What to Know Before You Travel to Greece

Is Greece on your bucket list? It was on mine, too! And honestly, I don’t know why I waited so long to go. But as with any trip, I wanted to be super prepared. That’s why I write posts like this–for readers like me! Here are the essentials to know before you go to Greece.


You won’t have too much trouble getting around if you speak English, but it’s always a welcome sign of respect to try and learn a few words in the local language wherever you go. Here are some Greek essentials:

  • Kalimera: Good morning (used until 2:00pm)
  • Kalo mesimeri: Hello for afternoon (between 2:00pm-5:00pm)
  • Kalispera: Good evening (used after 5:00pm)
  • Sas parakaloume: Please
  • Efcharisto: Thank you
  • Nai: Yes
  • Ochi: No
Even if your Greek comes out a little broken, it’s always nice to try!
More here: Words to Always Learn in the Local Language

Don’t Flush the Toilet Paper

If you’ve done any research at all, you already know this. But if this is the first article you’re reading about travel in Greece, I’ll be the first to tell you: Toilet paper cannot go in the toilet here!

The pipes and plumbing systems are almost as old as the Parthenon (I exaggerate), and they can’t handle toilet paper, especially on the islands. So, you’ll be putting that paper in the little trash can beside the toilet for the duration of your trip.

No, really. This is not a suggestion!
Read next: What to Know Before You Travel to Athens

There are a LOT of Greek Isles

Some people get very perturbed when you say you’ve “been to the Greek Isles” when, in reality, you’ve only been to one touristy island that belongs to Greece. There are over 200 inhabited Greek Islands, and thousands of uninhabited ones, and they’re organized into seven main groups:

  • Ionian
  • Argo-Saronic
  • Sporades and Evvia
  • Northeast Aegean
  • Dodecanese
  • Cyclades
  • Crete
Santorini is an unusually beautiful Greek Island, but the others are so different!
Also helpful: What to Know Before You Visit Santorini

They’re on the Euro

Okay, so this may not be a big shocker, but I think it’s a little bit too bad! Before they got on the Euro, the Greek currency was the drachma (GRD), and it was the oldest currency still in use in the WORLD! So, as a history lover, I’m heartbroken. As a traveler, I’m all for the Eurozone!

Got to love the Eurozone!
Essential info: Money Saving Tips for Your Trip to Athens

The Food is Amazing

Greek food in Greece is not the same as Greek food in the States! The tomatoes taste more like tomatoes. The yogurt is thick enough to cut with a knife–and yet is also creamy. And the sweets! I’ve never had such tasty treats anywhere, and I know my way around sweet treats! I may be ruined on food for life because Greek food is just so much tastier than any other food.

Don’t miss the sweets and iced coffees!
Keep eating: The Best Places to Eat in Oia, Santorini

It’s Not Always Hot and Crowded

Summer is the most popular time to travel to Greece, especially July and August. And guess what? It’s also the hottest time to travel to Greece! Almost every blog I found about Greece talked about how hot it is, but like most places in the world, it really depends on when you travel there. In January, Athens could have snow. In May, it could be 40 degrees in the morning on Santorini!

Always check average highs and lows (easily Google-able for every destination), and always consider traveling in the off season or shoulder season if you want to avoid crowds and beat the heat!

May in Athens was incredibly pleasant!
More here: The Ultimate Guide to Travel in the Shoulder Season

Want more? Check out my dedicated Greece Page for everything you need to know to plan your trip!

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