Is Greece expensive? Our budget travel tips
Greece is a uniquely beautiful and welcoming country to explore - and while the Eurozone can often be more expensive than other areas, Greece can still be a budget-friendly travel destination. With good advice and a bit of planning, you can have a fabulous trip without spending a fortune.
In this guide we explore costs in Greece for food and drink, what to budget for travelling around Greece, and how expensive Greece is in general.
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The cost of transport in Greece
Travelling around Greece is all part of the adventure, and there are lots of options depending on where you’re heading.
But is Greece expensive for travel? The good news is that, compared with other European countries, it’s pretty budget friendly.
|Type of travel||Pros|
|Flight||Fast, regular, some low-cost fares ||Flights are not available to all islands. Most originate in Athens|
|Ferry||The main option to travel between Greek islands||Can be costly, especially for a long crossing|
|Train||Affordable on some routes||Few routes in Greece, most heading to and from Athens|
|Bus||The most popular public transport option. Cheap, regular, reliable||Can be delayed, and you are limited to set bus routes|
|Taxi||A good backup if there is no bus service||Expensive over long distances|
|Car hire||Freedom to travel when and where you wish||More costly, with additional fuel costs|
Transport in Athens
Many people start their visit to Greece in the capital, Athens. It has excellent public transport including a good affordable subway system. The city also has an extensive tram and bus network.
In most other towns, regions and islands, buses are the primary form of transport. As always, prices vary by distance, usually starting at around 1 euro.
For longer journeys, KTEL is the main bus operator in Greece. You can generally buy tickets at a bus station .
There are few train routes in Greece, and most start in Athens. Trains can be slow, but may be quicker than a bus on some routes. Athens to Thessaloniki takes about four hours with costs from around €20 .
Ferries are a big part of Greek travel, as it has more than 200 inhabited islands. A typical price for a foot passenger on a ferry is €35 per trip, but you could spend much less travelling between nearby islands, or more for a longer crossing. Some ferries are only for foot passengers, while others take cars .
Travelling by ferry takes planning, as there are many crossings and different operators. Ferries are seasonal: there are more services from June to August, and far fewer from October to April.
There are regular local flights between Athens and many islands. These can be fairly low priced depending on the season. A last-minute flight from Athens to Rhodes, for example, can be around €50 before tax .
The average cost of flights to Greece
There are lots of options to reach Greece by air and it can be very low cost if you travel outside July and August.
Here are a few top tips on finding a good value flight :
- Budget carriers like easyJet and Ryanair have cheap daily fares into Athens.
- Also check deals with traditional airlines like BA and Lufthansa.
- Greek airline Aegean is another source of cheap fares from all over Europe.
- Charter airlines fly direct to many Greek islands such as Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Mykonos, Kefalonia, Corfu, Santorini, Zante and more.
- If you can be flexible about when you travel, you can often find flights for under £100 per person.
- Flights are cheapest in December. July tends to be the cheapest month for summer.
How expensive is Greece for accommodation?
Hotel costs vary enormously by star rating and board basis. A five star, all-inclusive hotel could cost more than £200 per night, while a three star B&B could be as little as £25 .
Typical cost: from £75 per night.
Holiday apartments again vary widely depending on the property. A room in a private house, like an Airbnb, is usually the cheapest option, while a private villa with a pool will be pricey. Holiday lets are a good choice for a group, as you can split the cost.
A hostel offers cheap, no-frills accommodation, often in a shared dormitory. Expect to pay on top to hire bedding. Most Greek islands have at least one hostel and you can often book in advance online.
Wild camping is not allowed in Greece. A campsite can be a very cheap option, but they do vary. Large, family holiday campsites may cost more than a hostel. Smaller, more remote sites will be cheaper, especially outside July and August.
You can rent tents in some campsites, but it’s usually cheaper to bring your own.
Is Greece expensive for food and drink?
Fortunately, Greece is relatively cheap for food and drink. Greek food is already familiar to many of us - with tasty examples including houmous, mezze, moussaka, calamari, halloumi, Greek salad and souvlaki kebabs. You can also expect fantastic seafood.
Food prices in Greece
Greece is inexpensive for eating out compared with other parts of Europe. Ordering a platter of mezze - a selection of dips, breads, olives, cheese and snacks can be a cost effective and delicious option.
Buying souvlaki from a street vendor will give you a hearty meal for just a few euros. To really keep your food budget down, shop in a supermarket and prepare your own meals.
The best budget-friendly attractions in Greece
Two of the most historic locations in Greece are the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens. On the island of Crete is the Palace of Knossos, famous in Greek mythology as the site of the Minotaur’s labyrinth.
However, it’s perfectly possible to have a fantastic time in Greece without paying for any experiences or attractions. Exploring villages and beaches can be all you need.
That said, most islands have something low-cost to enjoy, from caves and boat trips to donkey rides.
Get ready for your trip to Greece and buy your Euros now
Make sure you get a great deal on your holiday currency by ordering in advance. Buy your euros now for home delivery or store collection.
Don’t forget you can use our Travelex Money Card lets you make contactless payments and manage your holiday budget. Just simply top up before your trip or on the go.
You can find out more about spending in Greece in our Greek currency guide and learn more about this fantastic destination in our Greece travel guide.
- Buses in Greece & Greek Islands (KTEL): Greeka (2023) Greekacom. Available at: https://www.greeka.com/greece-travel/buses/ (Accessed: 28 September 2023).
- Trains from Athens (no date) Trains & ferries from Athens to other European cities | Times, fares, tickets. Available at: https://www.seat61.com/international-trains/trains-from-Athens.htm (Accessed: 28 September 2023).
- Greek ferry schedules for 2023 (no date) ferryhopper. Available at: https://www.ferryhopper.com/en/blog/ferry-news/greek-islands-ferry-schedules (Accessed: 28 September 2023).
- Domestic flights in Greece: How to get fast to the Greek Islands (2023) Letters to Barbara. Available at: https://letterstobarbara.com/domestic-flights-in-greece-islands/ (Accessed: 28 September 2023).
- Flights to Greece (2023) Skyscanner. Available at: https://www.skyscanner.net/flights-to/gr/cheap-flights-to-greece.html (Accessed: 28 September 2023).
- How much do hotels cost in Greece? hotel prices for Greece (2023) Budget Your Trip. Available at: https://www.budgetyourtrip.com/hotels/greece-GR (Accessed: 28 September 2023).