Travel Money Guide: Greece

How to save on travel fees when you’re on holiday in Greece

Since the euro crisis in 2007, Greece’s economic instability has been televised globally and has left many travellers uncertain about the best way to take money to Greece. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

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Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 250 GBP 0.00 1.128 EUR
564
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GBP 5 GBP 0.00 1.13 EUR
565
Get the best travel cash rates delivered within 24 hours to your place. All deliveries are free for orders above £750. Go to site Show details
GBP 1 GBP 0.00 1.114 EUR
557
With over 240 stores, Debenhams offers travel money, money transfer and money exchange services. OFFER: Get £5 off £20 spend voucher; load your leftover currency on to a Debenhams gift card, and get an extra 20% free. Go to site Show details

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Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 5 GBP 0.00 1.13 EUR
565
Get the best travel cash rates delivered within 24 hours to your place. All deliveries are free for orders above £750. Go to site Show details
GBP 300 GBP 6.50 1.125 EUR
555
Cash via post – Griffin Financial is a specialist dealer in foreign currency and can offer some of the most competitive rates around. Go to site Show details
GBP 300 GBP 5.00 1.129 EUR
559
Cash via post – Travel FX Ltd is a specialist dealer in currency providing an alternative to banks and bureaux de change. Go to site Show details

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GBP 50 - - Prepaid card – A multi-currency card giving you an easier, safer and cheaper way to carry and spend your money abroad. Go to site Show details
GBP 5 GBP 0.00 1.13 EUR
565
Prepaid card – Get £10 travel money free! Join WeSwap today and get £10 free on your WeSwap card (T&Cs apply). Go to site Show details
GBP 200 GBP 0.00 1.121 EUR
561
Prepaid card – Chip and Pin protected, and accepted everywhere you see the Mastercard® Acceptance Mark worldwide. Go to site Show details
GBP 100 GBP 0.00 1.113 EUR
556
Prepaid card – Travelex Group is a foreign exchange company based in London. It's the biggest foreign exchange bureau in the world. Go to site Show details

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How many euros do I need to take to Greece?

Travellers frequently look for advice and estimates about the cost of a holiday in Greece, or want to know how much money they should take. The answer is relative. Greece can be a great budget travel destination if you know how to do it. It can also be very expensive if you come with a short time to enjoy and a mood for indulgence.

Greece on a budget Inbetween Greece in luxury
eat-in-greece On the street. Gyros will keep your tummy full, your spirits high and set you back only about £2-£3. Traditional greek food and wine at one of the many restaurants. Estimate around £20-£25 for a meal for two, and two glasses of wine. Overlooking the sea at an upmarket fine dining establishment. The cost will depend on what you order, of course, but count in hundreds.
tours-in-greece Walk around the fascinating ruins, wander through seaside towns and lounge on the beach. It’s free! Get a ferry ticket for an island hopping adventure, tickets are around £15- £45 depending on the length of the journey. The mediterranean in real-time and retrace the voyages that defined seafaring ancient civilisations. Luxury cruises from Athens to Istanbul for around £3000.
accomodations-in-greece In one on Greece’s many hostels targeted to young travellers on a budget. Prices vary depending on the season, and of course the location, but expect around £12 for a dorm bed per night. Some of the warmest hospitality you will find in Greece exists in the homely, cosy and authentic tavernas, low cost hotels. Costs will depend on the season and location but the price for a room is generally around £25 to £75 per night. A suite with a sea view and a private pool in one of the 5 star hotels in Mykonos will set you back a cool £2,000 a night.

While there is no limit to the amount of cash you can bring into Greece, you must declare anything over 10,000 euros. Traveller’s cheques, bank bills, personal cheques and money orders are all considered ‘cash’. There are restrictions on the amount of money you can take out, but the majority of people don’t need to worry about this limit.

Exchanging cash at Greek banks

Banks tend to have the best exchange rates and are open from 9am to 2pm. Come prepared for a wait; long lines are a frequent occurrence in Greek banks. Automatic foreign exchange machines are also a common feature in tourist centres. They can be a convenient and wait-free way to change your cash but be advised: they charge a sizable commission.

Exchange rate history

Greece has been through a period of instability as a result of the economic crisis, with fluctuations in deflation and inflation. The price of goods and services relative to the value of the currency is likely to change marginally in the future as the economy corrects itself. Brexit may have also had an effect on exchange rates and prices, so make sure you’re aware of what costs what.

Year Average annual exchange British Pounds (GBP) to Euro (EUR)
2012 1.2451
2013 1.1672
2014 1.2622
2015 1.4009
2016 1.1915
2017 1.1415
2018 1.1312

Travel card debit card or credit card?

Greece is a European Union member, and euros have been the official currency of Greece since 2001. All travel cards let you load and spend using euros. The advantage of a travel card is you avoid the fee for international transactions. Some debit cards and credit cards also give you this feature — Travel cards aren’t your only travel money option for Greece. If you have booked a holiday on a particular island that is a little more off the map, do a quick search before you go to see if it has an ATM. It will be a tiring first day if you need to take a boat back to the mainland so you can pay for your hotel or apartment.

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How each travel money option works in Greece

You can pay your way in Greece a few different ways, so start comparing some of the options available on the UK market to find the right combination for you:

Using a prepaid travel card

Travel cards let you load British Pounds, and then transfer them to euros to spend in Greece. You can avoid currency conversion fees for purchases and ATM withdrawals, just watch out for reload fees and ATM fees (some travel cards waive these fees). Travel money cards make sense in a place like Europe. With so many countries so close together all using the same currency, a travel card gives you the freedom to explore Greece and the rest of the European continent without needing to change finance products.

Using a debit card

When you choose a debit card, currency conversion fees and foreign ATM transaction fees should be among the features you compare. Barclays will charge a 2.75% non-sterling transaction fee, Lloyd’s will charge a 2.99% non-sterling fee on cash withdrawals and purchases, and NatWest/RBS will charge a fee of 3% (minimum £3). In the case that you find yourself needing to use a debit card abroad, it’s worth checking if your bank is part of the Global Alliance, a group of banks with an agreement to give customers a cheaper way to withdraw money abroad.

Using a credit card

Look out for cards that don’t charge a currency conversion fee. If you only use your credit card to pay for over the counter purchases, use another type of card (debit or travel) to withdraw money from the ATM — cash withdrawals on credit are quick way to end up in debt. If you pay your balance off each month to take advantage of interest free days, credit cards can be a great travel money option for Greece. Some credit cards give you complimentary travel and purchase protection insurance when you meet conditions too. A credit card is also a good idea to have as a backup for a large or emergency purchases.

Using a traveller’s cheques

Don’t worry about traveller’s cheques, the days of carrying a physical cheque are pretty much done. Credit, debit and travel card providers all give you a money back guarantee if you’ve genuinely been the victim of card fraud, such as skimming, and there are fewer places than ever where you can actually cash your cheques.

Paying with cash in Greece

Greece is a nation of a thousand islands famous for history, hedonism, nature and nightlife. Given the current economic climate, take heed of the following:

ATMs running dry

Reports during the peak tourist season of ATMs running out of cash on the weekend, and not being restocked until mid-week, are common.

  • Always have an emergency supply of cash with you in Greece, and a back-up card you can use over the counter in case of emergencies.
  • Don’t be afraid to try the ATMs that don’t have signs written in english. Often, especially during tourist season, ATMs with english signs will run out of money first, and, even if the machine is in Greek, when you insert a foreign card, the ATM display will usually pop up in English.
  • Tip: Whether genuine or not, vendors in small shops that cater to tourists seemingly never have any change. If you are out to purchases little souvenirs, presents or other bits and pieces, better take a collection of smaller denominations with you to avoid the ‘no-change situation’. You can change larger notes at banks, although even banks will sometimes be less than gracious about changing 500 euro notes.
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Things to consider before traveling to Greece

  • UKcredit cards, debit cards and travel cards will work in Greece. The government has assured travellers capital control measures do not apply to transactions made with a debit or credit product issued in the UK.
  • ATMs may be short of cash. It’s advised to take cash from the UK (pounds or euros) so you don’t run out.
  • Take a combination of travel money options to Greece. A combination of cash, credit, debit or travel cards is the best approach. You can compare these options on this page.
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Buying euros in the UK

Economic uncertainty is the word in Greece at the moment. Euros in your pocket when you land can give you peace of mind for the start of your trip. Your bank will be able to give you euros in cash, but have a look at our Travel Money providers to get the most competitive rates and options to pick up your cash.

Why you need a combination of travel money options

A combination of travel money products is the best way to finance your Greek trip, especially since there may be times when you can’t get cash from an ATM. If this is the case, you’ll need to rely on making over the counter purchases — a no currency conversion card is best in this situation. If you want to avoid paying ridiculous charges, never use your credit card at an ATM to get cash. This is a cash advance and there are fees and immediate interest charges to think about.

Greece is a magical destination with much to discover for any kind of traveller. If you are planning a trip to Greece, do some research, have a think about what kind of trip you would like and choose a travel money product that suits you. You’re going to have to take multiple cards so you can really relax on your trip to Greece. Just a travel card or credit card isn’t going to cut it, so make sure you have a variety of options available to make the most of your trip.

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8 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    DannySeptember 27, 2018

    I’ve got a wedding in August 2019 for my daughter in Lindos, will I need to take cash? I was told last week that most restaurants only want cash.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezSeptember 28, 2018Staff

      Hello Danny,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Upon checking, recent reviews on using cards in most restaurants in Lindos confirm that they accept cards. There may be other merchants that do not accept cards so best to also bring cash for back up.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  2. Default Gravatar
    MichaelAugust 27, 2018

    I’m off to Paxos with my family in April 2019. Do you know if there are ATMs on the island?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezAugust 27, 2018Staff

      Hello Michael,

      Thank you for your comment.

      As per reviews, you are recommended to use cash in Paxos. You’ll be able to withdraw from two machines in Gaios and one in Lakka. Some of the restaurants in Paxos accepts credit cards but it is still preferred to use cash.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  3. Default Gravatar
    BrianAugust 12, 2018

    Hi I’m going to Corfu in September 2018 do you advise me to take euro’s with me or get them in Corfu this is my first time going to Greece
    Thank you

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      CharisseAugust 18, 2018Staff

      Hi Brian,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      While we are unable to give advise, you may take into consideration these helpful information in deciding what will work for you.

      If you are comfortable carrying large amount of cash (Euros) with you, please keep in mind that although there is no limit with the amount of money you can bring to Greece, you need to declare anything over 10,000 Euros. Also, when bringing large amount of money, make sure you have a proper storage like a safety box for safekeeping your money during your entire trip. On the other hand, when you exchange your money before leaving, you don’t have to look for banks or money exchange facilities where you can get the best exchange rates when you get there.

      Aside from bringing Euros, one option you can look at is using ATM machines. This can be a convenient way to withdraw money whenever you need it and as you go. However, charges may apply which varies from bank to bank. Please note that ATM machines may run out of cash especially during peak tourist season so it’s always good to have backup like credit cards or travel cards in case of emergencies.

      Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!

      Cheers,
      Charisse

  4. Default Gravatar
    AngeApril 12, 2018

    I have recently recieved euros for my holiday but they have sent me a lot of 50s and 100s euro notes
    Is there anywhere I can change them for smaller notes(I’m in the UK)?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniApril 13, 2018Staff

      Hi Ange,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      For your 50 and 100 notes some hotels are still accepting them so you may keep some of them. You may try your luck exchanging them in some banks around you and please don’t forget some documents.

      Probably best to take them to a bank next time you are in a euro-zone country, although depending on how many you have there and might be some searching questions as to their provenance.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

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