Greece is a popular destination for travelers, offering stunning scenery, rich history, and a vibrant culture. However, traveling in Greece can also be expensive, with high costs for accommodation, food, and transportation. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money during your trip to Greece, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasonal traveler. By following these tips for budget travel, you can experience the best of Greece without breaking the bank.
7 Tips for Budget Travel in Greece:
- Find a destination “dupe”
- Travel during shoulder season
- Avoid having all your meals at sit-down restaurants
- Visit free attractions
- Attend free events
- Use public transportation
- Contact hotels directly
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Find a destination “dupe”
There are many highly advertised Greek destinations that are often featured in popular movies and influencer vlogs and posts. Such examples would be Mykonos and Santorini. Golden-brown hills that smell of thyme and oregano, bright pink Bougainvilleas, and white houses with pastel doors, overlooking the Aegean Sea. These destinations look amazing and, unsurprisingly, they are also very expensive.
But, what if I told you that there are many more islands that look very similar to these two which are much more affordable? Naxos, Ios, Andros, Kythnos, Serifos, Antiparos, and Folegrandros are some lesser-known islands in the Cyclades that have very similar sceneries and, oftentimes, even better swimming spots. If you are on a budget, you can find your island “dupe” and perhaps visit your bucket-list destinations by visiting them for a day trip by boat.
Travel during shoulder season
Avoiding peak season might be the best way to budget travel in Greece. You don’t need to travel to Greece in July and August to enjoy your holidays or a pleasant climate. June, September, and, in some cases, even May, are perfectly fine. Traveling during shoulder season will help you find cheaper tickets and much more affordable options for accommodation since the demand is lower at that time.
Avoid having all your meals at sit-down restaurants
According to the most recent travel statistics, meals make up 20% of the average costs when traveling. That means that, if someone spends 1000€ during his/her trip to Greece, he/she would spend at least 200€ eating meals. We can imagine that the amount could be higher in Greece, since it is one of the most popular food destinations. The good news is that you don’t need to eat every single meal in a sit-down restaurant to try the best of the Greek cuisine.
Apart from the very affordable tavernas, where you can try countless meze dishes for a bargain, you can enjoy many delicious street-food options, such as souvlaki and gyros. Not only do they normally cost less than 4€, but they are much healthier than the options you can get at an international fast-food chain. Lastly, let’s not forget the various bakeries that offer handmade pies, such as tyropita, spanakopita, and bougatsa. In Greece, you can eat well on a budget, as long as you choose where you eat wisely.
Visit free attractions
Perhaps, one of the most amazing things about Greece is that museums and attractions are either very affordable or simply allow you to enter for free. In Athens, for example, you can take a stroll around the National Gardens and visit most outdoor landmarks, such as Lycabettus Hill, for free. The great majority of museums, such as the Acropolis Museum, allow young people, students, the unemployed, and those in retirement to enter for free. If you don’t belong in these categories, you will rarely have to pay more than 5€.
Attend free events
Free events that can be enjoyed by anyone are very common in Greece, especially in the summer. Every village, for example, organizes traditional festivals, where you can listen to folk music and attempt to dance like a Greek for free. Municipalities all across the country organize other types of free events, such as outdoor movie nights, concerts, and dance lessons where you don’t even have to register your participation. Sometimes, such free events can be overcrowded, but you can avoid that by doing a good research beforehand!
Use public transportation
This tip is quite obvious! Instead of renting a car or depending on taxis, using public transportation will help you save a lot of money while traveling. Athens has a wide variety of options – from its subway system to its countless buses, trams, and trolleys. Islands usually have an extended bus system with frequent bus routes during the summer months.
Contact hotels directly
The last tip for traveling to Greece on a budget is to try contacting hotels directly to book your accommodation. Although booking platforms do offer great deals from time to time, it is an unspoken truth that most hotels do offer lower prices when they are contacted by phone or email. They don’t have to be charged any booking fees and they can offer you better perks – such as a room with a sea view or breakfast included – without paying anything extra. A recommendation would be to browse booking platforms to check for the best hotels and then contact them directly.
These were some tips for budget travel to Greece. Have you ever tried any of these? If yes, how much have you been able to save?