What is the currency in Greece?
The currency in Greece is the euro. If you’re planning a trip to the fabulous destination of Greece, this guide explains everything you need to know. Wondering about what currency Greece uses and if you can pay by card here? We’ve got it covered for you.
Currency in Greece
What currency does Greece use? It’s a common question - and the answer is the euro. Greece was one of the 12 countries that started using euro notes and coins in January 2002.
Today, as one of the 20 countries that use euros, it’s very easy to buy currency for a holiday in Greece. If you want to secure a good rate for your travels, you can buy your euros in advance Order now for delivery to your home, or for collection at a store near you.
What was the currency in Greece before the euro?
People often ask about Greek currency before the euro, which was the drachma. Drachma coins were some of the earliest currencies ever used - they were in wide circulation as early as the 6th century .
Drachma were replaced for a short time in the 19th century by a new currency called the phoenix. Having gained independence from the Ottoman empire, Greek leaders decided to bring in this new currency in 1828. It was short-lived, however, and the historic drachma was reinstated just four years later .
What are the denominations of the euro?
One euro is made up of 100 cents.
- 1 cent
- 2 cent
- 5 cent
- 10 cent
- 20 cent
- 50 cent
There are also €200 and €500 notes, but these are less common because of their very high value.
Can I use my bank card in Greece?
Many shops, hotels and restaurants will accept payment by credit or debit card but do remember that there are often hidden fees when you use your card abroad. Speak to your bank to understand what it will cost you to use your card for payments in Greece.
Mastercard and Visa are generally accepted in outlets, and contactless payment is the norm. Not many places may accept American Express and Diners Club cards, so it can help to have an alternative to hand if needed.
Bear in mind that the Travelex Money Card lets you make contactless payments and can also help you manage your holiday budget. Keep an eye on your spending through a Travelex Money App - and make top ups if needed.
While it’s increasingly possible to use contactless payments in Greece, it’s always a good idea to carry some euros in cash for taxis, buses, snacks, and drinks.
Using ATMs in Greece
ATMs are widely available in Greece, although in very remote islands you may need to travel to find one. Again, there are often transaction fees and exchange costs that could make it costly to withdraw money. Every bank is different, so check before you travel.
Our Travelex Money Card can also be used to withdraw cash at an ATM if needed.
How much currency will I need to travel to Greece?
The amount of euros you will need for your trip to Greece will depend on a few factors. Here are a few things to consider in working out how much cash to take to Greece.
Will you be paying for meals? Many people choose all-inclusive or full board options in their hotels. In which case, you won’t need to worry about money for food and drinks unless you plan to leave your resort.
Is your accommodation already paid for? We often pre-pay for hotels and apartments before travelling, but if you’re travelling around or haven’t pre-booked, you might need to factor that into your budget.
Do you like sightseeing and experiences? If you plan to visit some sights, take a boat trip, go scuba diving, etc., you will need extra cash to fund these.
What are your travel plans? Will you be taking buses, taxis or island-hopping on boats and ferries? Or hiring a car for a few days? These are all additional costs to consider.
While you can use a card for some of these expenses, cash can sometimes be simpler and faster – especially if you are heading into more remote areas.
Get your euros delivered right to your door!
Most travellers like to be well prepared for their holiday, and it’s always helpful to have some local currency to hand when you arrive at your destination.
You’ll get our best rates at Travelex by ordering your euros in advance. Choose whether to buy cash, to load up a Travelex Money Card - or both. Order online now and your currency will either be posted to your home or you can collect it in your nearest Travelex store.
Want to learn more about Greece and what to expect on your trip? Take a look at our Greece travel guide. And if you’re aiming to keep costs down on your trip, don’t miss our budget travel guide to Greece.
- Greek drachma: Meaning, Overview, history, FAQ (2023) Investopedia. Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/greek-drachma.asp (Accessed: 28 September 2023).