Things NOT to Do in Greece

Greece is one of the most popular destinations all year round. Like any place in the world, there are some things that you should avoid on your holidays there in order to make your journey stress free, safer and more enjoyable.


What not to do in Greece

Don’t underdress when visiting churches and monasteries

Around Greece, there are some beautiful historical churches and monasteries that definitely deserve your visit. You shouldn’t visit if you have bare legs and bare arms although some monasteries do provide cover-ups for the unprepared.


Don’t throw paper on the toilet

Since I am a Greek not throwing paper on the toilet is something that I learned from an early age. When I first traveled in Europe I was shocked to discover that there it wasn’t the same. So why not throw paper on the toilet in Greece? The explanation is very simple actually, the sewage pipes are very narrow and they get clogged easily. You should throw the toilet paper into the bin located next to the toilet.


Don’t drink water from the tap

A lot of people visiting the country wonder if they can drink tap water in Greece. The tap water is not potable throughout the country. Although it is perfectly safe to drink water from the tap in Athens and Thessaloniki it is better to ask in all the other places or even better buy bottled water which is fairly cheap. In some areas, you can find water in springs especially in mountainous regions where you can see locals filling up bottles to take home for use. Generally in most of the Greek Islands like Mykonos and Santorini you cannot drink water from the tap.


Don’t take photos of military facilities

Especially in some islands of the Aegean like Lemnos, Lesvos, Kos, Samos etc, there are a lot of military facilities scattered around the island. Taking photos of these facilities is prohibited. You don’t want to be arrested as a spy right?


Don’t use the zebra crossing unless you look

In Greece, the zebra crossing on the roads is just a color pattern. Cars never stop to let you pass. So if you want to cross a road head to the traffic lights and if you want to use the zebra crossing always look that the road is empty before crossing.


Don’t stay in the sun without a hat and sunblock

Greece is a sunny country all year round. Especially in the summer, the sun is very strong and you can get burnt or have a sunstroke very easily. You should wear a sun block at all times along with a hat and try to drink a lot of water or juice to keep yourself hydrated. Try not to drink a lot of alcohol when you are in the sun. You will regret it later.

Don’t drink alcohol with empty stomach

When I am on holidays I have seen a lot of people drinking alcohol like there is no tomorrow. Greeks do drink as well, you will probably have heard about ouzo, the Greek wine, and raki. Our secret is that most of the time we eat and drink at the same time. Another option is not to drink on an empty stomach. Another thing we do after we finish partying is to eat

Another thing we do after we finish partying is to eat vromiko (dirty food) which can be something like a sandwich, a crepe, a hot-dog, souvlaki etc. You will have notice that there are a lot of places serving food that stay open until the early morning hours. Lastly don’t forget to drink water at the same time as the alcohol makes our body dehydrated and of course, don’t drive while being drunk.


Don’t touch the artifacts in the museums and the archaeological sites

Greece is a country full of archaeological sites. Most of them have specific rules that must be obeyed like no touching of the artifacts and sometimes no flash photography or no photography at all. Just read the signs or if in doubt ask the guard.

Don’t wait in the queue

During high season many attraction in Greece are very popular with tourists. For example in popular destinations like Athens you might need to wait in the queue and under the sun for some time. To avoid the lines you can buy a skip the line ticket in advance.

Here are some popular skip the line tours for you:


For more Greece travel tips check The World Pursuit’s post – 15 Greece Travel Tips: You Should Know Before You Go.

Do you have any other things to avoid in Greece to add to this list?

Have you experienced something in Greece that you found strange? What was it?

Sharing is caring!

18 thoughts on “Things NOT to Do in Greece”

    • I am not suggesting that you will die if you drink it but in many places like Lemnos, some places in Crete, Andros, Corfu, Volos Ioannina etc most people buy bottle water or fill bottles from springs. I always ask at the hotel and on the above places they suggested I use bottled water. In some cases the tap water causes gastric problems but it depends.

      • I lived in Ioannina, Volos and Lemnos. Tap water is safe and yes, of course the hotel will tell you to buy bottled water.

    • Tap water is very good quality. I have never had a problem drinking water. In my town the water doesn’t have that nasty taste that you get sometimes with tap water. In fact, it is healthier than water from a plastic bottle. The bottles often sit under the sun for hours on trucks etc being delivered to the shops and kiosks the water and the plastic can have a reaction when heated up, this is not healthy. I would, in most cases, fill a glass bottle from the tap when going out. Some Islands do have problems with fresh drinking water, but not on mainland Greece.

    • Would it be ok to drink island tap water if i used some kind of filter? I know they sell filter water bottles at camping stores. I drink a ton of water and worried how much bottled water will cost

      • I am not sure about this, you need to check on each island. Water in Greece is cheap though 50 cents for 0,5 lt . Still there are alot of islands you can drink the water.

  1. Do thumbs up in Greece. It is a modern country living in the future.
    Things not to do while you are in the country is buying water in plastic bottles before asking a Greek if he drinks the tap water.

    • You are right, you should always as the locals if you can drink the water. Unfortunately, especially in the islands water is not potable.

  2. Women travelling in Greece must be aware that they are not accorded equal rights, especially in smaller towns & villages. Sexual abuse is very common ,and in a very patriarchal society the woman is always blamed for leading the man astray. This certainly applies to men aged 40+ who categorise women into marriageable material or whores.
    There’s online articles by Greek women about this issue, and I have personal experience.

    • Hello Fran, I am Greek and has lived in Greece most of my life, what you describe can be rarely found in small villages. I am sorry if you had this kind of experience.


Leave a Comment