green dome tent on beach Greece budget-friendly travel

What are the top budget-friendly activities in Greece?

Greece is a popular tourist destination. The country is known for its beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and delicious food. However, a trip to Greece can be quite expensive, especially if you’re on a budget. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of things to do and see in Greece that won’t break the bank. Here are some of the top budget-friendly activities in Greece.

5 free activities in Greece:

Visit the beaches

Greece is known for its endless paradise-like coastlines. And the best is that you can visit these for free! Although there are many organized beaches where you have to pay to rent a sunbed, every beach also has a part that is completely free of charge. Invest in an umbrella or beach chair, and you can visit every beautiful beach without any entry fee. Besides, in Greece, the most breathtaking beaches are the ones that are without a beach bar, so going off the beaten track here will actually take you to the most amazing places.

Hike in the mountains

Not many people know that over 80 percent of the Greek mainland is mountainous. And with all these mountains, Greece is full of beautiful hiking trails. The most popular hiking spot is, of course, Mount Olympus. However, this is a quite challenging hike only for the more experienced hikers. When you are less experienced but want to explore the beauty of Greece’s untouched nature, Zachorachoria, Tsumerka, and Peloponnese are great regions for your adventure.

Visit the local villages

Many of the local villages in Greece offer a glimpse into traditional life, and they are free to visit. Some popular villages include Oia and Fira in Santorini and Chora in Mykonos. But although these villages are free of charge, they are on the most expensive Greek islands. When you do not want to pay the top price for accommodation, there are countless budget-friendly options in other regions of Greece. A great place to start is the Mani region in the Peloponnese. This is a region with exclusively traditional stone buildings. However, all over Greece, there are interesting small villages. Here is an overview of some of them:

  • Agios Athanasios
  • The villages of Zachorachoria
  • Metsovo
  • Parga
Visit a Greek Bazaar

A Greek bazaar is nothing more than a market. Greece is home to many local markets, where you can find a variety of goods at low prices. Markets are the place where locals buy most of their food since Greek food is very dependent on the seasons. Usually, the markets happen once a week, and you can find the day and location online. Although visiting a market in Greece is a budget-friendly, free of charge even, remember that you’re on a budget while going around!

Attend a traditional festival

Greece is home to many traditional festivals, which are often free to attend. Some popular festivals include the Apokries carnival in Athens, the Patras International Festival, and the International Film Festival in Thessaloniki. However, some lesser-known festivals I can recommend are:

  • A Panigiri
    On the 15th of August, the Orthodox Greeks celebrate the Virgin Mary, Panagia. However, on the night before something special happens. In all the villages in Greece, a huge night market is set up, a panigiri. There is plenty of food, traditional Greek music and dance, and Greeks of all ages come to celebrate. It is an amazing cultural experience, and often you don’t even have to travel far to attend one. In the weeks before, you will see a banner in the village that hosts the Panagia, so you know where to go.
  • Celebrate Easter in Corfu
    Easter is the most important holiday for the Greeks, celebrated everywhere in the country. Yet, the most impressive celebrations take place on the island of Corfu. There are parades, people sing, and the most unique part is that people throw clay pots down from their windows. Besides, don’t forget to attend the traditional red-egg fight while you are there. For those of you in Catholic countries, be aware that the Greek Orthodox easter is not on the same day as yours!

4 tips to make your stay in Greece budget-friendly:

Take a ferry

The Greek islands are a must-see. However, off-season they are difficult to reach by plane, and during the summer months, tickets to the islands can be expensive. A budget-friendly option is to take a ferry to one of the islands in Greece, as it is much cheaper than flying. Some of the most popular islands to visit include Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete.

Explore ancient ruins and museums

Greece is home to some of the most famous ancient ruins in the world, such as the Acropolis in Athens, Mycenae, and the ancient theater of Epidaurus. However, Greek sites and museums require an entry fee that can be too much when you’re on a budget. So here are some tips:

  • Every museum and the ancient site has at least some free admission days. Examples are the International Museum Day (18th of May) and the European Heritage Days (the last weekend of September). Each site mentions these days on its website. So if you plan well, you might be able to see them for free!
  • Besides the free admission days, the Greeks always have a summer and a winter price for their sites. Traveling off-season can give you a discount of up to 50%.
  • Are you a history, culture, or museum lover? Many regions in Greece offer a ticket that allows you to visit multiple sites and museums around the area. This option is much more affordable, if you’re planning on visiting multiple sites.
Rent a bike

On the Greek islands, it is often difficult to get around. Public transportation is scarce, especially on the lesser-known islands. A great option is to rent a (motor)bike during your stay. They are much cheaper than a car, at least 50%. Besides, since island roads are terrible, it is often even preferable to navigate around the island by bike!


In many areas of Greece, there is no option to stay in cheap hostels. However, there are many camping sites in Greece. Some are free, and some are low-cost. A camping site in Greece during the summer months will cost between €5,- and 10,-. This can be a great way to explore the country and save on accommodation expenses.

I planned to travel around Greece in the coming year and did not know how to find the budget to stay in the country this long. My solution is a small van. I recently bought it and will transform it into a camper in the coming month. This way, I can travel around Greece without spending money (or spending very little money) on accommodation.

Do you want to prepare yourself for a visit to Greece? Or do you simply want to learn all there is to known about this beautiful country? Leave your email below and stay updated!

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