Depending on your nationality, the duration, and the reason for your stay in Greece, it may be necessary for you to obtain a visa before leaving. In this case, you should apply to the Greek Consulate or Embassy in your home country. For citizens of European Union countries, a current valid identity card is sufficient. However, if you are a citizen of another country, a passport is obligatory, with a visa for certain countries. You do not need any inoculations for Greece and there are no currency limitations. Travellers in possession of codeine-based medication are subject to severe penalties, unless they declare their medication upon entering the country.
Summer is hot and dry. Clear, cloudless skies are the norm in the lowlands of Greece. The mean annual temperature in Athens is about 17A^?C (about 63A^?F). Extremes range from a normal low of -1A^?C (30A^?F) in January to a normal high of 37A^?C (99A^?F) in July. The cooler mountainous areas are rainy during summer and snow-covered in the winter. Rainfall varies among regions. In ThessalonA~?ki, for example, less than 38 millimeters (less than 1 inch) of rain falls in some years, while parts of the western coast receive about 1,270 millimeters (about 50 inches).
The Euro is now the official currency of 12 EU member states (including Greece). One Euro (A^EUR) = 100 centime. Notes are in denominations of A^EUR500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5. Coins are in denominations of A^EUR2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 centime.
The public is able to exchange any remaining drachma banknotes until 1 March 2012 at the Bank of Greece.
All major Credit Cards as well as Euro-cheques are recognized and accepted in most hotels, shops, travel and car rental agencies, and restaurants. Stickers in the front windows will advise you as to which cards are acceptable. Traveller's cheques issued by the major companies are widely recognized. You can cash your traveller's cheques in all Greek and foreign banks, exchange bureaus and big hotels. Be sure to have your passport with you; identification is necessary for the transaction.
UTC / GMT + 2 hours, add 1 hour during DST (Daylight Savings Time)
Greek time is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, an hour ahead of Central European Time and seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Along with the rest of continental Europe, the clock is advanced one hour during summer from the end of March to the end of September (almost a month earlier than the UK, the US and Canada). Therefore, keep in mind that the time difference with these countries is one hour greater for some weeks in April and October.
In general, opening hours are from early morning (8 or 9 am) until early afternoon (2 or 3 pm). The aforementioned hours are also applies to most tourist attractions. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, stores (not banks, museums, or post offices) will reopen in the evening from about 5 pm until 8 pm. In the summer time, hours are sometimes extended and during the peak of high season, some attractions stay open all day. On Sundays, it is rare to find any stores open outside of the tourist districts.
It is best to head out early in the morning to see museums, archaeological sites, monasteries, and other tourist attractions. In the afternoon, take a siesta along with the rest of the country. Save your shopping and browsing for the evenings. If you are desperate, check the street kiosks, they are known to sell quite a wide variety of things that you would not readily expect.
OTE (the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization) offices are the cheapest way to make local or international calls. OTE offices are open from 08:00 to 14:00. Local and international calls can also be made from public phone booths and kiosks equipped with meters. Telephone cards can be purchased from kiosks and OTE offices.
Signs for post offices are usually bright yellow, as are post-boxes. There are stamp vending machines and post-boxes outside all central post offices. Parcels sent abroad must be inspected, so do not wrap and seal them beforehand. Brown paper, soft padded envelopes, and cardboard boxes can be bought at the post offices.
The standard in Greece is 220V AC (50Hz). Appliances from North America require a transformer. British appliances will need an adaptor. It is recommended to bring adaptors and transformers with you, so that you do not have to spend valuable time looking for them during your stay.
Modern Greek is the official language. Turkish is spoken by a small fraction of the population. English and French are widely understood, and English is the main second language taught in schools.
In the summer, light clothing, a hat, and sunglasses are all you will need. A light jacket may be necessary for excursions over the water as the wind can sometimes make it a bit cool. Even in the summer, it is a good idea to pack shoes other than sandals for use in visiting archaeological sights, which usually require a bit of a hike. The spring and fall can be rainy so be sure to bring a light jacket, solid shoes, and an umbrella. In the winter, a heavy coat, warm sweaters, and winter shoes are necessary.
To enter churches, women are expected to wear skirts below the knee and have shirts that cover at least their shoulders. Men are expected to wear long pants and long sleeved shirts. People do enter with much less than the requirement, but it is seen as rude and disrespectful by the worshippers.
Greece has a good network of transportation options available to visitors. Air, rail, ferry, and bus services cater to long distance travellers while metro subway, taxis, and urban bus networks serve the demands of commuters and tourists alike. Rental cars are widely available as are motor cycles and scooters.
Health services are good and English-speaking doctors are easily found. Residents of EU countries are eligible to receive free emergency medical care. Medical insurance is a good idea for additional coverage or for those visitors not from an EU country.
In case of emergency call: