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Joe18 Jan 25th, 2012 09:32 AM

Traveling in Greece now--what's it like?
We're beginning to plan a trip to Greece and wonder if visitors are affected by the financial crisis, either positive or negative. For example, are prices cheaper, strkes disruptive, public transportation/services less reliable? I visited once before in 2000 and there were strikes that disrupted life in Athens, so I assume some labor unrest is a given even in more stable times.

clausar Jan 25th, 2012 10:05 AM

You say you are traveling in Greece now...
Prices are not cheaper, on the contrary, in many cases they were increase after a VAT increase from 19 to 23%.
Also cooked food, restaurant and cafe prices are higher, since VAT went up from 13 to 23%.....
Hotel prices on the other hand, especially in Athens are lower now.
Public transportation everywhere in Greece is working,as it always had, there are no strikes at the moment affecting visitors.
Greece is a country where strikes are taking place more often than elsewhere ( like in the rest of Southern Europe), so i guess what you experienced back in 2000 was routine.

Heimdall Jan 25th, 2012 10:39 AM

I think Joe was looking for help from someone currently in Greece, and clausar certainly qualifies on that count. ;-)

When I was in Greece last September I didn't notice much difference in prices from the year before, but someone actually living there would be more sensitive to changes.

You would be rather unlucky if strikes caused any serious problems to your trip, and leaving a few days for Athens at the end is the best way to avoid them. There seem to be fewer strikes in mid-summer than at other times of the year, unless I am mistaken. :-)

clausar Jan 25th, 2012 11:18 AM

The VAT changes took place after September, the government was obliged to increase VAT, as per troica's demand ( EU + IMF).

At the moment there are no strikes at all...

Traveling in Greece now means you will be visiting in the summer?

theoulis Jan 26th, 2012 11:52 AM

You don't have to worry about anything during the trip.
Rates haven't been increased that much. Greek enterpeneurs are trying their best to be competitive among other destinations. Moreover, crisis in Greece has lead to a better quality in the services. People provide their sercices in a better way in order to keep their companies busy.
Strikes are quite often thing but it is not a negative factor for your journey. That maybe affect you while you re staying in Athens, but in every other destination across Greece, that,will be not a problem. Public transportation's strikes are announced one or two weeks before, so you can be prepared for something like that.
Despite crisis, Greek people remain kind and generous with tourists as we dont think that all this has to do with people from abroad.
You ll be totally fine!

Rebelfone_Inc Feb 3rd, 2012 02:01 AM

Greece is beautiful place with a rich history.
As others have mentioned that VAT has increased but you can still enjoy your trip, don't worry.
You can visit archaeological sites; move to clusters of islands with great beaches, crystal clear water and mountainous regions of Greece where you will find breathtaking scenery.
The people are friendly and warm and I am sure you will have a memorable trip. There are lot of options to shop, indulge in adventurous sports or maybe just enjoy the amazing nightlife.
Have good trip!

awlrain Feb 17th, 2012 07:19 AM

I was in Greece in October. While we had no problems in Santorini, the Athens leg was rife with strike problems! We had very little time in Athens- arrived 9am on a Tues, left for Santorini on Thursday 10:30am. Day 1 we just wandered, and we had planned the "big stuff" for Day 2 (Acropolis, Natl Museum). Imagine our disappointment when we were unable to go to to the Acropolis bc they were striking! We made our way to the Natl Museum, only to find that closed due to strike as well! Apparently the intel re: strikes is not very good bc although the New Acropolis Museum was able to inform us about the Acropolis, they had little info about other sites. There was nothing we could do, so we just sucked it up and made the most of the day anyway, including a very satisfying mini-hike up to Likavitos.

However, the next morning we found that all mass transportation was striking, so we were unable to take the $10 airport express bus from in front of the hotel, and instead were hit with a $75 taxi fare (our only option). Then, we found that our flight from Eleftherios was delayed due to strikes (only about 1.5-2hrs, thank goodness). When returning from Santorini and passing through Athens, that flight was delayed an hour too! (Mind you, they don't tell you how long it will be delayed either. You just wait until the strike has let up, but according to the flight attendant, "In our experience, no, the flight won't be cancelled.")

In short, the strikes put a real damper on the Greece leg of our trip. But we had to chuckle that even though we didn't get to be up there at the Acropolis, at least it was a very Greek reason for missing it! And in the end, it wasn't anything we had control of, so we just bucked up and made the most of it. It was stressful while it was happening though!

clausar Feb 18th, 2012 03:21 PM

Strikes don't happen every day.... but of course being hit by a strike can ruin your plans.....
What is in your opinion a very Greek reason ?

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