#travel to greece
Greece – Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Greece. Exercise normal security precautions.
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.
Strikes and Demonstrations
Strikes and demonstrations in Athens are a common occurrence due to austerity measures imposed by the government. Demonstrations and marches occur largely in the centre of Athens in Syntagma Square and in front of the Parliament building. There is currently a heightened potential for demonstrations due to recent developments in Greece’s financial situation. Avoid all public gatherings and stay away from areas where they can occur as they may turn violent without notice. Monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
Strikes and demonstrations affecting public health services and transportation, such as trains, buses, taxi, metro, ferries and cruise ships, are usually announced in advance. Road closures may occur at short notice, particularly in Athens. Flights may be disrupted and access to airports and ports may be difficult. Contact your airline to check the status of your flight and allow plenty of time to make your way to the airport.
There have been periodic bomb attacks by anarchists and ultra-leftist militant groups against the Greek state, Greek institutions, and Western commercial and diplomatic interests on the mainland, including in Athens and Thessaloniki. Several bomb and arson attacks have occurred in urban areas. To enhance public safety, police officers conduct patrols in subway stations, bus terminals and other public places. Exercise caution at all times and in all places, monitor local news reports and follow the advice of local authorities.
Petty crime (pickpocketing, purse snatching, luggage theft, muggings) occurs in tourist areas and on public transport. Do not walk in the Athens districts of Monastiraki and Omonia, or around the two railway stations of Larissa and Peloponissos after dark. Avoid secluded areas, parks, and down-market bars and restaurants. Remain vigilant at all times.
Women should not accept rides from strangers or casual acquaintances. Sexual assaults have occurred, particularly on the islands.
Attacks against non-Caucasians have been reported in Athens and condemned by local authorities.
The traffic fatality rate in Greece is among the highest in the European Union. Poor driving standards, aggressive drivers, difficult terrain and heavy traffic create hazards.
Driving motorbikes, scooters and mopeds is particularly dangerous, especially on the islands. Travellers must obtain insurance coverage. A helmet is a legal requirement. Stiff fines can be imposed for non-compliance.
Small, unlicensed rental agencies (especially on the islands) do not always offer vehicles that comply with up-to-date safety standards. Read the rental contract carefully.
In the event of an accident, wait until the police arrive; otherwise the insurance may not be valid.
Accidents have occurred due to poor safety standards on regional buses and ferries. Use reputable bus and ferry operators.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
General safety information
Exercise normal safety precautions. Ensure that your travel documents are up to date and that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Do not show signs of affluence and avoid carrying large sums of cash on your person.
Shortages of essential supplies, including medical supplies, have been reported.
Tourist facilities are widely available.
Some border areas are militarily sensitive and should be avoided, including the north-northwest zone.
There has been a significant increase in the number of migrants and refugees entering Europe. Some countries have already experienced disruptions to transportation services, including at ferry ports and railway stations, and have seen major delays at border crossings. The situation also heightens the potential for demonstrations that could turn violent without warning, particularly at railway stations and other transportation hubs. If you are travelling in the region, monitor local news and follow the advice of local authorities, and contact your transport carrier to determine whether the situation could disrupt your travel.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Greek authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an “as is” basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Hellenic Republic or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Greece, which must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Canadians of Macedonian ancestry have encountered difficulties when travelling to or through Greece. Any such difficulty should be reported to the Embassy of Canada in Athens.
Consult our Laws and culture for more information.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days*
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days*
Work visa: Required
Student visa: Required
* The 90 days begin upon initial entry into any country of the Schengen area.
Canadians must be in possession of a visa to remain in Greece for more than 90 days. Contact the Greek consulate in Canada to obtain the necessary visas. In cases where an overstay becomes necessary (for example, for a serious medical reason), you may be granted an extension of stay from the Greek Aliens Police 10 to 15 days before the three months have expired.
The following 26 countries comprise the Schengen Area: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The Schengen area has common rules regarding visas and controls at external borders.
You do not need visas for short-term visits of up to 90 days within a six-month period. Your stays are cumulative, and include visits to any country within the Schengen area. Some countries require that you register with local authorities within three working days of your arrival.
It is important to get your passport stamped when entering the Schengen area. The absence of an entry stamp from the initial Schengen port of entry could create difficulties during subsequent encounters with local police or other authorities throughout the Schengen area.
After 90 days of stay in the Schengen area, you must leave for another 90 days before you can re-enter.
If you overstay the permitted 90 days in the Schengen area, you may be fined or deported. To visit for longer than 90 days, you must obtain a long-stay national visa.
The Schengen Borders Code allows member states to temporarily reintroduce internal border controls in the event that a serious threat to public policy or internal security has been established. Canadians wishing to enter a Schengen area member state that has reintroduced internal border controls could be required to present a passport, valid for at least three months from the time of expected departure from that country.
For additional information, visit the European Commission s Temporary Reintroduction of Border Control .
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country s vaccination requirements.