Dreaming of a Greek escape? From the historic landmarks in Athens to the crystal clear waters surrounding the islands, Greece is a dream destination for many. But, just how much does it cost to go to Greece? Read on to find out.
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, make sure to 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 Gold Rewards Card gives you a signup bonus of up to 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which have a minimum value of $300 (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. Keep in mind, Greece can be a very seasonal destination, especially if you plan on visiting the islands. High season in Greece runs from mid-June into early September with the shoulder seasons being May and October.
You could also consider flying elsewhere in Europe, say London or Paris which both tend to see cheaper airfare options, then jump on a short 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 you’ll need to cut your time in Greece, so keep that in mind.
Accommodations in Greece can be a bit tricky to estimate because it really depends on location. A hotel in Santorini, for example, will cost significantly more than a hotel on, say, Naxos. You also need to take into consideration what type of accommodation you are looking for. Greece has lots of beautiful luxury properties, but there are also some great mid-range finds as well. Greece is a country where you want to take a look at Airbnb since prices can be much lower than hotels. Use my Airbnb referral link now to get $45 CAD off your first stay.
For the purpose of this article, I’ve averaged out 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 your accommodation costs.
Keep in mind that prices of accommodation in Greece will also fluctuate based on the season. Mid-June until the end of summer is 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 125,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points. Plus, get complimentary Platinum Elite status with your Card for the 2021 status year (apply by Jan. 13, 2021).
Canadians should consider the BMO World Elite Mastercard since it typically has a sign up bonus worth more than $200 and the annual fee is normally waived for the first year. There’s also the Marriott Bonvoy American Express which gives you 51,000 Marriott Bonvoy when using a referral link. That’s enough points for up to five free nights at some hotels which could easily have a value of over $650.
Getting around Greece can be surprisingly expensive, especially for those who want to go out to the islands. There are two options for island hopping in Greece: ferries or flights. You would think that ferries would be the cheapest option, but that isn’t always necessarily true. Especially when you take into consideration how long some of the travel times are. For example, Athens to Santorini is 9 hours on the fast ferry.
On the islands themselves, you may want to consider renting a car (about $30/day) as the bus systems can be limited. 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 really 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 really 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 2 islands.
When it comes to attractions in Greece, you’ll likely spend the most in Athens. With so many historical sites, it’s worth it to see 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 of 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 in 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 local spirits like ouzo or tsipouro, and of course the wine, you’ll fall in love with Greek food.
Like in every other destination, the prices of food can really 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 good prices.
Easy street foods like gyros and souvlaki will cost under $5 for a meal, while big seafood plates can be over $30. Again, it depends on the destination and where you choose to eat. Local beer and wine tend to be much cheaper than cocktails and all visitors should know that you cannot drink the tap water on the islands. It’s ok in Athens and other places on the mainland, but on the islands, you will need to buy bottled water.
With that in mind, an average budget for daily meals (including drinks) will look something like this.
- Breakfast: $5
- Lunch: $10
- Dinner: $20
That works out to $35 per day but keep in mind that it’s customary to tip about 10% in restaurants.
It’s always good to have an extra bit of money in your budget for random spending. I’d allow $100 for Greece. You may want to pick up some souvenirs, 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.
So, how much does it cost to go to Greece? Based on my estimates, two weeks in Greece will cost you about $4,455 per person.
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. 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 and Scotland, Ireland, and Malta.