Greece — The Basics
Quaint little villages peeking over the Mediterranean. Mountaintop hovels. Incredible columns. Amazing amphitheaters. These are just a few things you can see when you travel to Greece. A European honeymoon on a Greek island is a real-life fairy tale. In this Greece travel guide, you’ll learn the ins and outs of this ancient place!
Sights and Attractions
Archaeologists, anthropologists, and armchair historians all have reason to travel to Greece. It’s so full of history. Most western languages, especially with terms relating to math, are heavily influenced by massive Hellenic influence of old. Almond, paper, hero, box, podium — all these words derive from ancient Greek. Considering Alexander’s empire stretched all the way to India at its peak, it’s no wonder that little old Greece has made such a mark on the world!
Remnants of this era can still be found all over the place. Athens, the modern capital, is a relic in itself. It contains many ancient, well-preserved sites within its boundaries. No Greece travel guide worth its salt neglects to mention the Acropolis of Athens ! Built-in the 400’s BC, the Acropolis sits at the highest point in Athens. The ancient overlooks the modern in the city of Athens. The Pharateon , Propelaya , and the Temple of Athena all lie within the Acropolis — reminders of a distant past.
The village of Oia is no doubt the defining image of a Greek coastal village. A series of colorful buildings ascend the hill on a cliff by the Mediterranean Sea. In a country full of beauty, this picture-perfect village takes the cake.
Greece Travel Tips
Greece Currency Considerations
The currency of Greece is the Euro. It’s a good idea to stock up on Euros before you go to Greece. Greece currency exchange services often have abysmal exchange rates. Your dollar can lose a lot of value at a lousy rate. When you get a good rate, you’ll have more money to spend on Ouzo and baklava.
An online Currency Ecahnge Service is an excellent method to get Euros quickly and at a favorable rate. Make sure you plan ahead. Budget for a little more than you expect to spend, and get your Euros ahead of time. Since the currency of Greece is the Euro, you’re in luck if you’re visiting any EU countries after seeing Greece. If you plan to go on a Europe-wide adventure, then calculate the costs of the whole trip beforehand. Without a solid budget, you’ll end up burning through your Euro stash way too early.
It is advised not to keep your wallet in your back pocket. Greece is full of honest people, but you’ll probably walk through many dense crowds. You don’t want your wallet to be swiped while you’re queuing up to see the Acropolis. Know where your money is at all times, and keep a little stash hidden away in case of emergency.
Hotels, hostels, and homestays are abundant in any major tourist destination. You will not have a problem finding a place to lay your head in Greece. For the most part, hotels in Greece are moderately price. If you look hard enough, you will find some great deals for decent hotels. Hostels and homestays are always a good option. Homestays can be very cheap in the off season. You can even save money on a homestay by booking for the middle of the week.
Flights and Transportation
Greece has 15 international airports. Many happy couples go to island resorts for their European honeymoon. As a result of the dense tourism to these islands, many have their own international airport. Factor price and itinerary before you book a flight. A cheap flight to Kos international is not really worth it if you want to see Athens. On the other hand, it’s entirely worth it if you want to see Kos! Most islands are accessible via ferry, and many services will calculate the cost and logistics of more complicated trips for island hoppers.
Athens is the only city in Greece with a metro system. You’ll have to rely on buses in most cities. To get from city to city, Greece has an extensive rail network. It’s not expensive, and it runs on time. Avoid Athenian taxis like the plague. They can be extremely expensive.
99 percent of Greeks speak the Greek language. About half of the people in Greece can speak English. You’ll be able to get around 90 percent of the country without any trouble. Almost all signs are in Latin characters as well as Greek characters.
In the rare case that a tourist actually comes across a sign that’s only in the Greek alphabet, frat bros and mathematicians will be ready. For everyone else, ask a local, or download a reference chart onto your phone. There are only 24 letters in the Greek alphabet, so it’s not as hard to learn as some others.
Greek Cultural Considerations
Unless you’ve done it before, don’t drive in Greece. This country is notorious for wild drivers. Unless you want to get yourself killed, take the bus or hire a local. Sitting behind the wheel in Greece is not for the faint of heart. Given the nature of Greek drivers, don’t assume that a car will stop at a crosswalk. You came to Greece to have a good time, not get squashed!
If someone invites you into their home, accept. Whenever possible, don’t reject a display of generosity. Turning down an invite is a big deal, and you’ll hurt their feelings.
You may not be Greek Orthodox, but you still must respect the local customs. When visiting ornate Orthodox sites, make sure you look presentable. Flip flops, shorts, and a t-shirt aren’t going to cut it. A nice shirt and decent long-pants should be enough.
Don’t throw toilet paper in the toilet. Pretty weird, right? Many of the pipes in Greece are incredibly narrow. They are very susceptible to clogging. Throw your toilet paper in the waste bin, and all will be ok. If you’re at a hotel and you’re unsure of whether this applies, just ask a staff member.
There are a lot of cool ancient artifacts in Greece. Maybe you wonder what they feel like. It’d almost be like touching the past. Maybe one caress of that column will take you back to the days of Alexander…
Keep dreaming. Your imagination will have to do. There’s a reason that so many ancient artifacts are still in great condition in Greece — no one touches them! Imagine being the dude who knocked over and cracked the Venus de Milo. There is no better way to be hated by an entire country than to ruin their treasured artifacts. As they say it in preschool — hands to yourself! Look with your eyes, not your hands.
Hopefully, this Greece travel guide has given you some ideas and pointed you in the right direction. Maybe you’re a history lover. Maybe you want a stunning European honeymoon. Perhaps you’re an avid backpacker. Whoever you are, pack the sunscreen, make sure you have the currency of Greece, and head on over! The longer you wait, the longer you’re missing out on the excitement!
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