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 to export antiquities (anything more than 100 years old) without an export permit. This crime is second only to drug smuggling in the penalties imposed. It is an offence to remove even the smallest article from an archaeological site. The place to apply for an export permit is the Antique Dealers and Private Collections section of the Athens Archaeological Service.

Vehicles

Cars can be brought into Greece for six months without a carnet; only a green card (international third-party insurance) is required. If arriving from Italy, your only proof of entry into the country may be your ferry ticket stub, so don't lose it. From other countries, a passport stamp will be ample 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.

If you wish to stay in Greece for longer than three months within a six-month period, you require a visa from the Greek embassy in your country of residence. You are unable to apply for this in Greece. Unlike student and work visas, tourist visas are rarely granted for more than three months.