• 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.
• 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 with a car.
• Internet connections is pretty easy in Greece. If you have a laptop, you can connect in the several free Wi-Fi 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. Have in mind that many hotels also offer internet connection and, of course, you can go to the many internet cafes you will find all over the country and in all large islands.
• 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 the other.
• 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 25-30oC 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.
• 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.
• Plug adaptor. 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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 euro. You can do it in the banks, in currency exchange offices or at the airport.
• Safe country. Although crime rate is on the increase 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 safe. Crime in smaller cities and villages is almost inexistent.
• 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.
• 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 deshydratation.
• 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 centre 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• Greek eating hours. Taverns in summer are usually open all day. The Greek eating hours are much different that the westerners. The Greeks usually eat lunch at about 3 in the afternoon and start dinner from 9 in the evening till after midnight.
• 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.
• Night clubs in Greece. Night clubs 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.
• 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.
• Drinking Attitude. Although the Greeks drink frequently, they expect you to be descent even if you are drunk. Public displays of drunkenness are highly disapproved by the Greek society and they may call the police if you get too annoying.
• Water is usually drinkable in most cities of the Greek mainland, but in the islands, you 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.
• Developed and comfortable transportation. Public transportation is adequately developed and comfortable in Greece. There are trains, suburban and urban buses, taxis and a subway system (metro) in Athens.
• Athens Metro. The Metro in Athens serves a lot of neighborhoods and it really is time-saving. Tickets can be bought from kiosks inside the stations. They cost 1,5 euros and they are valid for an hour and a half.
• Buses in Athens are very frequent. Itineraries begin from 6 in the morning till 12 in the evening, but there are also a couple of night buses. Tickets can be bought from special kiosks, not inside the bus.
• Buses on Islands. There are buses on the islands, too, and many towns in the mainland, but the frequency of itineraries vary and in some areas, they may not be that comfortable.
• Suburban buses (KTEL) Suburban buses in Greece (KTEL) leave from Kifissou or Liosion stations in Athens. Make sure you know exactly from where your bus leaves because these two stations are far one from the other. People usually buy tickets last minute, unless there are few itineraries to some destinations. Suburban buses are comfortable, air-conditioned and clean. Almost always, they leave on time.
• Tram is another means of transport that works only in Athens. Trams are like the subway, only above the ground and much, much slower. They go coast by coast from Athens all the way to the southern neighborhoods. Trams have two departure points (Faliro and Syntagma square) and the last station is Voula.
To call Greece from abroad dial 0030 and then the region dialing code number.
Name Telephone Number
Tourist Protection Line 1572
Regional Police Departments 1033
On-duty hospitals, clinics, doctors & pharmacies 1434
Police Flying Squad 100
Military Police Flying Squad 103
Port Flying Squad 108
Fire Brigade Athens 199
Athens First Aid Station 210 522.5555
Poisoning Treatment Center 210 821.9391
Tourist police 171
Weather Bulletin for Athens 148
Weather Bulletin for Greece 14944
Urban Transport Timetables 185
Interurban Bus Timetables 14944
Airline Timetables 14944
Coastal Service Timetables 14944
Telegrams by phone 155
Awakening Service 182
Greek Telephone Numbers Catalog 11888