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Hellenic Republic > Details

Country Name
Hellenic Republic
Geographical Area
131,940 sq km
Population
10,767,827 (Oct 2014 est.)
Capital City
Athens
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People   Greek 98%, other 2%
Language   Greek 99% (official), English, French
Religion   Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%
Government   Parliamentary Republic
Head of Government   Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, chief of state: President Karolos Papoulias
Embassy   American Embassy Athens, 91 Vasilissis Sophias Ave., Athens 10160 Greece Tel : (30) (210) 721-2951
Visas   A visa is not required for a U.S. Citizen holding a valid passport to visit Greece for less than three months. Citizens of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK do not require a visa to visit Greece for less than three months.
Health Risks   Heat exhaustion, dehydration, sunburn

Clothing Suggestions   SUMMER: May through September – casual clothing made of lightweight fabrics and good walking shoes are essential. A shawl, sweater and/or jacket is recommended for cooler evening breezes (depending on temperature of the day and visiting location in Greece).

WINTER: Mid- November through Mid-March – A wardrobe of matching coordinates, made of man-made fibers and/or wool, which allow for minimum and maximum warmth for varying temperatures is suggested. A topcoat with zip-out lining is also advised.

SPRING/FALL: Mid-March through April and then October through Mid-November – Lightweight wool or topcoat are suggested.

DINING: Informal attire, except for some selected restaurants, which require tie and jacket for men.

CASINOS: Dress is more formal than in the U.S. Jacket and tie mandatory for men.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES: Swimsuits are prohibited.

MONASTERIES AND CHURCHES: Ladies are required to wear appropriate length dresses or skirt with sleeved blouse. Men are required to wear slacks and shirt.

CRUISES: Casual daytime attire is suggested. For occasional special gala evenings cocktail dress and tie and jacket are suggested.
Time Zone:   Two hours ahead of GMT/UTC; seven hours ahead of U.S. EST.
Banking / Exchange   All banks and most of the hotels are authorized to buy foreign currency at the official rate of exchange, which is fixed by the Bank of Greece.

Banking hours for the public are from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Friday hours are 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Currency   Euro
Electric Current   The standard household electrical current throughout Greece is 220 AC, 50 cycles, and the outlets are made for two round poles.
Credit Cards / Traveler Checks   All major credit cards are accepted in hotels, restaurants and many cosmopolitan boutiques. However, they are not used as extensively as they are in the United States and Canada.

TRAVELERS CHECKS:

Traveler’s checks are widely accepted throughout Greece and may be exchanged easily at almost all banks and post offices.
Shopping   General Trade Stores Shopping Hours

Mon: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thurs: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Tues: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Fri: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Wed: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sat: 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Sun: Closed

NOTE:

The Flea Market and other souvenir shops in the "Plaka" are open seven days a week.

The items most popular to buy are the traditional handicrafts, jewelry, flokati rugs, pottery, onyx, marble and alabaster. Shoes, handbags and furs are also a good purchase.
Weights & measures   Metric
How to shop Tax Fee   1. Shop in any of the stores that display a TAX-FREE FOR TOURISTS window sticker or ask for a Tax-Free Shopping Check. With this check you can later claim your VAT(Value Added Tax) Refund. The VAT is included in the selling price.

2. When you leave Greece, make sure your purchases and receipts are readily available for inspection. Allow plenty of time for this process when you arrive at the airport. A Customs official will stamp your checks. Without this stamp, a check is not valid and VAT refund cannot be made.

3. Cash your Tax-free Shopping Checks at the International or local Refund points that can be found at most major EU exits. Visitors can also fill in the back of the VAT checks indicating how the refund is to be given (bank check or credit card). Place checks in a pre-addressed envelope given by the shopkeepers and mail to: 10 Nikis Street, 10563 Athens. Tel: (210) 325-4995; Fax: (210) 322-4701.
National Airport   Eleftherios Venizelos Athens (ATH)
Major Tourist Attractions   Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Rhodes, Delphi, Mycanea, Argolis, Olympia, Athens
Tipping Suggestion   A 10% tip in restaurants is appropriate. It is customary to tip tour guides 5 to 7 EUR per person per day on multiday tours and drivers 3 to 5 EUR per person per day. The suggested tip for day tours is 10 to 15 EUR for the guide and 5 EUR for the driver.
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