Greece is a country with an abundance of historical and cultural heritage, making it a compelling destination. The country is home to some of the world’s most significant historical sites and landmarks throughout its centuries-old existence. From the Acropolis in Athens to Ancient Olympia Stadium and Delphi Theatre, Greece is brimming with historical sites that are still incredibly well-preserved today. The allure of Greece is further heightened by the presence of several UNESCO World Heritage Sites worth visiting, such as Meteora Monasteries and Knossos Palace. If you’re contemplating why visit Greece, these timeless wonders and cultural treasures provide a profound answer.
Aside from its historical spots, Greece is renowned for its stunningly beautiful cities. Main cities like Athens, Piraeus, and Thessaloniki are some of the few places in Greece where one can immerse in the bustling city life while discovering the core of Greek culture on every corner. From its iconic ruins to its famous cuisine – baklava and gyro, Greece is a beautiful country for anyone who wants to delve into a rich historical environment combined with vibrant city life. Explore why visit Greece and discover the allure of its historical and cultural treasures.
Best Time To visit
Greece is one of the best destinations for travelers and offers a wide variety of sights to see. But when is the best time of year to visit? Generally, it’s best to visit in spring or autumn. During these seasons, temperatures are mild, making it an excellent time for sightseeing. Plus, there are usually fewer tourists than in summer. Spring is an ideal time for those interested in exploring ancient sites, like the Parthenon or Temple of Poseidon, since it’s less crowded and more comfortable than during the scorching hot summer months. Plus, most shops tend to offer discounts during this season. On the other hand, fall can provide its own unique treat like watching people harvest olives from olive trees. Temperatures are mild and comfortable this season, making it ideal for hiking, swimming, and sightseeing. The bustling cities of Athens, Thessaloniki, and Rhodes are full of life during the fall months. Visitors can explore the ancient ruins, stroll around the vibrant street markets and discover hidden gems in the old city centers. The beautiful islands of Crete, Corfu, and Santorini are also at their most colorful during fall. From traditional villages to stunning natural landscapes, each island has its own unique charm. Fall is an excellent time for food lovers, with Greece’s rich culinary heritage on display. Fresh seafood, locally grown fruits, vegetables, aged cheese, and homemade bread will tantalize your taste buds. The fall also brings plenty of festivals and events to keep visitors entertained. Whether you’re looking for culture or relaxation, there is something for everyone in Greece during the autumn months.
What to expect
Greece is home to some of the world’s oldest civilizations and includes a landscape that ranges from rugged mountainscapes to stunning shorelines. So it’s no surprise that tourists flock to this beautiful country every year for sun-soaked beaches and cultural experiences like no other. Some famous tourist destinations include the bustling capital of Athens, which features ancient sites such as the Acropolis and Parthenon, and Thessaloniki, home to Byzantine monuments. For those seeking outdoor adventure, picturesque Santorini—whose whitewashed buildings cling to its cliffs—is an excellent choice.
Its narrow cobblestone paths showcase a unique blend of architecture, making it one of Greece’s most photographed islands, with its most popular city being Oia. Attracting over a million visitors annually, Mykonos offers all kinds of things to explore while remaining true to its fishing roots through its lively harbor town and centre for yachting enthusiasts. Visitors to this unforgettable country will be dazzled by its stunningly unique landscape and vibrant cities. From impressive ancient archaeological sites to awe-inspiring natural beauty, there is something to fascinate every type of traveler. Greek culture also offers authentic food dishes, artistic performances, an excellent selection of beaches, lively nightlife, and plenty of activities perfect for a relaxed excursion. So whether you want to sunbathe on the exotic beaches of Santorini or explore the depths of its intriguing major monuments, Greece provides it all.
Things to know
Greece is often called the birthplace of modern civilization, with a storied history that dates back to the ancient Hellenic period. It is part of the European continent and has a population of over 10 million people who speak Greek, and most also speak English. The country consists of mainland Greece and its 6,000 islands and islets dotted off the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea, of which only 227 islands are inhabited. So along with its diverse landscape of beaches, dramatic mountain ranges, and urban cities, it’s no wonder why Greece receives millions of visitors each year.
As one of the oldest cultures modern civilizations have ever seen, quaint mountainside villages filled with whitewashed cube-shaped homes represent what traditional Greek society was like hundreds of years ago, so don’t miss out on visiting some during your stay!
- Language – The official language of Greece is Greek. It is one of the oldest living languages in Europe, with records of it being spoken as far back as the 14th century BC. Additionally, there are numerous minority languages spoken in Greece, including Albanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Turkish, and Vlach. Overall, Greek is the most commonly spoken language in the country and is used by more than 95% of the population. Other minority languages make up the remaining 5%, with Albanian being the most popular among them. English is also widely spoken in heavily touristy areas such as Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos.. Most Greek people who work in tourism, such as hotels, restaurants, and shops, can easily communicate with English speakers. If you plan to visit off the beaten path smaller cities or islands in Greece, it may be helpful to learn some basic phrases in Greek!
- Time Zone – Greece follows the Eastern European Time Zone (EET) and is used in mainland Greece, excluding the Aegean Islands. During the summer months of April to October, daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Greece, pushing the clocks forward. By contrast, the United States follows a variety of time zones across its states. The Eastern Time Zone (ET) is 5 hours behind EET, meaning that Greece is 7 hours ahead of most areas in the US during standard time and 6 hours ahead during DST. For example, when it’s noon in Athens, it’s 5 AM in New York City. There is a considerable difference between the time in Greece and the United States, so it’s important to keep this in mind when planning international calls or visits.
- Getting Euros: The best way to get euros in Greece is to use an ATM or exchange money at the bank. You can also withdraw cash from your credit card, but check the fees and exchange rate before doing so. When exchanging money at a bank, you need valid identification such as a passport or driver’s license. If you are staying in a hotel, they may also offer currency exchange services at the front desk. When purchasing euros from an ATM, it is important to take note of any fees or charges associated with the transaction. Some ATMs may only accept some types of cards. Additionally, you can check with your bank before leaving home to order euros before your trip. This way you can avoid any extra fees or problems later on, saving you time on holiday.
- Credit Cards:Visa and Mastercard are the most commonly used credit cards in Greece. Both brands offer a variety of different cards to meet individual needs. In addition, American Express and Diners Club cards are also accepted in some locations throughout the country. However, this is less common as American Express cards charge higher commissions and favor the cardholder in the event of a dispute.
The type of card you use will determine which providers accept it. For example, some hotels, restaurants, and shops only accept Visa or Mastercard. However, other establishments may also accept American Express or Diner Club cards. It is important to note that while certain credit cards are accepted in Greece, some may only be accepted in some locations. Therefore, to make sure your credit card works during your travels in Greece, it is best to contact your credit card provider before visiting. Contacting your card provider will ensure that you have no issues with your card while abroad and can enjoy a hassle-free experience.
- Voltage: In Greece, most electricity is supplied using a voltage of 230 V/50 Hz. This voltage falls in line with most European countries and other parts of the world, such as Australia and Central America. The standard outlets can accept plugs with two round pins or three rectangular pins arranged in a triangle configuration. It’s important to check the compatibility of your electrical devices before use. In the United States, the standard voltage is 120 volts (or 110-120 V), so it is essential to use a voltage converter if the device is not rated for 230 V/50 Hz to ensure a safe connection.
- Airport: Greece is home to many airports serving domestic and international flights. The most important is Athens International Airport (ATH) and Thessaloniki International Airport (SKG). Athens Airport, also known as Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, is the main entry point for visitors traveling to Greece and offers flights to many destinations across Europe and the Middle East. Thessaloniki Airport is Greece’s second busiest airport, serving domestic and international flights to nearby countries such as Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt, and more. In addition, both airports offer direct flights to major cities within the country, making it easy for travelers to explore Greece’s beautiful coastline.
- Organic Groceries: Many Greek farmers are committed to growing and selling organic produce, and there has been a rise in demand for it over the last few years. Some popular organic grocery stores in Greece include 4 Seasons Organic Food Market in Athens, Orangebio in Corfu, and Ellinikon Green Market in Thessaloniki. These stores are great for finding quality organic produce free from harmful pesticides and chemicals. In addition, many of the products are sourced from surrounding farms, so you can be sure to get fresh, seasonal ingredients. Shopping at these stores is a great way to support local farmers and businesses while enjoying fresh, healthy ingredients.
- Vegetarian/Vegan: Many Greek restaurants offer vegan and vegetarian options. Vegetarians can find a range of dishes based on olives, cheese, vegetables, and legumes like lentils and chickpeas. Some everyday items include salads, spanakopita (spinach pie), dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), and stews and soups. For vegans, there is a growing selection of dishes available. Hummus is a popular vegan option, as well as various salads, roasted vegetables, and legumes. With the increasing popularity of plant-based diets, most restaurants are prepared to provide suitable options, making it relatively easy to find vegan and vegetarian food in Greece.
- Safety: Greece is generally a safe country for tourists, with few reports of violent crime. However, as with any other destination, travelers should exercise caution when exploring the country and take steps to protect themselves and their belongings. It is advisable to not carry large amounts of cash or valuables on you in public places and to be aware of pickpockets in crowded areas, buses, and trains. As with all international travel, you should keep copies of your passport and other important documents in case of loss or theft. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid unpopulated areas at night.
- Opening Hours: In Greece, the opening hours for most attractions vary greatly depending on the city and season. Generally, museums are open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. At the same time, archaeological sites often close at 6:00 pm or 7:00. Major monuments, such as the Acropolis in Athens, have different operating hours based on the time of year, with opening times from 8:00 am to 7:30 pm in the summer and 9:00 am to 3:00 pm in the winter. In addition, some attractions have special opening hours for certain events, and some are closed on Sundays or have limited access during festivals or religious holidays such as Easter Sunday. Therefore, it’s always best to double-check opening hours before planning your visit. Finally, many attractions in Greece also provide a discount for students and may offer free admission on certain days or times of the week. As such, it’s always worth checking before visiting an attraction to see opening hours or if any discounts are available.
Cell Service: Before traveling, it is important to make sure you have the right cellular phone service plan to stay connected while away from home. Most major carriers offer international roaming plans, which allow travelers to use their existing phone line while in the country. This is usually the most cost-effective way to stay connected and make calls during your trip. Contacting your phone provider before you leave for your trip to ensure you have everything set up before arriving at your destination is highly advisable.
how to get around
Public transportation is a great way to get around Greece. Buses are the main public transport form, with routes connecting large cities and rural areas. There are also ferry services available between some towns and islands. Taxis are another option for getting around, although they can be costly if traveling long distances.
If you want to explore more remote areas, renting a car is the best option. There are plenty of rental companies available in major cities and airports. However, driving can be challenging in Greece due to traffic. Motorbike rentals are available in some locations for visitors who prefer to travel on two wheels. Cycling is another way to explore the stunning landscapes of Greece, although some areas can be pretty hilly. Always wear a helmet and follow any safety measures when cycling, as all countries have different requirements.
shop TRAVEL products
Be ready for your next trip with our curated ‘must have’ travel products to make your travels more enjoyable.