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Advice on bringing Euros to Greece

I will be traveling in the Greek islands (Samos, Ikaria, Patmos, Lesbos) and am wondering, given the current banking situation, whether I should be getting my Euros in advance. What are current travelers doing or advising about ATM access and having enough cash without long waits in ATM lines?

Posted by
4499 posts

It can change on a weekly basis. You don't say when you are traveling. Check news reports about a week in advance to see what the status is and what the Greek ATMs are allowing. For the most part though, most have been advising to bring at least some euro with you since ATMs have often been empty. It can help to use your credit card as much as possible too, and save cash for when you need it and for small purchases. You can also bring along some of your own currency that can be exchanged in case of emergency (at a horrible rate but at least you'd have some way to get euro).

Posted by
3986 posts

Check just before you travel. The banks have reopened, but for the Greeks, the currency withdrawal limits remain, which will not apply to you.

I have always found that many tavernas and shops on the smaller islands that you are visiting tend to not accept credit cards. If I were going this week, I would be planning on taking enough Euros to get me through the holiday with a credit card as a backup.

Posted by
9 posts

We arrived July 8 and brought euros with us. It's worked for us. We brought enough for the three weeks we'll be here. Given how little anyone knew about the situation when we left, it was a good call to bring all those euros (1500 each). That said, ATMs that we have seen have been open; and there is no limit for those with a non Greek bank card. Greece has always been a cash economy. We have paid for all but one (the hotel owner in Olympia asked for cash) of our hotels with credit card - everything else with cash. We met a British man who'd been vacationing in Greece for the last 20 years. He said " this is a problem for the Greeks. It's not a problem for travelers" we've found that to be true. We've had a wonderful time. The only effect the "crisis" had on us is that we were able to stay in some hotels that may not have otherwise had space.

Posted by
67 posts

The others are right, check the news before you leave to catch any unpredictable changes. If things stay the same, use your credit card to pay for accommodation (if they allow it) and mostly go with cash for the rest. From what I've heard, you might find some ATMs that are out of cash, or some that you need to stand in line for, but you'll be able to find a working one in a couple of tries.

Posted by
431 posts

They are reopening the Athens stock market on Monday.

Posted by
1164 posts

It would be prudent to bring enough cash to pay all of you expenses while there. The risk of ATMs not having cash and credit cards not being accepted is too great.