Greece is a Schengen Treaty member. This means that EEC citizens can use their ID cards instead of other travel documents to visit the country.
However, passports are required for other activities, such as currency conversion, air travel within Greece, or credit card verification. For citizens from countries that are not signatories of the Schengen Treaty, a visa is required and can be obtained locally. More information is available at Greek embassies and consulates, or from your travel agent. Visas are not required for bearers of valid passports from the following countries that are planning to stay in Greece for less than 90 days:
Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Holy See (Vatican City), Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, USA, Uruguay and Venezuela.
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The Region of Attica is, without doubt, a safe place to be.
Athens, a vibrant lively city with a population of 4 million, is a friendly and safe capital. One can walk around almost everywhere day and night, knowing that the police are discreetly present in most areas. Of course, like everywhere around the world, visitors should pay proper attention in keeping their personal belongings safe.
If unsure about the areas you are going to visit, please consult your hotel concierge before planning your route.
Calls to 100 can be made from any phone. You will be connected according to the precinct of the area you’re calling from. For a complete list of police station phone numbers, check the relevant website of the Greek Police.
Calls to 166 can be made from any phone. You will be connected to the relevant emergency dispatch of the area you’re calling from.
Athens is as safe as any other major European city. Much like anywhere in the world, using common sense will help you avoid trouble. Don’t flaunt expensive jewellery, keep your wallet in your front pocket, be alert when you use public transportation and avoid deserted streets at night. The police presence has increased over the past few years, so it’s normal to see armed police teams on motorbikes patrolling the major tourist areas in Attica.
Demonstrations and strikes take place in our country with relative regularity. For Greeks, the right to demonstrate or strike is the ultimate expression of their democratic rights. However, there’s no need to worry, as demonstrations and strikes don’t last long and are announced in advance. We post information on upcoming strikes as well as useful tips on how not to let them affect your stay on our Facebook page.
Greek hospitality is one of our nation’s most legendary values. Despite the economic crisis, Greeks maintain their eagerness to host, entertain and treat their guests well. Although some countries’ foreign policies are unpopular, foreign visitors are certainly not! Not just because Greeks like to host, but also because now more than ever the Greek economy depends on tourism. As everybody in Greece is aware of this, you’ll notice that locals are on their best behaviour and the level of service is truly superb. In addition, the crisis has driven prices down, which provides an extra incentive for tourists to visit the country at this time.
There’s nothing to worry about if you get lost. Since most Greeks speak English fluently, all you have to do is ask a passer-by to help you with directions and they will happily do so. Alternatively, you can ask for help at one of the countless kiosks found on the street. In addition to selling a wide range of goods including newspapers, cigarettes, chewing gum, drinks, chocolates, aspirin, toothpaste and the like, kiosks act as information points for both locals and visitors, with friendly staff who are always eager to help.
In case of an earthquake
Please follow the following instructions:
If you are at the interior of a building
- Remain calm
- Take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture (table, desk etc), stand on your knees and hold on to the leg of the table or the desk
- If a sturdy piece of furniture does not exist, stand on your knees in the middle the room, staying as low as possible and trying to cover your head with your hands. Keep away from large glass surfaces such as windows, or furniture and objects that might hurt you.
- Do not try to leave the building.
- Do not get out on a balcony, if one exists
If you are in a tall building
- Keep away from glass windows and outer walls
If you are in a shopping mall or a big commercial store
- Remain calm
- Stay exactly where you are until the tremble comes to a stop
- Don’t get swept away by the running crowd which is moving unorderly towards the exits because there is a high risk of being stepped over.
If you are at an open space
- Get away from places situated exactly underneath buildings or from places where there are telephone or electricity cables.
- If you are carrying a handbag, put it over your head in order to protect yourself.
If you are in a car
- Go to an open space and stop the car somewhere where it does not impede the circulation of other vehicles
- Keep away from tunnels or bridges
If you need assistance, you can call the emergency services: 100 or 199, from your mobile phone.
For more self protection guidelines please visit: http://www.civilprotection.gr/en/guidelines