Unless you are living under a rock, you have heard about the financial crisis in Greece. Having voted against the EU sanctions, it seems likely that the problem will continue for some time.
The British Foreign Office has advised British tourists travelling to Greece to avoid relying on cards and that cash will be the best form of currency as political and economic uncertainty continue in the country. They advise travellers to take care enough cash and whatever prescription drugs they might need.
Greece is a beautiful country, and there are lots of things to do! Now could be a perfect time to visit, as no doubt all this crisis concern will reduce the crowds dramatically. Our advice would be to heed the warnings by the authorities, stay away from large crowds and be careful. With tourists arriving bringing loads of cash, there could be an increase in pickpocket and even robbery activity, so use your hotel safe, don’t go about flashing cash and just generally stay safe.
One last point is worth noting: during times such as these, we tend to upgrade our hotels slightly to stay in a 4-star or 5-star property. The reason is that usually these properties will have better safes and some kind of security policy. It’s up to the individual traveller, of course, that’s just us, but you may want to consider it. Here is a list of Hotels in Athens – for other areas just change the search parameters.
As always, please let us know of your experiences on the trip by posting to our Facebook page. Even as I am writing this, we’ve just received a report from a friend who recently returned:
“…It was a great trip. Here are things I recommend; 1) since tourism is down there are very few places to exchange money. In Thessaloniki there were only two locations, one at the airport & the second in town. The exchange rate was not that good. Banks no longer exchange. Second, you can use a credit card in larger Restaurants. Get a card that has a chip, it’s much easier. Getting money out of ATM is possible, but fees are high. Around $10 per transaction. The younger generation speak English. I learned long ago to ask, not just assume- may I speak to you in English? You get a better response (even in France)…”
At those rates, we’d advise to exchange money in your home country or another European country prior to entering Greece.
We hope this helps, and above all have a great trip!