Travelling to Greece during the financial crisis

If you’ve been watching the news lately, you’ll probably be aware of the current financial turmoil the European nation of Greece is facing. As the future of Greece hangs in the balance, banks are shutting down and citizens have taken to the streets in protest. So, should travellers be reconsidering a holiday in Greece? And how can travellers ensure they don’t find themselves stuck without access to their money?

One member is travelling to Greece in the not-too-distant future and seeks some advice from the AFF community.

I’m going to Greece in two weeks and with the whole financial crisis and whatnot, I have to come up with a new option to get some Euros in cash…

…I’m not expecting their ATMs to stock up any time soon, so is there an option to withdraw Euros from an ATM anywhere in London? Or should I suck it up, pay the outrageous conversion fees and get some notes in Australia before I leave?

A member who is currently in Greece describes the situation as being relatively stable. They say that there are still working ATMs, and that most business are still accepting credit card payments. However they point out that the situation may change in the near future.

I’m in Greece at the moment on the islands (Mykonos). Cash machines at central places are dry (bus terminals, main squares) but plenty of other machines dont seem to have a problem. No ques like on the mainland. Foreign cards dont have a limit like Greek cards. Places are also still accepting card payments. This could change in two weeks but I think its too volatile to predict at the moment.

While there are currently limits on ATM withdrawals, these only apply to local residents. But it cannot be said for certain that this won’t change. Considering the volatility and unpredictability of the financial and political situation, our members do not recommend relying on the ATMs or card payment facilities. The advice is clear: stock up on cash before leaving Australia – or in another European country – before arriving in Greece.

Despite the country’s recent financial and political instability there are no indications that travelling to Greece should be avoided altogether at this point in time. The country is still open for business and in fact, local businesses need tourism more than ever. The situation is currently relatively stable, so as long as extra precautions are taken to ensure an adequate supply of cash and personal safety, there should be little reason to avoid the country completely.

Join the discussion HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]