Greece: The Beginner’s Guide
Last updated on September 2nd, 2021
Greece: The Beginner’s Guide
Have you ever been to Greece? Or have you postponed your plans due to the pandemic? As the country has eased the travel restrictions and is ready to welcome the tourists once again, we’ve decided to bring together some basic information to give you an insight.
Greece is one of the main destinations for members of our community. Thanks to the climate, cuisine, and relaxed way of life, the county has been attracting many digital nomads for a long time. Cheaper costs than most European countries and the US add to its popularity.
Now, let’s get it started!
Where is Greece
Greece is located in southern Europe, at the southern tip of the Balkans. It’s separated from the mainland by the Corinth channel.
Greece has a territory of 131,957 km². The coastline is 13,676 km.
Turkey is situated to the east and northeast of Greece; Albania to the west; and Bulgaria and Macedonia to the north. Greece is bordered on the east by the Aegean Sea, on the south by the Mediterranean Sea, and on the west by the Ionian Sea.
Capital of Greece
Athens is the capital city of Greece. It’s home to many relics as it was the heart of Ancient Greece. According to the latest statistics, the population of Athens is 3,153,000. Athens has one international airport (Athens International Airport- AIA), which is also called “Eleftherios Venizelos Airport”. The city is easily reachable from the rest of the world.
Language of Greece
About 96 percent of the population is Greek and the official language of Greece is Greek. However, the majority of the population speaks English and other languages in tourist spots such as Athens and the Greek Islands. As the country is used to tourists, you’ll be welcomed and face no communication barriers.
Currency of Greece
Euro is the official currency of Greece. Before the introduction of the Euro, the drachma was Greece’s national currency.
A Brief History of Greece
Today’s “Western Civilization” is left behind by the Greek ancient eras. Both the ancient Greek classical and Hellenistic eras left a rich cultural imprint on the Western world.
The first people who stayed in Greece arrived in the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean seas between 3,000 and 2,000 BC. The golden period of Greek culture occurred in the 5th century BC when the Parthenon of Athens was built.
Alexander the Great helped in the expansion of Greek culture throughout Persia, India, Egypt, and the entire Mediterranean. Later it was ruled by the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman. In 1829, Greece gained its independence.
In the 2000s, Greece faced a serious economic crisis due to the high public debt. Unemployment rates were very high. In 2010, the government asked for help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Eurozone to face the crisis.
Tourism is the key element of Greek economy. In 2019, 34.2 million tourists visited the country. In 2020, amid COVID-19, Greece received 6 million tourists. This brought $4.84 billion to the country.
In April 2021, Greece was as “Global Champion Award for COVID-19 Crisis Management” by The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)
In 2021 the country is expecting 12 million tourists.
As of 2021
Today the country is still having issues with unemployment. In 2020 the unemployment rate was 16.85 percent. For 2021, it’s estimated to be around 16.20 percent. Greece is the country with the highest unemployment rate among all EU countries.
Famous Cities in Greece
As we’ve briefly mentioned Greece is a very popular country for tourists from all over the world. Thanks to its natural landscapes, famous sights, and crystal clear waters, it’s a famous destination.
Athens is the capital city of Greece. The most famous landmark in Athens is the Acropolis, which you can see on most postcards.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece. It’s also home to many historic sites, such as Pella, the birthplace of Alexander the Great.
The Greek Islands
Here comes the most colorful part…The Greek Islands. There are around 6,000 islands and islets in the Greek territory. Only 227 of these islands are inhabited though. Greek islands are famous for their beaches and vibrant nightlife. Greek islands are reachable by ferry from Athens. Some of them have their own airports.
One of the most famous Greek islands is Mykonos without a doubt. It’s a party island but is also famous for its beautiful beaches.
Santorini is an that is famous for its romantic atmosphere. It’s also known as a honeymoon destination. With the blue-domed churches, white houses, and views, it’s popular among tourists.
Rhodes is known for its ancient towns, medieval architecture, and beach resorts. It’s also known as the Knights’ Island as it was ruled by Knights of St John for two centuries. It’s one of the biggest islands in Greece.
Crete is the largest Greek island. It’s also the most populous one. With an unspoiled nature, rich cuisine, and beaches it’s a popular destination both for locals and tourists.
Living in Greece: Visas and Residence Permits
If you’re an EU citizen, you can visit Greece without the need for an additional visa. You can stay in the country for up to 90 days without any paperwork. After this period, you’ll be required to register in the Department of Aliens Bureau.
If you’re from the UK, the USA, or Australia, you can also visit the country without a visa and stay for up to 90 days. After this period, you’ll be required to get a residence permit.
Greece grants residence permits through several options. Purchasing real estate is one of them. For more information, head to our Greece Golden Visa definitive guide.
Greece is a welcoming country both for expats and tourists. With the rising number of digital nomads in the country, it’s getting more lively and international. You can check our Greece for Digital Nomads guide for a comprehensive approach.
If you’ve already been to Greece, let us know about your experience…Please also feel free to share your views on our forum.