Greece is a Eurozone member, therefore the unit of currency is the Euro (EURΟ €). All major credit cards can be used in Crete, with Visa and MasterCard accepted most widely. There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought in or taken out of Crete. However, every person who carries more than €10,000 in cash in or out of Greece must declare it to the customs authorities.
Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks, which are found at the international airports of Heraklion and Chania and most city centres.
You can calculate the value of your currency in EURO using our currency convertor at the side. The rate you are offered in your home country is likely to differ slightly.
Greece banks are open from 8.00am to 2.30pm Monday to Friday. Some central stores are also open during weekends and or for some extended hours.
Automated Teller Machines (ATM) are widely available at banks, along main shopping streets and in malls.
International credit cards and ATM cards will work as long as they have a four-digit PIN encoded. Check with your bank before leaving home.
Currency values - normal with bold
Euro coins have values of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, €1 and €2.
Notes have values of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500. The values from 100 to 500 are quite rarely used.
How Much Will it Cost?
Here is a general guide of what you can expect to pay in Crete for a few common items.
A hotel breakfast: €10-€15
Dinner: €15-€20 per main meal
Lunch snack/sandwich: €2-€4
Cafe lunch: €6-€10
A traditional pitta gyros: €3-€3.50
A bottle of water (500ml): €0.50
Tipping and Service Charges
Tipping in Crete is not obligatory - even in restaurants and bars. However, tipping for good service or kindness is at the discretion of the visitor. Hotels and restaurants in Crete do not add service charges to their bills.
All services and most goods are subject to a 24 percent Services Tax included in the displayed price. Books are subject to 6 percent tax and basic goods are on 13 percent. VAT refund is applicable only on goods you take out of the country, therefore it is not claimable on food or accommodation.
Due to the discontinuation of 1€, 2€ and 5€ pieces, purchases made in Crete are subject to "rounding" of amounts either up or down. Therefore, most retailers are adopting the Swedish Rounding System. Under this system prices, ending in 1 to 4 cents will be rounded down and prices ending in 6 to 9 cents will be rounded up.
For example, a purchase of €15.14 would be rounded down to €15.10, and a purchase of €15.16 would be rounded up to €15.20.
It is at the retailer’s discretion how they handle prices ending in 5 cents.
Credit cards with "Smart Card" technology
Smart cards are payment cards that carry an embedded microchip allowing them to store encrypted, confidential information, and carry multiple applications from different industries alongside debit, credit, or prepaid payment applications. Please note these cards, which often have no magnetic strip, are generally accepted anywhere in Crete that has credit card facilities.
Travellers cheques in any of the major currencies out of EURO (British pound, US dollar, Australian Dollar) can be exchanged into EURO on arrival and are accepted at hotels, banks and some stores.