14 Things to Know Before Traveling to Greece
12 April, 2019
Read our 14 must know pointers. These will help you make the most of your travels to our beautiful country. Wherever you stay, follow these. It’s not just about finding the best places to eat or the most beautiful beaches (because that’s guaranteed most of the time in Greece) – it can also be about preparing for how another culture works and not being taken by surprise after you arrive.
- Visit some of the beautiful Greek islands that surround where you’re staying, or if for example you are already staying on an island like Paros or Rhodes, you can organise day trips or even an overnight stay on some of Greece’s mainland which it is important you visit also!
- Check your hotel has everything you need and all the facilities you want. Star ratings in Greece can be a little different to the ones you might be used to and if you’re staying in apartments or other types of accommodation you will be looking for ‘keys’ rather than ‘star’ ratings.
- Be aware of stray animals – sadly this is a common problem in Greece and while some locals do choose to feed their local strays, a lack of vet care and neutering allows the problem to keep growing year on year.
- Dress appropriately in religious buildings including churches and monasteries. While some are not monitored, some will be, and the Greeks are a culture strongly bonded to their religion. As a sign of respect to their religion, they do ask you don’t dress inappropriately in their religious temples. This includes covered legs and shoulders for both men and women usually.
- Check museum opening times and in some cases call ahead if you need to book an appointment. Some Greek museums are private collections and consequently require a group of 2+ people in order to run a tour. Make sure you do your research before making the drive to your location to avoid disappointment.
- If you are driving, take it easy. No matter how experienced you are at driving, trying to drive in another country is always a challenge, especially in Greece. While it is worse on islands, such as Rhodes, most of Greece’s roads are winding and some can even be a little treacherous up mountains. Take it at your own pace and don’t worry if the locals seem to be driving quicker than you!
- Check the weather before you fly. The thing with Greece is the height of summer can see temperatures soar well above 30C. Before you leave for your trip, check the 7 day weather forecast and make sure you are packed suitably. Even in hot weather, it can be important to have clothes that cover you – this can help protect your from the heat as well as come in handy when visiting religious places (although they do often provide scarves to help you cover up on site too at these locations!)
- Are plug adaptors needed? Coming from most countries won’t be an issue when traveling to Greece, but check before you travel!
- The Greeks make excellent hosts whether it is to do with where you stay, or eat, or to do with people you meet out and about or the tour guides that show you about. Prepare to make lots of friends and be looked after in the Greek fashion. Learning a little Greek will also get you far, as it shows you are trying and the Greeks love to see this!
- Crime rate is low in Greece. But it should be noted, as with most major cities, pick pocketing can occur in larger cities and more often on buses and public transport. When traveling just ensure you have eyes on your luggage and keep items like handbags or rucksacks in front of you and on your lap where possible. Other than this, Greece is incredibly safe and those traveling alone have nothing to worry about.
- Lifeguards aren’t at every beach in fact, in many cases, there aren’t any lifeguards or bay watchers. With this in mind, if you do have young children head to beaches that are family friendly – these usually have shallow waters which are safer for children. However, regardless of this, you must be responsible for your children’s safety and your own and be careful in the water.
- Drink plenty of water and remember to stay hydrated. It’s incredibly important in the summer heat that you have water on you at all times. In autumn and spring for many, the temperature is still well above what you are acclimatised to, so don’t forget this tip!
- Shop opening hours can be a little different to some other countries, where siestas are not common practice. Generally, shops are open from 9am-3pm half of the week and the other half of the week splits it time between 9am-2pm and 6pm-9pm. Sundays, stores are usually shut.
- You must try a gyros – similar to the British kebab, this is chicken or pork as well as French fries, tomatoes, cucumber and tzatziki folded into a pitta bread. A must try and the perfect on-the-go meal or cheat day snack!