USA

Is Greece Safe To Visit Right Now? Travel Advisory 2024

Greece is considered a very safe country by multiple government agencies around the world.

Pickpocketing can occur, but it is not what you should be worried about the most this summer.

Brutal heatwaves have claimed the lives of five tourists in the last few days. Most of Greece and parts of southern Europe are experiencing record temperatures due to warm air coming from North Africa.

Chania, on the coast of Crete, recorded the highest temperature ever seen with 112.1°F (44.5°C) on Thursday. 

Wildfires are also an issue. Hot, dry winds have increased the risk of forest fires across the country starting June 18, the meteorological service of the National Observatory of Athens has warned.

Read on to learn about the current situation and how to stay safe when visiting this magnificent country this summer.

Table of contents

Latest News from GREECE 

Greece Issues Urgent Weather Warning After The Death of Five Tourists Owned to a Brutal Heatwave 

Greece has had to temporarily shut down important tourist sites, schools and ask citizens and tourists via phone messages to stay home during the most intense heat hours, following the death of five tourists and the disappearance of others. 

Among the dead is famous BBC presenter Michael Mosley, 67, who died from extreme heat when he got lost on his way home on June 16 after a hike.

On June 13, an 80-year-old tourist collapsed and died at an archaeological site near Malia.

On June 5, a 67-year-old Dutch tourist died while crossing the Mylon Gorge in Rethymno. Authorities said he suffered heart failure in the heat.

Later that day, a 70-year-old French tourist passed away while taking a stroll on a beach in Crete.

Euronews reported that a fifth tourist was found dead two days ago.

Authorities are still searching for other tourists who have gone missing in the last few days.

Areas to Avoid

Athens, Greece

No government agency is currently warning its citizens against traveling to any areas of Greece, including its islands.

However, in Athens, there are a couple of neighborhoods you might want to avoid, especially if visiting solo or after dark.

Athens’ sketchier neighborhoods include Omonia, Exarchia, Kolokotroni, Victoria Square, Metaxourgio, Sepolia, Patissia and Monastiraki.

Official Travel Advisories

US Travel Advisory

For the US government, Greece is one of the safest places in the world. As of today, the country ranks at “Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions.

The most important advice for Americans is to register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security alerts and make it easier for authorities to locate you in case of need. 

That seems to be particularly important now, with so many tourists going missing due to extreme weather conditions.

Canada Travel Advisory

Canada also considers Greece a very safe country and only requests that travelers take normal security precautions when visiting.

Nevertheless, the country has warned tourists about petty crimes like pickpocketing, purse snatching and luggage theft, especially in big metropolitan cities.

Safety Tips for Greece

As with any other European country, Greece is pretty safe but not 100% risk-free. Here are some recommendations to make your trip memorable and smoother.

  • Be aware of pickpocketing and bag snatching. These crimes often take place in crowded tourist hotspots.
  • Locals say that no sunscreen can save you from heatstroke if you climb the Acropolis at midday on a summer day. Their words.  
  • Do not leave your phone or wallet unattended on the table, as they can be snatched up pretty fast. 
  • While in Athens, some “friendly” locals may offer to help you with your luggage. This way, you can get your bags stolen.
  • Do not receive any gifts, including friendship bracelets. You’ll be asked for money once you put them on.
  • Avoid walking alone at night. It’s not really common but some tourists have been attacked in the past.
  • Be careful with “charming” ladies and men at local bars. There have been cases of drink spiking.
  • Haggling is no longer cool. Most street vendors will not try to overcharge you. But if you consider a price too high, just politely reject it.
  • Be careful on the streets. Greek drivers are not known for paying as much attention to pedestrians as in other European countries.
  • Do not wear hot pants or crop tops in churches or monasteries. It’s frowned upon.
  • Do not wear high heels when visiting sensitive ancient marble ruins.
  • Make sure your cab has a taximeter working the second you sit down. 

Read more…….