Five Things First Time Travellers To The Greece Should Know
- Avoid lining up at the main entrance of the Acropolis. Instead, use the alternative entrance at the back of the building. It will save you at least an hour of queuing outside in the blazing sun.
- Use Uber to get around. In Athens, the ridesharing service is 20% cheaper than using a local taxi. Plus the app charges your credit card, so you don't need to worry about having cash on you to get around.
- Don't flush toilet paper down the toilet. Unlike the rest of Europe, Greece's plumbing can't handle unnatural waste. Instead, you'll need to throw the paper into the small bins next to the toilet.
- Street signs are in English and Greek. This makes it easy to get around and avoid getting lost. Plus the majority of the population speak English as their second language if you do need some help.
- Tip between 5% to 10%. But check your bill beforehand as some restaurants add this to the bill for you. You should also leave the tip on the table or tell the waiter you don't want any change.
Best Time To Visit Greece
The best time to visit Greece is between May and October. The weather is warm and sunny, perfect for a day at the beach. If you want to go swimming, the ocean is at its warmest in August and early September.
For island hopping, the best time to go is also during the summer months. There's little chance of rain, and the water is the perfect temperature for underwater adventures. But if you're on a tight budget, avoid August. It's the most expensive and busiest month.
If you're visiting Greece for the nightlife, July and August are the best months to go. Head to Mykonos, Ios and Santorini for the biggest parties and events. Just be sure to book your trip well in advance.
The cheapest time of year to visit Greece is from December to March. Hotels, food, drinks and even transport are less expensive during this low season. But you'll need to keep in mind that few hotels and restaurants are open on the islands. Flights and ferries also operate on limited schedules during the winter months.
For those looking to save money without sacrificing the good weather, plan your trip for late May and early June.
Athens is a juxtaposition of the ancient and modern world. Inhabited for more than 3,000 years, it's the cradle of democracy and Western civilization.
It's full of ancient ruins like the famous Acropolis, Theatre of Dionysos and the Parthenon. But there's more to Athens than just its history. The city is modern and vibrant with excellent museums, nightlife and restaurants.
Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and the cultural capital. Founded in 316 BC, its ancient streets are dotted with unique landmarks. Visit the UNESCO-listed Byzantine churches, the 15th century White Tower, and its plethora of museums.
Foodies will love sampling Thessaloniki's famous cuisine. Known across the country for its variety, the city boasts flavours from Asia Minor, Turkey, Armenia and Pontus.
Located in the Aegean Sea, Rhodes is one of Greece's top tourist destinations. Its capital, Rhodes Town, is a UNESCO Heritage Site and is enclosed by an impressive fortification system. It was once home to the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the wonders of the ancient world.
Built by the Knights of St. John in the 14th century, it's easy to spend a day exploring Rhodes Town's ancient cobbled streets, or head to the coast and relax at the sparkling blue beaches and hidden pebble coves.
If you're looking to splurge, head to the city of Nafplio. Once the capital of modern Greece in the early 1800s, today it's a popular getaway for luxury travellers.
Located in the heart of the Argolis region, the city boasts beautiful neoclassical mansions, Venetian castles, churches and an 18th-century Palamidi Fortress.
Top Attractions in Greece
In the heart of modern Athens lies the Acropolis. Dating back to the 5th century, it's considered the most important ancient site in the Western world.
Its most famous site is the Parthenon. Once made up of 58 columns, the temple is dedicated to the goddess Athena and it's visible from almost everywhere in Athens.
But don't stop here. The site is full of other ancient attractions such as the Roman Forum, Kerameikos and the Temple of Zeus.
If you want to save money, buy the combined ticket. You'll get entrance to the Acropolis and six other sites within five days. Or plan your visit to fall on the first Sunday of the month when admission is free.
Santorini is one of the most famous Greek islands. Its iconic whitewashed buildings and multi-coloured cliffs make it one of the most coveted holiday destinations.
Perched on the rim of a massive active volcano, you'll find some of the best boutique hotels, black beaches and archaeological sites clinging to the 400 metre high cliffs.
It's also one of the few islands that stays open all year around. Head here in July for the epic nightlife or escape the high season crowd and discover a different side to Santorini in its winter months.
Back on the Greek mainland, on the lower slopes of Mount Parnassus is the temple of Delphi.
Once a sacred site to worship the god Apollo and the mythical Oracle, today its ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built between the 8th century BC and the 2nd century AD, the site is a lot bigger than it looks. You'll need at least four hours to make your way around and appreciate what life was like here thousands of years ago.
Nearby, you'll find the impressive Delphi Archaeological Museum. It's home to a massive collection of statues and treasures that help bring the ruins to life.
Founded in the 14th century, the Meteora Monasteries are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In centuries past, these mountains gave monks solitude and protection from unwanted trespassers. Today, they are one of the most popular destinations in Greece.
Set against bizarre rocky outcrops, you'll need to climb up several flights of steps to reach these ancient buildings.
But besides its religious significance, it's also a thriving rock climbing hub. Adventurous travellers from all over come here to tackle the routes and follow in the footsteps of the hermits that used to free climb thousands of years ago.
Located 30 km of Argostoli lies one of the most beautiful destinations in Greece.
Myrtos Beach is famous around the world for its azure waters that frame its bright white marble pebbles. Set against dramatic limestone cliffs, beach bums flock here to soak up its natural beauty.
It's earned the title of best beach in Greece for twelve years in a row. So it's no surprise that it's also one of the most photographed spots in the country.
Once you're done worshipping the sun, head to the nearby Melissani Lake. Go on a boat trip and explore the two huge caverns full of stalactites and stalagmites.
Major International Airports in the Greece
- Athens International Airport
- Heraklion International Airport
- Thessaloniki International Airport
- Rhodes International Airport
- Chania International Airport