Traveling on a budget may be easy for some, but to many people this can be quite challenging. But when it comes to Greece, you’ll be pleased to know that you don’t have to resort to wild camping to travel on the cheap. All it requires is some proper planning.
Greece is an incredibly popular tourist destination, though despite this, the country has taken a hit economically, and travel here is incredibly cheap. When compared to other European destinations, it is a bargain and it gives you an array of things to do on a small budget.
If you are looking to visit Greece, here are our favorite frugal tips to get you started.
Greece on a Budget: Frugal Travel Tips for Making Greece Cheap
Accommodation for 10 Euros
Vacationing in Greece does not need to cost you a lot on accommodation. One of the ideas that will work well to give you an affordable solution is to book hostels, which you can find on a small budget.
With only 10 Euros, you can find a hostel that would give you an experience similar to what you would enjoy in a 100 Euro hotel. Most of these hostels are safe, offer travel services and secure luggage, and they are also clean with decent meals.
If you’re truly adventurous and want to save that 10 Euros, you might also consider wild camping in Greece. Wild camping is setting up camp anywhere that isn’t a designated campground. This may be a park, the forest, on the beach, the side of the road, or deep in the mountains.
Photo credit: Marilou Chatzicharalampous Savopoulou
You may opt for organized tours, which guarantee more security and educational information, but do keep in mind that you pay more. For someone traveling on a budget, this may not seem like an option.
There are different transportation options in Greece that you can utilize for island hopping, or touring different destinations. Local transportation will save you money and will help you to travel to your preferred destinations.
Many coaches in Greece allow passengers to have food and drinks on board, and their buses are clean. The only challenge you might encounter is the fact that it might take slightly longer to arrive when you use public transportation.
For your travel to Greece, book flights through platforms like travelo.gr that help you to find the cheapest tickets possible. Browse for the cheapest routes and also compare destinations to know what you can afford to pay for.
Photo credit: Arthur Yeti
Buy from Local Markets
The food options offered in hotels are costly and could easily consume your small budget in few days. To solve this, opt for food and drinks from local markets.
You can find all the things you need for cheap at local eateries. All kinds of food are sold in the market, and a great noe to visit is the market around Paros Island.
For example, with 0.40 Euros, you can get 1.5 liters of water, which would cost almost three times if bought at a supermarket. You don’t always need to prepare the food as you can find already cooked meals that you can stock up.
Many people in Athens prefer to take bottled water, and the reason is that the tap water, although drinkable, is desalinated and tastes funny. You could ignore the taste and save those cents from buying bottled water.
Ask Locals Using the Word “Cheap”
When looking for restaurant recommendations, always include the word “cheap” in your description. This will pay off as you will be directed to the most affordable restaurants in town.
Cheap, in this case, does not refer to poor quality food. Rather, it is about choosing a modest eatery that also gives you perfect local treats that you can sample. Most cheap restaurants also serve substantial portions compared to high-end hotels.
When asking for local recommendations, the word ‘cheap’ in Greek is φτηνός (ftinós pronounced phonetically).
Photo credit: Nick Karvounis
Use Cash for Payments
Using a credit card offers a convenient way to pay, but research has shown that you are likely to spend more while using a card than when paying with cash.
With cash, you are able to ration your money and in the end of the day you could end up spending less. Additionally, many credit cards charge excessively for foreign transaction fees and have some of the worst conversion rates.
Just ask locals for advice, and you will be directed to the best places to use cash instead of credit cards. Euro is the currency of Greece.
Rent a Moped Instead of a Car
Car rentals can be extremely useful when you want to save on transportation cost, but with a moped, you can take your savings even further.
Confirm with neighboring towns and cities to see if you can get a moped for as low as 14 Euros day. It is also a perfect way to explore the islands and beaches, and you will not struggle to find parking space.
Just ensure you are safe while using the mopped or a scooter and have familiarized yourself with local road rules. It’s also a wise idea to make sure that your travel insurance include third party liability, which will come into play if you are in an accident and injure someone else or their property.
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LOL on CHEAP Andrew. Easy enough. Ask locals where the cheapies are, and you get ’em. Added bonus when it comes to food at least; cheap local haunts in most countries serve the best fare as well. People in these lands know this. Rocking tips.
Totally agree Ryan on cheap local ‘hole in the wall’ places serving the best, and most authentic food. Local tips are always the way to go! We read up as much as possible before a trip, but the real recommendations come once you’re actually there from the people who call it home :D
This is one of the next places I want to go!
Hope you have the chance to travel son! :)
Interesting ideas. I’ll be in Greece in a fortnight.
Glad you enjoyed the post Roy – happy travels! Hope you have an amazing time in Greece :)
Greece is always worth a visit!
Totally agree :D
Traveling to Greece can be expensive if you’e not careful. There are some great tips here on how to save money and stick to a budget while on your vacation, though!
Glad you enjoyed the post Nick – absolutely, it’s one of those things that can be as cheap or expensive as you make it :)
Re transport, you can use Uber in Athens. It’s about 20% cheaper than normal cabs, and if you’re taking a ferry to the Greek islands, you can take an Uber directly to the ferry port.
Thanks for the tip Evageline – agree that Uber is great, it’s truly transformed the transport industry :)
Great tips! We were in Athens last year and signed up for a free walking tour, and it was really great. They do request tips at the end, but you can choose what you want to contribute. I didn’t really see anything advertised re free walking tours on the Greek Islands though. But the Athens tour was fab.
Free walking tours are the best aren’t they! I think you’re right about being more prevalent in main tourist cities as opposed to the islands, but I might check if they do have any outside of Athens, as that’s a great tip.
Thanks for your comment Emil :)
Shared rooms on Airbnb can definitely fit into your ‘accommodation for 10€’ category. Usually anything you find fr €10/night will be shared accommodation, generally it’s more so around €25 to €50/night if you want a private home. But that would be cheaper still if you were traveling with mates and splitting it. Greece CAN be expensive, but these are good advices for knowing how to hack your way to cheaper costs.
Great to know, thanks for the tip Kristin. I rarely use Airbnb to be honest, but have heard really great things, especially if it’s the same price wise as hostels :)
We found that booking overnight ferries saves on accommodation :) It takes double the time but you save on your hotel, and the ferry cost is half too. You pay way more than that for a hotel with an ocean view :D
Awesome tip Suhana, thanks for sharing your insight!
There are great backpacking itineraries for Greece and the Greek Islands here: https://www.thebrokebackpacker.com/how-to-enjoy-the-greek-islands-on-a-budget/
It’s pretty tough to backpack Greece on $10 a day unless you’re participating in a work exchange. You can, however, backpack Greece for under $40.
Thanks for sharing :)
I find the meals n non tourist areas to have the best food and great prices….I could eat a good meal for around 4 euros..I do disagree with the tap water comment though, I found the water in Athens city to be the best tasting water I have ever had. I expected it to taste like the sea, like it does here on the coast of Texas, but the water filters through the best rock there is…Marble and Granite!! the water if bottled and sold in the USA would make you a millionaire. I adore Greece and Athens…will be returning again over and over till I can retire there…..
So glad to hear you had a fabulous time in Greece Michela, and great tip about seeking out non touristy areas to eat – I’m always amazed at how much they jack up the prices (I’m speaking everywhere, not just Greece) in touristy areas – that’s clever business though I guess! Incredible how much you can save by just wandering back a couple of blocks though.
Thanks for sharing your experiences with Athens water too – maybe I’m too overcautious with my water :)
My son goes in 4 days!
I hope he has a fabulous trip!
So far, he is. The pics are amazing. Such lovely views. Makes me want a trip there too.
Definitely an excuse to visit him :D