Greece is a European country often referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and culture. It has had a huge impact on European art, culture, history, philosophy, language, etc. It is brimming with historic artifacts and remains of its history that tourists and visitors rush to see every year, and to top it all off, it also flaunts its gorgeous turquoise coastline, one of the prettiest ones in the entire Europe.
It’s got around 6,000 islands, sandy beaches and clear waters, bright as day. Greece really is a dream for tourists, and while it is generally safe, there are parts of it that should be avoided if possible. However, following basic common sense and watching out for any possible dangers should get you through the trip smoothly.
Warnings & Dangers in Greece
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Greece is a very safe country to travel to. Tourists are unlikely to experience any crime or violence. The only concern is petty crime on the streets, but if you apply the basic precaution measures, your trip should go smoothly.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Taxis and other means of transportation are, overall, very safe to use in Greece.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
Pickpocketing and bag snatching does exist, but it's not as common as you would expect. Picpockets usually lurk around popular tourist destinations and big cities like Athens, but applying simple precaution measures should minimize this risk.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
Other than the ever-present risk of drowning at sea, there are no other threats in Greece when it comes to natural disasters.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
Greece is relatively safe when it comes to mugging or kidnapping. It rarely happens to tourists, but you should avoid dangerous areas. Ask around for advice or in local tourist organizations regarding what parts of Greece to avoid.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Even though there haven't been any terrorist attacks in Greece's recent history, they shouldn't be ruled out.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Since Greece is a top tourist destination, it is no wonder that people will try to scam you, especially during summer when the number of tourists increases. Watch out for street vendors trying to rip you off and overcharge for their service, double check the authenticity of everything you want to buy as well as the change you receive and negotiate everything in advance.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
It is very safe for women to travel to Greece. Just following common sense and applying basic precaution measures (not walking around in the dark, in empty streets, not finding yourself alone with strange men) should ensure that your travel goes without any incidents.
So... How Safe Is Greece Really?
Greece is very safe to visit. Ranked 39th on the ranking of world’s safest countries, it is very welcoming towards its tourists and risks that are listed here are unlikely to happen, and even more so to tourists, but they shouldn’t be ruled out due to the serious economic crisis Greece is in and due to the fact that it really is a top tourist destination.
Pickpocketing and bag snatching are serious issues in Greece, especially around tourist landmarks and in crowded places, so it would be best to either leave your money at your hotel or just carry it in a very safe place near your body so it couldn’t get snatched. Never carry all your money in the same place. Even though petty crime is common, violent crime is unlikely to happen. The only thing that can happen are fights between intoxicated tourists on the streets and even that doesn’t happen more than it would in any other country.
Since the economic crisis, there have been some organized protests happening in Greece, which can lead to fights between the police and the protesters so you should avoid any kinds of public gatherings connected to the politics, for your own safety.
Apart from looking out for your belongings and staying vigilant for any pickpockets, you are unlikely to experience any crime in this gorgeous country.
- Visas - Visas for Greece are usually not required for any stays lasting less than 90 days, and EU residents can stay in the country for as long as they like. Your passport should be valid for at least six months past the date of your return from the country you are visiting. However, if you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality.
- Currency - Euro is the official currency in Greece. You can exchange your money in exchange offices and banks all around Greece, and use ATMs normally. There are, however, some restrictions when it comes to the amount of money you can withdraw per day. Greece is relatively cheap compared to other European tourist destinations, so you can count on spending between 60 and 80€ per day.
- Weather - The weather in Greece is sunny and warm during summer, mild during autumn and spring and cold during winter. It has all four seasons of the year, although they are milder. The best time to visit is during summer, from May to September, although you should count on major crowds along the coastline at that time of year. Major cities can be visited all year long.
- Airports - The busiest airport in Greece is Athens International Airport, located in Athens, and the second busiest one is Heraklion International Airport.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Greece, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.