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Visiting Greece

Your coming to Greece! What to know.

Last Update June 10, 2024

What's impacting travel into Greece in 2024? Inflation continues to effect the pricing of nearly everything, of course, but now "overtourism," a word that heralds the success of one of Greece's most important economic centers in the post-pandemic era, is also a word that reveals the downside of that success.

One of the results of this increasing number of visitors is a new tax ("climate crisis resilience fee") on tourists for 2024, which is used to help pay for last year’s forest fire disasters.This tax replaces the old "bed tax" or "stayover tax" that applied to overnight stays in hotels, apartments, and other accommodations.

In related news, the price on Greece's Golden Visa program has increased from €250K to a top rate of €800K for special areas.

Travellers visiting Greece are no longer required to fill out the Passenger Locator Form (PLF).

Additionally, for as long as the epidemiological data allow so, all travellers arriving in Greece, regardless of their country of origin, are no longer required to display a valid certificate of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19, or evidence of a negative test result from SARS-CoV-2 infection (PCR or Rapid Antigen test)."

From the Official Greek government website: Protocol for Arrivals in and Departures from Greece (May 2024)

Visit Greece


If you are planning to visit Greece and you are an American citizen, you will need the following documents:

  1. A valid U.S. passport: Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended stay in Greece. It is recommended that you have at least six months of validity remaining on your passport.
  2. A visa: Americans do not need a visa for short-term tourist stays in Greece of up to 90 days in a 180-day period. If you plan to stay longer, you will need to obtain a visa. Depending on the duration and purpose of your journey to Greece, you may apply for a short-term “Schengen visa” or a long-term “national visa” for a stay of longer than 90 days.

    To obtain an extended visa you must appear in person by appointment to a Greece Consulate office. In the Untied States those offices are:

    Consular Office in Washington DC
    2217 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

    Consulate General in San Francisco
    2441 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94123

    Consulate General in Boston
    86 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108

    Consulate General in Los Angeles
    12424 Wilshire Blvd #1170, Los Angeles, CA 90025

    Consulate General in New York
    69 E 79th St, New York, NY 10075

    Consulate General in Chicago
    650 N St Clair St, Chicago, IL 60611

    Consulate General in Tampa
    400 N Tampa St, Tampa, FL 33602

    Consulate in Atlanta
    Tower Place 100, 3340 Peachtree Rd NE #1670, Atlanta, GA 30326

    Consulate in Houston
    2401 Fountain View Dr #850, Houston, TX 77057

  3. Proof of onward travel: You may be asked to provide evidence of your return or onward travel arrangements.
  4. Travel insurance: It is not required, but it is highly recommended to purchase travel insurance to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation or interruption, and other unexpected events. International Travel Insurance
  5. COVID-19 requirements: Currently there are no special requirements regarding vaccinations or Passenger Locator Forms.
  6. Driving an automobile in Greece: you will need an IDP International Drivers Permit and you should look at this list of tips and rules for Driving in Greece.

It is always a good idea to check with the Embassy of Greece in the United States or the Greek consulate nearest to your location for the most up-to-date information on entry requirements.


As a UK citizen planning to visit Greece for a vacation, you need the following documents:

  1. A valid passport: Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended stay in Greece. It is recommended that you have at least six months of validity remaining on your passport.

  2. A visa: UK citizens do not need a visa for short-term tourist stays in Greece of up to 90 days in a 180-day period.

  3. Proof of onward travel: You may be asked to provide evidence of your return or onward travel arrangements.

  4. COVID-19 requirements: Currently there are no special requirements regarding vaccinations or Passenger Locator Forms.

If you plan to drive in Greece, you will need to carry your UK driving license or an International Driving Permit, along with proof of insurance and vehicle registration.

Temperatures: Averages for Greece throughout the year

Related: Real Estate in Greece

Related: Moving to Greece

Travel Tip:

Smartphone usage while traveling in Europe - watching out for border tariff costs

June 10, 2024: Story at Tag 24 MSN [English]

...if you’re close to a border with a non-EU country and your phone connects to a provider in that country you may find yourself facing higher bills... where Greece borders Turkey, for example, on the Greek holiday island of Kos. A call using a Turkish network can cost up to €2.29/$2.48 per minute. Northern Cyprus is also partially classified as part of the Turkish tariff zone..."

Media Links

Especially during tourist season (roughly May to October) there is an onslaught of media coverage of tourism to Greece. The reports vary in quality and purpose: many are written by armchair travellers who are in an apartment of an American or European city and they're projecting info they've gathered online. But, there are plenty of first-person stories that specifically tell what, where, how and why of their visit and provide up-to-date info about the many places within Greece that attract visitors.

Cheapest destinations in Greece for 2024 are these three stunning islands

May 31, 2024: Story at Travel off Path [English]

The "exotic" Greek island off the coast of Aegina with only a monastery and unusual wilflife

May 25, 2024:Story at Iefimerida [Greek]

Lighthouse on Andros Island a reminder of Greece's rich shipping history

Since it was renovated [1994], it has been one of the area’s most significant tourist attractions.

May 23, 2024: Story at Greek Reporter [English]

Eating breakfast in Greece

May 22, 2024: Yahoo Style [English]

Your yogurt will likely be served plain and unflavored but with flavorful Greek honey on the side meant for drizzling over the protein-rich offering, perhaps with some walnuts crumbled on top. Depending on the season, you'll find juicy oranges, plump figs, or wild Grecian berries to enhance the yogurt and dip in the local honey..."

Making a day trip to the famous Meteora mountains and monasteries

May 22, 2024: Story at MSN Little Family Adventures [English]

From Athens, Meterea is a great day trip and is the perfect opportunity for discovery and relaxation for all ages. You can rent a car and make the 4 hour drive or take the light rail from the Athens station (5 hours) like I did. Either way, it’s worth every minute."

More info and photos of Meteora

"I've written guidebooks about Greece for 15 years. Here are the hidden-gem locations you've been missing."

A discussion of locations like: Symi, Rhodes, the Peloponnese, Hydra island, and more: "My favorite place to visit is Nafplio, which is a two-hour drive from Athens and the country's original capital."

May 22, 2024: Story at Business Insider [English]

Important Links for Travel

Official Greek government website: Protocol for Arrivals in and Departures from Greece

Airports of Greece - list at the Hellenic Aviation Authority

Protocol for Arrivals in Greece - Hellenic Republic Government page in English.

Moving to Greece, Living in Greece - Some helpful resources

Eurail to Greece

Airports of Greece - list at the Hellenic Aviation Authority

West Nile VIrus

What is West Nile Virus? A mosquito-borne disease most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. [Source: CDC USA page in English. For a related new article see this August 2022 piece at Outbreak News Today also in English.]


West Nile Virus In 2021, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recorded 139 infections with wth 57 cases in Greece with 9 deaths (see the website for the EU Disease Control Center, Nov 12, 2021 here)

West Nile Virus In 2020, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recorded 143 infections with 23 deaths (see the website for the EU Disease Control Center, Nov 27, 2020 here)

There were 223 cases of West Nile Virus in 2019, and 300+ cases in 2018. This is a threatening ailment though with less than 1% of cases proving to be fatal. Spread by mosquito, the virus produces a fever and when serious, other complications (the American CDC page on West Nile is here). Health care on mainland Greece is considered very good, however the islands frequently have much more limited resources. (For reference see European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control ECDC Europa.)


Worry over early West Nile mosquito problems

May 15, 2024: Story at Eleftherostypos [Greek]



For stays in Greece longer than 90 days see this Greek Government page on VISA requirements.

Passport checks increase travel time - In 2017 the Schengen Borders Code regulation EU 2017/458 began implementation, and the Greek police began enforcing these stricter border controls in April of 2019. Making sure you have the appropriate paperwork and identification with you is important. US citizens usually only need a passport with trips of 90 days or less into Greece, beyond that time frame a visa is required. For more info see:

Hellenic Embassy Washington DC web site

Hellenic Embassy London UK

Hellenic Embassy Australia

Tourism and crime

Crime against tourists - Greece has a quite low level of violent crime, and the typical issue a tourist faces is theft while using the metro subway or while using public spaces. Besides stealing valuables, passport theft is a problem, and many authorities recommend keeping the passport locked up safely at the hotel while carrying a photocopy of identification.

Why tourism is such a large business in Greece

Tourism in Greece is very important and contributes 18% [1] of the country GDP. The government and private enterprise regularly invest in making international tourism a relatively simple affair for the traveller (for example, some 51% of Greeks around Athens are rated to have some English language skills) with a high regard for the visitor's comfort and enjoyment, with an extensive focus on just getting a tourist entourage from one place to another effectively.

Each year the tourist season (heaviest May to September, though tourism flourishes all year) edges upward in total numbers of visitors such that records seem to be broken almost yearly for total number of arrivals, and 2018counted an all-time high of 33 million visitors (see this GTP article for details).

The economic crisis brought about a 26% contraction in the Greek economy between 2007 and 2013 [2] resulting in extensive turmoil in employment, business and banking, and this hurt tourism somewhat, but another result was an even sharper focus on this renewable income maker for the country, and as the Greek finances have improved, so has an explosion of activity to expand the tourist trade, in in 2019 increased construction and expansion of existing properties catering to tourism has increased.

Related: Places in Greece

EURAIL to visit Greece

The EURAIL system carries passengers into 31 different countries, and beginning in 2019 EURAIL began including 53 islands as part of their routes by using ferries, in particular Blue Star Ferries and Superfast, both part of the EURAIL system. The island pass system does not include the Greek mainland, which is a separate add-on that can be purchased for use with a EURAIL pass.

Euro Rail Lines Map

The Global Pass lets you travel in these 33 countries [source:]:

Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey.

For purchasing tickets for EURAIL, use the EURAIL WEBSITE RESERVATION PAGE.

For more info and an overview of costs, see this short but informative March 2019 article online at Travel and Leisure

Driving for yourself in Greece

Informative article on getting around under your own power 13 Essential Tips on How to Drive (Safely) in Greece - Greek Reporter

Recommended resource:

Athens Survival Guide - There's nothing like this site, it is full of photos and the personal experiences of Matt Barrett over many decades in Greece.

Online eTickets

Online etickets for archeological sites, etc. - - managed by the Archaeological Resources and Exploitation Fund of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

The Acropolis in Athens Greece







Parga Greece


More Greece locations


1, 2 Economic contraction - Source: CIA World Fact Book

Related: Touring Greece

Archived Visiting Greece Pages

Visiting Greece highlights from 2021

Visiting Greece highlights from 2019

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International Real Estate

Buying Real Estate Overseas For Cash Flow (And A Better Life): Get Started With As Little As $50,000

Published by Wiley, 1st edition August 11, 2020, 240 pages

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Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation - AMAZON - Published March 2020 - 600 Pages
GREECE BY NIGHT More News - ArchivePhotos of GREECE
Greece's Golden Visa program
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Greece Travel 2024

Visiting Greece Page 2019

Visiting Greece Page 2021

Visiting Greece Page 2022

This page last updated May 21, 2024

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