Taking Money in and out of Greece

    1. There is absolutely no limit of the amount of US cash $ which you are allowed to bring with you as far as Greece is concerned. The limitation only applies on Greek currency which no longer exists. (The argument being that since it is illegal to export large quantities of Greek currency out of Greece any large amount of Greek cash must be the product of an illegal transaction.)

    2. There is a limit of how much US cash $ you can take back out with you when you leave. That limit is $500. Therefore if you carry $1,000 with you and spend at least $500 you will be fine. This limit though can be voided if you want to go to the trouble of declaring how much cash you have with you when you arrive at Athens airport. As soon as you go through passport control you will see a sign which will read "Foreign Currency Declarations". Go there and simply show the official all your cash. He will then issue to you a certificate for that amount which you should have with you when you leave Greece.

    Of course all this is pretty much academic since no tourist has ever been hastled. Tourism is the number 1 industry here in Greece and so the government and its officials try to make things as easy as possible for all "real" tourists, especialy for Americans. The only times they apply the restrictions is when the travelor is either a Greek citizen or is a person of Greek origin (such as myself). For example you will probably notice that when you and your friends will go through customs the Greek customs officials will surely tell you to just go through without a second look or thought. In the mean time, they will be searching through the luggage of those passengers who are obviously of Greek origin. Every time I go through customs they search my luggage with a fine toothed comb. (Obviously I look like a Greek).

    Regards from sunny Athens,
    Tom Mazarakis