Greece is one of the best destinations for solo travelers. It’s generally safe and easy to navigate. And people are friendly and welcoming. That being said, there are places where you need to take precautions and a few other things to know about Greece solo travel.
Let’s look at some travel tips!
What Do I Need to Know Before Greece Solo Travel?
Greece’s main cities are heavily populated and therefore require more awareness, just like any other major city worldwide. Whereas the Greek islands are more laid back. Let’s take a closer look at each, including means of transportation and accommodation.
On your first visit to Athens, you may get the impression it’s unsafe. Athens can feel a little rough around the edges. For the most part, you have nothing to worry about. Just be aware of your surroundings and avoid looking like a tourist.
Pickpockets can be an issue in Athens. This mostly occurs on public transit, including the metro and buses, and in crowded touristy areas like Monastiraki Square. Thieves are very good at this, and you might not even notice until it is too late.
If you have valuables with you, keep your hand on them at all times. Make sure your bags are closed, and your luggage is locked.
When you’re eating at a restaurant, always keep your bag or purse on your lap. Don’t set it on the ground or hang it on the chair behind you. Most restaurants have outdoor seating, which makes it very easy for thieves to quickly swoop in and grab your belongings.
Another scam is when you put your cell phone on a table. Someone may approach with a large sign and place it in front of the phone. While this happens, they steal the phone off the table.
Cross the streets with care in Athens. Pedestrians do not have the right of way in Greece. Cross only at crosswalks, look both ways and make sure no cars have run the lights. And don’t be surprised if a car goes the wrong way on a one-way street. Cars and motorbikes sometimes ride and park on sidewalks as well, so always be alert.
The Greek islands are probably one of the safest places in the world. You can wander the streets at any time of night on most islands. Again, use your common sense here, and you should be fine. Greeks are late-night people, so it is unlikely you will ever be out late alone.
On the beaches, you should be okay to bring money, your phone, and a small device. Some beach umbrellas have little lockers attached for you to keep small things in. Do not wave around your money or gadgets, but it’s quite rare to have things stolen on a Greek beach.
The Greece ferry system is an efficient and safe way to travel between the mainland and the islands. When you board, you’re directed to leave your luggage in the ferry hold. It may seem odd at first. However, there’s nothing to worry about. It will be safe there for the duration of your trip.
Leaving your carry-on luggage in your seat for a short amount of time is also okay, and as a solo traveler is unavoidable. If you want, ask a friendly Greek family to watch your bags. People are usually more than happy to help. You might even gain new friends who give you tips for exploring your destination.
It’s also safe to take Greece ferries by yourself at night. Just make sure you know where you are going or have ground transportation arranged when you arrive at your destination. Most island hotels will arrange a pick-up at the port or tell you the best way to reach them.
If you’re arriving at an Athens port at night, arrange a driver or taxi ahead of time. Depending on the time of your arrival, buses and the metro may be closed for the night.
Not all Greece hotels will have a safe in the room, and if they do, it may not be very large. On the islands, you shouldn’t have to worry as much about securing your belongings in your room. If there is no safe, hide your valuables in a secret pocket in your suitcase. And it’s always good practice to zip your suitcase shut when you leave the room.
In Athens, most hotels are secure, and people must pass the front desk to get to the rooms. Some hotels also have safes at the front desk for you to use.
If you need to check out of your hotel before being at the port or airport, most hotels will let you store your luggage behind the front desk. This is a nice convenience for solo travelers in Greece.
Is Athens Safe for a Solo Female Traveler?
Greece is safe for a solo female traveler, but I recommend taking a little extra precaution when in Athens. Be sure to exude confidence, prevent problems from arising, and problem-solve wisely when they do. Enlist the basic solo female safety tips, such as planning before you leave and getting travel insurance.
Like with any major city, there are places I recommend women avoid when traveling solo in Athens. When booking accommodations, you may notice the Omonia neighborhood in the center of Athens has budget-friendly hotels. Avoid this area. It’s popular for drug trafficking and prostitution. And it’s not a safe place a night or during the day. I would also avoid staying in the Victoria Square area, which is near the National Archeological Museum.
The safest neighborhoods to stay near the center of Athens and the Acropolis include Koukaki, Plaka, Syntagma, Thiseio, and Kolonaki. If you look for hotels or Airbnbs in these neighborhoods, you’re likely to feel safe, and you’ll be within walking distance of all of the major sights in Athens.
Is Greece Easy to Travel Alone?
Greece solo travel is easy overall. Like with any destination, when in doubt, ask questions. Hotel staff and travel agents can be very helpful if you run into trouble. And you typically don’t have to look far to find someone who speaks English if you can’t communicate in Greek.
Greece has so much to offer, from food to culture, history, and epic landscapes. Exploring the country on your own can be very inspirational and rewarding. Keep in mind basic safety tips, and enjoy!
Are you ready to take a solo trip to Greece?