Money and Costs
Budget: Less than €100
- Dorm bed and domatio (Greek B&B): less than €60
- Meal at markets and street stalls: less than €15
- Double room in midrange hotel: €60–150
- Hearty meal at a local taverna: around €20
- Entrance fee for most sights: less than €15
Top End: More than €180
- Double room in top hotel: from €150
- Excellent dining, some accompanied by Michelin stars: €60–100
- Activity such as diving certification: around €400
- Cocktail: around €12
Bargaining is acceptable in flea markets and markets, but elsewhere you are expected to pay the stated price.
Debit and credit cards are accepted in cities, but elsewhere it's handy to have cash. Most towns have ATMs, but they may be out of order.
ATMs are found in every town large enough to support a bank and in almost all the tourist areas. If you have MasterCard or Visa, there are plenty of places to withdraw money. Cirrus and Maestro users can make withdrawals in all major towns and tourist areas.
Note that in small tourist villages, the only option may be a Euronet ATM (yellow and blue). These charge a €3.95 fee (compared to €2 to €3 at bank ATMs), and offer significantly worse exchange rates.
Be aware that many ATMs on the islands can lose their connection for a day or two at a time, making it impossible for anyone (locals included) to withdraw money. It's useful to have a backup source of money.
Automated foreign-exchange machines are common in major tourist areas. They take all major European currencies, Australian and US dollars and Japanese yen, and are useful in an emergency, although they charge a hefty commission.
Be warned that many card companies can put an automatic block on your card after your first withdrawal abroad, as an anti-fraud mechanism. To avoid this happening, inform your bank of your travel plans.
Nothing beats cash for convenience – or for risk. If you lose cash, it's gone for good. It's best to carry no more cash than you need for the next few days. It's also a good idea to set aside a small amount, say €100, as an emergency stash.
Note that Greek shopkeepers and small-business owners sometimes don't have small change. When buying small items it is better to tender coins or small-denomination notes.
Credit cards are an accepted part of the commercial scene in Greece. In fact, since 2018 (as part of the 'management' of the financial crisis) Greeks aged below 65 and earning an income have been required by law to have a credit card. As a result, hotels and commercial ventures must be able to process them.
The main credit cards are MasterCard and Visa, both of which are widely accepted. They can also be used as cash cards to draw cash from the ATMs of affiliated Greek banks. Daily withdrawal limits are set by the issuing bank and are given in local currency only (though you may be given the opportunity to accept or decline a fixed exchange rate of your home currency).
For current exchange rates see www.xe.com.
- Restaurants Tipping is not traditionally the culture in Greece, though it is appreciated. Locals tend to leave a few coins. Depending on where you are, you can round it up or leave around 10%.
- Taxis Round up the fare. There's a small fee for handling bags; this is an official charge, not a tip.
- Bellhops Bellhops in hotels appreciate a small gratuity of around €1.