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Safety in Greece

We will travel to Greece in March for Spring break with our children (15, 12, 11). We have traveled before with them to Italy (sorrento/rome) and to London with them. We are flying into Athens then driving to Napflio (4 nights), Delphi (1 night), Athens (2 nights). How safe is Greece these days around the areas we are going and in the countryside we will be drive to visit the ancient sites? My husband is excited - I'm nervous.........

Posted by
742 posts

Are you planning on flying transatlantic then renting a car and driving. Unless the driver is impervious to jet lag I would reconsider that plan.

Greece is a safe destination. In Athens find a hotel near the Acropolis. This area is safe. If you choose a hotel around Omonia Square there might be some rough kind of people around and might not be a great place to stay. The other thing to be aware of is Pickpockets are very active on the Metro and Metro stations. There is no physical danger but the pickpockets are very good. All 5 of you need to watch each others backs. Personally I would arrange a private driver to pick you up when you return the car to the airport. Look at Athens City cab. They charge the same as a taxi but you know with them you will have an English speaking driver.

Posted by
2416 posts

Greece has just about the lowest crime rate in Europe .... I hve ived in NY Philly, and other large american cities, and have visited most of the major cities in Europe. In Greece I have traveled alone, as an older woman, both in islands, Athens and the Peloponnese and have felt safer in Greece than in any of the above places named.

Nafplio is an absolute GEM ... and your children safely wander around a bit on their own, in the lovely no-cars shopping lanes and along the seafront. You MUST do the Palamidi!! Perhaps they'd want to climb the 999 steps up -- but another clever choice is todrive up the back way, clamber the ruins & take pictures then have one parent accompany them DOWN the 999 steps, while the other parent waits in the lovely cafe at the foot of the steps, drinking coffee and doing the Guardian crossword puzzle. Works for me!

Because this is one of my favorite areas, can I advise your route?? Get your car at the airport, and you'lll be on a modern multi-lane highway until you're ove the corinth Canal. Don't get off the highway to see the canal (that's for the trip back), but about 15 miles onward, get off highway to RIGHT, to ANCIENT NEMEA, the "runner-up" to Olympia as Sacred Games. Authentically excavated, repaired... temple, columns, ruins, NO crowds -PLUS fab stadium where kids can race from starting blocks 2500 yrs old (!!). In July they'll have the 4th annual Modern Nemea games. Then just go under highway straight south to Nafplio. If stayin in Old Town, easy to park car along seafront, free.

While there you may decide to go to Mycenae, but if it's a hassle, just 5 mi outside of Nafplio is TIRYNS, another great Iliad-era fortress, you'll be almost alone there. On your last day, you can rise early, drive to Epidaurus (the ruins are hodge-podge but the theatre is the miracle there, awesome), then don't backtrack, just go up the sea road to Isthmus, where u can stop for lunch & take pix of the canal standing on Old Bridge t here... then onward... at Elfsina, you turn inland & UP to go to Delphi. Everywhere you go, spring flowers will be out at least in lowlands, spring showers too, but warm & friendly people. In Delphi, eat on outdoor terrace looking down the mountain. Breathtaking. FILL YOUR CANTEENS with the amazing water -- it comes straight from the ice pack atop Mt. Parnassus, and is Nectar of the Gods. Almost made me give up wine. Hve a lovely time.

Posted by
1930 posts

I would totally agree with stanbr and Janet's take on safety in Greece. We were grateful for their advice prior to our trip in 2017. We traveled in the same region and the Greek Islands as well. We always felt secure everywhere we traveled in Greece. We stayed south of the Acropolis at Hotel Hera. We spent 4 nights and would gladly stay there again. We highly recommend the restaurant Manh Manh which is a short walk from this hotel. Have a wonderful family journey.

Posted by
3925 posts

Greece has just about the lowest crime rate in Europe

No, that accolade goes to Switzerland then it's the Scandinavian countries, Iceland, Luxembourg and a number of others before you reach Greece. However it's safe to say that the crime rate is comparatively low.

Posted by
950 posts

We traveled in Greece with our three kids of similar ages to the places you will go and we always felt perfectly safe. Fwiw, we rented an Airbnb in the Koukaki neighborhood of Athens and loved that area. We stayed in the hotel Omorfi Poli in Nafplio, in the family room that sleeps 5, and loved that too.

Posted by
6128 posts

The greatest danger you will encounter in Greece is the 2 hr drive from the Athens airport to Nafplio, ( presumably arriving after a flight from the US?) with a driver fighting jet lag

Posted by
19 posts

Thank you all for the comments!!!

RE driving jet lagged - we arrive in Athens at 9/10pm (my husband booked these tix!) and therefore, are staying at the hotel at the airport the first night. Up early the next day to do the drive to Napflio and sights along the way as recommended above. My husband is a huge history buff and Greece has been on his bucket list so he “knows” what he wants to see-it is the firsthand knowledge of previous travelers (you all) that is so valuable.

Posted by
741 posts

You have more to worry about crossing a street in Athens!

Other than that Athens and all of Greece is one of the safest countries in the world.

Posted by
10892 posts

Greece has just about the lowest crime rate in Europe

Other than that Athens and all of Greece is one of the safest
countries in the world.

By no standards that I can find is that correct. Its not that I think the place is dangerous, subjectively, its not. But I always go off on reckless comments when it comes to a few issues. Safety is one of them.

The sampling used to create these rankings is pretty low so I wouldn't look at as anything other than top third, middle third and bottom third (Greece sits on the border between middle third and bottom third, just below Bulgaria) https://www.numbeo.com/crime/rankings_by_country.jsp?title=2019-mid&region=150

The Feds give it a "1" which ranks it safer than France, which goes to show how subjective these things can be. I sort of think the numbeo ranking above is geared around living there, while the State Department ranking might look more at the risk for a tourist or visitor. https://www.osac.gov/Country/Greece/Detail

Here is another one that I found. I think they get the stats from the EU. I did a comparison with Hungary, a country I now and "feel safe" in. The differences between the two countries is fascinating. I also did a comparison with the UK and Greece and the UK were nearly identical. https://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Greece/Hungary/Crime

Still I wonder how much of this has anything to do with how tourists interact with a culture.

I was there last year and I felt perfectly safe

I feel relatively safe in Honduras. But I dont have a family that relies on me or any great responsibilities left in life; and maybe I am an idiot. So when I tell you I was in Honduras 6 months ago and felt perfectly safe, know the only thing dumber than my feelings of safety would be you making any plans based on my statements.

Posted by
16 posts

Thanks for everyone's input on April's question. We've removed some posts to keep the thread on topic.