Travel Tips

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Greece Money & Banks

Greece is one of about 30 European countries that uses the Euro as currency. You may get  better deals when working with cash rather than your debit or credit card with merchants.

Also - you will be charged less of a transaction fee if you withdraw Euro’s from the numerous ATM machines (that can easily be found in any of the towns rather than credit card transactions (which can charge a 3% transaction fee or more for foreign purchases). Note that in general, you will get a slightly better exchange rate if you buy something directly with a credit card, rather than with cash taken from an ATM. Make sure when taking your credt card or debit card abroad, to tell your bank/credit card supplier you will be doing this, so that they don’t stop your card because it looks like fraud. And its always a good idea to have a second card as a spare just in case. For U.S.A travellers, note that PINs in Europe are 4 numeric digits only, if you have a 6 digit PIN, change it to 4 numeric before you leave.

Either credit card or debit card will be substantially better (perhaps as much as 10%) than with cash that originated via Travellers Checks. If you change TC's at hotels or shops (for the few shops that will do this) there will be a charge and usually a poor exchange rate. Even for Euro TC's, there is nearly always a charge, dont exect to get 100 Euros when you hand over a 100 Euro TC. Maybe you'll get 95 - 97.

Greek banks have limited hours: Monday-Thursday from 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM and Friday from 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM. It’s important to bring your passport and patience, as you’ll undoubtedly experience at least one long line. Larger hotels, travel agencies and “authorized” bank agents will exchange money, but beware the extra fees and commissions. Travelers’ checks and small-denomination foreign-bank notes are the safest forms of money to carry.

Also, airports do not neccessarily have ATMS in them (Karpathos, being an example) so make sure you either know where to go to get cash when you arrive, or that you have enough on you for your arrival.

The site of each bank has a page where you can look up for their ATM network or for their branches. So find below the links that will take you to this page of each bank, starting from the major ones:

1.National Bank of Greece -General address:
Bottom right of the page there is a box saying service points where you can search for ATMs:!ut/p/c1...
You can also search for branches in Greece or outside Greece.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an English version where you can search for ATM network even though they have a page for this in the Greek version. So if you are in Greek page click on “Δίκτυο ΑΤΜ” and it will take you to a map of Greece . From there you can search by pointing over the area you want but everything will be in Greek.

Greece - Emergencies

General Emergency number in Greece is 112.

This number can be called when faced with any emergency situation is toll-free and operator independent. As mobile coverage is extended all over Greece (even over open seas – Greek Islands) using your mobile phone is the most convenient means of accessing emergency services.

Other emergency numbers are:
- Police 100
- Ambulance Service 166
- Fire Department 199


Most of the Greek Accommodation - Hotel  stays include breakfast (BB) and fewer of them breakfast and a meal (HB) in the room rate.

An additional tip is is not obligatory, but it is common to round off the amount, especially when paying in cash. For example, you may choose to pay 20 Euro for a 18,60 Euro bill, if you are satisfied with the service. Such tips can be left on the table, or you may tell the server that you don't expect to be given any change. In general, a 10 to 15% tip is usually sufficient.

ALWAYS check their menu, don't stay on the page with the salads. Last tip, do follow the locals, or even ask them, as they know much better.

Tipping is optional keeping in mind most young waitresses/waiters rely on their tips as wages can be low in Greece, and as elsewhere, it is polite to tip for good service.

Important Phrases

The bill please - To logariasmo parakalo
Where is .... this (address, monument, shop, person)  please? - Pou ine afto parakalo?
How can I go... there? - Pos mporo na pao...eki?
Good Morning- Kalimera  (pron. calli-mare-ah)
Good afternoon/evening - Kalispera ( calli-spare-ah)
Good night - Kalinihta
Please- Parakalo
Thank you- Efharisto
Excuse me' where is. . .?      Sighnomi, pou ine. . . ?
Cheers ( when wishing to all in your table )    -    Stin yghia mas ( Ghia mas )
Cheers  ( when wishing to someone not in your table )  - Stin yghia sas ( Ghia sas )
Hello!   -   Ghia su! ( yassoou)
I am sorry idon't understand. . .  -  Sighnomi, dhen katalaveno. . .
How much is this ? - Poso kani afto parakalo?