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Updates on Travelling to Greece

the city of Nea Penteli, Greece

On May 5, 2016, The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office issued the following travel advice.

The main public sector trade union has called for strike action on 6 and 7 May and other trade unions are expected to join the action. Public transport, including rail, tram and metro services, will be severely disrupted during this period.

Seamen and port workers have separately called a four-day strike from 6:00 a.m. local time on May 6 until 6:00 a.m. on May 10. This strike will disrupt all ferry and port operations throughout mainland Greece and its islands. You should contact your ferry operator for further advice. There’s no indication strike action will affect air travel.

Demonstrations take place regularly in central Athens, and have also taken place in other towns and cities. There may also be demonstrations in reaction to developments in Greece’s negotiations with its international creditors. You should avoid all demonstrations and follow the advice given by local security authorities.

The currency of Greece is the euro. When travelling outside the UK you should take more than one means of payment with you (cash, debit card, credit card).

Greece imposed capital controls on 28 June 2015 and there are still restrictions on some banking services in Greece. The Greek government continues to limit withdrawals using cards issued by Greek banks to €60 per day. However, these daily amounts can now be withdrawn cumulatively on a weekly basis.

You can withdraw cash using your UK card up to the daily limit imposed by the Greek banking system (usually €600), or the daily limit imposed by your card issuer - whichever is the lower amount. The system for paying with debit and credit cards for retail transactions continues to function.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to exchange sterling for euros in Greece. There are no restrictions on taking unspent euros out of Greece at the end of your stay.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of migrants and refugees arriving on Greek islands, including Lesvos, Kos and Samos, and seeking to continue their journey via Greece to other EU countries. The British Embassy is keeping the situation under review, but at present there are no reports of any specific risks to British nationals visiting these islands or at border crossing points. You can find general information and advice about safety and security in Greece in this travel advice.

The Greek authorities have enhanced border security. Anyone attempting to facilitate or transport an illegal migrant or anyone inciting disorder or violence will be arrested and dealt with by the authorities.

There is a general threat from terrorism and acts of political violence.

The Greek police won’t accept rowdy or indecent behaviour, especially where excessive drinking is involved. Greek courts impose heavy fines or prison sentences on people who behave indecently. Your travel insurance may not cover you after drinking.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

U.S. Travelers

Visit the Embassy of Greece website, for the most current visa information.

  • Passport should be valid for at least six months.

  • You need proof of sufficient funds and a return airline ticket.

  • You may enter Greece for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa.

  • U.S. Official and Diplomatic passport holders must obtain a Schengen visa prior to arrival. You will not be allowed to enter Greece without a visa.

If you are a U.S. citizen born in the Republic of Macedonia, your U.S. passport should be recognized as a valid travel document.
Be aware:

  • Greek Immigration Officers at all ports of entry (land, air, and sea) will not place entry stamps in passports listing the traveler’s place of birth as Macedonia or the Republic of Macedonia.

  • You will be asked to complete a short form on which the entry stamp will be placed.

  • Keep the form with your passport while you are in Greece and present it upon departure.

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