15 Tips for travelling to Greece for the first time

In this post we give you 15 tips to travel to Greece for the first time, everything we would have liked to know before going!

These are things that we wrote down during our trip around the Greek islands and Athens and we believe that they can be of great help for future travelers.

Here we go with 15 tips to travel to Greece for the first time and let everything go perfect!


Tip for travelling to Greece #1: Best time to visit Greece

The best time to visit Greece is in spring or autumn, for two main reasons:

The number of tourists visiting Greece in summer is much higher, there are also more cruises…
And the temperatures are very high, this can make it heavy to do some excursions.

On the other hand, since it is not high season, we will probably find better prices in the accommodations, which is great.

But if you can’t travel in any other time than summer, don’t panic either! Getting up a little early to see the most touristic places we will be avoiding groups of tourists and the worst hours of sunshine.

In addition if you leave a little of the most tourist zones, which is where all the guides pass with groups of tourists, you will find places the sea of calm.

If you visit Greece in winter, I’m sure it won’t have anything to do with any other time of year! The only thing is that you won’t be able to enjoy the beaches of the Greek islands.

Tip to travel to Greece nº2:Internet on mobile in Greece

If you live in Spain and have a mobile phone from here, you can use your data and voice rate without additional charges, just as if you were in Spain.

You just need to have roaming enabled on your phone to get coverage there, but this won’t cost you anything.

To check if you have it activated you can call your company or consult it in the App, nowadays all companies have applications to be able to do this kind of things quickly.

Tip for travelling to Greece #3: Take out travel insurance

This would be one of our most important tips for travelling to Greece, when you are away from home and sick (we tell you from our own experience) that you want to be in the best hands and in the best hospitals.

In the majority of countries of the European Union, just carrying the European health card is enough for us to be treated as one more country. But in the case of Greece, public health is not at its best and is quite deficient.

In the page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (that we always recommend you to check before leaving of trip) they recommend to take an insurance of trip to visit the country, and we cannot stop recommending it in this post with advices to travel to Greece.

We always travel with Iati Seguros, we have had to use it on three occasions and we know that they respond to the first, so we can recommend it with knowledge of the cause.

Remember that you have a 5% discount on your Iati travel insurance by contracting it from our link.

Greece Travel Tip #3: Take out travel insurance | Mykonos

Tip to travel to Greece #4: Rent a car to have freedom

We recommend you to take a rental car to move around Greece, especially in the Greek islands is great to get everywhere.

We booked it through Auto Europe for every day of the trip, so it seemed better not to have to be renting and returning a car on every island, with the time that entails.

All the tips for renting a car in Greece are already listed in this other post, so here I will try to summarize:

Avoid taking a car in Athens, it is difficult and expensive to find parking and the city can be explored on foot.
We recommend that you book at Auto Europe, as well as by price, the coverages are very well specified.
Rent a small car.
Read the conditions of your rental if you plan to board a ferry, some companies have to pay an extra.

If you have any doubt on this topic you can also consult:

Travel Tip Greece #5: Card, Commission and Cash Payments

The currency of Greece is the euro, there is no problem in paying with our card of any Spanish bank and there should be no additional cost as we are in the euro zone.

If you want to withdraw money from the ATM and you fear the fees that our bank may charge you, you can take the N26 card with you and rest assured that there will be no additional charges.

In other countries with different currencies we also ALWAYS use the N26 card to pay, it is free and without currency exchange commissions. You can apply for your N26 card here.

We have become accustomed to take it always in the trips and it never fails us.

We had no problem paying almost everywhere with a card, although it never hurts to carry some cash just in case.

Tip for travelling to Greece #6: Compare the different ferries

If you are planning to go from one island to another by ferry as we did it can be difficult to look at each of the ferry companies, with several boats and timetables each, but there is a website that made this topic much easier for us Direct Ferrys.

You search for the route you want to do, for example from Athens to Mykonos, and you get all the ferries and shipping companies that make that route, you can order them by schedule, price … and so it is much easier.

All reservations for our trip to the Greek islands and Athens were made from the Direct Ferrys website.

Travel Tip Greece #7:Language in Greece

Although Greek is a rather complicated language because it doesn’t use our alphabet, I don’t tell you anything when you see it written! The truth is, we didn’t have any trouble communicating.

Everywhere we moved they spoke English without problems and the menus in the restaurants were in English as well as Greek.

So are the road signs, and thank goodness! Hehehe!

Besides, the Greeks are very kind! If they didn’t speak English, they were trying to understand us, the truth was that they seemed to be very nice people.

Tips for travelling to Greece | Acropolis of Athens

Travel advice to Greece #8: Advice on accommodation in Greece

As you already know and I won’t tire of repeating here… we don’t advise you to stay in the surroundings of Omonia Square in Athens.

We had booked a hotel there and didn’t spend a single night, we had to look for another one at the last minute because the area was quite scary.

It was an area that used to be fine but after the great crisis that hit Greece a few years ago it has become an area of drugs and rare people.

Our recommendation to Athens is that you stay in Plaka, Monastiraki or near Sintagma Square, these areas are great and we never had that feeling again at any other time.

Finally in Athens we stayed at the HOME & POETRY hotel, less than 5 minutes walk from the entrance to the Acropolis and next to the famous Adrianou Street, full of restaurants and shops.

The rest of our accommodations:

All the accommodations we chose were great and 100% recommended.

You have much more info on:


Tip for travelling to Greece #9:Airport Transfers Athens

Athens airport is a little far from the city, about 30 kilometers away.

We have several options to get to our hotel in Athens:

Rent a car, which we do not recommend unless you only plan to spend one night and see Athens on the way back.
By public transport, the blue M3 metro line runs from the airport to Plaka in 40 minutes for 10€.
The X95 bus (Airport Express Bus) travels from the airport to Sintagma Square in about 40 minutes for 6€.

Greece Travel Tip #10: Buy advance tickets and avoid queues

If we buy in advance the tickets to the most touristic places, such as the Acropolis, we will avoid the queue to buy it at the box office.

If you go to first thing is not so much problem, but an hour after opening and there is a long enough queue of tourists.

We can buy it on the official website and it’s settled.

Travel Tip Greece #11: Bring comfortable slippers and water to visit the Acropolis

The ascent to the top of the Acropolis (even though it is well conditioned for tourists) is a bit hard, we recommend you to wear very comfortable shoes and above all a lot of water!

During our visit to the Acropolis we didn’t see a single place where we could buy water despite the suffocating heat, so be warned! 🙂

Travel Tip Greece #12: Taxis are Cheap

As we have already said, you can walk all things to see in Athens without problems.

But if you need to take a taxi because you are in a hurry, bad weather or anything else, taxis in Athens are not very expensive for a few kilometres.

At least for what we are used to in European capitals or big cities.

Travel Tip Greece #13: Buy Souvenirs in Athens

The Greek islands are crowded with souvenir shops and although it may be tempting, we recommend you to buy souvenirs in Athens, in some cases we get to see the same things at half price.

A good place to buy souvenirs in Athens is Adrianou Street, right next to our Home & Poetry accommodation.

Tip for travelling to Greece #14: Save by eating or having a gyros dinner

The truth is that it was one of the most repeated meals in our trip to the Greek islands and Athens, besides cheap are great!

It’s similar to the kebab we know around here, with pork or chicken, tomato, sauce and in many places also has potatoes, all wrapped in pita bread, mmmm! You’ll tell us how it is!

We couldn’t fail to include him on this list with tips for travelling to Greece!

Travel Tip Greece #15: Book Excursions Before You Leave Home

If you have little time and also want to know all the curiosities and history of the places you will visit, the best thing is to book some excursions before leaving home.

The most popular and best rated excursions in Greece are:

And here’s our list of tips for travelling to Greece!

We hope it will help you on your next trip to Greece, if you have any questions, just leave a comment below.

And if you want to help us to extend this list with some advice to travel to Greece, we are all ears!

Other articles from our trip to Greece:






Other links of interest for your trip to Santorini: