Local laws and customs
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. The police will make arrests and the courts are likely to impose heavy fines or prison sentences on people who behave indecently. Some fancy dress costumes may be regarded as offensive and therefore against decency laws. Your travel insurance may not cover you after drinking.
Drugs and alcohol
Don’t become involved with drugs of any kind, and don’t bring illegal drugs from the UK. Possession of even small quantities can lead to a long prison sentence.
Alcohol, drugs and use of nitrous oxide can make you less alert, less in control and less aware of your environment.
The Greek authorities are clamping down on the sale of nitrous oxide as it is illegal to buy or sell for recreational use in Greece. You will be liable for arrest as well as a possible fine. You should also be aware of the health risks associated with its use.
Driving any vehicle while over the legal drinking limit can result in a heavy fine and/or imprisonment.
Taking food and drink into the EU
You cannot take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries. There are some exceptions for medical reasons, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons. Check the rules about taking food and drink into the EU on the European Commission website.
It’s sometimes necessary to time stamp or validate your ticket on public transport for it to be valid. Check with local providers.
Purchasing goods or services
Make sure you get a receipt for any goods or services you buy.
Don’t buy any offensive items like pepper spray, knuckledusters or knives with a blade length of 10cm or above. These items are listed as weapons in Greece and fall under the current weapon possession law. You need to have a special licence from the local police authority to carry any weapon otherwise you might face arrest and legal charges. The same applies for knives; you need to have a special licence to carry any knife that is not made for domestic, professional, artistic or hunting use.
Same-sex sexual relations are legal in Greece and civil unions between same-sex couples have been legal since 2015. The age of consent in Greece is 15 – this applies to partners of both the same sex and opposite sex. Transgender people are able to change their legal gender. Anti-discrimination and hate speech laws apply to gender identity.
Public attitudes towards homosexuality vary throughout the country; public displays of affection by same-sex couples may be frowned upon, especially in rural areas.
Attitudes are generally much more welcoming in Athens and on many Greek islands, particularly on Lesvos, Mykonos and Skiathos, which are well known for their gay and lesbian scenes. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
It’s illegal to smoke in all indoor public places. The penalty for violating this law is a fine of up to €500.
Military Service obligations
Men, aged 19 and above, born to a Greek national parent may have military service obligations, regardless of any other nationality they hold. Authorities can prevent you leaving Greece until you complete military service obligations.