Greece – Tips to know before you go

Knowledge is power right?

A collection of small but sometimes not quite so obvious knowledge nuggets, tips and information collected in one place to make your planning just that tiny bit easier.

World in a hand


Cash is King. The financial situation means harsh rules on cash withdrawals and transfers for Greek bank accounts. Be a good guest and pay your Greek bills with cash even if they don’t ask you to. Their livelihood may depend upon it.

Petrol stations are not self-service, someone will come and fill your car up for you. It’s usual to ask for X amount of euros of petrol, not litres (so either say “full” or “30 euros” for example).

Travel light. Everything is more casual than you think.

If travelling by ferry, be aware that ferry schedules aren’t issued until the start of the season and that can be Easter. If you can’t find the ferry schedule you want it might be because the schedule hasn’t been issued yet. You could try emailing the operator or try looking at a site like Ferry Hopper

Ferry in Mitilini, LesvosAs a rule of thumb, book early for ferries. Ferries to and from popular islands can get booked up early in the season.

It sounds obvious, but if your trip depends on ferries, allow more time. You will be at the mercy of the weather and tides. Expect to be subjected to the mercy of slow and sometimes late ferry schedules

Be prepared to throw your used toilet paper in the bin next to the toilet. Don’t whine about it, just do it.

Most banks, schools, shops, government agencies, doctors’ offices, and businesses shut down in the afternoon and reopen between 5:30 and 6:30ish.

Greece uses the standard Europlug electrical sockets. And 220 volts.

Greek water is safe to drink.

Find accommodation using Agoda,, airbnb or Hostelworld

Take your NHS travel card, but don’t forget your travel insurance too.

Mobile internet is simple if you have a UK SIM. Your normal plan will continue while you roam.

There’s no rule for tipping. Tip as much as you want or you can not tip at all. Some restaurants will round up the bill, so you should check this before tipping. You can tip between 5% and 10%, you can leave the tip on the table, give it to the waiter directly, or tell them to keep the change.

If visiting a church or monastery be aware of the dress code. No swimming trunks or costumes, long trousers for men and longish skirts for women. No low cut tops or bare shoulders. Longer sleeves are better. No trainers or flip flops.

Glimpse of the sea from a Greek Island

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