Should You Carry Your Passport With You in Greece? – You will need your passport to enter Greece, and six months of validity on your passport are recommended. You’ll need at least one passport page per travel stamp.

Carry Your Passport With You in Greece?

It’s also recommended that you carry some form of valid photo identification with you at all times while in Greece. A photocopy of your passport counts, but it never hurts to have additional identification, like an international driver’s license, or enhanced driver’s license, or military ID, etc.

Police may hold you for questioning if you’re stopped for any reason and don’t have identification on you.

U.S. citizens traveling with a passport that’s been reported stolen or lost will most likely be denied entry into Greece and possibly returned to their original departure points.

Ultimately, this call is made by the Greek immigration authorities, and the U.S. Embassy cannot intervene on behalf of U.S. citizens in these instances. Emergency U.S. passports can be obtained at the U.S. Embassy in Athens and nowhere else.

Note that embassy staff members will not travel to meet you at your port of entry.

Upon your arrival in Greece, you also need to present proof of adequate funds as well as a return airline ticket (or some other evidence, like a credit card) that you will be able to leave Greece should you be asked to do so.

Do I Need a Visa to Enter Greece?

Do United States citizens need a visa in order to enter Greece? U.S. citizens may enter Greece without a visa for visits of up to 90 days (i.e., tourism, business). For tourists with both a standard and diplomatic/official passport, it is recommended for you to travel to Greece with both.

If you’re a U.S. citizen, you should make sure your passport has six months’ minimum of validity remaining. Greece requires three months of validity for your passport beyond your date of departure, but if you are headed to a country requiring passport validity of six months, you may be held up in Greece until you can resolve the situation. It is recommended to have at least six months of validity in order to avoid unnecessary delays.

For official and diplomatic passport holders, and for travelers planning on staying more than 90 days in Greece, the most up-to-date visa information can be found at the Embassy of Greece’s website.

How Can I Carry My Passport Safely?

If you insist on carrying the original hardcopy of your passport, you can carry it safely with a security pocket for your pants, or a money/security belt to wear around your waist. You should also keep a photocopy of your passport locked up at your hotel, and even to carry a photocopy with you securely in another pocket.

Last but not least, scan your passport, and any travel insurance documentation and email them to yourself so you can easily access them electronically if you need to.

According to the U.S. State Department, you should treat your passport as you would any other valuable: keep your passport secure under lock and key at your hotel while traveling.

Can the U.S. Embassy Intervene on Behalf of U.S. Citizens in Greece?

Though being denied entry into Greece (or any other country) can be upsetting to travelers and their friends and family who may be waiting for them, the U.S. government and U.S. Embassy in Athens cannot and will not try to intervene on your behalf should you be denied access into Greece.

Nor will the U.S. government attempt to influence the Greek government’s decision on your behalf.

Should You Carry a Copy of Your Passport When You Travel Throughout Greece?

Should you carry a copy of your passport while traveling within Greece? Travelers will need their passports to clear airport security and immigration when arriving in Greece.

The Greek government does not require visitors to carry their passports once they’ve arrived, though travelers are required to carry some form of valid photo identification while touring.

An international driver’s license or enhanced traveler’s driver’s license, military ID, or even a copy of your original passport are adequate. It’s recommended to keep the original of your passport locked up in your hotel securely.

If you’re stopped by Greek police for any reason and don’t have any sort of identification, you can be held up for questioning.

How Do I Get a Visa to Visit Greece?

U.S. citizens visiting Greece for 90 days or less do not need a travel visa, but those staying for longer, and those traveling to Greece on official/diplomatic business do need a visa.

You can find information about the application process at the Greek Embassy’s website, and at U.S. embassies and consulates. 

If you have plans for an extended stay for work or as a student, you’ll need to apply for a visa, either online or at a Greek embassy or consulate in another country.

Tips for Entry, Exit, and Traveling Through Greece

Most travels to Greece are incident-free, but the theft of wallets, purses, handbags, passports, etc. are rampant on public transportation and especially in crowded touristy areas.

Be especially careful traveling through the central parts of Athens. Lock your passport and valuables up in a safe at your hotel or other accommodations and carry a photocopy of your passport in hand.

1 – There are credible sources to indicate that terrorist groups plot possible attacks throughout Europe, and so all European countries are potentially vulnerable to these attacks. Terrorists tend to focus on transportation venues, tourist areas, government facilities, and shopping areas. They also tend to focus on hotels, restaurants, clubs, parks, places of worship, big events, educational campuses, and airports. Maintain vigilance at all times, and be aware of your surroundings.

2 – Labor strikes, demonstrations, and other work hindrances are very common throughout Greece and they can even develop to the point of violence. Stay tuned to local news, hotel security, and the U.S. Embassy’s website and other communication updates.

3 – Always confirm domestic and international flights prior for leaving for the airport as transportation strikes will interrupt public transportation, traffic, taxis, rideshares, airports, and seaports.

Bonus travelers’ tip: Avoid any and all areas affected by November 17 demonstrations each year, including the U.S. Embassy.

4 – Pick-pocketing and purse-snatching are common in popular tourist areas and especially on public transportation, so that is another reason to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Thieves will also break into rental cars to steal valuables, including passports

5 – Keep a close eye on bags and luggage, especially at the airport.

6 – Stay away from bus or train doors, as thieves/pickpockets will rob you just as the doors are opening, and then quickly vanish into a crowd.

7 – Consume alcohol in moderation, and never leave drinks unattended in bars and clubs.

8 – Only use ATMs in well-lit, public areas, and be wary of internet scams performed by online criminals who may pretend to be loved ones or romantic interests.

9 – Tremors, earthquakes, and forest fires are common (fires are especially common throughout the dry summer, which can often lead to road closures). If you are caught in the midst of a natural disaster, follow the directives given by the local authorities. Keep an eye on the U.S. Embassy’s Athens website.

10 – It is recommended that all U.S. citizens enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for important alerts, security messages, and alerts, and to make it easier to be located during an emergency.

Victims of any crime should immediately contact the local police to file a police report before leaving Greece. You should also inform your home country’s embassy or consulate, though local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

Tourists and visitors are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance.  

So, Should You Carry Your Passport With You in Greece?

You do need a valid passport to be allowed into Greece by immigration authorities, but while traveling throughout the country, a photocopy of your passport and possibly some other form of valid photo identification should be fine.

U.S. citizens are not required to apply for a visa for tourism/business visits lasting up to 90 days.

It’s recommended that you keep your passport and other valuables locked up safely in your hotel while you’re out and about, as pickpocketing and thefts are very common, especially throughout central Athens.

Make sure you have at least six months of validity on your passport. You also need to present proof of having sufficient funds (or credit card) and a return ticket should you be asked to depart from Greece.  

You can carry a photocopy of your passport, but it never hurts to have additional identification, like an international driver’s license, or enhanced driver’s license, or military ID, etc. If you’re stopped by police for any reason and don’t have adequate ID, you can be detained for questioning.



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