Greece makes a perfect destination for a vacation at any time of the year. Endless sunshine and a warm all year round climate combined with beaches, fantastic food and history give tourists everything they need. The beachside resorts fill up during the summer as tourists take their luxury Greece vacation to unwind from the stresses of daily life. Others tend to visit with a lower disposable income and backpack around the country. The people in the second group find it more difficult as much of the countrys economy is based on tourism, which is then reflected in the prices. But, travelling to Greece on a budget is achievable if you know how.
How to Plan Your Trip to Greece:
The most foolish thing to do for a budget traveller is to visit an expensive destination without taking the time to research and plan. Greece isnt a cheap destination, and youll struggle to survive on $50 a day. And on top of this, theres just so much to do, see and experience that you dont want to miss out on something youll later regret.
For this reason, spend a lengthy amount of time planning where you want to go and what destinations appeal to you the most. Remember, Greece is a big country and has thousands of islands giving you a large selection of places to go. Plan which cities, archaeological sites and islands youre going to visit beforehand.
The Best Time to Visit:
Greece gets tourists all year round, but most tend to come between April and October. Deciding on the best time is a double-edged sword. Peak season gets larger crowds, higher prices and limited choices for accommodation. Though, during the low season, many of the restaurants and shops close. Ferry services become restricted, and the tourist infrastructure isnt as efficient. If you come in the midst of summer, expect temperatures in the high 30s on a daily basis and to feel exhausted. Come in the winter, and you may find the attractions dont open.
The best piece of advice is to spend a bit of time looking into your options and expected costs. And if you book accommodation in advance, youre more likely to get a better deal. Airbnb and house sharing are also popular in some parts of Greece and choosing a place on the outskirts is always much more affordable.
Tips for Sightseeing:
One of the disadvantages about visiting a country which relies so heavily on tourism is the steep admission fees. Ruins fill the cities of Athens, Thessaloniki and you can find archaeological zones on many of the islands. Some are free to enter and explore whereas others come at a price. As youre walking around Athens, youll see ruins in the city centre. But, the admission is usually at around 5 per person just to enter or 30 to visit them all. The Acropolis also has a very high admission fee at 20.
Budget travellers around the world cringe at the thought of how much it will cost to explore the historical points of Greece. But, you dont have to go inside everything. Many of the ruins are visible from the street, and you can still read information boards and take photographs without going inside and paying the fee. You can also find perfect spots to get photographs of Acropolis too. Plan the essentials sites you want to see and just take pictures from a distance of the others.
Another tip is to be aware of free days at museums and attractions. Many places around Greece, in particular, Athens, tend to have free admission on the first Sunday of each month and during public holidays. This includes Athenss Acropolis, Archaeological Museum and many other places. Plan your time wisely.
The Best Places to Eat and Drink:
Eating out is expensive in all parts of Greece regardless of where you go. Common sense tells you that the restaurants in tourist hotspots will be higher than those in the suburbs. But there are ways to get a more affordable meal. Some restaurants, especially in significant tourist hotspots have coupons that give a discount on meals. You may also be able to find offers online where you can get a reduced price.
Happy Hour is very popular in Greece and often applies to both food and drink. Search around and find the best place to get a meal at a lower price. When you know where to go, you can plan your meals to coincide with the cheaper restaurants during Happy Hour.
The final point about food and drink is with supermarkets. Budget travellers tend to buy supplies from the shop and either cook at their accommodation (if possible) or eat on the go. Doing this will inevitably cut the costs significantly compared to eating out for each meal. However, many of the supermarkets outside of the city centre close early on Sundays. Only the more expensive convenience stores remain open. Stock up on food either on Saturday or go shopping early on Sunday morning to avoid paying almost double in another shop.
A Budget-Friendly Trip to Greece:
Just because the cruise ships fill the harbours and wealthy tourists roam around the attractions, it doesnt mean you cant visit the country on a budget. If you plan your trip carefully and go to just some of the attractions rather than every single ruin, youll save a lot of money. Greece is affordable if you make an effort to prepare and know the tips on how to cut the costs.