Monday, July 28, 2008

Travel in Greece - Money saving tips

My travel in Greece is one of my best overseas trip so far and here are some money saving tips based on my experience there.

1. Get your essentials (like bottled water, juices and snacks) from the local mini or supermarket chain, if you can find one nearby. Prices are generally cheaper than those sold in the omnipresent kiosks, especially items on offer. This is true not only in Greece but in other countries as well.

2. If you're visiting the Acropolis, keep the ticket since the same ticket (it has 6 tear-away stubs) can be used for Agora, Roman Forum, Kerameikos, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Theatre of Dionysus and Hadrian's Library. In fact, if you're visiting any of the above places before Acropolis, you can purchase the Acropolis ticket there and use it for the other places. Not sure how long it is valid, some say 3 days some say more but since the ticket is not date stamped, you can always try your luck.

3. Buy the 24 hours transport ticket for 3 euros that can be used in the Metro, tram and buses in Athens or the 0.8 euro ticket valid for 90 minutes depending on how many times you want to use the public transport. If you stay longer in Athens, there is a weekly ticket for 10 euros. You need to validate the ticket the first time you use it when it is time-stamped. However, all the tickets are not valid for travel to the airport by metro that costs 6 euros.

4. It may be cheaper to buy the local tours back home rather than in Athens as your local travel agent may get better prices. You can compare the prices from the websites of the tour operators. If you have to buy it from Athens, get the tours from the tour operator office directly and ask for discount, they do give discounts if you get more than one tours. It is more convenient to buy it from your hotel but they normally do not give discounts since they live on the commissions. The tourist industry is highly organised in Greece and it appears that Athens is divided into zones and hotels located in a zone is served by a particular tour operator so you need to know your hotel location to see which tour operator is assigned so that you can buy your tour from the right operator for ease of pick-up and drop-off from your hotel.

5. Ask for upgrade of your room whether in the hotel or in the cruise ship. Your request may be granted especially if there are vacancies during off-season.

6. Most taverns in the tourist areas offer set lunches or dinners that are good value for money, if you do not mind the limited choice of items. But if you care to venture outside the tourist areas, prices will generally be lower as well.

7. Get fresh fruits from the local market, if there is one near you. It is cheaper and fresher than those elsewhere.

8. If you intend to shop at Hard Rock Cafe in Athens, get the map of Athens at the airport during arrival; there's a 10% discount coupon with the HRC ad.

9. Do not expose your valuables, wallet, etc in public. Pickpockets are plenty in Athens as in all major cities. This will not only same you money (those in the wallet) but also all the hassle of lost credit cards and other documents.

10. For a quick and cheap bite, there are many street vendors selling pretzels, doughnuts and other pastries all over Athens. If you are lucky, there will be free drinks for sampling as well by major sponsors.

So that's all folks from my travel in Greece. If you want to know more about any item mentioned in my posts, I will be happy to answer any queries. I'll leave you with more images of Greece, less touristic ones. Maybe I'll talk about my travel in Spain in my next series of posts.

Ronald Kwok


  1. Mr. Kwok,
    I recently returned from Spain and loved it. I am planning on going to either Germany or Greece next year. I haven't decided yet. Do you know of people or serious photographers who travel to places in Europe to take pictures of historical places as part of their vacation. The reason i ask is that i would love to meet up with people when i'm on vacation who love to take photos and maybe i can learn a few tips from them on getting the best shots and angles.

  2. I am sorry I do not have the answer to your query but I am sure you will meet plenty of photograhers during the travels. Personally, I think Greece will be more photogenic than Germany, especially of historical places. And the islands are just so colourful. Only issue will be the economic problems in Greece and how it will affect tourists.

  3. thanks for reply. i am thinking it might be a bit dangerous to visit greece for now since their economy is in shambles. maybe robbery, muggings are more frequent now since people there are trying to survive financially.

  4. nice post
    stuck to read it many times