2 Weeks in Greece For Every Budget
Stunning white beaches, turquoise water, great food, spectacular mountain scenery, genuine hospitality and endless culture and history. These are just some of the reasons to have a Greece vacation. On top of all this, the country makes for a seriously affordable destination and it’s easy to spend 2 weeks in Greece for every budget.
But how much will you really need per day according to your budget? What’s the breakdown of costs to help you plan your visit? We’ve been there and done the legwork for you, so whether you’re travelling on a shoestring or ready for a few weeks of luxury, we’ve got two weeks in Greece for every budget right here.
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Top budget tips for Greece
Try to travel outside the peak summer season of July and August. During this period, prices skyrocket, the weather is scorching hot and it’s incredibly busy because the local residents are on vacation at this time too. Visiting in May and June or September to early October will reward you with pleasantly warm days and cooler nights.
Prices noted here are based on travel during the shoulder season (during the months mentioned above). Make sure you budget extra cash if you’re planning on travelling during peak season. Keep in mind that if you plan on moving quickly between islands, this will add additional costs for transport. The mainland and islands close to it will be less expensive than the well-known islands such as Mykonos, Santorini and Paros in the South.
How to travel in Greece on a shoestring budget
- How much you’ll need for two weeks in Greece with a shoestring/backpacker budget: USD$600 or €500
- Cost per day: USD$35-$45
In the larger cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki, accommodation is at its cheapest – and you can find dorm rooms in hostels for about $13 per night. If you’re travelling in pairs and would like to keep costs down, look for small independent hotels and guesthouses, as these are priced from $15-20 per night.
As you start exploring the many surrounding islands, a bed for the night gets a little pricier. The most expensive beds on a budget will be $15-$19 per night for a dorm bed in a hostel. Small hotels will set you back around $40-50 per night.
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Food in Greece is quite affordable and shouldn’t eat into the budget too much. Street food and corner gyros shops are cheap, easy and filling. Try a lamb or chicken gyros, (rotisserie grilled meats served wrapped in a flatbread such as a pita, with tomato, onion, a few chips and tzatziki sauce). These cost about $2 each. Keep your eyes peeled for a local bakery, these will keep you well fed for minimum cost too. You can find freshly baked spanakopita pastry for $2.
A typical meal from a taverna will start from about $6 per person. Order some grilled meat, fresh seafood or calamari with chips and salad. Remember that Greeks like to eat dinner quite late, around 9 or 10 pm. Always choose a restaurant with lots of locals eating there, it will be more affordable and the food will be better.
One 0.5l bottle of great local beer (Mythos) will cost you $1.50 or €1.30. Local wine will set you back about $2.00 per glass (ask for house wine from the barrel, not bottled). Order a carafe of wine if you’re sharing with someone, it’s cheaper.
Both train and bus services are convenient ways to get around in Greece, however a five-hour journey on the mainland would cost you $35-50 one way, but a flight would get you there in a quarter of the time for a fair price.
Flights within Greece are super cheap and convenient. Budget airlines such as Aegean, Olympic and RyanAir offer regular flights. A flight from Athens to some of the most popular Greek Islands only takes about 1 hour, whilst ferries can take anywhere from 5 to 10+ hours.
Ferries between the Greek islands do run frequently. For a standard ticket (no overnight cabin required), check the schedules online to book your ticket.
This won’t change much between different budgets, so if you’re on a shoestring, you already know that Greece is all about the beaches, the sun and relaxing, which is free.
A popular activity on the islands is to hire a four-wheeled motorbike and explore the island. Cost is about $25 per day, fuel is cheap and it’s a great option to be able to go and explore small beaches and villages at your leisure. Alternatively, a scooter costs about $15-20 per day.
If you’re exploring Athens for a few days, a visit to the Acropolis is a must, with the entrance fee of $24. If you’d like to see more ancient history, purchase a different ticket for $35 which gets you access to visit the Acropolis (the Parthenon and the Erechtheion) and other main archaeological sites in Athens (such as Hadrian’s Library, the Ancient Agora).
How to travel in Greece with a mid-range budget
- How much you’ll need for two weeks in Greece with a mid-range budget: USD$750-$1,000 or €550 – 800
For a comfortable guest house or family-run mid-range hotel/ self-contained studio, expect to find a room from USD$30-$80 per night.
This will vary, depending on your location. The more popular islands such as Mykonos or Santorini will always be more expensive than the lesser known islands, and prices will always reflect this.
On a mid-range budget, try and stick to street style food for breakfast and lunch. Treat yourself with nice dinners in the evening at local restaurants and tavernas. Budget around $3-5 for each breakfast and lunch meal and $10-15 for a sit-down dish at a restaurant, which includes a drink.
If you are looking to visit Greece on a mid-range budget there are several tips to take into account. The first thing you should do is look beyond the two or three main cities and islands that Greece has to offer. Santorini is the most famous spot for its narrow cobblestone streets, white windmills and blue churches. But, talking to locals you will soon realize that there are so many islands of Greece that offer a similar or better experience, and due to the lower popularity, they have more affordable pricing. As with any destination, look beyond the main tourist areas for better food, affordable souvenirs and a more local experience. – Steven and Jazmin, Travel to Blank
Beers are inexpensive at around USD$1.50. You’ll pay a few extra dollars for an imported beer. A glass of local wine will set you back around $2-3. If you’d prefer locally bottled wine, you’ll pay around $4-5 per glass.
These options won’t change too much from the budget options already listed above. Flights are cheap and a quick way to get between islands. If you’re booking overnight ferries, on this budget you’re able to book an overnight cabin with beds to rest and re-energise.
Greece is a gorgeous yet affordable country and it has so much to offer besides its world-famous but expensive islands. I totally recommend a 5-day road trip through the Peloponnese region to combine sea, mountains, charming villages and archaeological sites. Another spot that recently took my breath away is the mystical Meteora and its old monasteries perched on the top of majestic rocks. To make the most of Greece on a mid-range budget, avoid visiting touristy islands, traveling during July and August, but feel free to ask local people for the best tavern or spot in town. – Maria, The Tropical Dog
With a greater budget, you’ll be able to choose a few more organised trips or activities such as half-day sightseeing trips, nightlife excursions, jet-ski hire and traditional dinner shows. Shop around a little before paying for a day trip. You’ll find that hotels and resorts will sell the same day trips for a much higher price than what you can find in town.
I think the biggest mistake when looking for a Greek island holiday, is to head to the most famous islands of Santorini or Mykonos, where over tourism start to be a real issue. There are 6,000 islands in Greece which are all more beautiful than others and have their own heritage. I found myself on Alonissos Island in the middle of the peak season last year. I enjoyed this hidden gem of the Sporades away from the crowd. Generally speaking, if you want sunny weather, warm water and fewer people, September is your best bet for a fantastic holiday in Greece. – Florine, World Adventure Divers