Find out exactly how much it will cost to travel Greece budget backpacker style so you can find out how expensive is Greece. Let’s talk about the price of accommodation, transportation, food and more before I let you know EXACTLY how much I spent on my trip to Greece!
Luckily for us backpackers Greece is the perfect place to explore if you are wanting to do Europe on a budget. Due to their economic position over the past few years, their euro is not the strongest, making the cost to travel Greece extremely affordable. Though, you shouldn’t just travel around Greece because it is considered cheap, at least from a European standpoint. The affordability factor is just a bonus. It is a country covered in interesting history, impressive sights and some beautiful islands.
Unfortunately, I only had one week to explore, though I promise one day I will be back. Throughout this week we spent our time in Athens and Santorini. Athens is a place which is extremely easy to do on the cheap, at least if you know how to budget travel. Though, Santorini is a whole different level. Considered one of the most romantic places in the world, with cliffside hotels, sailboat experiences and mindblowing views, this is not a place which is easy to do on a budget.
The Cost To Travel Greece and How Expensive Is Greece?
- Accommodation Costs In Greece
- Food Prices In Greece
- Transportation Costs In Greece
- My Daily Cost To Travel Greece
- Total Cost To Travel Greece
- Budgeted VS Actual Cost To Travel Greece
- Money Saving Tips For Traveling Greece
I am traveling Greece with my partner, James. This allows us to split certain costs such as private rooms, taxis, etc. Where this is true I will state that the cost is ‘shared’ or ‘split’. Now time to get on to finding the cost to travel in Greece…
Accommodation Costs In Greece
Depending on where exactly you decide to travel in Greece your accommodation costs will vary. Prices on the islands are a lot higher than on the mainland in the city center of Athens. This means you will need to budget accordingly to how long you are staying in each place.
Accommodation Costs In Athens
Starting off with Athens itself, the price of accommodation is relatively cheap by European standards. We stayed in a comfortable hotel called Athens Golden City Hotel with an amazing buffet breakfast included for only €13.50 / $15.30 per night. Yes, the room was a little dated, but the bed was comfy, the ac worked and although the bathroom was a little small, had a great shower.
Where we stayed was also a short walk to a Metro station which made getting around the city pretty straight forward. Athens as a whole has a range of these sorts of 3-star hotels dotted around the city. A quick search on something like booking.com will show you the options. Just pick one close to the metro like we did and it will make your trip easier.
Just keep an eye on reviews as through research we found many of the hotels listed were actually people listing out their private apartments. Make sure it says 24-hour reception to ensure there will always be someone present.
A comfortable hostel with a social atmosphere. From $15.00 per night with breakfast.
Dorms set in apartments with kitchenettes for use. From $15.00 per night with breakfast.
An affordable and clean option. From $50.00 per night including buffet breakfast.
Dreamy views and modern rooms from $100.00 per night including breakfast.
Accommodation Costs In Santorini
When it comes to the islands, its gonna be expensive especially if you want that perfect Instagram view. Don’t let that stop you from going as Santorini was one of the most beautiful places I have visited so far and well worth the few days we spent there. Santorini has 3 main areas, Fira, Firastefani and Oia. These are all located on the Western (caldera) side of the island giving great views of the volcano and caldera itself.
Fira is the largest town on the island, has the most shops, hotels and the best place for the island’s nightlife if that’s what you are in to. The hotel we stayed at was just on the outskirts of here. Nautilus Dome is located on the main road with undisrupted views of the caldera. By having a car we were a short 10-minute drive from the airport and center to most of the island. For those who want to take the scenic route you can also enjoy a clifftop walk from Fira to Oia, but be sure to take plenty of water.
It is possible to stay on the eastern side of Santorini for a lot cheaper price (and enjoy some great beaches). Perissa Beach is the go-to place for those looking for a backpackers vibe. Accommodation can be as little as €20.0 / $23.00 per night and there are some good restaurants and bars. You will be further away from the main towns on the western side of the island. However, it is only a ride away with a local bus.
One of the few hostels in Santorini with a pool. From $12.00 per night in a dorm room.
Minutes from the beach offering air-conditioned dorm rooms from $15.00 per night.
My favorite hotel option in Santorini. From $70.00 per night including breakfast.
A stylish hotel in the village of Fira. From $60.00 per night in a twin bedroom.
Food Prices in Greece
The food prices in Greece truly surprised us. We were expecting to have to pay at least €30.00 / $34.00 per person at restaurants but were pleasantly surprised by the affordable options for food prices in Greece. As well as plenty of alternative to typical restaurants.
Food Prices In Athens
In Athens, we were lucky enough to do a local food tour which opened up my eyes to all the local dishes and ingredients Greece has to offer. It was a great introduction for the first time in Greece and we were taken to some of the best foodie spots in Athens.
Though, our go-to eat was a local bakery close to our hotel which did a huge range of sandwiches, pizza slices and lots of cakey type things. All freshly made each morning. The falafel was always our personal favorite. Every time we went to grab a few things for lunch or even a dinner meal, the cost was very small so if you avoid eating out every night you can definitely keep to a low budget when you stay in Athens. It would only end up costing a couple of euro each meal and they would even heat the items up.
If you do go out there is a mixture of fancy and low key restaurants where gyros, souvlaki or moussaka can be purchased relatively cheaply. Gelato is also very popular, especially during the summer time that we were there. Almost all the Gelato shops had a huge line, one of the most popular is DaVinci Gelato. You can even get special cones for €5.00 / $6.00.
We actually only ended up eating out at one restaurant in Athens (lucky for us, breakfast was included in our hotel). We were out on the streets exploring around the Pantheon when the skies opened and rained poured down. To hideaway, for a while, we popped into a restaurant €10.00 / $11.50 per person which had great views around Athens.
Food Prices In Santorini
On Santorini, we cheaped out and used the local Lidl supermarket that was only a 5-minute walk down the road from where we were staying at Nautulis Dome. There was also a great bakery next door, combined with the free buffet breakfast each morning we were able to eat relatively cheaply in the same way we did at Athens. This was perfect for us to keep our cost to travel Greece low, especially in Santorini, which is known for being pricey.
I will admit we did eat at a restaurant a couple of times in Santorini, and this seriously put a big dent in our budget for VERY average food. As we were not keen on driving the roads in Santorini, even though we did have a rental car, we only went to places within walking distance. The closest for us was a Mexican restaurant called Senor Zorba. There were clifftop views, with prices to match, and we spent on average €23.00 / $26.00 per meal each.
Transportation Costs in Greece
Depending on where you plan to visit in Greece will result in different transportation costs. Public transport is a great option within cities, with an awesome Metro in Athens and buses on the islands. If you are wanting to explore the islands you will have to check out different options on getting there. Personally, we found ferry prices surprisingly expensive.
Transportation Costs in Athens
Athens has a metro system that is relatively easy to navigate. Once you arrive at the airport you can pick up a ticket and take the metro into the city center. Just work out ahead of time if you need to change lines to get to your accommodation.
All the main attractions such as the Parthenon have their own station close by making it easy to get around Athens and see all the sites. We spent 3 days in Athens and coincidently you can get the 3-day tourist pass for €22.00 / $25.00. Otherwise, it’s €1.40/ $1.60 for a single 90-minute ticket.
In Athens there is no Uber and taxis can be costly so using the metro is defiantly the quickest and most affordable way to see the city sights. If you do decide to use the metro it can get a little crowded, providing the ideal circumstances for pickpocketers. Be aware of your belongings and wear bags across your front to keep everything safe.
Costs Of Domestic Flights And Ferries
For those wanting to explore the islands such as Santorini, Ryan Air offer cheap flights for under €88.00 / $100.00. Of course, checking in a bag will cost you more and there’s a great chance of the flight being delayed (our flight from Santorini to Athens was the delayed by 2 hours) but it gets you to your destination for a relatively small cost. This is the benefit of traveling Europe as a whole, cheap airfares! Flight time is also a super short 45 minutes.
Aegean air and Olympic air also offer flights across Greece so best to shop around, we just found Ryanair to be cheaper at our time of travel. The other option is to use the ferry services, priced from €20.00 / $23.00 to €76.00 / $86.00 it can be cheaper than flying. However, the 7-8 hour cruise to Santorini prompted us to opt for the airfare. There is also a high-speed ferry which takes 4 hours but is known to be a lot bumpier and not to be used by those that can get seasick easily.
It is best to check your dates and the relative costs of ferries and flights on those days. It was considerably cheaper for us traveling to Santorini to take a flight. Though, I am sure if you are venturing to a more obscure island it could very well be cheaper to take a ferry. I honestly thought we would take a ferry, I mean that is like an initiation to traveling the Greek islands. Though, when I saw the price I definitely freaked out as it would have put a major dent in my budget! In the end, we managed to find flights for around €40.00 / $45.00, certainly proving it is not always expensive in Greece.
Transportation Costs in Santorini
In Santorini itself we opted to hire a car for the time we were there. Although, be warned the roads are tiny and traffic rules minimal so make sure you have a confident driver behind the wheel. Also, book the smallest car possible to help with parking. Once you get used to how it works driving becomes straight forward, the initial drive out of the airport can be pretty stressful (found that out the hard way).
Admittedly we barely used our car, it essentially became a rather expensive airport transfer. Sure I could tell you that we drove around and had a great time, but I like to be honest. My main takeaways from this lesson learned were Santorini is not the place to learn to drive on the right-hand side of the road, book an automatic car and use a reputable rental company. We ended up paying €150.00 / $169.00 total for the car hire.
ATV’s are the other option for those that don’t mind driving the hot dusty roads of Santorini with no air con, lack of luggage space and the wind in your face. Although they make parking an easier process. This is an excellent option for backpackers with a real adventurous spirit. Just be careful as growing up driving ATV’s and living in NZ where they are used all over the farmland I know how dangerous they are. It is extremely easy to flip an ATV and they are numerous injuries each year in Santorini thanks to these.
If you are staying in one of the centers of Santorini such as Oia or Fira, you can use the public bus to get around. During the summer months, there might be a bit of a wait as crowds can get quite large. Though this is certainly the safest option and certainly a cheap choice for transportation in Santorini. You can find bus ticket prices between destinations on Santorini here.
My Daily REAL Cost To Travel Greece
Cost To Travel In Athens
Day One- Athens
After jumping off a 12-hour flight from Singapore we purchased a Transport Card for €22.00 / $25.00 which would include free public transport for the next 3 days as well as our return trip to the airport
After checking into our hotel we get an early dinner consisting of a sandwich and Fanta from Attica Artopoieia, a nearby bakery totaling €3.80 / $4.30.
During our time in Athens, we stayed in private double from at Athens Golden City Hotel. The price was €13.50 / $15.50 each per night. Though we got it at a discounted rate as our original hotel that was prepaid canceled 2 weeks before our stay. Luckily booking.com gave us a much nicer alternative at the same price which is why it is so cheap.
Daily Cost In Grece: €39.30 / $44.50
Day Two- Athens
After a big sleep recovering from jetlag, we had breakfast at the Hotel before hitting the streets on a Food Tour. It was great tasting the best food in Athens, though I was a guest on that tour. I did tip our guide €5.00 / $5.70.
Lunch was another delicious bite at Attica Artopoieia. Being vegetarian I often cannot eat too much on the food tour, so I was hungry and spent €2.50 / $3.00 on a sandwich and a bottle of water for €0.80 / $1.00.
For the afternoon we take a quick sunset bike tour around Athens. Again I was a guest on this tour, but I do tip the guide €2.50 / $3.00.
Walking back to the hotel I grab another quick and affordable bakery meal for dinner. That and a drink comes to a total of €3.30 / $4.00.
During our time in Athens, we stayed in private double from at Athens Golden City Hotel. The price was €13.50 / $15.50 euro each per night, though we got it at a discounted rate as our original hotel that was prepaid canceled 2 weeks before our stay. Luckily booking.com gave us a much nicer alternative at the same price which is why it is so cheap.
Daily Cost In Grece: €27.60 / $31.50
Day Three- Athens
Today is a day of sightseeing and relaxing. After a walk around the city, we stop for our first restaurant meal at a place near to the Acropolis Museum. For my pasta meal with a drink comes to €10.00 / $11.50.
During our sightseeing we also stop at the ever popular DaVinci Gelato for a cone each of the delicious goodness. It comes to €5.00 / $6.00 euro which includes a special cone.
A simple dinner on our way back to the hotel consists of another visit to Attica Artopoieia. Its another sandwich for me costing €2.50 / $3.00.
During our time in Athens, we stayed in private double from at Athens Golden City Hotel. The price was €13.50 / $15.50 each per night, though we got it at a discounted rate as our original hotel that was prepaid canceled 2 weeks before our stay. Luckily booking.com gave us an much nicer alternative at the same price which is why it is so cheap.
Daily Cost In Grece: €31.00 / $35.00
Cost To Travel In Santorini
Day Four- Santorini
Time to get out of Athens and as it is too early for the metro and still dark we split a taxi to Syntagma bus stop. This is because we were staying in a bad part of town, it works out to €3.50 / $4.00 each.
From the bus stop, we catch a bus to the airport which costs €6.00 / $7.00.
At the airport, I get a bit hungry and grab a little bite a Mcdonalds for €4.00 / $4.50.
Our flight to Santorini from Athens, purchased in advanced, cost us €40.00 / $45.00 each. This was flying Ryan Air with checked luggage.
Once we have landed in Santorini we get a hire car. The cost split between us is €78.00 / $88.00.
Once again there is a bakery nearby to our accommodation so I have a couple of sandwiches for dinner which come out to €3.50 / $4.00.
We stay in a private room at Nautilus Dome which includes a buffet breakfast. My partner and I split the cost which works out to €37.50 / $43.00 per night each.
Daily Cost In Grece: €172.50 / $195.00
Day Five- Santorini
Before starting today’s adventures we grab lunch from the next door bakery which costs €3.50 / $4.00 for a sandwich and bottle of water.
We have a volcano sailboat cruise around some of the best sights in Santorini. I was a guest on this tour so there was no cost involved, though I do purchase a drink for €2.00 / $2.50. This tour also includes dinner.
We stay in a private room at Nautilus Dome which includes a buffet breakfast. My partner and I split the cost which works out to €37.50 / $43.00 per night each.
Daily Cost In Grece: €43.00 / $49.00
Day Six- Santorini
For lunch, we have Mexican at Senor Zorba. For my meal and a drink, it comes to €22.00 / $25.00.
As we need to full up the hire car we have barely used we go to the petrol station. The cost of petrol is €10.00/ $11.50, though we split that between us for €5.00 / $6.00 each.
As we have a late flight and try to kill time we go to the nearby supermarket to buy some snacks and bottled water. We split the total so it is €3.00 / $3.50 each.
To kill some extra time in the evening we go back to Senor Zorba for dinner that evening. My half of the meal comes to €25.00 / $28.00.
Daily Cost In Grece: €55.00 / $62.00
How Much Does It Cost To Travel Greece?
|Cost To Travel Greece||EURO||USD|
|Taxi To Bus Stop||€3.50||$4.00|
|Bus To the Airport||€6.00||$7.00|
|Flight To Santorini||€40.00||$45.00|
|Cost Per Day||€60.05||$69.00|
How Much To Budget For Greece & How Much I Spent In Greece
|Cost per day||$71.66||$69.00||+$2.66|
Overall, I was super happy that I came under budget on my backpacking Greece adventure. This is especially so as I did not budget for the car hire previous to the trip which did take up a large portion of the expenses. Luckily I managed to keep other costs relatively low so the €78.00 / $88.00 car hire did not affect the end result.
What really contributed to this was eating at the many bakeries, allowing us to keep the food cost extremely low. The total food cost ended up being €85.50 / $97.00 which is nearly €70.00 / $80.00 less than what I had budgeted,
Being able to work which many companies also assisted with me being able to keep my cost of traveling Greece low. Though, not all travelers would want to do all these tours as they could be things they are not interested in. An example is the bike tour we did of sights in Santorini, this could have been done on foot. Though, being limited on time in Athens, this option suited us. Also, we would not have regularly been able to afford some, such as the private sightseeing in Santorini tour. Which is why I have left these out of the budget.
Though, all in all, my cost per day of $69.00 was just under budget and we had an excellent time in Greece. There are so many free historic areas and beautiful sights that you do not need to pay to visit which is perfect for budget travelers.
Tips for saving money in Greece
- Book accommodation with free breakfast.
- Eat out at cheaper alternatives such as the many delicious bakeries!
- Take public transport, especially the Metro in Athens. Taxis are expensive here.
- Keep an eye out for scams. Ignore people that come up to you on the street trying to give you a ‘free bracelet’. Nothing in this world is free and these scams are notorious throughout Europe.
- If you are going to the island’s, research into whether flying or taking the ferry is best for you (there can be major price differences).
Any Questions? Let me know in the comments!
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