Holidays in Greece - Travel Essentials
The Euro came into force as official Greek currency on January 1, 2002, and completely replaced the drachma on March 1 of that year. Currently one Euro is worth around US$1.20 and £0.69. For up to the minute exchange rates visit www.xe.com/ucc.
Important telephone numbers
The national number to call for the police is 100, and for the tourist police is 171. (Tourist police are much more likely to speak English).
Number to call in case of fire: 199
For medical emergencies/ambulance assistance: 166
In case of automobile emergencies: 104/174
The international dialling code for Greece is +30. The British Embassy in Greece can be found at 1 Ploutarchou Street, 106 75 Athens (ph: (30) 210 727 2600. British consulates are located in Thessaloniki and Corfu.
Communications - Post
The Greek postal system is known to be reliable, but slow. A postcard or letter weighing less than 20 grams and sent to North America or Europe will cost Euro 0.65. If you plan to send a parcel you must be prepared to show the contents of any package to a postal clerk before it is wrapped.
Internet access is widespread throughout Greece in cafes, internet kiosks and some post offices. Wireless connection facilities are available in most hotels.
Phone cards can easily be bought at kiosks or at an OTE (Telecommunications Organisation of Greece) office. They come in denominations from Euro 3 upwards, and the larger the cards’ value the cheaper calling units are. Larger Greek towns and cities will have OTE offices where you can make calls in a private booth and pay when the call is complete.
Visitors to Greece who carry EU passports require no visa to enter the country. Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and the USA require no visa for holidays of up to three months in length.
Important: Greece will refuse entry to anyone whose passport indicates that they have visited Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus since November 1983.
Office hours vary considerably throughout Greece, depending on the form of business, its location and the demand it may have. Governmental offices are open from Monday through Friday from 8am to 3pm. As a rule of thumb if you need to get something done in an office you should go on a weekday morning to be guaranteed that they are open and ready for business. Greek banks are open from Monday to Thursday 8am to 2pm, and on Fridays until 1:30pm. Some banks providing foreign exchange may be open longer hours, but all are closed on Greek public holidays. Almost all shops are closed on Sundays unless you are in a particularly tourist oriented area - their services and stores may well be open for extended hours. In a lot of areas an afternoon siesta is kept and shops may be closed between 3pm and 5pm.