What you need to know before coming to Greece

So, you finally are thinking of coming to Greece or already have decided to do that. Probably you have made a very good decision, so it’s time to start organizing your trip. I am pretty sure however that you have a lot of questions before coming. But you don’t need to worry. There are always some advices to follow and your time here is going to be great.

Greece = summer only #notactually

A lot of people think that Greece worth a visit only in summer. Actually this is half of the truth. Of course you will find more things to do and places to visit in summer than in winter. But this doesn’t mean that e.g. in January you can’t go skiing to one of the many mountains or in April go hiking and discover how gorgeous the Greek nature is. Probably the best period is late spring – mid summer and early autumn.

What should I have with me?

First of all, you need a valid passport or your I.D. Card, if you are citizen of Schengen Agreement member country. Visa is also required for most of the countries, but there are some such as USA, Canada and Australia and 25 more (plus those of E.U.) that their citizens don’t need to have one if they are going to stay for up to 90 days. Travel insurance is also advisable, or compulsory in some cases.

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Source : maricopa-az.gov

Money, money, money

In case you didn’t know, Greece is one of the many countries in Europe that use the Euro. If we could classify it, Greece is neither expensive nor very cheap. If you need to change money the best place to do this would probably be in one of the bureaus de change that are in the centre of Athens, because they usually have better exchange rates than those in the islands or other smaller cities. Credit cards are also widely used, although there are some restaurants or mini-markets that accept only cash money.

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Moving around

If you are going to spend some days in Athens, it’s better to buy a 5-day ticket. It costs 10 euros and you can use it for all modes, except from Airport lines. Otherwise you can buy an integrated 70 – minutes ticket (1.2 euro) or a daily ticket(4 euros).
And how you gonna move around Greece? Fortunately there are a lot of options : regional & national coaches, planes, trains and ships. If you are going to visit some of the more than 100 inhabited islands, the cheapest mean is the ship of course. However many of the islands have airports, so you should also consider travelling by plane because sometimes you can reach them in 5 or 6 hours less than by ship and pay only 20 euros more.

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I have heard a lot of stories about Greek cuisine

And I can tell you that they are true. Here in Greece we are so proud of our cuisine and its variety, that I am sure that you have tasted at least once in your lifetime some of our dishes. Souvlaki, mousaka, tzatziki and Greek salad are the best known of them.
Since you are here and as a part of discovering the local culture, you should also taste the rest of them. Do you want meat? Don’t miss the opportunity for giouvetsi (beef with traditional pasta, cooked in the oven). Would you like to eat fresh fish? You can eat mpakaliaros skordalia (cod with sauce made of garlic and potatoes) or fried fish. And of course there are dozens of dishes with vegetables like aubergines, beans, peas, zucchinis and many others.

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Mainland areas are amazing too

It is undeniable that the islands are the biggest attraction. But you would miss a great experience if you don’t visit some places in Central Greece, Peloponnese or Macedonia and Epirus. People in villages are very hospitable and offer you the chance to learn more about the Greek traditional lifestyle. You will find also a lot of ancient sites, each one with a special story behind it, monasteries and churches built in a unique architecture and beautiful natural wonders.

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Source : greekworldhistory.blogspot.com

Take Greece with you

Of course you can’t take actually Greece with you, but you can take a little bit of its taste. Except from the memories that are incomparable, you should save money to buy some other “memories” too. I would highly recommend avoiding the tourist and look for more traditional or alternative shops because only there you will find real Greek products. Olive oil, wine, ouzo, honey and sweets made of fruits are just some of them. You will find also beautiful hand-made clothes, shoes, jewelry or soaps in many stores. And finally if you want to bring back home something unusual, you can buy a traditional musical instrument (like baglama or bouzouki) or an artifact from a museum shop.

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