Greece is a spectacular country to visit, which is why its capital, Athens, is included in our list of the best European capitals to visit for its entertainment and great food. Aside from this major city, travellers love Greece for its amazing beaches like Navagio and popular tourist destinations like the Parthenon. As a first-time visitor, there are many things you’d want to do upon landing in Greece, such as island-hopping or sightseeing. However, you must know a few things to make your stay trouble-free. Here are a few of them:
Avoid any smoking
Greece’s anti-smoking bill prohibits smoking in many locations, including indoor public places, playgrounds, and open-air areas. Violators will be fined up to €500, so it’s best to avoid smoking altogether. Instead, try alternatives such as nicotine pouches and patches instead. The Velo nicotine pouches sold by Prilla come in different flavours, including spearmint, cinnamon, and citrus burst. Tuck one pouch under your upper lip, so it sits between your cheek and gum. Enjoy the pouch for about 30 minutes and dispose of it in a bin after use. The Nicorette patches by Johnson and Johnson deliver nicotine for 24 hours. Place it on your skin and let the nicotine absorb into your bloodstream.
Both nicotine pouches and patches are discreet, making them perfect to use in public. Pouches are small and used orally, while patches are often transparent or translucent. By using alternatives, you can ensure that you abide by Greece’s anti-smoking rules while on vacation.
Behave yourself when drinking
Unlike other European countries, Greece is much more lax with its drinking laws. While there is an age limit to purchase alcohol, there is not one to consume it. The drinking culture in Greece is very social, and public displays of drunkness are frowned upon.
If you’re drinking in public spaces, don’t get rowdy or act obnoxiously, as these will provoke unwanted attention and dirty looks. You most likely won’t be fined, but following local customs as visitors is important to show respect. Instead, follow the locals’ example and drink in moderation. Stick to drinking in bars or clubs and drink responsibly to avoid trouble to make your first trip to Greece as enjoyable as possible.
Be aware of dress codes
Certain locations, such as churches and sacred monuments, observe dress codes. Greeks are known for being quite orthodox, which is why many residents dress conservatively. To show respect, it’s a must to dress accordingly.
For instance, since sleeveless shirts and extremely short bottoms aren’t allowed in churches, try wearing longer, less form-fitting clothing when heading to these places. Alternatively, you can pack extra clothes to change into when you’re touring destinations or bring a scarf as a cover-up. The scarves created by Loewe are lightweight and silky—perfect for Greece’s warmer temperatures during spring or summer. Awareness of dress codes gains you entry into destinations that will enrich your first trip.
Ask permission before taking photos
Taking pictures when travelling is almost a non-negotiable these days, especially if it’s your first time visiting a certain place. It’s a great way to remember fun times and share them with your friends and family back home. Nonetheless, it’s vital to ask permission before taking photos. Most destinations like museums permit no-flash photography for personal use, except in certain areas or exhibits. Other places—like monasteries, sacred monuments, and military establishments—prohibit photography.
Taking pictures when it’s not allowed may get you fined, banned, or in trouble with the authorities. If you want to take photos and are unsure if it’s permitted, ask any attending employees you encounter. Otherwise, take the time to appreciate the destinations you visit to keep them locked in your memory.
Download a ride-hailing app
The most convenient transportation method in Greece is the taxi. These take you directly to your destination rather than dropping you off at stations, which reduces your chances of getting lost as a first-timer. Plus, they’re quick and easy to book. The ride-hailing app Beat is the most successful and popular, connecting individuals with cab drivers. It’s under the mobility service provider Free Now, which operates other ride-hailing apps in Europe like Kapten in France. Beat displays the fare before you get into the car, so you know you’re not getting ripped off.
Download this app in preparation for your trip. Do note that Beat is only available in larger towns and cities, but taxis are still available in other areas. If you’re staying in a place that doesn’t support a ride-hailing service, ask your accommodation for taxi service numbers. Knowing the best transportation option allows you to visit the destinations on your itinerary successfully.
Reserve ferry tickets in advance
Greece is a peninsular country with an archipelago of around 3,000 islands. These islands are home to beautiful sandy beaches and crystal clear waters—a must-see for every first-timer who wants to fully appreciate the country’s beauty.
Going island-hopping by ferry is the best way to tour one of the most beautiful Greek islands like the Cyclades and Dodecanese, so you get ample time to explore and indulge in different activities. The common practice is to book your ferry tickets at least 24 hours in advance to ensure you get your preferred seats. If you’re travelling during the holiday season, reserve your tickets at least ten days prior because they sell out quickly. This guarantees a smooth island-hopping experience for your first trip.
Bring cash everywhere
Credit cards like Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted worldwide, including in Greece. Still, this is only true for the mainland. Have cash on hand if you plan to visit the islands or lesser-known tourist destinations because cash machines may be scarce in these areas. Since more rural areas seldom have ATMs, it’s best to withdraw your local currency while in the airport. Usually, 5, 10, 20, and 50 Euro notes are commonly used, so try to have these denominations. This way, you can pay for any goods and services no matter where you are.
Greece is a beautiful country with great food, fantastic beaches, and unique tourist destinations. To prevent getting into trouble during your stay, avoid smoking, rowdy drinking behaviour, ignoring dress codes, and taking pictures without permission. Remember to always bring cash, reserve tickets early, and download a ride-hailing app to fully enjoy your first time in Greece.