Costs, Money & Banks in Greece
Greece works on a capitalist diverse economy. The nation's pincipal economic occupation is primarily centered on tourism, shipping, banking & finance, manufacturing and construction and telecommunications sectors whereas the country serves as the regional business hub for several of the world's major multinational coporations. Greece enjoys a high standard of living, ranking 24th on the 2006 Human Development Index and 22nd on The Economist's 2005 world-wide quality-of-life index and it has an average per capita income that has been estimated at $23,518 for the year 2006. Greece's present prosperity is largely owed to the post-WWII "Greek economic miracle". The implementation of a number of structural and fiscal reforms, combined with considerable European Union funding over the last 25 years and increasing private consumption have contributed to the fact that the Greek GDP annual growth steadily out-performs the European average.
Costs in Greece
Greece is not as high-priced as other European countries. However, the days when Greece was on of the cheapest destinations in Europe are long gone. For this reason, the prices vary from place to place.
On most islands a daily per-person budget of 23-27 will get you basic accommodation, breakfast, picnic lunch, a short ferry or bus ride and a simple evening meal, as one of a couple. There is a list of prices between foods, hotels and transportation that is recommended for visitors of Greece:
- Bread 0.60
- Beer in cafeteria 3 - 5
- Ice coffee (Frappe) 4 - 5
- Greek Coffee 4
- Cocktail in bar 6 - 8
- Souvlaki 1.5 0
- Gyros sandwich nsbp& 1.80 - 2.50
- Pizza delivered 7
- Ticket - metro 0.80 nsbp&
- Ticket - HSAP train in Athens 0.70
- Ticket - bus & troley 0.50
- Ticket - tram 0.70
- Gas per liter 0.93 - 1.05
- Bottle of water 1
- Small water 0.30 - 0.60
- Prepaid phone card (for payphones) 3
- Prepaid cell phone cards starting at 9
- Taxi from Athens center to Piraeus 6 - 7
- Soft drink - can 0.70 - 1.50
- Sunscreen 10-15
- The simplest double room generally costs around 20.50-26.50 a night, depending on the location and the plumbing arrangements.
- You can expect to pay between 25 and 80 for an apartment room.
- Busses's Prices cost 0.50 per trip.
- Taxis minimum charge for each trip of 2.50 in Athens and 2.70 in rural towns.
- The meters starts at 1.00.
- Ferry prices vary from 15 - 80, depending on the type of ferry and the distance.
Money in Greece
The monetary unit of Greece is the euro (€), which substituted the drachma in January 2002. No other currency is accepted and it is best to exchange dollars or other currency at a bank. Currency exchanges are common especially in larger towns and in any touristic area. In addition to hard currency, they also accept traveler's checks. There are also automated currency exchange machines in some areas of the country, especially at Athens airport. The National Bank of Greece NBG (Ethnikν Trαpeza Ellαdos), the country's largest commercial bank, will also exchange euros for some currencies -such as the US Dollar and British Pound- often times at better rates than currency exchanges. Other commercial banks, such as Alpha Bank may also exchange currency, but only for account-holding customers.
The exchange rates are all the same during the course of the country and you exchange money at a bank or official exchange shop where you will get the best running rates . The Banks are certain to be open from Monday to Friday, 08:00am-13:00pm.It goes without saying that if you come from any European Union country you would not have to worry about exchanging any money since the Euro is the common currency of the European Union.
coin of 0.10 €
Traveler's Checks in Greece
Traveler's Checks are accepted in most sites but you will have a hard time paying or exchanging huge denominations of traveler's checks or even cash. They are treated with suspicion by vendors, and some might not accept them. Though, exchanging them at a bank is no problem. However, is recommended that you don't carry your personal checks because they aren't widely accepted in Greece, so don't assume that you can use them unless you have checked with the establishment before hand.
Credit Cards in Greece
The Credit cards are widely accepted. Almost all stores selling high-ticket items take the usual credit cards, as do hotels and restaurants, but many stores in small towns don't. The signs are usually posted on the door of each store. It would be best to check with the establishment before you make your purchases. Most credit cards charge a fee (about 3%) for currency exchange, which means that every time you use your credit card in Greece (to pay in Euro) you add this fee to the price of goods and services. Check with your credit cart corporation before you go to see what their policy is.
The best mean to access money while in Greece is throughout the global ATMs that are present in every large or small town. Mastercard, Visa, and Eurocard are widely accepted across the country in retail stores, hotels, and travel/transportation agencies (including ferry, airline, and car rental agencies), but may not be accepted at some restaurants. ATM machines are present almost everywhere, with Mastercard/Cirrus being the most widely accepted cards. Many ATM machines may not accept 5-digit pin numbers; ATM card-users with 5-digit pins are advised to change their pin to 4 digits before leaving home.