If you plan on visiting Greece for the first time in the near future and would like an insight into what you can expect when your plane touches down in Athens, continue reading to discover what to expect on your Greece Vacation this year.
- Make sure to have cash on hand at all times
While many stores and restaurants do accept credit cards, you may find that many smaller stores and restaurants won’t accept credit cards as cash is still king in Greece. However, ATM machines are commonplace, so you shouldn’t find it difficult finding an ATM to retrieve cash from.
- Don’t be surprised if your taxi driver stops to pick up more passengers or refuses to give you service
When you hop into a taxi, it’s highly likely that your driver will ask your intended destination to see if it suits their plans, before accepting your fare. Once you’re on your way to your destination, don’t be surprised if your driver pulls over to pick up extra passengers as such a practice is commonplace in Greece. Especially in Greece’s capital city, Athens.
- Greece has far more to offer than just picturesque beaches and historic sites
While you’d have to be crazy to visit Greece without spending a few sun-soaked days sunbathing on Greece’s world-class beaches and it’s definitely well worth visiting a handful of ancient sites, it’s also well worth seeking out alternative Greek experiences.
As an example, Greece offers amazing hiking tracks which offer incredible views of Greece’s charming towns and gorgeous beaches. So if you’re interested in taking scenic photos during your trip it’s well worth exploring some of Greece’s hiking trails.
- If you plan on exploring a few Greek islands on your Greek odyssey make sure to drink bottled water
While it’s safe to drink tap water on the mainland, many of Greece’s idyllic islands have limited water supplies, which means that it’s well worth purchasing bottled water to take back to your hotel to drink.
- It’s well worth visiting an authentic Greek taverna
If you’d like to experience a little authentic Greek hospitality it’s well worth enjoying dinner and drinks at a local taverna, instead of eating dinner at your hotel every night. Better yet, you should find that it’s far cheaper to eat at a local taverna that at a restaurant which caters primarily to international tourists.
- Expect crowds if you visit Greece during the middle of summer
If you visit Greece from late July to late August, don’t be surprised if the cities, beaches, and attractions which you visit are overcrowded. If you plan on island hopping and catching a ferry from the mainland to one of Greece’s picture perfect islands such as Santorini or Ios, you may also find that it’s hard to catch a ferry which isn’t packed full of sweaty tourists.
If you can only make it to Greece during this period, you may want to get off the beaten tourist track in order to explore some of the cities which are located on the mainland, which are less crowded than Athens.
- Bus services between cities are reliable and safe to use
If you’re interested in catching public transport from one city to another, you’re in luck as Greece boasts a regular, reliable bus system.
- Drinking local wine is commonplace
There’s no point paying an exorbitant amount of money for an expensive bottle of wine when you can purchase a glass of local barreled wine. Which most locals drink on an everyday basis, instead of purchasing bottled wine.
- Don’t expect punctuality
If your bus or train is running late or the service which you receive in a restaurant or bar is slower than you’re used to, try to relax and go with the flow as punctuality and speed aren’t prioritized in Greece.
- If you plan on visiting a church or monastery make sure to dress modestly
Greece boasts hundreds of beautifully designed churches which are well worth touring if you’re interested in Greek architecture. However, it’s well worth covering your shoulders and knees if you plan on visiting a Greek church as showing skin in a church is frowned upon in Greece and many churchgoers go as far as wearing head coverings when they enter a church.
- Each of Greece’s islands offers a unique vibe and a different experience
Before choosing which Greek islands you’d like to visit, it’s highly advisable to conduct a little research as each Greek island offers a different vibe and experience and there may be some islands which suit your personality and travel style better than others. As an example, some islands are known for being peaceful and secluded, while other Greek islands are known for attracting throngs of excited partygoers. So it’s well worth hand selecting the islands which you visit on your upcoming vacation.
- English is widely spoken throughout Greece
English is widely spoken both on the mainland and on Greece’s many islands, so you won’t have any difficulties communicating with locals. However, if you do make an effort to learn a few simple Greek phrases such as how to say thank you and please in Greek, you should find that the locals will go out of their way to ensure that you have the trip of a lifetime.
- Smoking is commonplace in Greece
A large proportion of the Greek population smoke, so don’t be surprised if you walk into a bar or restaurant to find that half the locals are smoking cigarettes. If you’re worried about second-hand smoke, you may want to opt for an outdoor table so that you’re not stuck inside a room full of smokers.
- If you plan on exploring Athens, you’ll find that catching the metro is the most efficient way to get around
Athens boasts a large metro system which makes ticking off all of Athen’s historical sites in a day an achievable goal. Just be sure to keep an eye on your belongings when you’re riding the metro.
Hopefully, after reading the 14 simple tips listed above, you’ll be well prepared for your upcoming trip to Greece.