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Greece Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Greece in 2023

Welcome to Greece

The Greek islands are a great place to go for a holiday, with beautiful beaches and picturesque villages. The climate is generally warm all year round but can get very hot in the summer. There are also plenty of things to enjoy, from ancient ruins to modern art galleries. You'll learn firsthand about the history, mythology, art, and literature that made Greek culture famous worldwide.

Excited? This is just the beginning. We've compiled the ultimate Greece travel guide to help you plan your next adventure and explore this true hidden gem.

Document checklist for Greece

  • Visa
  • Health Declaration
  • Valid passport
  • Sufficient funds
  • Return airline ticket

Essential Greece travel information

  • Currency - Euro (€). USD 1 is equivalent to approx. €1.01.

  • Daily budget for 1 person - The daily budget for one person per day is €123 (USD 120).

  • Languages - The official language is Greek.

  • Socket type - For Greece, there are two associated plug types, C and F. Greece operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

  • Time zone - Eastern European Standard Time (GMT+2)

  • Top 3 cities to visit - Athens, Thessaloniki, and Piraeus.

  • Top 3 landmarks/monuments - Acropolis of Athens, Monasteries of Meteora, and Mykonos Windmills.

Visa Information for Greece

Greece is part of the Schengen agreement, allowing free movement through other countries that are part of the agreement. However, you must have a Schengen visa if you are not from one of the 26 Schengen countries. Please click on our Visa Checker Tool to find out what documentation you need.

If you are a resident of the United States and most European countries, you will not need a tourist visa if you travel to Greece for a stay of 90 days. However, if you want to stay more than 90 days or extend your stay either for work or a long vacation, you must apply for a Schengen visa.

If you do not need a visa, you'll have to apply for an ETIAS Greece from May 2023 to enter the country.

Schengen Visa explained

Some countries will not be required to obtain a Schengen visa to visit Greece for travel purposes under 90 days, but others will have to apply for this visa to do so. In other words, it will depend on your nationality if you need this visa.

Once you have the Schengen visa, you can enjoy traveling throughout Greece and the other Schengen member countries for up to 90 days within a period of 180 days.

ETIAS Greece explained

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is a visa-free program required to enter many European countries. It is expected to enter into force in May 2023 to strengthen European security and the borders of the Schengen area.

Non-EU third-country nationals may enter the Schengen area for a limited period of 90 days for visits or business. However, during these 90 days, these eligible travelers are not allowed to work or study, although some commercial and tourist activities may be performed.

Typical costs and budget for Greece

Traveling is a pleasure, so we recommend planning it in detail. As a result, you will have the security you need to explore Greece, according to your budget. Here we tell you what those typical costs are.

Daily spending per person - The daily spending per person is €123 (USD 120).

  • Meals - For meals, you may spend €32 (USD 31) per day.

  • Transport - For local transportation, costs can be around €24 (USD 23) per day.

  • Hotel - Accommodation costs 58 euros (US$57) per person and 116 euros (US$113) per couple.

A vacation to Greece for one week usually costs around €861 for one person. So, a two-person trip to Greece costs around €1,722 for one week. A two-week trip for two people costs €3,445 in Greece.

Transport and ways to travel around Greece

Greece has several transport options for you according to your needs. Travel intra-urban or to other cities or towns in Greece by public transportation, such as a bus, train, airplane, or ferry. But if you want a different experience for comfort and privacy, you can rent a car instead.

Here we explain the most common methods used by travelers:

  • Bus - Buses are the most economical way to travel. This system is active daily and is connected to towns and major cities in Greece.

  • Train - You can take the train to see incredible Greek landscapes while enjoying a quiet trip. Greece has two types of train service: Regular trains that are slow and stop at different stations, and intercity trains that are faster that connect with major cities; these trains are very comfortable. In addition, they have a cafeteria. You can have a snack while you travel!

  • Airplane - For convenience and speed, you can take a domestic flight that will take you to major cities or even islands. You can find cheap flights if you travel on weekdays. On weekends, travel fees are more expensive.

  • Ferries - This is the classic way to cross the 227 islands of Greece to get from one island to another quickly. There are all kinds of ferries, slow or fast ferry companies.

  • Rent a car - Renting a vehicle will ensure you have the freedom to move around the country. You can rent it in a metropolis like Athens. Also, you can rent it for the day, so if you use another type of transport, you can easily change it.

Safety in Greece

Traveling to Greece is safe. Every year thousands of tourists arrive to explore and spend a splendid holiday, making it unlikely that a traveler will be a victim of crime or violence. However, keep in mind that there are minor crimes. If you follow these travel tips, you will not have any problems.

  • Drink bottled water to avoid getting sick.

  • Buy your tickets to museums and archaeological sites well in advance.

  • Buy ferry tickets when planning to move to one of the islands.

Weather in Greece

To enjoy the best destinations in Greece, you must consider the most suitable time of the year to travel; depending on the climate, there are more or fewer tourists. This already depends on what you prefer.

The best months of the year to travel to Greece and the Greek islands are June and September, with a climate between 20-35 °C/ 70-95 °F; in addition, there will be fewer tourists, so prices will be lower.

If you want to explore Greece while avoiding the crowds, you can visit in winter, the low season. This season is the cheapest, between November and March. Remember to wear a warm jacket for the cold.

Popular cities and towns in Greece

Greece will amaze you with its beautiful cities and islands. Here we will mention five places that should be a mandatory stop on your trip; in most of them, you can do archaeological tours, visit famous islands and see fascinating destinations.

  • Athens - The capital of Greece is a mandatory stop, as it is the oldest capital in Europe and the largest city in Greece. Its history dates back 3,400 years. If you love history, this city is perfect; you will learn more about the history of Ancient Greece. In addition, you can take a walk through the most beautiful architectural works of the past, such as the Acropolis and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

  • Thessaloniki - It is the second-largest city, and its cultural legacy is undeniable. It has a vibrant culture through festivals held throughout the year. Besides that, its architecture will make you feel in the past with some of its Roman ruins, Ottoman buildings, and charming churches.

  • Piraeus - It is known as the port of Athens. However, it is one of the main cities in Greece. You can take a walk through this famous port, which you can use to leave for the Greek islands. You can also enjoy good cafés and restaurants with their local cuisine and find the best hotels.

  • Hydra - It is a Greek island much sought after by tourists for its tranquility and cobbled streets. There are almost no motor vehicles here, so you will have to discover it on foot, on a donkey, or by bike. This will allow you to see the traditional houses among the narrow streets full of life.

  • Corfu - This island inspired the epic adventures Homer described and has been linked to Greek mythology since its beginnings, as are the stories of the sea god Poseidon. Its green and beautiful landscapes give tranquility to anyone visiting this unique corner of Greece. It also has gorgeous beaches, which will make you feel like you're in paradise. In addition to its tourist attractions, you can visit the Palaio Frourio (ancient fortress) and the Museum of Asian Art of Corfu, among other magnificent places.

Must do and see in Greece

On your trip to Greece, don't miss these must-see sites:

  1. The Acropolis of Athens is an old western town that preserves impressive ruins and archeological temples. It's on the top of a hill and boasts one of the most famous monuments in the world, the Parthenon. You can visit the 5th-century Theatre of Dionysus, where classical plays were performed by famous poets such as Euripides and Sophocles. A cultural space that could accommodate 17,000 people.

  2. The Monasteries of Meteora: Meteora was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the scenic area and the uniqueness of the monasteries. Twenty-four monasteries were built on top of the rocks for the monks to be safe when danger was near. Visitors can access them by bridge or by stairs.

  3. Mykonos Windmills: Most people recognize Mykonos as one of the most famous islands in Greece, attracting dozens of visitors for the dynamic nightlife to be found and its pristine beaches. However, a unique landmark draws tourists interested in architecture, the windmills of Mykonos. They were used in the 16th century to grind wheat grown on the island.

  4. Chania Old Town: Chania is one of the most charming Greek cities. Several empires have ruled the city over the centuries, so it is full of history, making it a monumental city with Neoclassical mansions you should visit on your trip to Greece.

  5. The Domes of Santorini are one of Greece's most famous monuments. They are blue and can be seen among the whitewashed Greek houses. The domes are the roofs of two churches, St. Anastasi and St. Spyridon. Sunsets in Santorini will make the colors pop and look romantic.

Greece has it all, from architectural sites, lively history, poetry, mythology, and philosophy to the natural beauty of its famous islands with crystal-clear beaches. All this makes this country a place worth visiting for an unforgettable holiday.

Typical Greek Food to try

One of the ways to connect with Greek culture is through its traditional food and a mix of flavors that will delight your palate. So we recommend these three dishes if you are visiting Greece.

  • Moussaka - A trendy Mediterranean dish, but the Greeks prepare it uniquely. It is layered with sautéed eggplant, chopped lamb, fried tomato, onion, garlic, cinnamon spices, allspice, potatoes, béchamel cream, and cheese.

  • Tzatziki - It is a classic Greek appetizer made of strained yogurt, garlic, cucumber, olive oil, fresh dill, and lemon juice. It is straightforward to prepare and delicious, so it always works well with any main course.

  • Souvlaki - It is one of the most popular dishes in Greece. It can be wrapped in pita bread or served on a meat platter of your choice with fries, lettuce, tomatoes, and its unique sauce. Every restaurant prepares it differently, so you will see many ways to make it.

Traditional cuisine can be enjoyed in restaurants or hotels in the picturesque destinations you will visit in Greece.

Vaccine information for Greece

You can click on the CDC website for information on the Covid 19 vaccine or any other vaccine requirements to travel to Greece and health advice. Here you will find everything you need for medical advice.

Greece is more than Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete!

Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete are the most popular Greek islands by foreign visitors. However, Greece has up to 6000 islands, of which only 200 are inhabited.

Fun facts about Greece

  • Greece has more archaeological museums than any other country in the world. It has more than 110 archaeological museums. Greek antiquities are still preserved in the Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.

  • Greece is one of the sunniest places in the world. With more than 250 days of sunshine a year, traveling here is a great idea if you enjoy sunny weather; don't forget your sunscreen, too!

  • 80% of Greece consists of mountains. This country is one of the most mountainous in Europe, so its turquoise waters and historic buildings are not the only fantastic things about it. Get ready for some pleasant walks in the mountains of beautiful Greece, so pack your most comfortable shoes for long walks through natural beauty.

  • Athens is the oldest capital of Europe. Its origins date back 3,400 years, making it one of the oldest capitals in the world.

  • Democracy was born in Greece. It was the country that gave birth to Western civilization. Greek history had a significant impact on what we call democracy today.

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  • iVisa is NOT affiliated with any government agency. This site does not provide legal advice and we are not a law firm. None of our customer service representatives are lawyers and they also do not provide legal advice. We are a private, internet-based travel and immigration consultancy provider dedicated to helping individuals travel around the world. You may apply by yourself directly on the various government websites. The source of information: https://migration.gov.gr/
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