Greece Travel Guide: Perfect for First-timers

Greece is one of the most popular European destinations to travel to, and it’s for good reason! With gorgeous beaches, loads of history, culture, and ruins, this European destination is one you will not want to miss! This Greece travel guide will provide you with detailed itineraries, travel tips, and practical information for visiting this beautiful country.

Greece is bordered by Turkey, North Macedonia, Albania, and Bulgaria.

Greece Travel Guide

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Greece Practical Information

Here are some useful information and travel tips for traveling in Greece, including popular places to visit, favorite eats, and more!

  • Language: Greek is the spoken language, however, English is also widely spoken.
  • Power Outlet: The standard voltage is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. I recommend a universal adaptor.
  • Currency: Greece uses the Euro. US dollars are not accepted.
  • Credit Cards/ATM: Credit cards are widely accepted in Greece. Some of the major banks are Piraeus Bank, National Bank Of Greece, Alpha Bank, and Attica Bank.
  • Tipping: Tipping in Greece is not required. However, you can choose to tip in restaurants 5-10%.
  • Cell Service: Contact your phone service carrier before going to Greece to make sure your phone is unlocked for international travel. You can also use an Esim with Holafly.
  • Travel Visa: Most do not need a Visa to visit Greece if your stay is no longer than 90 days within a 180-day period. However, a Schengen visa is needed if you are in Europe for over 90 days.
  • Popular Places in Greece: Crete, Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, and Paros. 
  • Water Safety: The water in major cities such as Athens is considered safe to drink. In smaller towns and islands, bottled water is recommended.
The Plaka Neighborhood is a must with 4 days in Athens. Colorful pink street with turquoise door.


The largest airport in Greece is the International Airport of Athens (AIA), which is located just outside of the capital and welcomes millions of visitors. The second biggest airport is the Airport of Thessaloniki (SKG), which is a preferred airport to use if you are traveling to the North of Greece.  Find flights here.

Getting Around Greece

When traveling from Athens to the Greek islands, ferries and flights are the most common form of transport. Within Greece, the modes of transport remain similar to those of many other countries: cars, trains, taxis, and buses. Buses and trains are the best way to get around Athens. We used both the bus and metro in Athens.

Yellow taxi in Athens

Greece Safety

Greece is known as a fairly safe country to visit however, in crowded places such as the Metro or popular cities, petty theft could be a problem. Being watchful of pickpockets. Keep all valuables secure, and hold tightly to your cellphone.

There are also common scams in Athens. Usually, a group of men will ask you if you are from Africa and want a free bracelet. They will start putting it on you and then demand money. Ignore these people. Most street games and people asking for petition signatures are scams. The best way to avoid these scams is by saying, “No, thank you!”

You should implement the same safety measures you would in other places.

View of Athens, Greece from the Athenian Agora.

Famous Dishes Across Greece

  • Melitzanosalata – A traditional Greek dip that contains roasted eggplant puree mixed with garlic, oil, red onions, parsley, and lemon juice. This is usually served alongside bread. 
  • Moussaka – An oven-baked dish that features slices of sautéed aubergine and potatoes covered in layers of fried minced meat, and a variety of spices.
  • Kleftiko – This is a traditional lamb dish served with fresh vegetables.
  • Stifado – This is another delicious meat dish stewed with onions, tomatoes, and white wine vinegar. 
Food Plate in Greece with various meats

Popular Things to Do in Greece

Greece is jam-packed with activities for you to enjoy and beaches for you to see. Here are some of the best things to do in Greece. 

Some of the most popular things to do include:

  • Explore the Islands, including Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, and Milos
  • Visit the Acropolis 
  • Enjoy the beaches
  • Attend a food tour
  • Visit the Acropolis Museum
  • Visit the Panathenaic Stadium
Beach in Athens Greece

Weather in Greece

Greece experiences all four seasons and has a varied climate throughout the year. 

In the north of Greece, winter begins in November, whereas in the south of Greece, it begins in mid-December. It rains often in the winter. January and February are Greece’s coldest months. The average temperature during winter is around 55°F (13°C).

Spring is the shortest season in Greece. Up until March, the weather is usually mild, but then, as April approaches, the weather starts to get warmer. The range of temperature is very large, however, it is unlikely that the temperature will fall below 47°F (8°C) or exceed 88°F (31°C).

Summer in Greece begins in June however, towards the east, it can start earlier. The warmest part of the year will be the end of July and the beginning of August. In the summer, the average temperature is around 90°F (32°C) but has been seen to rise to 97°F (36°C.)

Fall is considered the perfect season to visit Greece with the temperatures remaining warm enough to travel throughout the country. Temperatures during the fall months began at around 74°F (23°C) and lower to 60°F (15°C).

Beach in Athens with Samantha standing in the water with a white bathing suit

Is Greece Budget-Friendly?

Admittedly, Greece is one of the most luxurious European destinations. However, if you plan correctly, there is a way to visit Greece while remaining on a budget, especially in Athens.

Hotel prices in Greece vary drastically depending on where you visit.

However, they usually average around $150-$250 per night.

As for food prices, you can usually find street food for around $5 to $10. If you eat at a restaurant this will probably increase to $20+ per person.

Paid activities usually range from $20-$50. 

The Gate Roman Agora in Athens Greece is a must with 4 days.

Brief History of Greece

There is so much to know about Greece, and I don’t want to bore you with it. You have probably already heard of the term ‘ancient Greece,’ which refers to the years 700 to 480 BC. This is when Greece was well known for its pottery and art. 

Over the years, Greece saw many historical moments, such as colonization in 600 BC and the rise of the Tyrants.

Other notable moments in history include the creation of The Olympic Games in the 8th century and how that is still a huge part of our culture today. In Athens, you can even walk in the stadium and down the halls the athletes walked down.

But to really immerse yourself in Greece’s history, I always recommend joining at least one free walking tour during your trip!

Acropolis in Athens Ancient Greece Ruin

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Greece is in the shoulder months of April-May (excluding the islands) and the end of August-November. A local expressed that the best time in Greece is September when the ocean is warm, and the crowds are gone!

The summer (June- August) is also nice but extremely crowded. Crowds or not, Greece is still amazing!

Athens Acropolis temples

Greek Words to Help You Get Around Greece

While you may find most people speak English among other languages, learning some common Greek phrases is always nice.

Common Greek Phrases:

  • Geia Sou – Hello
  • Antio sas – Goodbye
  • Nai – Yes
  • Ochi – No
  • Efcharisto  – Thank you
  • Parakalo – You’re welcome
  • Me synchoreís  – Excuse me
  • Kouánto? – How Much?
  • Milás angliká?– Do you speak English?
  • Poú eínai to bánio?– Where is the bathroom?
  • Exodos – Exit
  • Eísodos – Entrance
  • Eisitírio – Ticket

Greece Travel Guides

The Greece Travel guides below contain detailed information for traveling to Athens, Greece. Find full itineraries, tips, and more!

Books About Greece:

Want to get inspired about Greece? Here are some books about Greece and additional travel guides.

Greece Travel Guide Wrap-up

This concludes my Greece travel guide. Now, go and have the best time exploring this beautiful country! If you have any questions about Greece, or feel like I am missing something, let me know in the comments below.