Rich with ancient history and spectacularly beautiful sights, Greece is a country that is on most people’s bucket lists. Try as you might, you’ll never see it all. Naturally, those ancient landmarks are a must-see, but those gorgeous beaches surrounded by clear blue waters, the Cycladic architecture, friendly people, and delicious foods will make you want to keep coming back until you’ve seen as much of it as you can.
Create a good travel itinerary and you’ll surely get to enjoy the best of it. You’ll know how to plan a trip to Greece on a budget and see all the wonders that await your discovery!
To travel to Greece, those from the U.S., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and almost all other non-E.U. countries must have a valid passport for stays up to 90 days. If you are a U.S. citizen with a baby, that baby must have a passport. Canadian children that are under the age of 16 may travel without a passport if they are with at least one of their parents.
For stays that are longer than 90 days, you will need a visa from the Greek embassy. You can get this from the Greek embassy in your home country.
Visiting Greece from the UK or another E.U. country? Then you will need a valid ID to get in, which grants you an unlimited stay. No matter where you are from though, it is always wise to check before booking your trip to ensure you have the right documents to be permitted entry.
Generally, those flying into Greece from afar will usually enter through the Thessaloniki Airport Makedonia (SKG) if you’re heading to the north. If not, you’ll likely fly in through Eleftherios Venizelos Airport (ATH), which is often called Athens Airport. This one is ideal to connect you to the capital, the Peloponnese, and the islands in the south of the Aegean Sea.
If you want to get the best ticket prices when you are traveling from other places, for example Italy to Greece, you will want to try to book as far in advance as you can to secure the best rates. Skyscanner tends to make it easiest to find the cheapest tickets while giving you a view of them all from the airlines at a glance.
For the best time to visit Greece, you’ll love it between mid-April to mid-June or in September to mid-October. These timeframes are outside the summer high season which tends to be crowded with tourists and come with inflated prices, not to mention hot temperatures.
However, be advised that in the off seasons, you will find fewer boats and flights to the islands that you may want to see. Additionally, some of the shops, restaurants, and hotels on those islands may not open until June and will close in October. Make sure you check your destination first before planning your itinerary to Greece.
You’ll find many hotel options in Greece that can go from basic to extravagant. To check out a Greek hotel, the stars you see are used for public areas, pools, and amenities in your room rather than service rating. There are major chains as well as Greek chains to choose from.
You should know that if you see a double room in Greece, you should not assume it is a room with a double bed. This may be a room with twin beds, so if you are looking for a double bed, be sure to check first to avoid disappointment.
If you’re looking to splurge, there are some delightful options that will make your stay in Greece exceptional. The Coco-mat Athens BC Hotel is a brilliant 5-star option in Athens with a sophisticated style that intrigues from the moment you enter the lobby. A soothing spa, roof garden views, and upscale hospitality make it an iconic hotel.
Grande Bretagne gives you views of the Acropolis, Parliament, the Olympic Stadium, and many more. It too provides you with 5-star luxuries entrenched in opulent history since 1874. The Canaves Oia Boutique Hotel is more boutique yet an apt meld of classic and contemporary in a dazzling format that grants you views of the Aegean Sea.
Makedonia Palace Hotel is prominent, accessible by water, and even offers a business center if you’re in town for work. And if you want to visit Crete, the Grecotel Creta Palace is an absolute must for one of the most hospitable and stunning hotels you’ll find.
You can view the approximate prices for these hotels and other resort options in Greece in the chart featured below.
Canaves Oia Boutique Hotel
Coco-mat Athens BC Hotel
Makedonia Palace Hotel
Grecotel Creta Palace
Once in Greece, you can use the trains to get around to the other cities. It’s a lovely way to see more while you get to your various destinations. As for getting around once you’ve arrived in the city you’re visiting, the public buses can help. They are great for tight budgets, though be aware that they are overcrowded. You’ll need to purchase bus tickets in bigger cities and then have them validated after you board. Keep your ticket though because if you don’t have it when an inspector comes around, you can be fined as much as 30 times more than the cost of your ticket.
You may consider renting a car, and if so, stick to the international ones. If you run into trouble, local Greek rental agencies likely won’t be of much assistance. You must get written permission from the car rental agency if you’re taking that rental on a ferry or into another country. Also, you must make sure you have an International Driver’s License if you are a non-E.U. driver. Parking is also a challenge, which is why many people use taxis instead.
As for the islands, a ferry is the way to go. Be forewarned that they can make you a bit queasy but some of them have excellent amenities like discos and restaurants to make the crossing through the waters more fun.
Since Greece has so many things to see, it can be a daunting task to try to plan your itinerary. Here are just a few suggestions:
In Athens, you should see the Academy of Athens, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Acropolis Museum, Ancient Agora of Athens, Parthenon, Plaka, Panathenic Stadium, Syntagma Square, and Mount Lycabettus.
In Crete, don’t miss the Palace of Knossos, Chania Old Town, and Spinalonga Island. Visiting the Cyclades Archipelago is amazing enough in its own right. You’ll also want to try to see Delphi, Thessaloniki, Santorini, and Mykonos. With all those landmarks, the beaches and islands are something you shouldn’t miss either, so see if you can plan to at least see one of those during your visit.
When visiting Greece, you should know some important things before you arrive.
Now that you know what to expect when you’re in Greece, start planning your itinerary. Then you can count down the days until you arrive!
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