I’ve officially been in Greece for two months! These months have flown and each day I’m getting more and more adjusted. There are so many differences between the smaller towns where we’ve been and Greece. I’ve rounded up 10 facts to know about Greece! It’s a completely different vibe from the smaller towns we’re used to.
Keep reading for 10 facts you didn’t know about Greece!
Flushing toilet paper is a no no in most of Greece
This is one of the most important facts to know about Greece. When Greece was being built, the pipes were built very small. Hence, the no flushing toilet paper rule. We learned of this after talking to some fellow Americans on the same basketball team as us. Hence, the very large trashcans in public bathrooms. This goes for number 1 and number 2! We are still getting used to that, but it’s better than your apartment flooding with backed up sewage! We are not allowed to flush toilet paper in our apartment. Some areas in Greece that are newer and have more updated pipes will allow you to flush. But always ask!
The driving is absolutely crazy
If you think NYC is bad, just add mopeds, no lanes on the road, endless one way streets and people driving however they want. Greece takes the cake for craziest driving in Europe so far. You have to be aggressive. I’m an aggressive driver and I’ve driven one time. Parking is impossible in downtown Athens. Luckily, there is a great app called beat that’s like uber for taxis. Uber tried to penetrate this market and the taxis said NOPE! They come in under 5 min and are super inexpensive. Need to get somewhere? Call a beat!
Gyros are called “souvlaki”
You can find them everywhere. It’s the fast food of Greece. They’re delicious, very cheap (2.40euros) and include chicken or pork with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, fries, and tzatziki all wrapped in a pita pocket!
The beach is beautiful and the views are breathtaking
I never realized how mountainous Greece is. We’ve gone to the beach a few times and paid to go into a “beach club” where you can buy drinks/food and there are chairs with umbrella for purchase. That 6 euros is worth it when you look down the beach and see throngs of people at the public beach! It never feels crowded and the water is gorgeous!
Athens is a beautiful, graffitti-ridden melting pot of charm
Athens is a city you look at and the first thing that pops out is the endless graffiti. I think it gives Athens it’s gritty charm. Athens is built to withstand earthquakes and no building can be taller than the Acropolis. Every street is different and downtown is a mecca of different stores, shops, and of course food. We have yet to have food we absolutely did not like.
Greeks are very nice people
It’s probably because they get so much Vitamin D from the sun! So far, people smile, wave, and are quite nice!
Everyone speaks English
You do not need to know Greek. Everyone mostly speaks English in stores, definitely restaurants and businesses. A lot of the road signs are even in English too. It’s definitely a welcome refresh to France where the people have no desire to speak English!
The weather is beautiful, every single day
Imagine every day being sunny with not even so much as a cloud. That is Greece. I’ve yet to see rain. The temperatures sit well into the 90’s most days. In the winter, the temperatures will average around the 60s. Every apartment has multiple awnings that keep balconies covered pretty much all day. I’ve yet to put my awning up. The sun is lethal. Bring sunscreen and lots of it.
Don't be afraid to walk in the street
Sidewalks are present but with the crazy parking, trashcans, and random trees planted in the middle of the sidewalk, everyone pretty much walks in the street. The right lanes of most of the streets are used for people in cars with hazards, delivery trucks, and people walking around cars who jut out into the street.
You can find everything you need
It truly is a city in that there is a store for everything! I have seen laundromats, endless coffee shops (a huge part of Greek culture), fruit markets, beauty supply stores, barbershops, auto shops, malls, IKEA, you name it.
I have no complaints about Greece so far! It is a very transient city and if you don’t want to drive or walk, there are buses, a metro system, and of course calling a beat! I walk to the grocery store because it’s easier than driving and I go every few days. I fall more in love with Greece every single day!
Athens is a city of amazing history and I can’t wait to get out and learn about the history, Greek mythology and all the beautiful statues and historical sites that are still preserved today.