Fire and rescue services
We now advise:
Exercise normal safety precautions in Greece.
We now advise:
Exercise normal safety precautions in Greece.
Health advice due to COVID-19 is continually changing. Rules and restrictions to prevent outbreaks can change quickly. It’s important to regularly check the rules in the destinations you’re travelling to and transiting through.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Petty crime is a serious issue in tourist areas, including Monastiraki and Syntagma Square in central Athens. It also occurs on public transport.
Theft is common on buses and trains to and from the Athens airport. This includes pickpocketing, bag snatching and slashing luggage to steal belongings.
To reduce the risk of theft:
Tourist scams exist in Greece, including taxis, hotels, restaurants, and vehicle hire services. If you have been the victim of a scam, report your claims to the nearest Police station and be prepared to support your claim with evidence.
Physical and sexual assault
Racially motivated and homophobic attacks have been reported.
To protect yourself, don't walk alone in isolated areas at night, especially:
There's a risk of drink spiking on major tourist islands and on cruises. Be alert to this risk on the islands of Mykonos, Santorini and Ios. Don't accept drinks from strangers or leave drinks unattended.
Terrorism occurs in Europe. Terrorists have attacked some European cities.
Targets across Europe have included:
European security services have disrupted some planned attacks in recent years.
Radical groups have staged attacks, mainly in Athens. Attackers have previously used bombs or guns. People have been injured but rarely killed. Substantial damage to buildings and vehicles can occur.
Terrorist targets have included:
Terrorists haven't targeted tourists. But some attacks have happened near popular tourist areas in central Athens, such as Syntagma Square.
To protect yourself from terrorism:
Report suspicious activity or items to the police.
If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Protests and riots
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent. Rioting can also break out with little warning in Athens and other cities, including Thessaloniki.
Protests occur regularly, mainly in central Athens, in areas around Syntagma Square, Omonia Square and Exarchia. These actions can disrupt public transport and roads. These happen at short notice.
Take precautions in Exarchia at night because of the risk of civil unrest.
Civil unrest is more likely on days of national or commemorative significance. This includes:
To protect yourself during periods of unrest:
Road closures are common in Athens. Officials don't always announce them in advance.
Contact your airline, travel agent or insurer for help with transport disruptions.
Monitor the media for news on strikes that may cause road closures.
Transport and tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards.
If you plan to do an adventure activity:
If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
Bush and forest fires often occur during the summer months, from June to September. They're most common in heavily forested regions.
Forest fires are highly dangerous and unpredictable. Information (in Greek) on fires is posted by local authorities and @112Greece on social media sites. Alert messages (in Greek) may be sent by local authorities to mobile numbers advising of critical incidents.
Earthquakes and volcanoes
Get updates from the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.
If a natural disaster or severe weather happens:
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. Consider whether you may be in a vulnerable category for COVID-19.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare, or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Greece. Take enough legal medicine for your trip in its original packaging.
Carry a copy of your prescription and a letter from your doctor stating:
Codeine and other prescription opiates can only be issued with a prescription from an accredited Greek medical professional.
COVID-19 remains a risk in Greece. If you develop fever and/or respiratory symptoms 14 days after you enter Greece, it's recommended that you stay indoors and immediately seek medical attention. You can also call the 24-hour information hotline 1135 for more information. The initial information will be in Greek. Wait for an operator to ask your question in English.
For information on Greece's COVID−19 vaccination program, refer to the Greek Ministry of Health's vaccination website. You should consult your local health professional for advice on vaccine options, including assistance that may be available locally. The Australian Government cannot provide advice on the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines that have been approved for use outside of Australia's regulatory process.
Measles is common in Greece. The country is experiencing an increase in measles cases.
Make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date before you travel.
Cases of West Nile virus (WNV) are reported in Greece. There's no vaccine to prevent it.
To protect yourself from disease:
Outbreaks of foodborne diseases, including brucellosis, sometimes happen.
To protect yourself from illness, avoid:
See a doctor immediately if you suspect food poisoning or have a fever or diarrhoea.
Services provided by hospitals and medical centres aren't free, and payment is required before you leave the facility. In some cases, the medical provider may ask you for payment, while you're seeking reimbursement from your insurance provider.
The standards of medical facilities and care vary in quality. Public hospitals in Greece are below the standard in Australia. Considerable delays may be encountered with non-urgent surgeries and other medical treatments at public hospitals.
Public hospitals can have shortages of medical supplies, including essential medication. They also have limited nursing care. You may be asked to pay a minor fee to receive medical treatment at a hospital or medical centre. Friends and relatives are usually required to give around-the-clock care.
Private hospital costs are high.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you may need evacuation. This is more likely if you're in a remote area or on a Greek island. You might be moved to Athens or another place with better facilities. Medical evacuation is not free and can be very expensive.
Public ambulances can be slow to respond to emergencies and vary in quality. Private hospitals operate their own ambulances and provide better quality service.
You're subject to local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug possession, use or trafficking, even small amounts, include heavy fines and prison sentences.
In Greece, it's illegal to:
It's also illegal to take photos of:
Driving offences may also attract heavy penalties.
Breaching laws can lead to severe penalties, large fines and jail.
Ask the Tourist Police about laws that affect tourists:
43-45 Veikou Street, Koukaki 11742
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Dual citizenship is legally recognised in Greece.
Greek males aged 19 and above have military service obligations. You may have to do military service if you're a male Australian-Greek dual national. This applies even if you are of Greek descent and were born outside of Greece.
There are penalties if you don't comply, and you may be prevented from leaving Greece.
Get advice from the nearest Greek embassy or consulate before you travel if you:
Dress codes are relaxed in tourist areas and resorts. Dress modestly in places such as churches and religious buildings.
Take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.
Avoid public displays of affection, especially in rural areas.
Same-sex sexual activity is legal but isn't widely accepted.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, including COVID-19 vaccinations and tests, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
Greece is a part of the Schengen area. This allows you to enter without a visa in some cases. Get an entry stamp in your passport from border control when you first enter the Schengen area.
Always carry a valid passport, even if you're travelling from another Schengen country.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice, and you will need a visa in some situations. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Entry into Greece
You no need to present a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative COVID-19 test result for entry into Greece. Australian vaccination certificates are now recognised by Greece's COVID-19 software scanning app.
As entry requirements can change at short notice, you should carry your COVID-19 vaccination certificate with you.
If you were born in Greece, you might have problems entering Greece if the place of birth stated on your Australian passport is no longer officially recognised by Greece.
Officials may deny you entry, especially if you're entering Greece from the Republic of North Macedonia.
We can't intervene on your behalf if Greek officials refuse you entry to Greece.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Always carry your passport when crossing borders, even within the Schengen area.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The official currency of Greece is the Euro.
You must declare amounts over 10,000 euros or equivalent if you're travelling between Greece and any non-European Union (EU) country. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
You don't need to declare it if you're travelling to or from another EU country.
You'll be fined if you don't declare it or declare the wrong amount when entering or leaving Greece.
Greece has daily ATM withdrawal limits. However, they don't apply to most major foreign debit and credit cards.
If you have Greek citizenship, you can only take up to 10,000 euros when leaving Greece.
Authorities may announce additional health and hygiene measures at short notice.
If you catch COVID-19, you must quarantine for at least 5 days. When your symptoms have subsided, you can leave quarantine but must wear a type N95/KN95/FFP2 or double face mask for another 5 days.
If you're fully vaccinated (including booster) and have come into contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, you'll need to wear a type N95/KN95/FFP2 or double face mask for 10 days and have a COVID-19 (PCR) or (RAT) test on the fifth day after exposure.
If you're vaccinated but haven't had a booster, or you're not vaccinated and have come into contact with a COVID-19 case, you must quarantine at home for 5 days and then, after isolation, wear a type N95/KN95/FFP2 mask or double mask for another 5 days.
Extension of stays in Greece beyond the allowed 90 days aren't automatic. Requests for extension with the relevant local authority should be lodged at least four weeks before the expiry date.
There has been an increase in the number of migrants and refugees entering Greece. There may be delays and crowding at entry points on some islands, including Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos.
Australian driver's licences are officially recognised as valid for use in Greece. If you're planning on driving in Greece, you may not need to hold an International Driving Permit. You can contact the Greek Embassy or Consulate for more information on your type of licence.
Your licence must be valid for the type of vehicle you'll drive. This can include quad bikes, motorbikes, mopeds, motor scooters and other similar vehicles.
You could face a large fine if you don't have the correct licence. Your insurance won't cover you if you have an accident.
Driving is hazardous. This is due to aggressive driving and poor-quality roads and vehicles.
Traffic police may direct traffic at major intersections even though the traffic lights continue to work. This can cause confusion when the traffic lights conflict with police directions.
Always follow the directions of the traffic police.
Drivers and motorcyclists often ignore traffic signals. They rarely give way to pedestrians, even when the pedestrian has a green signal to cross.
Take care when crossing the road, including at pedestrian crossings, controlled intersections, and footpaths.
Footpaths in Greece are very narrow and often blocked.
Check your insurance covers things like car hire and use of quad bikes, motorbikes or jet skis. Get advice on any gaps or conditions. For example, some insurers require you to have an Australian licence for those vehicles. If you're not hiring a vehicle from an international hire company, check what additional fees may apply for any damage to the vehicle.
It's illegal to drive while intoxicated or under the influence of any illegal substance. Insurers won't cover accidents when drivers are under the influence of alcohol.
Quad bikes and motorcycles
Quad bike and motorcycle accidents cause many serious injuries and deaths every summer on the Greek islands. Local authorities have advised it's illegal to operate or ride quad bikes and motorcycles while intoxicated.
Always wear a helmet. It's illegal not to wear one. It may also invalidate your travel insurance if you have an accident.
If you experience any issues with the operation of the bike, it's recommended that you return the bike as soon as possible to the rental company.
Only use licensed taxis. Always ensure the driver uses the meter. Be careful when using credit cards to pay fares. Ask for and check your receipt.
Ferries and large catamarans carry the bulk of visitors to the Greek islands. Some services do not provide suitable access for people with disabilities.
During the tourist season, from May to October, be prepared for high temperatures and large crowds at popular seaports.
Usually, there are only one or two brief announcements on ferries before arrival or departure.
In most cases, you'll need to carry your luggage up and down stairs. Help with luggage is usually unavailable unless you've booked a private cabin in advance.
On some Greek islands, such as Santorini, smaller boats or tenders transport cruise ship passengers to and from shore. Passengers using tenders may have difficulty getting up and down stairs.
Arrange for a coach or taxi to collect you in advance, or you may find it difficult to get transport.
Make sure your insurance covers:
Australian-flagged sailboats or yachts sailing in the Mediterranean may be subject to Greek and EU taxes and duties. Seek advice from the Hellenic Coast Guard or the nearest embassy or consulate of Greece before you travel. If you've been involved in a maritime accident, the Greek Coast Guard may request under its regulations to inspect your vessel to confirm it is seaworthy.
To find out about flight delays at Athens International Airport check their website or phone (+30 210) 353 0000.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Greece's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
For non-urgent criminal issues, contact local police at the nearest police station.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
The Tourist Police helps with non-serious crimes. It can provide police reports and certificates for theft of personal items and lost travel documents.
The office is at 4 Dragatsaniou Street, Klafthmonos Square in Central Athens and is open all year. Call (+30 210) 322 2230 or (+30 210) 322 2232.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular help, contact:
5 Hatziyianni Mexi Street
Athens 115 28, Greece
Phone: (+30 210) 870 4000
Facebook: Australia in Greece
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.