Visitors to Greece with EU passports are rarely given more than a cursory glance, but customs and police may be interested in what you are carrying. EU citizens may also enter Greece on a national identity card.

Visitors from outside the EU may require a visa. Be sure to check with consular authorities before you arrive.

Customs Regulations

There are no longer duty-free restrictions within the EU. Upon entering Greece from outside the EU, customs inspection is usually cursory for foreign tourists and a verbal declaration is generally all that is required. Random searches are still occasionally made for drugs. Import regulations for medicines are strict; if you are taking medication, make sure you get a statement from your doctor before you leave home. It is illegal, for instance, to take codeine into Greece without an accompanying doctor's certificate.

It is strictly forbidden in Greece to acquire and export antiquities without special permits issued by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture/General Directorate of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage (gda@culture.gr). Severe smuggling penalties might be incurred. It is an offence to remove even the smallest article from an archaeological site.

Vehicles

Foreign-registered cars (with non-Greek licence plates) can be brought into Greece to be driven for up to six months over a 12-month period; A ‘green card’ (international motor insurance card) or equivalent proof of sufficient third-party liability insurance is needed for all counties of origin outside the EU/European Economic Area. Your proof of entry into Greece may be a passport stamp at the border station. If arriving from Italy by boat, you may use your ferry ticket stub as evidence.

Visas

Generally not required for stays of up to 90 days; however, travellers from some nations may require a visa, so double-check with the Greek embassy.

More Information

The list of countries whose nationals can stay in Greece for up to three months without a visa includes Australia, Canada, all EU countries, Iceland, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the USA. Other countries included are the European principalities of Monaco and San Marino and most South American countries. The list changes though – contact Greek embassies for the latest. The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs publishes an updated list of countries requiring visas (www.mfa.gr/en/visas).

If you wish to stay in Greece for longer than three months within a six-month period, you will probably require a national visa (type-D) from the Greek embassy in your country of residence. You are unable to apply for this in Greece.