Local laws and customs
Indecent behaviour, including mooning, isn’t tolerated. 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.
Drugs and Alcohol
Don’t become involved with drugs of any kind, and don’t bring drugs - including ‘class C’ 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.
It’s sometimes necessary to time stamp or validate your ticket on public transport for it to be valid.
If you’re seeking employment in bars or night clubs in Greece, you will need a health certificate/licence issued by the local authorities. Failure to have such a certificate is punishable by a fine and or imprisonment.
Always insist on a contract for employment and check offered accommodation beforehand. Always keep your passport safe and do not hand over to others for safekeeping. If someone has taken your passport and is withholding it, report it to the police and/or contact the British Consulate for advice.
If you feel you have been exploited during seasonal work, don’t be afraid to seek advice. You can call the UK charity UNSEEN on their 24/7 helpline or call the local Human Trafficking 1109 NGO for advice and help in English.
Purchasing goods or services
Make sure you get a receipt for any goods or services you buy. If you buy pirate CDs or DVDs in Greece you could be imprisoned.
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 of 15 is the same as for partners of the 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.