Travel Expenses: Greece

First foray to Europe, and was pleasantly surprised that I did not go over budget! Of course, the airfare was expensive, and the visa application also cost me a couple of thousand of pesos (I did not include them in this list of expenses), but the overall expenses during the trip was lower than expected.

It helped that I wasn’t traveling solo: I was with two friends, so some costs were divided between us three. Aside from that, according to my two companions who both have been to Europe before, Greece is cheaper than the countries in the western regions. Where a 500ml bottle of water can cost you €1 in Paris, you can buy a 1.5 liter bottle for €0.23 at a supermarket in Chania.

We also managed to save some on transportation costs by booking places right in the city center, which cost a little bit more, but it gave us the freedom to explore on foot and make more discoveries. We also saved by cooking and preparing some meals, specially in Mykonos. Only two of our hostels provide breakfast, so for the rest, we just ate packaged croissant (or fresh bread in Myokonos and home made panini in Santorini), fresh fruits, and juice or coffee. We ate out a maximum of two times in one day, but we have ice cream, gelato, or frozen yoghurt at least once a day.

Save for our tour to Gramvousa Island and Balos Lagoon, most of our activities centered around the ruins: the Acropolis, Knossos, Delos.

Overall, it’s not a bad deal for a two-week trip. It’s not super cheap, but not a complete splurge either – a good mix of budget and midrange options.

Greece 2013
October 5 – October 20
Transport In local currency In PHP
Anek Lines (Piraeus to Chania) € 57.00 Php 3,363.00 1
Sea Jets (three legs) € 157.50 Php 9,292.50 2
Ferry to Delos Island (round trip) € 17.00 Php 1,003.00 3
Airport train in Athens (two-way) € 14.66 Php 864.94 4
Metro train in Athens € 5.60 Php 330.40 5
Bus to Kissamos-Kastelli (round trip) € 17.00 Php 1,003.00 6
Bus to Heraklion (one-way) € 13.80 Php 814.20 7
Buses in Heraklion € 4.00 Php 236.00 8
Buses in Santorini € 9.20 Php 542.80 9
Taxi in Chania € 3.33 Php 196.47 10
Taxi in Heraklio € 2.00 Php 118.00 11
Accommodation
Dioskouros Hotel, Athens (3 nights) € 45.25 Php 2,670 12
Morfea’s Nest, Chania (2 nights) € 33.33 Php 1,966 13
Rea Hotel, Heraklion (3 nights) € 48.00 Php 2,832 14
San Giorgio Villas, Santorini (2 nights) € 30.00 Php 1,770 15
Eleanna’s, Mykonos (2 nights) € 26.66 Php 1,573 16
Athens International Youth Hostel, Athens (2 nights) € 21.67 Php 1,279 17
Meals
Athens (6 days) € 115.23 Php 6,799 18
Chania (3 days) € 57.71 Php 3,405 19
Heraklion (3 days) € 47.02 Php 2,774 20
Santorini (2 days) € 63.57 Php 3,751 21
Mykonos (2 days) € 15.32 Php 904 22
Onboard Anek Lines € 7.80 Php 460 23
Abu Dhabi (transit) $ 9.00 Php 387 24
Activities
Acropolis Pass € 12.00 Php 708 25
Gramvousa and Balos tour € 16.00 Php 944 26
Knossos Palace € 6.00 Php 354
Heraklion Archaeological Museum € 4.00 Php 236
Delos Archaeological Site € 5.00 Php 295
Miscellaneous
Funicular to Lykovittos Hill € 7.00 Php 413 27
Souvenirs € 36.80 Php 2,171 28
Postage € 4.00 Php 236 29
Toilet € 0.50 Php 30 30
Medicine € 4.00 Php 236 31
Umbrella rental and souvenir photo € 2.66 Php 157 32
Total Php 54,112.99
1 This is an overnight ship, and we booked for our own cabin. One of the most comfortable rooms we had! After hearing about horror stories about traveling by boat in the Philippines, we were surprised that the ship we rode was like a hotel. Great experience, and we regretted not booking more with them!
2 This comprises of three trips: Heraklion to Santorini, Santorini to Mykonos, and Mykonos to Piraeus. We booked with them because it was convenient (we can do it online and book all three at once), but neglected to read reviews prior to booking. They were late on all legs, from 5 minutes up to an hour! Otherwise, there’s no problem with Sea Jets.
3 This is a round trip fare, and there is only three departures each way. The trip to the island only takes 30 minutes, but the waters here are very choppy, so bring some motion sickness pills in case.
4 The airport train costs €8 one-way, but discounts apply if there are two or three of you. Our mistake was buying tickets separately when we arrived in Athens.
5 If I understand it correctly, the €1.40 ticket is good for the trains, buses, and trams and valid for unlimited travel within 1.5 hours. You just need to validate it once, and you’re good to go. Just be on the look out for the validation machines, as you can easily bypass them at the Airport station, if you’re not used to them. When we were staying in Plaka, we just walked everywhere. When we returned and stayed in a different neighborhood, we had no choice but to take the train to go to the shops. Take that into consideration when you’re choosing your accommodation.
6 We booked the tour through our accommodation, and we had to pay for the round trip bus transfers separately. If you’re to take the public bus, it would cost a little less (maybe only €12 round trip).
7 There are buses every hour, so no need to pre-book. The buses are very comfortable, and not freezing cold.
8 We only rode the bus twice in Heraklion: to and from the Palace of Knossos.
9 We had to escape the madness of Fira, so we rode the bus to Perissa for some peace and quiet, then a bus back to Fira, transfer to the bus going to Oia, another bus to Imerovigli (en route to Fira), and another bus to Fira. We had to pay for each leg separately, and it cost either €1.60 or €2.20. The fare is fixed, no matter where you board or alight.
10 Since the port was 7 kms away, and it was still dark at 6 am, we decided to just take a cab to the center of Chania’s Old Town.
11 The bus station wasn’t too far from our hotel, but it was noon, and I’m not fond of walking around lost with luggage in the middle of the day.
12 It says hotel, but it’s actually a hostel. It’s not the best in terms of looks, but the location is the best. It’s in Plaka, where the Acropolis (and the tourist center) is, but it’s quite central that you can walk anywhere.
13 The biggest downside to this place is the stairs, and the fact that it only open its doors at 9:30am, but otherwise, this a great place to stay in. Amazing location, and Antonia was very hospitable and accommodating. The room we got had a kitchenette with a fridge and a hot plate, so we were able to buy and store food from the supermarket.
14 Another centrally located place, we pretty much just walked everywhere in Heraklion from Rea Hotel. The room had a balcony, so we were able to do some laundry and dry it outside. They had a hair dryer too, big plus.
15 Our room was big, there was a central kitchen, coffee, juice, and cake was available in the mornings, and best of all, transfer to and from the port was free!
16 Certainly one of the prettiest places we stayed at. We weren’t expecting to get the studio, but it was quite welcome since it had the kitchen. Again, great location, we were able to just walk to the port, the harbour, and the windmills.
17 An option if you’re on a budget. It’s a bit out of the way but there are cheap places to eat nearby, and a supermarket within walking distance.
18 This includes about four meals that cost me between €10 to €15, the rest were below, or bought at the market.
19 Chania’s old town is very touristy, so food prices around where we’re staying is pretty pricey. But they were all good, and we got free desserts and a small bottle of raki after every meal. We also found the big supermarket, so we were able to stock up on some snacks and water at a fraction of the cost.
20 We dined on our supermarket haul, and to a couple of places outside. The best were the HUGE €6 savory crepes that were about 12 inches in diameter.
21 I splurged on food here. Three meals were over €12, but balanced it with home-made panini breakfast.
22 Only ate out once in Mykonos, since we had a kitchen. We bought pasta, sausage, sardines, and cheese, and cooked it for dinner and lunch. We also bought sandwiches at the bakery, panini-pressed them, and brown bagged it for lunch.
23 We anticipated that the food onboard would be expensive, but was surprised with the combo meals that were huge! Pretty good value.
24 How can I say no to McArabia? It was actually pretty close to GreekMac.
25 The Acropolis Pass gives you admission to the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, the Temple of Zeus, and other heritage sites around Athens for up to four days upon purchase.
26 You’re basically paying for the boat that will take you there. There is food sold there, and they’re not too expensive. Happy hour is on the last hour of the trip, so drinks and ice cream are sold at half-price.
27 The funicular ride was very short, about 5 minutes. If you managed to walk all the way up to the funicular station, you might as well walk all the way up.
28 Includes postcards, playing cards, thimble, magnets.
29 Stamps costs €0.80 for all. They’re big, so make some room in your postcard.
30 Public toilets are actually free, but in the Mykonos old port, there was a couple of old ladies that set up a table and everybody’s giving them coins. They maintain the toilets, but there is no set fee, so put whatever you want.
31 Panadol for colds and flu, 18 pieces. Knocked me out cold.
32 They had us pose for a photo with a costumed crew as soon as we got up to the deck of the boat. We just bought one, and shared the cost between the three of us. Same with the beach umbrella, which is a must if you don’t want to burn to a crisp, since there is hardly any shade in Gramvousa and Balos.
RELATED:   Travel Expenses: Cebu 2008

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Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 19 Comments
  1. B Chai says:

    Awesome! I love how you always break down the costs, so that everyone can see where the money goes to. You’re absolutely right about costs in Europe—Greece is much more cheaper than other places, like Germany, for example! What was the most expensive city / town you all visited in Greece? 😉 Glad you had a fabulous time!

    • Nina says:

      Most expensive, I think is Santorini and Mykonos. The prices at the restaurants are more expensive than the same kind of restaurants in Crete. There are cheaper options, though, but that would either be souvlaki or gyros (always the cheapest thing on the menu). Of course, you’re bound to get sick of them, so you order overpriced seafood (which I did haha). In Crete, we don’t mind the prices as much mainly because they give us free dessert and alcohol lol

  2. boundfortwoS says:

    It’s not so expensive after all, knowing that you stay in Greece fortnights. Definitely bookmarking this.

  3. Love the cost breakdown as usual, Nins! I’m glad that the accommodations were mostly centrally-located, saving you a little travel money. I wish I could have tasted what you guys cooked up in Mykonos!

  4. mightyselene says:

    the amount you spent is just right for a comfortable trip. i hope to visit greece too. 🙂

  5. You are truly an inspiration and your blog is true piece of a blessing those who are planning the same! Keep it up!

  6. Wawan says:

    Hi Nina! Been a fan of your blog ever since. I always look forward to your travel expenses post. Thanks for this. Really informative 🙂

  7. Len says:

    Wow, such a great traveler.

  8. Andrea says:

    Nina, super thank you for your blog. You’re such an inspiration. You make things easier for us who want to do the same thing. Planning a trip is super time-consuming and I am grateful that you unselfishly post everything here. I wish you more travels and I hope you’ll be able to post more of your experiences and syempre, your budget breakdowns. I’m really looking forward to your European tour, I really wish makalibot ka pa dun! Madami kaming makikinabang (and I’m really curious how much damage to my bank account a month’s stay in Europe will make. Hehe!) Again, thank you and God bless you!

    • Nina says:

      Hey Andrea! Glad you found this useful! You can also download my full Project Greece Excel file, which includes our itinerary, our accommodation options, and resources.

      I’m hoping I get to tour around Europe, too! Not sure when it’s happening, as things pop up in the last minute. I’ll get there, eventually 😉

  9. ginny says:

    may I pls know which airline you used to fly to Greece and how much did it cost you.. Thanks 🙂

  10. Grace Flores says:

    Thanks be to God! hindi ako pinaghintay ng matagal ni Lord, in a week lang, may result agad! TV granted! Keep on praying lang sa mga nag lodge ng applications…Good luck guys!!! 🙂

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