Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Holiday shopping hours in Greece

Athens Christmas tree in Syntagma 2008. — EPA

Special shopping hours in Greece for Christmas 2014 and New Year’s 2015 will start on December 12 in Athens, Piraeus and the Aegean islands; and December 18 in Thessaloniki with shops open on Sunday, December 14. Waiting for announcement on Crete.

Winter sales officially start mid-January 2015, but many retailers offer significant discounts of up to 60 percent on electronics, clothes and gift items in hopes of improving their bottom line before the end of the year.

*Article last updated December 9, 2014.

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Non-EU citizens in Greece with a bebaiosi may travel home through 2014

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Non-EU citizens in Greece with an expired residence permit sticker/card and valid βεβαίωση/bebaiosi/veveosi (blue paper certificate with photo) or first-time Greek permit applicants with only a bebaiosi are permitted to travel to their homeland(s) through December 31, 2015.

In a press release published December 5 in Greek, the Ministry of Public Order and Citizen Protection announced an open travel period that allows foreigners legally living in Greece to visit their home countries and return to Greece more than once without penalty, as long as they have a valid bebaiosi (Βεβαίωση κατάθεσης αίτησης για έκδοση άδειας διαμονής).

Without a residence permit sticker/card OR a valid bebaiosi (blue paper with photo), a non-EU citizen cannot leave and re-enter Greece. If your current residence/work permit sticker/card or previous year’s bebaiosi will expire while traveling, it is expected you renew and get a new bebaiosi before departing. By law, foreigners must begin renewing a Greek residence permit/bebaiosi 60 days before expiration.

Under normal circumstances, only those with an official permit sticker in their passport or residence card can travel outside Greece without restriction, as explained in “I’m a non-EU citizen in Greece, can I travel whenever I wish?” However, the former Ministry of Citizen Protection under ex-PM Papandreou began granting rights on par with neighboring EU countries from October 2009, and this policy continues under the coalition government that took power June 2012.

Be aware that this privilege grants passage to one’s home country/countries and back to Greece with a bebaiosi. It does NOT give non-EU citizens the right to visit or stay in other non-EU, EU or Schengen countries. Only those with unexpired Greek permit stickers/cards can travel freely.

As a precaution, non-EU citizens may want to print and carry a copy of the official press release for the corresponding period:

Why? Because Greek border police are sometimes misinformed of the law, or know it and refuse passage until a lawyer or journalist intervenes. It is also recommended you make a photocopy of each bebaiosi and keep it in a safe place, in case the original is misplaced, stolen or lost. These recommendations are for your safety and security.

The Ministry of Public Order and Citizen Protection no longer provides the Press Release in English, though the bebaiosi/veveosi is (finally) in English.

  • Travel is restricted between Greece and the country in which you have citizenship and a passport because the document and the laws that govern it are only recognized in Greece.
  • Check if you need a visa: Border authorities of other countries can rightfully deny you entry or exit, and you may need to apply for a visa that would entitle you to travel, transfer/transit through and/or temporarily stay in countries included in your itinerary. Contact the embassy/consulate serving the relevant country or countries BEFORE you book travel and leave Greece.

*Article last updated December 7, 2014. However, please note that ‘Comments’ reflect the specific cases of commentators (aka, may not apply to you) and laws in force at the time.

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Archaeological sites & museums in Greece open late ’til October 31


Greece welcomes visitors from morning ’til evening at 33 of its 117 archaeological sites and museums from April 1-October 31.

Stats show that 95 percent of 12 million visitors frequent these tourist sites, making them the most popular and most obvious choice for extended hours in spring and summer.

Post covers:

  • Dates in effect
  • Opening hours
  • List of 33 sites and links

*Article last updated on August 5, 2014

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Circulation tax

Circulation tax or τέλη κυκλοφορίας (teli kykloforias) applies to all vehicles with Greek license plates, which are registered at the tax office as active. It is a road tax paid to use a vehicle on a public road, known in other countries as a registration fee, motor tax or excise duty.

In a bid to cut approximately 80 million euros in costs, no printed tax invoices are sent by mail and no stickers are issued as proof of payment from November 2012.

*Article last updated on November 1, 2014.


The article covers:

  • How circulation tax is calculated and when it’s due
  • How to access and print a bill
  • Payment options
  • How to withdraw a vehicle from circulation.

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Watch NFL football outside the USA

Image capture from – Copyright belongs to them

American football fans can follow their favorite team, keep to Thanksgiving Day tradition and see Super Bowl Sunday from the comfort of their living room or via mobile device.

NFL Game Pass is a subscription that allows everyone outside the United States, Mexico, Bermuda, Antigua, the Bahamas, and U.S. territories to watch games in high-definition, both live and on demand.

Depending on what you prefer, you can follow only your team, all teams, the off-season, regular season and/or the playoffs. There’s also an option to watch up to four games in multiple windows and 30-minute condensed games, with no commercials, huddles or time outs.

If you miss a game because you were busy having a life or the time-zone difference made it impractical, no problem. Replay the game at your convenience and watch as many times as you like, including archived Super Bowl games.

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