A practical foreign exchange and currency guide on sending money and travel to Greece
What's in this Greece currency guide?
Although the news has been full of negative stories about the financial and immigrant crises which have engulfed Greece in recent years, there are still many reasons to visit this delightful country. From its stunning beaches and superb mountain scenery to great food, astounding history and, above all, its warm Hellenic welcome. It is also a very affordable country to travel in. As one of the continent’s most popular destinations during the summer times, people from around the world flock to its famous islands for the sun, and to the cities for the history.
Greece is known for its food. Restaurants will cost about 20 EUR for a nice dinner, even in the tourist area. If you add wine, expect to pay about 30 EUR. A meal at a very luxurious restaurant will begin at 30 EUR.
The currency used in Greece is the Euro. You can find ATMs in every major town and city, and practically every inhabited Greek island has at least one machine. You will find ATMs in supermarkets, airports, ferry ports, metro stations and other public places. You will be able to use your credit cards in shops and hotels, fuel stations and shops up and down the country. When it comes to bars and tavernas though, you may need to check their machine is working. You would be surprised at how many card machines are faulty in these places when they work perfectly everywhere else.
Because Greece has a lot of islands, you will be dealing with lots ferries and boats. Expect to spend an average of 36 EUR per a trip, though you could spend as little as 12 EUR if the islands are really close together. From Athens, most ferries to the islands costs around 60 EUR. Slow, overnight island ferries begin at 13 EUR. Buses and trains around the mainland are around 20 EUR. It’s 1.20 EUR for a single ride on the Athens train system.
Many people go to Greece for the islands but the mainland has a great deal to offer, from the imposing Pindus mountain range in the north to the empty golden beaches of the western Peloponnese. It also boasts the greatest number of archaeological sites.Travelling between the main towns is easy on the comprehensive KTEL bus network, with local services radiating out to villages.You can also make use of the limited but extremely cheap national rail service for a number of key destinations. Greece is a cheap country and even cheaper when you get out of the touristy Greek islands or popular destinations. Head off the beaten path and you will usually see prices drop by 30% or more.
Eating is casual in Greece. Look for restaurants where the locals are eating, as the food will be much better. Just remember that Greeks eat late, often after 10pm. Always ask for local barrelled wine, which is cheaper than bottled, or try a fiery spirit such as ouzo or tsipouro. Likewise, don’t be fobbed off with bottled water, as what comes out of the tap is perfectly drinkable. Punctuality is not considered a big issue in Greece. There is a healthy Mediterranean belief that most things can be put off and nothing needs to be done in a hurry. So don’t expect service in a restaurant to be too snappy or transportation always to run like clockwork.
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make a Transfer or Spend Euro.
The euro (ISO: EUR) is involved in slightly more than 30% of all foreign exchange deals, and as such, is the world’s second most traded currency, behind the US dollar.
The euro is the currency of the eurozone (officially called the ‘euro area’), which consists of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union, and is used by almost 350 million Europeans. It was introduced in January 1999.
Of all the thousands of exchange rates that exist in the world, the euro-to-US dollar exchange rate is the most actively traded, or most ‘liquid’.
Since its introduction, the euro’s lowest value against the dollar came in October 2000 when EUR/USD hit lows of 0.8231. The currency was strongest in July 2008, shortly before the worst stage of the 2007-2009 financial crisis, when EUR/USD reached 1.6038.
There are currently more than twenty nations and territories which peg their currencies to the euro, the largest of which is Denmark.
In September, Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrat Party narrowly won the German election. The longer negotiations and political uncertainty drag on, the greater downward pressure will be felt by the euro.
In addition should risk sentiment remain fragile, there could be continued demand for USD as a safe haven. Therefore, USD/EUR could gain higher.USD-EUR Outlook
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