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The Basics

Time: GMT +2

Electricity: Electrical current is 220 volts and 50Hz. A variety of plugs are in use, including the European-style two-pin and the round three-pin.

Money: The official currency is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents. Banks and bureaux de change are widely available and major credit cards are accepted. ATMs are widespread and are generally the cheapest and most convenient method of obtaining euros.

Currency Exchange Rates

EUR 1.00 = AUD 1.62 CAD 1.49 EUR 1.00 NZD 1.70 GBP 0.90 USD 1.14 ZAR 16.12
Note: These currency exchange rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.

Language: Greek is the national language, but English is widely spoken.

Entry requirements:

Entry requirements for Americans: US citizens must have a passport that is valid three months beyond the period of intended stay. No visa is required for a touristic stay of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.
Entry requirements for UK nationals:

British passports endorsed 'British Citizen', 'British Subject' (containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom), and 'British Overseas Territories Citizen' issued by Gibraltar, only need to be valid for period of intended stay in Greece. All other endorsements require at least three months validity beyond the period of intended stay in Greece.

A visa is not required for passports endorsed 'British Citizen', 'British Subject' (containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom), and 'British Overseas Territories Citizen' issued by Gibraltar. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days in a 180 day period for holders of passports with any other endorsement.

Holders of identity cards issued by Gibraltar authorities, and endorsed 'Validated for EU travel purposes under the authority of the United Kingdom', do not require a visa to visit Greece.

Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the period of intended stay in Greece. No visa is required for a touristic stay of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.
Entry requirements for Australians: Australian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the period of intended stay in Greece. No visa is required for a touristic stay of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.
Entry requirements for South Africans: South African citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the period of intended stay, and a valid Schengen visa, to enter Greece.
Entry requirements for New Zealand nationals: New Zealand citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the period of intended stay in Greece. No visa is required for a touristic stay of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.

Passport/Visa Note: The borderless region known as the Schengen Area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. All of these countries issue a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entry option, and which allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of all the aforementioned countries. Non-EEA travellers to Greece must hold visible means of financial support to cover their stay in the country - entry may be refused if proof of sufficient funds (at least EUR 50/day) cannot be shown. It is also recommended that non-EEA members hold return/onward tickets, and the necessary travel documentation for their next destination. Passengers not holding onward tickets may be asked for proof of sufficient funds for their return/onward journey. Visitors requiring a visa are also required to have medical insurance, covering them for their full period of stay in Greece. Note that the admission of visa-free nationals into Greece is considered upon their arrival in the country. Visitors wishing to extend their stay in the country must register at the Aliens Police Department or at the Security Police Department BEFORE (i) the expiry date of their visa, or (ii) the end of the period of visa-free stay. NOTE: It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months' validity remaining after the intended date of departure from the travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Travel Health: There are no specific health risks associated with travel to Greece, but visitors who plan to walk through forested areas are advised to consider vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis. Yellow fever vaccination certificates are required for those arriving from infected areas. A hepatitis A vaccination may be recommended by some doctors for extended travel in rural areas. Medical facilities in Greece vary. Those in major cities are excellent but many of the islands are some distance from a decent hospital. For this reason, travellers should take along any necessary prescription medication. Food and water are safe, but those visiting for short periods should consider sticking to bottled water. UK nationals are entitled to a refund on emergency hospital treatment under a reciprocal agreement between the UK and Greece, and a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) should be taken on holiday for this purpose. Despite this, all visitors are advised to take out medical insurance.

Tipping: A service charge is often included in the bill at restaurants in Greece. It's best to see if this is the case before tipping. If no service charge has been included, leave between 10 to 15 percent. For drinks at cafes, round the bill up to the nearest euro. Taxis expect change as do cloakroom attendants and porters.

Safety Information: There is a risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks. Visitors should be vigilant in public places, including tourist sites. Also, austerity strikes have taken place in the past and have been widespread. These strikes can bring the country to a halt, with transport networks being especially hard hit. So far, strikes have inconvenienced travellers without turning violent. Still, tourists are advised to stay away from political gatherings, as there have been clashes between police and protesters. Greece is otherwise a safe destination, though peak tourist season usually sees an increase in petty theft cases, particularly in crowded areas. Visitors should store valuables in hotel safes instead of carrying them. It's also advisable to conceal conspicuous wealth and make sure valuable possessions aren't easily accessible to pick-pockets. Violent crime is infrequent, but there have been incidents on some Greek islands. Lone visitors should not accept lifts from strangers.

Local Customs: Indecent behaviour is not tolerated and the police will not hesitate to arrest or fine offenders. Some form of official identification should be carried at all times.

Business: Greeks favour a formal dress style, with dark, conservative suits for men, and stylish, classical suits, dresses or blouses for women. Punctuality is important, though the meeting may not start immediately. A firm handshake with eye contact is the norm for first-time greetings with men and women. Business cards should be printed in both Greek and English, although there is no ritual surrounding the exchange. Greeks like to get to know their business colleagues before conducting any serious business, so a deal is unlikely to materialise at the first meeting. Greek culture adheres to a hierarchical structure and respect should be shown accordingly. Gift giving is common in social circumstances, though not necessarily in business.

Communications: The international access code for Greece is +30. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). The city code for Athens is 21. Free wifi is available at cafes, restaurants, hotels and other similar establishments throughout Greece. As international roaming costs can be high, purchasing a local prepaid SIM card can be a cheaper option.

Duty free: Travellers from non-EU countries do not pay duty when entering Greece for 200 cigarettes, or 100 cigarillos, or 50 cigars, or 250g tobacco; 1 litre of spirits with alcohol volume under 22 percent, or 2 litres of dessert wine not exceeding 22 percent alcohol volume, 4 litres of wine and 16 litres of beer.