Planning a Trip to Greece: Everything You Need to Know

Whether you have just 2 days in Greece or one month, you need to know where to go and how to spend your time in this beautiful country. 

And that’s where I come in – I live here full time, and it’s my favorite country I’ve visited out of 31 and counting. It’s a special place. 

Here’s everything I’ve learned that can help you when you’re planning a trip to Greece, in one place! 

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Greece Facts

Greece is a member of the European Union, and it has an interesting position in between Eastern and Western Europe. It’s actually technically part of the Balkans region. 

Greece’s currency is the euro, pronounced “evro” in Greek. And it’s in the Schengen visa zone, which is well-known to my fellow digital nomads who live in Europe. It’s in the Central European time zone. 

And of course, they speak Greek here! The alphabet is Greek as well, which can be confusing. But almost every young person in Greece speaks at least some English, as well as people in tourist areas, so you can get along fine without speaking or reading it. 

Want to learn a little Greek before your trip? Check out the list of common Greek phrases in my Greek travel tips post. 

Don’t miss: the best time of year to visit Greece

Safety in Greece

Traveling alone as a woman in Greece is very safe – it’s actually one of my favorite solo female travel destinations. Staying safe here involves being as cautious as you would anywhere in the world – keep an eye on your belongings, use normal caution, and you’ll be fine. 

 I often get asked, is it safe in Athens? It is a city that’s rundown in parts and full of graffiti, which can read as unsafe if you’re not used to it.

But Athens is just as safe, if not safer, than most major European cities. Watch your bags on the metro to the airport and the ferry port at Pireaus, keep an eye on your things like you would anywhere else, and you’ll be fine. 

view of Athens, Greece from the Acropolis hill at dawn Greece travel tips
Athens is worth a visit for these views alone!

Greece Trip Costs 

If you’re looking to travel for less, you’re in luck—Greece is an affordable European travel destination. 

But, there are caveats. Wondering how to plan a trip to Greece on a budget? The biggest factor is carefully when you’re going to Greece. In July and August, the high season for travel, hotels and hostels will be expensive and probably full. You’ll likely pay 100€+ for a very basic hotel room, and much more if you’re in Santorini and Mykonos (we’re talking 250€+ there for the lowest-end hotels). 

But if you travel in the shoulder season—spring or fall—you’ll find more bargains. You can get a good hotel room for 50-70€, and hostels for 25€ or less, especially if you go to less touristy destinations. I suggest making your Greece travel plans in this season to get the best experience and prices!

Winter is the cheapest time to visit Greece, but the islands will be mostly shut down and very quiet. You’ll pay 30-50€ for a normal hotel room, and hostels will be very cheap if they’re open – your Greece travel budget will go farthest in this season if you’re ok with a more chill vibe and pace.

For dining out, a meal in a taverna (a little family restaurant) will cost you about 10-20€ per person with wine, depending on where you are. A street gyros pita will run you 3-4€, while a coffee sitting at a cafe costs 3-5€. 

Even the expensive destinations have their bargains! If you get breakfast and lunch from a delicious bakery (Greece is full of them) and eat a gyros pita every night, you’ll spend less than 10€ per day on food. Hostels are also a great deal, and Greece is full of lovely ones. 

Don’t miss: my top 10 things to know before you travel to Greece

The Best Way to Get Around Greece

There are several ways of getting around Greece – choosing the right one depends on your budget and how much time you have to spend.

The Athens airport is massive and you can fly here from around the world, and from there you can easily fly to major Greece destinations like Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Corfu, Thessaloniki, and more.

Flying to the islands from Athens is fast and pretty reliable. I like to take Aegean Airlines but there are budget carriers like RyanAir on these tours too. If you’re short on time, flying is a good option.

You can also take ferries to the islands from Athens, and in between islands in the busier months as well. The ferries take longer, don’t go as often, and are sometimes canceled because of stormy weather, especially in the winter.

But if you have time and want to see Greece from the sea, they’re a lovely option. I use FerryHopper to look for itineraries and book tickets – they have all the ferry lines and their customer service is good.

If you’re traveling around the mainland areas of Greece, or going all over Crete, you can also take buses. They’re more environmentally friendly and quite cheap. The inter-city buses in Greece are usually run by a company called KTEL, and each region has its own. There’s not always a lot of info online about schedules or options to buy tickets, so you might just have to ask a local or someone at your hotel or hostel.

Rome2Rio can give you some idea of the options for traveling in Greece. Always allow yourself more time than you think you need to get somewhere – there can be strikes, bad weather, or cancelations, and you want to be able to be flexible without wrecking your trip.

What to Wear in Greece

This question also depends on when you’re going to Greece and what you’re planning to do there. Greeks are not super dressed up or formal most of the time, which makes planning outfits a little easier. But they’re also not as casually dressed as Americans. Adding some polish and accessories to your outfits when you’re going out to dinner or a club or bar can help you fit in better.

If you’re visiting Greece in summer, you’ll want to pack for very hot weather and very strong sun. Sandals or light sneakers are a good idea, as well as light, loose clothing. I love a linen shirt to cover up and keep me cool because I burn very easily, and flowy linen dresses when I’m sitting in the shade.

In the spring or fall, it can be quite warm in the day but cool at night, and it rains off and on. Packing layers is a good plan, as well as an umbrella or light rain jacket.

In winter, it’s pretty chilly here! Pack some cute cozy outfits, especially because most places have poor heating.

I don’t recommend wearing heels here because of all the broken and uneven sidewalks – they will twist your ankle fast. Sneakers all year are good, and sturdy sandals in summer and cute boots in winter will take you far. And don’t forget your sunglasses!

Solo female traveler wearing sunglasses and red lipstick at the Porch of the Caryatids at the Acropolis in Athens
First step in planning a trip to Greece: pack your shades! It’s (almost) always sunny here.

Greece Vacation Itinerary Ideas and Guides

Trying to plan a Greece trip and wondering where to start? I’ve got your inspiration right here – along with my best recommendations! 

Is Athens worth visiting? Absolutely, and you get the full experience with this 3 days in Athens itinerary

And if you have more time and want to see some islands, my Greece island hopping itinerary will take you to Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos in one week. 

Santorini solo travel is surprisingly fun if you follow my advice too.

How to Plan a Greece Trip 

I hope these resources and my posts are helpful for your Greece trip planning.

Enjoy my favorite country – maybe I’ll see you there! 

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