Athens (Greece) Travel – Local Etiquette

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Going to Greece soon? These etiquette tips will come in handy during your visit.

There are some Greek etiquette and customs to keep in mind during your trip to Greece. When meeting people, shake everyone’s hand including that of children. If the relationship is closer, a kiss on both cheeks is acceptable. It is common to ask personal questions about marriage, jobs, your mother even if the relationship is not that close. You will find Greeks standing closer to each other while talking than in some other countries. It is impolite to stare even if only briefly. Smoking is much more acceptable in Greece. Many establishments still allow smoking inside. Most Greeks love their frappes. You will see locals carrying this coffee drink everywhere, but they do like to sit at cafeteria and sit for hours with their friends. Greeks do not say sorry or thank you as much. It does not mean that we are rude. We just do not feel like it is needed in certain situations. Remember not to use this sign. It is the same as showing someone your finger. Although it may be considered innocent in places but in Greece it is very offensive.

When going someplace for dinner always remember to be 15 to 30 minutes late. Lunch and dinner start late, lunch at two and dinner after ten. If invited to someone’s house for a meal, you should bring a small gift like flowers or wine. Gifts are opened when received, not later. Meals last for awhile. Greeks like to enjoy them. Expect long conversations. If you see the host and other engage in the famous Greek dance it is always appreciated if you join along. When eating in restaurants know that a majority of the staff does speak some English. Some restaurants have a nominal cover charge. You are charged that cover charge as soon as you sit at the table. A common toast when drinking is yamas which means to our health and when eating is stigeawsoo which means to your health. Remember at a restaurant the waiter will not come to you unless you call on them because they do not want to seem like rushing you. When tipping check to see if the service charge is already included. In that case leave some change for the waiter. If the service charge is not included, 10 to 15 percent is customary. Locals are not expected to tip taxi drivers but taxi drivers do expect some tip from tourists. I am Birgit showing you Athens.