Greece Travel Information

The Basics


GMT +2


Electrical current is 230 volts and 50Hz. A variety of plugs are in use, including the European-style two-pin and the round three-pin.


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

Travel Health

There are no specific health risks associated with travel to Greece. Most health problems relate to overexposure to the sun, overindulgence of food or alcohol. There's also the risk of coming into close contact with sea urchins, jelly fish, and mosquitoes. Medical facilities vary, as those in major cities are excellent but some of the smaller islands are some distance from a decent hospital. The larger towns and resorts have English-speaking private doctors and the local pharmacies are highly professional and can usually deal with any minor complaint. 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.


A service charge is automatically added to most restaurant bills and an additional tip it not expected, but always welcome. For drinks at cafes, rounding the bill up is sufficient. Taxis will expect a tip, as do cloakroom attendants and porters.

Safety Information

Greece is 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

Most Greeks are extremely friendly and welcoming, to an extent that might seem intrusive to reserved British tourists, although they are more traditional than the British in some aspects. Swimwear is of course expected on the beach, but tourists should dress properly in bars and restaurants. Greeks are the heaviest smokers in Europe, and will often ignore the ban on smoking in bars and restaurants.


Greeks favour a formal dress style, with dark, conservative suits for men, and stylish outfits 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.


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.

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