Athens Money

Currency

Greece’s currency is the euro (€). Euro notes exist in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros, and coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 and 2 euros.

Most major banks have branches around Syntagma and there are ATMs all over the city. Greek banks normally open Monday to Thursday 8. 30am–2. 30pm and Friday 8. 30am–2pm. , though some private banks open certain branches until 8pm weekdays and on Saturday. Large hotels and some travel agencies also provide an exchange service, though with hefty commissions. On small islands with no full-service bank, “authorized” bank agents will charge an additional fee for posting a travellers’ cheque to a proper branch. When changing small amounts, choose those bureaux that charge a flat percentage commission (usually 1 percent) rather than a high minimum. There is a small number of 24-hour automatic foreign-note-changing machines, but a high minimum commission tends to be deducted.

Debit cards have become the most common means of accessing funds while travelling, by withdrawing money from the vast network of Greek ATMs. Major credit cards are not usually accepted by cheaper tavernas or hotels but they can be essential for renting cars. Major travel agents may also accept them, though a three-percent surcharge is often levied on the purchase of ferry tickets.

Tipping

In Greece, tipping is expected for good service, especially if you are a tourist. Some restaurants in Greece will round-up the bill, so you should check this before tipping. You can tip between 5% and 10% and you should leave the tip on the table, give it to the waiter directly, or tell the waiter you don’t want change.

It is customary to tip the porter/bellboy, around 1 Euro per bag. Tip the housekeeper 1 Euro per day, leaving the tip on the bedside table or bed. You can tip the concierge a few Euros if he provides excellent service.

Tax Refund

The VAT is 23% in the mainland and 16% in Aegean Islands, If your purchase amount over or equals 120 euro, you should ask the shop staff for a Tax Free Form and fill in all the required fields in the block letters. Get a stamp in the Customs desk before your check in for your flight. Then go to a refund office . Present your stamped and completed Tax Free Forms to receive the refund in cash or to a credit card. But observe that at some airports a cash handling fee per "Form" will be charged should you require an Immediate Refund in cash.