Traveling to Greece

Visas

Travelers to Greece must have a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel, and at least 2 blank visa pages. If you hold a passport from any other country, please check the requirements. Those passengers requiring a visa for Greece will need to obtain a multiple entry Greek visa. The list of countries requiring visas is liable to change at short notice and therefore you should check with the Greek embassy in your home country. http://www.mfa.gr/en/visas/visas-for-foreigners-traveling-to-greece/

Language

The official language in Greece is the Greek language and because of our touristic heritage English is also widely spoken and understood, especially in touristic locations, hotels and stores.

Credit Cards

All major international credit cards including American Express, Diners Club, Master Card or Visa are generally accepted in shopping malls, supermarkets, stores, hotels and restaurants.

Currency

Greece's monetary unit is the Euro. No other currency is accepted and it is best to exchange dollars or other currency at a bank. The exchange rates are all the same throughout the country and you exchange money at a bank or official exchange shop where you will get the best running rates. Currency exchange shops and banks in very touristy areas charge high commissions, so make sure you know what the commissions are before you commit to a transaction. Banks are open from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM. If you want to exchange your money at the airport you can use the exchange office at the luggage pickup area.

Public Transportations

The metro network in Athens was upgraded for the Olympic Games in 2004. An interesting fact: during the improvement works 50,000 ancient artifacts were discovered.
The Athenian Metro network consists of three lines:
• Line One (M1): runs between the stations of Piraeus and Kifissia.
• Line Two (M2): runs between the stations of Anthoupoli and Elliniko.
• Line Three (M3): runs between Egaleo and Doukissis Plakentias (with an extension to the Airport).
The Suburban Railway network consists of two lines:
• Dark Blue Line (P1): runs between the stations of Piraeus and Kiato.
• Yellow Line (P2): runs between the stations of Ano Liosia and the Airport.

Drinking, eating, and smoking are prohibited in the Metro. It is however, a very convenient way of getting around Athens, all stops are written in Greek and Roman script. The metro is available between 06:30 in the morning till 23:30 in the evening. It leaves from Athens airport metro station every 30 minutes. The trip from Athens airport to the center of Athens (Syntagma Station) takes 40 minutes. A one-way ticket for one person costs 10€.

Cell Phones

Taking your phone with you and using it as normal will often be your easiest option. These days free Wi-Fi Internet is everywhere—at museums, coffee shops, hotels, airports, even on some trains and buses. If your phone can connect to Wi-Fi, then you can use it, in order to make voice and/or video calls using a Wi-Fi calling app (download one such as Skype or Viber - for text messages, try WhatsApp).

Athens Airport Bus

There are four different bus routes starting from Athens airport. They are available 24 hours a day - 7 days a week. You can catch the bus from the designated area at the arrivals level (between Exit 4 and Exit 5). The buses leave every 30 to 60 minutes depending on the route.
Route X95: Syntagma - Athens Airport is most useful if you wish to get directly to the Divani Caravel Hotel, where the classes will take place. You can either get off at Evangelismos Station and walk to the Hotel, or get off at Syntagma square and get a taxi to anywhere in Athens with quite low cost. Tickets are available from the bus drivers, from the ticket kiosk at the bus departure area. There are only one-way tickets and cost €5.

Taxis

Taxi cars in Athens are yellow with an illuminated sign marked "TAXI" on top. One can stop taxis in Greece by simply raising a hand or go to Taxi stands, which are located in many parts in Athens. It may occur that the taxi already has passengers inside or board other people during the ride, as it is common to share taxis in Greece. This practice is usual in Athens, not in the small towns. When the sign on top is lighted, the taxi is available for hire. There is a minimum fare for the short taxi rides and then the price is settled by the meter. Taxis in Greece double their fares between midnight and 05:00 am. Also note that there is an extra charge for picking up from the ports, train and bus stations but also for luggage.

Car Rentals

The minimum age to rent a car in Greece is 21, but some rental companies may charge more for drivers under 25 years of age.
The international companies such as Avis, Budget Rent A Car and Europcar are based at Athens international airport and also have offices in downtown Athens and multiple locations across the country.
What you need before renting a car in Greece:
• An international driving permit is necessary for non-EU citizens (a national driving license is accepted for EU citizens).
• Two photos and a small fee.
• Check with the rental company for any special restrictions (e.g. car classes for younger drivers).
• Check if fees need to be paid if you wish to leave Greece with the vehicle.