ancient Greece, this might have been common, but these are modern-day treasures. Respect them.
From ferry hopping around the islands to training around the mainland, Greece has something for everyone, that is just a one of the interesting facts about Greece! I hope answering these questions about Traveling in Greece helps you travel easier.