Foreign travel advice
Information and advice for British nationals travelling and living in Europe, following the result of the EU referendum.
A grenade was thrown by two individuals on a passing motorbike outside the French Embassy in central Athens on 10 November 2016. A policeman received minor injuries. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. See Terrorism.
President Obama will visit Athens on 15-16 November 2016. The Greek police will mount an extensive security operation which is likely to cause significant disruption around the city in the course of the visit.
There are regular strikes, sometimes called at short notice, that can cause disruption to public transport (including air travel and ports).
Demonstrations take place regularly in central Athens, and have also taken place in other towns and cities. There may also be demonstrations in reaction to developments in Greece’s negotiations with its international creditors. You should avoid all demonstrations and follow the advice given by local security authorities. See Major pre-planned strikes and demonstrations
The currency of Greece is the euro. When travelling outside the UK you should take more than one means of payment with you (cash, debit card, credit card).
Greece imposed capital controls on 28 June 2015 and there are still restrictions on some banking services in Greece. The Greek government continues to limit withdrawals using cards issued by Greek banks to €60 per day. However, these daily amounts can now be withdrawn cumulatively on a weekly basis.
You can withdraw cash using your UK card up to the daily limit imposed by the Greek banking system (usually €600), or the daily limit imposed by your card issuer - whichever is the lower amount. The system for paying with debit and credit cards for retail transactions continues to function.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to exchange sterling for euros in Greece. There are no restrictions on taking unspent euros out of Greece at the end of your stay.
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of migrants and refugees arriving on Greek islands, including Lesvos, Kos and Samos, and seeking to continue their journey via Greece to other EU countries. The British Embassy is keeping the situation under review, but at present there are no reports of any specific risks to British nationals visiting these islands or at border crossing points. You can find general information and advice about safety and security in Greece in this travel advice.
The Greek authorities have enhanced border security. Anyone attempting to facilitate or transport an illegal migrant or anyone inciting disorder or violence will be arrested and dealt with by the authorities.
There is a general threat from terrorism and acts of political violence. See Terrorism
The emergency services number in Greece is 112. Calling 999 from a UK mobile in Greece will automatically transfer you to the Greek emergency services.
British nationals make around 2.7 million visits to Greece to every year. Most visits are trouble-free, but you should take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. See Crime
Carry a copy of your passport or other photographic ID which confirms British nationality at all times.
The Greek police won’t accept rowdy or indecent behaviour, especially where excessive drinking is involved. Greek courts impose heavy fines or prison sentences on people who behave indecently. Your travel insurance may not cover you after drinking. See Local laws and customs.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.