Travelling to Greece?
DOs and DON'Ts

On May 1997 I went to Greece with my wife. We don't like arranged travels and we prefer to travel on our own, because we think is the only way you can get in touch with the real country and its people. This way of travelling is harder and more expensive than others, but also more pleasant, relaxing and, that's the best, gives you a different point of view on the culture and way of life.

After my experience here you have my advice if you plan to travel on your own to Greece. You have to understand that this is MY PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW and that it is not my intention to criticize the people or culture of Greece. You also must take into account that these observations are from year 1997. Things might have changed (either in the right or in the wrong way) since then.

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4 user comments

#4 - Richard G8JVM - 12/Jun/2012 - 09:00
Having spent several weeks every year for the last 15 years on the mainland and a few of the islands, after driving down with my own car from the UK, I cannot agree with the initial statement.
Athens is like most big cities, I t does have an excellent subway system and the public transport is well integrated.
Buy a ticket you can use all day its not expensive.
The Greeks are are a naturally friendly people, they will treat you the same as you treat them, especially when you get out in to the country. Look for tavernas used by Greeks , not the tourists, in fact if you want to see the real Greece stay away from the tourist hot spots.
Unfortunately dont bother to use the Greek repeater system which is linked ,unless you speak fluent greek, I've never had an answer :)

#3 - greek - 10/Feb/2012 - 22:54
oh! and almost forgot: Don't expect drivers to stop for you to cross the street or anything THAT kind. I can reassure you we're not THAT evil in our lives. but with the steering wheel we get transformed :P

when driving, always be careful and don't assume that the other driver will respect priority/speed limit/etc. If you want to ride a bike be careful of doors opening at parking lines, pedestrians assuming you will stop for them and drivers taking turns in front of you...

#2 - greek - 10/Feb/2012 - 22:42
hey, just came here randomly, I actually live in Greece. I read the article by curiosity and I must say it is not that accurate, maybe because it's been so many years since 1997. So here is some of my advise:

1) Prefer the supermarkets and not the street kiosks. They have significantly better prices, and actually there are many of them.

2) Bakery stores can provide you with good quality breakfast, you can tell the better ones mostly by the smell ;)

3) Definately try the local cuisine, it is one of the richest cuisines worldwide and it's not just moussaka and souvlaki. Go where the locals go, restaurants targetting tourists don't have the best quality and charge more. Ask the locals for recommendations, don't go to the first tavern in sight. Also you can find top quality fruit with good prices at street markets, if you happen to find yourself at one.

4) DON'T take a cab, unless you really have to. Cab fares are way TOO expensive and most drivers will try to overcharge you, considering you don't know the place and prices. In urban areas public transportation will serve you well, in rural areas you'll have to ask a lot to find bus stops and timetables. Prefer bus to train, it tends to be cheaper.

5) Most prices are fixed and you cannot really negociate at a store, but you should try of course. Definately negociate prices with street vendors, most of them will make you a better price or something...

6) Greek people don't have the best sense of time. So don't be surprised if someone comes late at a rendez-vous or serves you slow. You could always complain to avoid repetition, but there's no real use... :P

7) Greece actually has a nightlife, especially during the summer. And thank God it's not all about those pathetic nightclubs advertised. There are PLENTY of bars for every taste where you can enjoy a drink at night, many of them have live music without extra charge some days of the week/month. But the best part is that many people enjoy their beer in public, at squares, parks, beaches... Such "gathering" spots are the best places to meet locals and interact, or you can just sit and observe (in a poetic way), even "do your thing" like practice your hobby, dance...

8) I have no idea about hotels... But if you're into camping know that free camping is illegal. There are places where you can set your colony (:P) but mostly locals know the "out of sight", cool camping places. Also there are a few unofficial free-camping friendly places, but don't expect to find them on a tourist guide. Google it or ask, I don't know... Organised camp sites are not a sure thing, some of them are really nice, some of them are shitty, try to find recommendations before booking, and don't trust the website photos...

GOD I could write a whole guide with cool places not in guides, plus advise, but that was intended to be a brief "update" to the initial post.

See you around, well informed!

#1 - demetrius - 09/Mar/2010 - 16:24
Was 1997 and we have 2010. I agree with the gentleman. My advice is to be in atention because of criminality that we have in greece last years and cams by the big number of ilegal immigrants. My advice is to not travel alone in greece. Always with company or group. Before you travel beter know the place that you want visit and have informations. Thats it.

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