Life in the Athenian Riviera: The Basics
When moving to a new destination, we know how challenging it is to get ourselves organized and accustomed to the country’s way of life. We have prepared this list of basics to make your stay at the Athenian Riviera a comfortable one, whether you are here for a short holiday, or making Athens as your home base.
What you need to know about the basics of living in the Athenian Riviera
As a part of the European Union, Greece money currency is the Euro €
Banks in Greece
The Greek banks that work best with international clients are Alpha Bank, Piraeus Bank, and Eurobank. All staff members speak excellent English and there are staff members designated to assist international clients exclusively. All these banks have branches in almost all cities around Greece and ATM machines can be found everywhere. Online services are also provided.
If you are staying in Greece for a while you might want to consider opening a bank account in a Greek Bank. Opening a bank in Greece is easy and way less complicated than in other countries.
To open a Bank Account in Greece you will need:
- A recent mobile and landline phone bill (landline phone bill doesn’t need to be Greek)
- A recent utility bills of electricity or water in the name of the person seeking to open an account
- Last Tax Return, P60 or P45
- National Insurance number
- Documents that prove occupation of the client
- A bank statement dating back at least 12 months
- Copies of passport and working visa if applicable
- A copy of a birth certificate
- Marriage certificate if the account is opened in more than one name
- Tax Residency Certificate from HM Inland Revenue Office
The standard voltage in Greece is 230V and the frequency is 50 Hz. Electric appliances of standard voltage between 220 – 240V can be used normally in Greece.
In case you need an adapter, one of the type C or F will work in most power sockets.
Most restaurants, bars and cafeterias offer free Wi-fi for customers, however, in Greece there is no public Wi-fi yet.
The best way to stay connected to the internet any time at any place is by purchasing a prepaid card at either phone branches as Vodafone, Cosmote, or Wind or by buying one at a “periptero” (street kiosks).
Greece is blessed with good weather all year around. Hot springs and summers, mellow sunny falls and mild winters. As in other Mediterranean countries, the climate is hot and dry during summer periods and quite wet during the colder months.
The hottest periods are from June to August when the temperature ranges between 25°C (77°F) up to 39°C (102°F).
The coldest months in Greece are between December to January when the temperature ranges between 6°C (43°F) to 13°C (55°F).
During the other months, the weather is relatively always good, warming up in late March and cooling down late October, not to say November some years. It also rarely rains in Greece, but when it does it rains for a good 2 days. More rarely it snows in Greek regions that are not situated in the hills and mountains.
The weather in Athens is always better than in the Northern part of the country. Precisely in the Athenian Riviera it is always 1-2°C degrees above the rest of Athens regions as it is situated next to the sea.
Greece offers public health services for all the residents. The public health sector in Greece is the best in terms of emergency services but if you need to do a yearly check-up or visit a specialist doctor it is advised to seek private services.
The regional hospital in the Southern Suburbs is the Asklipeio of Voula, located in the region of Voula.
It is open 24hours. Contact number is (+30) 21 3216 3000.
The best private hospital in the region of the Athenian Riviera is the Mediterraneo Hospital, located in Glyfada. They offer first-class medical services and are also open 24hours. Contact number is (+30) 21 0911 7000. However, we advise that you speak to your medical insurance provider to assist you in the best way possible.
In case of emergency, you can always dial 112 which is the European emergency number, but the Greek emergency numbers are the following:
Police dial 100
Ambulance dial 166
Fire Department dial 199
Coastguard dial 108
Greece has in total 12 National Holiday days each year which are different from other countries, as Orthodox holidays and days of historical importance events. According to Greek law as well every Sunday is a public holiday and there are more public holidays announced by the Ministry of Labour each year.
You should be aware of these days as the market is always closed and on a few day occasions, restaurants and public transport also do not operate.
January 1st – New Year’s Day
January 6th – Epiphany
March 25th – Greek Independence Day
May 1st – Protomagia International Workers Day
June 8th – Pentecost Monday
August 15th – Assumption Day (The Falling Asleep of the Virgin)
October 28th – The OXI day ( The OXI day is a commemoration of the rejection to the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini ultimatum on 28th October 1940 by Ioannis Metaxas, then Greek Prime Minister)
December 25th – Christmas Day (See this post on Christmas in Athens)
December 26th – Synaxis of the mother of God (day dedicated to Virgin Mary)
All holidays associated to Orthodox Easter move every year.
For 2023 those dates are the following:
February 27 – Clean Monday (Orthodox Shrove Monday) – Check out this post on Greek traditions and celebrations in March
April 14th – Orthodox Good Friday
April 16th– Orthodox Easter Sunday
April 17th – Orthodox Easter Monday