Is Greece Expensive? A Greece Trip Cost Guide

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One of the key points to planning a trip to Greece is contemplating the question, is Greece expensive? Greece is easily one of the most visited countries in the world and with good reason. From its rich history and ruins, endless painted sunsets, appealingly blue beaches, and tantalizing cuisine, you’re only fated to want to return in no time.

If you’re wondering about the average cost of a trip to Greece, when to visit to maximize your budget and where to visit depending on your budget, read this article to find out a Greece trip cost.

Greece Trip Cost Guide

When visiting Greece, your trip can easily go one of two ways depending on your budget and the type of traveler you are. 

If you’re someone keen to visit off-the-beaten-path destinations, the mainland of Greece (including the beautiful Peloponnese region) is going to be your best bet and you’ll save the most money.

On the other hand, if you’re searching for famous getaway destinations with swanky meals by the sea, be prepared to spend a fair amount of money visiting the Greek islands – especially islands like Mykonos or Santorini.

The mainland of Greece and the numerous Greek islands (such as Corfu, Crete, Paros or Naxos) are both destinations that I highly recommend visiting, but the costs will vary quite a bit and this guide reflects this, so keep that in mind when reading and planning a Greece itinerary.

On average, you can expect the Greek islands to be more expensive to visit with an average cost of €97 to 420 per day compared to €55 to 210 per day on the Greek mainland.

With that being said, if you’re determined to visit the Greek islands, but are also on a budget, don’t let it steer you away from visiting. You can visit one or two islands that are nearby, eat street food, and plan in advance to secure the most affordable accommodation without finding your wallet in ruins.

Ruins in Corinth on mainland Greece
Ruins in Corinth on mainland Greece

Accommodation Prices in Greece 

Accommodation is easily the most important part of planning a trip and the costs will undoubtedly be in the front of your mind when you begin planning a trip. In Greece, prices can vary immensely for accommodation, depending on where you’re visiting and what type of accommodation you’re looking for. 

On the islands, you can expect to pay a lot more than what you’ll pay on the mainland for pretty much every category of a trip budget, but accommodation more than anything.

With that being said, a hostel dorm bed a night will average around €20 in Athens and the mainland and around €40 on the majority of the islands such as Mykonos and Santorini.

If you’re looking to stay in an average mid-range hotel, expect to pay €55 a night on average in Athens and the mainland and around €90 on the islands.

For those looking for a nicer, more upscale hotel stay, you can find a nice hotel in Athens and the mainland for around €100 per night. As for the islands, anything between €200 and upwards of €3,000 can be expected.

If you’re looking for the biggest bang for your buck, I recommend booking accommodation as far in advance as possible here, as prices in the summer can increase quite a bit as summer draws near.

Mykonos' Famous Windmills
Mykonos’ Famous Windmills

Transportation Prices in Greece

Overall, transportation prices in Greece are quite affordable and won’t make a big dent in your Greece vacation cost. Bus and metro transport are about €2 on average for just about anywhere in the country and are usually the main mode of transport once you’re at your destination.

If you’re traveling throughout mainland Greece, tickets on the national bus system, KTEL, are usually about €20 per ride for longer destinations and €5 for shorter and more local destinations.

While train transport isn’t widely available, you can find train transport for certain routes and they’re not too expensive. Expect to pay around €35 from Athens in the southern side of the country, to Thessaloniki, the most northern major city in Greece.

If you’re someone that prefers the flexibility of having your own car, renting a car is extremely common in Greece (especially in the islands) and is a great way to get around.

Costs will vary depending on when you book your car but on average you can expect to pay around €15-35 per day for a rental car depending on where you’re renting from, how far in advance, and which season. You can browse to compare prices across several different companies.

Many spots in Greece are also quite easy to get around by foot, making it a cost-efficient way to also see the city from a first-hand point of view rather than underground or on a busy bus. 

If you’re hoping to visit an island or do some island hopping during your Greece itinerary, the main mode of transport is typically by ferry. Unfortunately, ferry costs have gone quite high in the past few years making it more expensive to visit the islands (depending on the ferry and distance). You can check schedules and prices here.

Although fortunately, some island routes within Greece have more affordable flight options in the summer months. For example, a one-way ticket to Milos from Athens on a 3 ½ hour ferry will set you back €70, and you can find a 40-minute flight for around €60.

Beautiful Milos
Beautiful Milos

Food Prices in Greece

Now we have made it to one of the main reasons why many people choose to spend their vacation in Greece rather than elsewhere, the food. Besides accommodation, food is undeniably the most important cost to factor in when planning and budgeting your Greece travel cost. You’ll probably be wondering, is Greece expensive for food and drink? 

The amount that you’ll spend on food during your Greece itinerary can vary quite widely for a few different reasons. First off, costs will vary depending on where you’re visiting.

For example; a nicer sit-down restaurant in Athens will typically cost around €20 for a meal including a main, appetizer, and glass of wine. Whereas you can expect to pay around €35 for a similar meal on the islands in places like Santorini where prices are higher.

Another variable to factor in when it comes to food costs in Greece is the type of food that you’ll be eating and how much you’re looking to spend. If you’re hoping to spend the minimum amount on food during your trip, you’re in luck.

Greece has some of the most delicious street food, you can buy a souvlaki (meat skewer) or falafel for usually around €2, and these typically come with bread as well.

For more of a full meal, try a gyro or souvlaki pita, which are pita wraps stuffed with either shaved meat or pieces cooked on a skewer for around €3.50. For breakfast, grab a freshly baked spinach or meat pie and a coffee for just €5. 

If you like to try to find restaurants with set lunch menus on your travels, unfortunately, they’re not too common in Greece, and usually, the only set menus you’ll find are at high-end gastronomic restaurants.

Sunset over Pyrgos on Santorini
Sunset over Pyrgos on Santorini

Activities Prices in Greece 

One of the most exciting things about visiting Greece is exploring its thriving world of culture and abundant history. Whether you’re hoping to just visit the Acropolis and skip most of the other historical sites or you’re someone keen on exploring all of the activities that Greece has to offer; activity prices are important when exploring a Greece vacation cost.

For most museum tickets, expect to pay on average €10 per entry, but keep in mind that this can vary where you are in the country and the museum that you’re visiting.

Walking tours are also a great option to see an extended area of where you’re visiting with a local guide and are typically around €50 but you can also join a free walking tour (with the expectation of at least a small tip.) Greece is one of the richest countries in the world in historic sites, so I highly suggest visiting at least one of the many historic sites that the country has to offer. 

Costs of historic site visits can vary but are typically around €15 throughout the majority of the country. The main exception is likely the most visited one of all, the Acropolis.

Tickets for the Acropolis during the summer season (April-October) are €20 per person, making it a hefty cost for a site visit. However, if you’re visiting Athens in winter, you will pay less for entry here. You can buy skip-the-line tickets here or get a combined ticket here for the Acropolis and many other sites in Athens.

With that being said, historic site visits vary depending on the time of year and national sites have two seasons for costs; summer and winter. The summer season is easily the busiest time of year in Greece (April-October), and tickets are at their highest.

Parthenon temple on the Acropolis
Parthenon temple on the Acropolis

When the winter season comes around (November-March), ticket costs are pretty much sliced in half, making it a much more affordable time of year to visit. There are also free days throughout the year coinciding with national holidays, so make a point to check to see if you’ll be visiting Greece on one of these days for free historic site and museum entry. 

If visiting the islands, keep in mind that activities will likely be more expensive as well. Day excursions to neighboring islands or boat trips such as a sailing cruise from Santorini tend to be quite pricey so expect to pay on average of €100 per excursion when planning day activities in the Greek islands.

Beach visits are easily one of the most popular things to do when visiting the Greek islands and although the cost of chairs and umbrellas can be quite steep (€25 average for 2 chairs and 1 umbrella), the beaches are free to visit and you can just bring your own towel and find a spot that suits you.

Fortunately, Greece is a country where there’s always something going on, no matter the time of year. Because of this, you’ll also manage to find free activities throughout the country; whether you’re spending a weekend in Athens or a week in the Greek islands.

From trails in nature, and beach visits, to art galleries, you’re bound to have a great time in Greece even if you’re traveling on a budget. 

Glyfada Beach
Glyfada Beach on Corfu

Entertainment Prices in Greece

Going out in Greece, whether for a coffee or cocktail, is one of the most infallible ways of immersing yourself in Greek culture and experiencing how the Greeks spend their past time and connect with family and friends. 

Luckily, going out is one of the most affordable things to do in Greece, along with eating succulent street food.

Greeks love their coffee, and you can find coffee shops or cafes on just about every corner no matter where you are in the country. For those that enjoy exploring in the later hours, nightlife and entertainment in Greece are a huge part of the culture and the bar scene is fantastic.

Whether you’re looking for a swanky jazz bar, a brewery to taste local beer or a cocktail bar with exciting local flavors, there’s something for everyone.

A cappuccino will set you back just €2 and the average cost of a cocktail is typically around €9. If you’re looking for a draught beer or a glass of local wine, expect to pay around €4-6 depending on where you are.

Keep in mind that costs will likely be more on the islands or anywhere you’re in more of a “scenic” spot; in that case you’re paying for the view. 

One of my favorite forms of entertainment in Greece is to go to a concert at one of the ancient amphitheaters throughout the country. These concerts typically take place in summer and it’s truly magical sitting within history while being taken away by astounding acoustics and live music.

Prices can vary depending on where you go and the popularity of the performance, but you can easily get a ticket for €20 at the Athens Epidaurus Festival under the summer sunset and twilight sky. 

Ancient Theatre in Epidaurus
Ancient Theater in Epidaurus

Is Greece Expensive? Average Prices in Greece

With all that being said, how expensive is Greece? I suppose it all comes down to where in the country you’re visiting, and how you wish to spend your time.

If you’re visiting the mainland and visiting a few places, hoping to see a few sites, it won’t be an expensive trip and you won’t be having to scale down your trip to minimize costs. On the other hand, if your main time in Greece is visiting the islands, a Greece trip can become quite costly. 

Here, I’ve broken down the average cost of a trip to Greece from the low to high end and have broken it into two sections, mainland Greece and the Greek Islands.

Keep in mind that these costs are assuming that a trip is split between 2 people and thus the average accommodation costs reflect that. It also doesn’t include any pre-trip expenses such as airfares or travel insurance.

For travel insurance, World Nomads offers flexible and simple travel insurance policies with coverage for more than 150 activities that you can buy or extend while on the road.

Athens & Mainland Greece Costs

Accommodation: €20-100 / night                    

Transportation: €5-35 / day                   

Food: €10-35 / day

Activities:  €10-20 / day

Entertainment: €10-20 / day

Total: €55-210 per day

Greek Islands Costs

Accommodation: €40-200 / night                    

Transportation: €10-50 / day                   

Food: €10-50 / day

Activities:  €25-100 / day

Entertainment: €12-20 / day

Total: €97-420 per day

A trip to the mainland per day can set you back between €55-210 and the daily costs to the Greek Islands will cost on average between €97-420 per day.

Port of Naoussa on Paros Island
Port of Naoussa on Paros Island

Greece is nothing short of a dream destination for many travelers throughout the world and can also be a great place for budget travelers to head to.

The mainland is an immense natural beauty with classic hospitality and the islands are everything summer vacation is made of; good food, sun, blue water, and cocktails. Whether you’re wanting to visit the mainland or the islands, it’s possible on most budgets if you plan and budget well for your trip.

Are you curious about the prices in Greece? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

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Olivia is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from Michigan, USA, she is currently living in Athens, Greece exploring Europe and filmmaking. When she’s not travelling or writing, Olivia can be found cooking delicious new recipes from around the world, reading, and spending time outdoors.

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