How Much Does it Cost to go to Greece?
Have you wondered how much does it cost to go to Greece? From the historic landmarks in Athens to the crystal-clear waters surrounding the islands, Greece is a dream destination for many. The country is one of the more expensive destinations in Europe, but it doesn’t have to be.
I have based this article on a two-week trip to Greece (14 days and 13 nights). Please note that this guide is based on the costs for a single person. If you are travelling as a couple, double these estimates (except for hotels).
Local transportation $300
Food and drink $455
Random spending $100
Total $4,455 USD
The above estimate is in American dollars, so please use xe.com to find the average costs in your home country.
If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Platinum Card gives you a generous welcome bonus that’s often worth more than $900 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees, and it comes with airport lounge access.
Unfortunately, Greece seems to be one of the most expensive destinations to fly to in Europe, at least for North Americans. Of course, you may get lucky and find a seat sale, but for the most part, you can expect to pay around $800 for a roundtrip flight, perhaps more depending on when you go. Remember that Greece can be a seasonal destination, especially if you plan on visiting the islands. The high season in Greece runs from mid-June into early September, with the shoulder seasons being May and October (April is a bit too early for many of the islands to be open).
You could also consider flying elsewhere in Europe, say London or Paris, which both tend to see cheaper airfare options, then jump on a budget airline flight (Ryanair or Easyjet are both common ones) to Greece. It may be a better deal money-wise, but then you’ll also probably have a longer travel time or need to cut your time in Greece, so keep that in mind.
Accommodations in Greece can be tricky to estimate because it depends on location. A hotel in Santorini, for example, will cost significantly more than a hotel in, say, Naxos. You also need to consider what type of accommodation you are looking for. Greece has many beautiful luxury properties but also some excellent mid-range finds.
For this article, I’ve averaged the cost of a mid-range hotel in some of the most popular spots in Greece, which equals approximately $200 per night. I should point out that these places, while the most popular, also tend to have higher prices. So if it seems too expensive, consider other islands, and you’ll easily be able to cut down on your accommodation costs.
Remember that accommodation prices in Greece will also fluctuate based on the season. Mid-June until the end of summer is the high season, while May and September/early October are shoulder seasons.
Need some recommendations? Take a look at the following:
- Hostel: City Circus Athens or Athens Backpackers
- Mid-range: St George Lycabettus or B4B Athens Signature Hotel
- Luxury: Amalia Hotel or Electra Metropolis
- Hostel: Bedspot Hostel
- Mid-range: Costa Marina Villas or Laokasti Villa
- Luxury: Canvas Suites or Anemi House & Villas
- Hostel: MyCocoon Hostel
- Mid-range: Sea Wind Villas or Aphrodite Beach Resort Hotel
- Luxury: Archipelagos Hotel- Small Luxury hotels of the World or Palladium Hotel
If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. Americans should strongly consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card since you can earn up to 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and $300 back at U.S. restaurants as a welcome bonus.
Canadians should consider the Marriott Bonvoy American Express, which gives you up to 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. That’s enough points for a few free nights at some hotels, which could easily have a value of over $500.
Getting around Greece can be surprisingly expensive, especially for those who want to visit the islands. There are two options for island hopping in Greece: ferries or flights. You would think ferries would be the cheapest option, but that isn’t always true. Especially when you consider how long some of the travel times are. For example, Athens to Santorini is 9 hours on the fast ferry.
On the islands, you may want to consider renting a car (about $30/day) as the bus systems can be limited, and taxis are costly. It is also common to rent ATVs or motorbikes on the Greek Islands. However, you will need to have experience driving one before, and it’s not recommended as the roads aren’t in the best condition. Please note you do need a valid driver’s license to rent any type of vehicle
Local transportation costs will depend on how much island hopping and exploring you plan on doing, but you should budget at least $300 for this part of your budget if you plan on visiting at least two islands.
Regarding attractions in Greece, you’ll likely spend the most in Athens. With so many historical sites, it’s worth seeing a few. The Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum are a must. Depending on your schedule and interest in history, you may want to take a day trip to Delphi or Meteora.
Once you are out on the islands like Corfu, Crete and Santorini, there aren’t as many paid attractions. The big draws here are the beaches, villages, and natural scenery. You may come across a couple of smaller sites and places you want to visit, such as the Akrotiri archaeological site on Santorini, but for the most part, you won’t have to pay to see and do things on the islands. That said, the volcanic islands and sunset cruise is a great way to see Santorini from a different vantage point.
With that in mind, I recommend allotting about $200 towards attractions in Greece.
Food and drink
The food and drink in Greece are both amazing. From the gyros and fresh seafood to local spirits like ouzo or tsipouro, and of course, the wine, you’ll fall in love with Greek food.
Like every other destination, food prices can vary depending on where you are and what you eat. Mykonos and Santorini are by far the most expensive islands, while places like Naxos, Paros, and Amorgos make it easier to get big meals at just a few euros.
Easy street food dishes like gyros, Greek salad and souvlaki will cost under $5, while big seafood plates can cost over $30. Again, it depends on the destination and where you choose to eat. Local beer and wine are much cheaper than cocktails, and all visitors should know that you cannot drink tap water on the islands. It’s ok in Athens and other places on the mainland, but you will need to buy bottled water on the islands.
With that in mind, an average budget for daily meals (including drinks) will look something like this.
- Breakfast – $5
- Lunch – $10
- Dinner – $20
Your food costs add up to $35 per day, but remember that it’s customary to tip about 10% in restaurants.
Having extra money in your budget for random spending is always good. I’d allow $100 for Greece. You may want to pick up some souvenirs, such as olive oil or honey. Or maybe just a bottle of wine or two for evenings on the balcony of your hotel. If you don’t spend it, that’s fine, but it’s nice to know that the little extra money is there.
Greece trip cost
So, how much does it cost to go to Greece? Based on my estimates, your Greece costs will be about $4,455 per person for two weeks. Remember, this estimate is based on visiting the most popular islands (Santorini and Mykonos), which are also the most expensive. You can easily cut these costs by choosing other islands (Naxos and Paros are beautiful) where everything from food and drink to accommodation is more affordable. You could also lower your costs by skipping the summer months of July and August. Greece as a country is beautiful, and no matter what parts you choose to visit, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out my guides on Canada, Spain, Morocco, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Belize, and Malta.
Frequently asked Questions
When is the best time to visit Greece?
I like to visit Greece in the spring and fall when the islands are still open, and the weather is warm but not too hot or crowded. The Mediterranean climate in peak season, which is July and August, may be nice for beaches but can be incredibly hot for any historic sites like the Parthenon, Delphi, Meteora, or Olympia (where the ancient Greeks hosted the Olympic Games).
What are the best Greek islands?
This is dependent on what your interests are. Are you looking for the famous idyllic white buildings, blue-domed churches, and ocean sunsets? Go to Santorini. More into beach clubs and parties? Head to Mykonos. Are you a history lover? Consider heading to Crete or Rhodes. These are just some of the most popular islands. Greece is home to 6,000 islands, so you can find at least one to suit your interests.
What is the cheapest Greek Island to visit?
Typically the lesser-known islands are the cheapest ones. So, none of the ones on a ‘must-see’ list. That doesn’t mean that these islands aren’t nice. Chances are they are smaller, not as built up, and perhaps a bit trickier. Some islands with a reputation for being more budget-friendly include Agistri, Hydra, Lefkada, and Sifnos.
What are the best places to go in Greece for the first time?
This is customizable, but many first-timers will visit Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini as these are the best known-islands and travel between all options is easy by plane or ferry.
Is it expensive to visit Greece?
This is very dependent on where you go in Greece. Some places, especially the islands of Mykonos (known for nightlife) and Santorini (known as a honeymoon destination), have a reputation for being expensive. While other, smaller islands are much more affordable.
Additionally, how much you move around will also play a big role in your budget. Ferry tickets for island hopping can add up quickly and significantly to your budget. So, if you’re on a tight budget, choose smaller, less popular islands and stay on them longer. This will reduce your overall expenses while not affecting your itinerary too much.
Additionally, you could travel during the low season and use public transportation to lower your costs even more. Avoid car rentals as they can be expensive.
What should you not miss in Greece?
Most people head to Greece for the islands, which is fair. They are incredible. But I think you should also add a day or two in Athens. It’s a cool city with a fascinating history. I also do recommend Santorini. It’s iconic for a reason, and no, you don’t need to be on your honeymoon or travelling with a romantic partner to enjoy it. Just keep in mind that Santorini is quite pricey, so budget accordingly.
How many days in Greece is enough?
I recommend at least two weeks in Greece to allow you to hop around and see a few different spots though if you can afford to spend longer, you may want to. Plan your island hopping accordingly. Ferries are fast, but most still take a few hours to go between the islands, and you don’t want to waste your vacation days sitting on a boat. For the bigger and further islands, it might be worth flying.
Is Greece safe for tourists?
Absolutely. Of course, you need to always be mindful of your belongings and be cautious of your surroundings. Pickpockets can be a problem in some places, and Athens has a few shady neighbourhoods. But use common sense, as you do everywhere else, and you will be fine.
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