Visiting Greece as a Solo Traveler – Is It Safe?
Greece is a great country for solo travel. From safety tips to accommodation, these must-read tips will help you plan your upcoming solo trip to Greece!
Solo traveling in Greece is an amazing experience. By being a solo traveler, you’ll meet a lot of friendly locals, travel on your own schedule, and have an arguably more authentic experience. I will admit that I got a lot of weird looks from locals and travelers when I told them I was traveling alone, but Greece turned out to be one of the safest places I’ve traveled as a solo female.
That said, Greece is such a gorgeous place that I often found myself wanting to share it with someone. Yet, even though I was traveling alone, I did meet a lot of friendly locals who invited me into their restaurants for a drink or to chat on their porch. I never left empty handed either – they love to feed you in Greece!
Visiting Greece as a Solo Traveler – Is it safe?
Greece Safety Tips
Know What Areas to Avoid
As a foreigner, knowing where not to go in Greece can be difficult. Yet, like any place you visit, doing a little research beforehand on places to avoid is key in keeping you safe as a traveler. Take extra precaution in big cities, especially at night and with pickpocketing, and keep general solo travel tips in mind.
Also, when you get to your destination, check in with your concierge or Airbnb host and ask what their takes are on the situation.
Learn Some Greek
Learning the local language will come in very handy while in Greece – a country where not everyone speaks English. It’s smart to learn the standard greetings as well as some phrases for if things go awry. Know how to ask for help, how to get local transportation, and how to get to the nearest emergency services such as hospitals.
However, stressful situations can wipe out even the best attempts at learning the local language. I recommend writing down key phrases and keep them in your day bag for just in case.
Read more: 10 Important Safety Tips for Solo Female Travelers
Have a Cell Phone with Data
On my recent trip to Greece, having a cell phone with data was essential in getting me from point A to point B and keeping me safe on the road. Before you leave for Greece, make sure your cell phone is unlocked, and then buy a local SIM card when you arrive.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program allows US citizens traveling abroad to log their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. Having your trip to Greece enrolled with this will allow you to receive information about safety conditions in your destination, and allow the embassy (as well as your friends and family) to contact you in case of an emergency.
Offline Maps were a lifesaver during my time in Greece. To download offline maps, open the Google Maps App, click on the main menu, find “offline maps”, and then make a new or custom map. I always download maps of my destinations before I leave home.
For those wanting to not rely on technology, paper maps work just as well!
Read more: 10 Perfect European Cities For Solo Female Travelers
Greece Tips for Solo Female Travelers
While in Greece, I found that men could be quite forward, yet their advances weren’t over the top and unsettling like in some other countries. Generally, if you politely tell them your lack of interest, they’ll leave you alone.
Additionally, if you want to experience the Greek nightlife or hotspots, I recommend joining up on a tour. If you’re backpacking Greece, hostels always have nightlife options but if not, major tour providers often schedule wine tastings and guided nights out.
How to Travel Around the Greek Islands
Getting around the Greek Islands is generally easy, with multiple ferry and flight options available. Personally, due to the somewhat haphazard reliability of the ferries, I preferred to fly from island to island, but sometimes the ferry is the only option.
Ferries in the Greek Islands are often canceled, so you’ll need to stay flexible. I recommend not booking ferries until you have arrived at your destination, and then ask one of the local booking offices which one they recommend based on the weather forecast and options.
Accommodation in Greece
During my time in Greece, I mostly stayed at Airbnb’s (with the exception of a splurge hotel in Santorini) and found that Greek hospitality is very real. My hosts often picked me up and dropped me off, brought me homemade food, and they always gave local tips and were more than gracious. Don’t be shy about asking your hosts for help or suggestions, they’ll be happy to do it.
In choosing an Airbnb or hotel, look for a place with excellent reviews that’s in a good location.
Read more: 8 Incredibly Safe Island Destinations for Solo Travelers
Driving in Greece
Driving in Greece can be tricky. While on the island of Milos, Google Maps would often take me down dead-end dirt roads and get me lost. However, back to that Greek hospitality thing, the locals were more than happy to give me tips and directions, which put my mind at ease.
That said, there are certain places in Greece I would never consider driving. Do your research and see what other travelers have said about the road and driving conditions in the places you’re visiting.
Public Transportation in Greece
Most places in Greece have fairly decent public transportation. On Milos, there is a bus that goes to most of the popular spots, but you will definitely have more freedom in your own car on a small island like this.
Car rental locations are fairly easy to come by and, on the smaller islands, ATV’s and scooters are popular too!
Plan Your Trip to Greece
After traveling consistently for over 10 years, we’ve come to trust and rely on a few websites to help us find the best deals on flights and accommodation.
Flights: Going is the first place we check when searching for cheap flights. If you sign up for their email alerts, you’ll receive flight deals at up to 90% off. I have traveled all over the world using their flight deals.
Accommodation: Booking.com offers savings on hotels, apartments, and villas in 80,000 destinations worldwide. You can browse hotel reviews and find the guaranteed best price on hotels for all budgets.
Travel Insurance: We never travel without a travel insurance policy because it’s not worth the risk! We use and trust Visitors Coverage, which we’ve used for the past 8 years.
I have been reading your articles for awhile now and always find them useful. My sister and I traveled to Crete two years ago in February and had a wonderful time. We stayed in VRBO’s and some small locally owned hotels, except in Athens as we were arriving and leaving. We found that all over Crete the people were friendly and helpful. I was driving and relying on Google maps (I won’t do that again!) and of course, we were sometimes lost.
I would recommend traveling in February if you like to have places to yourself, but be aware that some smaller tourist destinations and many restaurants will be closed. That being said, we had many of the archeological sites to ourselves and the museums were not crowded. Shopping for souvenirs or other tourist-driven items was difficult though. Most of the shops close for the winter.
Still, we had some wonderful meals and enjoyed meeting the owners of the restaurants that were open.
I’ve really been enjoying your articles – especially on Greece. We spent 2 weeks there in Fall 2019 and loved it! We stayed in VRBO’s and Airbnb’s for the entire stay and had some great experiences, but the best stays were when the owners offered a chance to experience some of the local culture. One of the owners in Athens directed us to a fantastic restaurant favored by the locals where very little English was spoken, which was perfect. In Corinth, the owners prepared and served us a seaside dinner of local dishes followed by digestivos. So I agree, trying to spend some time getting to know the locals definitely enhances the travel experience.