Important notice about travel to Greece:
Due to the COVID-19 impact on international travel, regularly check updates regarding requirements for traveling to and entering Greece.
Important updates and information can be found on the U.S. Embassy in Athens website
Arriving in Greece - Formalities for Entry into Greece
Entry Visa and Residence Permit
U.S. citizens are only required to have a valid passport to stay in Greece for up to 3-months. If you need to stay beyond this 90-day period, you are required to have a special entry visa. An entry visa MUST be obtained prior to your arrival in Greece.
Once in Greece your host institution will assist you in obtaining a Residence Permit in order to reside legally in Greece for the duration of your program. A Residence Permit is required for all grantees and their dependents who wish to reside in Greece legally for a period of over 90 days. All the above will also allow you to freely travel within Europe during your stay and in particular within the the countries which are part of the Schengen Treaty Area.
Please visit www.mfa.gr/usa/en/the-embassy to locate the contact information for the Greek Embassy or Consulate nearest you and inquire about what is needed to obtain a visa for educational and or exchange purposes.
Baggage: a note on packing
When packing for Greece, keep in mind that airlines have become increasingly strict about baggage limits and overweight bags. Consider carefully what you pack. Regarding your research and/or teaching, we advise that you bring as few books as possible. Books are heavy and will quickly make your bags overweight. Choose judiciously what books to bring. English-language books are available in the larger cities, but usually at a higher price than in the U.S., especially for reference books. With a U.S. public library card, you can often access a large collection of eBooks and audiobooks through Overdrive or a similar service. Keep in mind that while you are still in the United States, it is easy to overestimate how much you will actually be able to read while in Greece (bookstores and libraries are listed at the end of this guide).
Availability of goods
Most consumer goods that are available in the United States are also available in Greece, so don’t waste weight on consumer items that are heavy or easily obtainable in Greece, like shampoo, paper supplies, etc., unless you have very specific needs. However, there are certain important exceptions to this rule. Pain relievers and contact lens solution are readily available in pharmacies, but if you have specific preferences, we advise that you bring them with you from the States. Feel free to bring box labels with you to the pharmacy to ensure you are getting the correct medication.
Regarding other personal products, most facial cleansers available in the States are available in Greece for comparable prices, but some products for sensitive skin (Cetaphil Cleanser, for instance) are not. Furthermore, “luxury” cosmetic and facial products are considerably more expensive than in the United States.
Pack clothing for all seasons. Contrary to popular belief, Greece does have winter weather. The Greeks describe clear, sunny, winter days as “sun with teeth” because the weather “bites” with deceptive cold. Winters in Greece are wet (but not England wet) and can get quite cold. Interiors are typically less heated than what you may be used to in the U.S. It snows in the central and northern parts of the country (where there are several ski centers), and occasionally in Athens. This means that you will need to pack sweaters, a winter coat, boots, gloves, and a scarf. You may purchase these items when you arrive, but keep in mind that winter coats and boots are more expensive in Greece than in the United States. Any American label is considerably more expensive. H&M and Zara are economical options in Athens. Also, pack clothing for a variety of occasions, from dressy to casual. Bear in mind that Greeks dress more formally than Americans, particularly in Athens. (But there is a “ceiling” to most formal occasions. Whereas Americans may think “formal” means tuxedos and evening gowns, Greeks usually mean suits and cocktail attire. Greek grooms rarely wear tuxedos.) Make sure your wardrobe consists of more than jeans and t-shirts because not only will you be cold in the winter, you may also feel a bit out of place.