Visiting Greece is on many people’s lists, but what to pack for Greece is one of the most frequent questions that I receive. For the most part, packing for Greece is pretty easy. However, there are things you should keep in mind when packing for a trip to Greece. This is a list of what to pack for 10 days in Greece. You can also probably pack the same amount of things for a two-week trip to Greece.
Most people will visit Greece in summer, so this Greek packing list is aimed at a summer trip to Greece.
What to Wear in Athens
Almost everyone that visits Greece will spend at least one day in Athens. Athens is an old city, and many of the sidewalks need some help. They are also often made of marble, which is slippery even on a dry day!
Stick with flat shoes and sneakers for lots of walking. Many of the ancient sites are within walking distance, and it isn’t worth getting on the metro or taking a taxi to reach them.
People dress up in Athens but not so much as in New York City. Dinner out can be formal or casual, depending on where you want to go. I would also say that darker colors are favored amongst the Athenian crowd, so dress similarly if you want to blend in with the locals. Shorts are acceptable in summer, but you might want a dress or pants for a night out.
Make sure to keep valuables near your person in Athens because, like in many big cities, pickpocketing can be an issue at tourist sites and the metro.
What to Wear on the Greek Islands
Dressing on a Greek island is less formal than in Athens. You will see everything as well. Shorts during the day are common and even at night on most islands. I like to wear a casual dress on the islands for dinner, though. However, no one will care if you wear your nice shorts to a restaurant though.
Even in the summer months, it can get cool at night on the islands, so you may want a light jacket or cardigan for the evenings. Also a pair of pants. Take an umbrella or a rain jacket in case it rains.
The pants are also good for taking the ferry where the air conditioning can be intense!
Light colors are best for the islands since the heat and the white of the buildings can make it seem hotter than it is. Choose cotton or linen clothing that is breathable and dries fast.
Packing List for Greece
Three Dresses – One nice dress for a nice dinner out. The others can be a casual dress for walking around in the day or used as a swimsuit cover-up.
3 Shorts – It gets hot in Athens in the summer. Bring ones that are cotton and easily washable. I love linen shorts for all my hot weather travels such as these.
Pants – One should be fine unless you are in Greece in September. Then you might want it for the evening. I don’t recommend brining jeans in the summer as it can be too humid for them to be comfortable. Only bring jeans if you are coming early or very late in the season.
5 Shirts – Make sure the colors match all your bottom pieces. These should be cotton or lightweight material. You will feel cooler this way.
One pair of walking sandals – Athen is very hilly and as mentioned the sidewalks are made of marble. I have fallen in Toms walking in Athens. You will need something with a good grip on the sole. I love these closed toed ones from Keen. You might be more comfortable in sneakers for the traction.
Dressy sandals – You will want something nicer for dinners out, but make sure they also have a good grip.
Flip flops – Flip flops are essential for visiting a Greek beach. The sand can be hot, and you won’t want to use your nicer sandals since the sand will come back to the hotel with you.
Light cardigan – Nights can be chilly here even in summer since it is close to the sea. You may want a light layer to take with you at night. This cardigan is similar to the one I have.
Beach Towel – You must bring your own beach towel as you can’t rent them on the beach, and the hotels usually don’t let you take theirs to the beach.
Beach bag – A bag to take your towel, sunscreen and book is necessary since you will not want to take a nice handbag to the beach. I like to bring a reusable tote bag that can double as a grocery bag or laundry bag. Like many countries in Europe, Greek grocery stores charge for using plastic bags.
2 Swimsuits – You will want two swimsuits even for a short trip since it can be really humid in Greece in the summer. Drying out might take a day, and no one likes putting on a wet suit.
Rain Jacket – While it may not be cold while you are on a Greek island in the summer, it might rain especially in the shoulder season months. Taking a rain jacket is a better alternative than an umbrella, so you can still use your hands. Make sure to get one with a hood.
Sunglasses – The Greek sun is intense and even more so when it is being reflected off the white buildings of the Cycladic islands. Pack at least one pair and bring backup in case you lose yours in the sea.
Pajamas – Obviously, you will want something to sleep in. This can be tricky in Greece as many hotels will only offer a sheet on the bed. I think this is because Greeks don’t sleep with the air conditioning on so that you won’t want a heavy blanket. However, you may want the air conditioning on, so bring the PJs you will be comfortable in.
Camera – You will want a camera for all the beautiful scenery you will be seeing in Greece. I used a Sony A7rii camera, which I love. However, it may be more than you want. Here is a good Sony camera alternative to it if you are looking for a good camera that is easy to use.
Travel Adapter – The plugs in Greece are likely different from those in your home country. You will need a travel adapter for dual-voltage items, such as cell phones or computers. A great travel adapter is the Epicka line of travel adapters. Not only will you have a travel adapter that is good for many countries, but many of them have USB-C plugs and fast charging capabilities. They come with extra fuses, so no worrying about a fuse dying and being unable to find a replacement.
Remember, they are not converters, so you will need a converter if your electronics are not dual voltage. Items such as hair dryers and hair straighteners are not usually dual voltage. For these items, I recommend buying them dual voltage.
Laptop or Tablet – Most of you won’t need a laptop on vacation, but you may want it for entertainment on the plane or in the hotel in the evening. I have been in Greek hotels a few times without any English channels. A tablet is also a good option and may offer you a way to read some books on your beach vacation.
Packing cubes – Want to pack a bit more without having to bring a bigger suitcase? Consider using packing cubes to compress your clothes. I use them on every trip and prefer the Eagle Creek brand packing cubes.
Water bottle – Water on the islands is not drinkable, but you can refill a water bottle at some city water fountains on the Greek islands. They look like fancy places to wash your hands or feet, but they are actually potable water. It is a good place to fill up rather than having to buy plastic water bottles all the time, plus it is better for the environment.
Toiletries – Bring the minimum you will need to survive a night or two. After that, you can purchase larger toiletries in the pharmacy in Athens or the islands. Some of my favorite Greek cosmetic brands are found in the pharmacies and not in the grocery stores. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
This will save you weight and space in your toiletry bag plus you get a useable souvenir if you don’t use them all.
Backpack or Suitcase
Personally, I think this is a matter of preference, but many people will want to know what kind of suitcase to bring to Greece. If you aren’t island hopping, then a rolling suitcase is fine in Athens since you will most likely check into one hotel and not move around.
If you are going to an island after visiting Athens you might want a backpack as it will make walking to the ferry or your island hotel much easier since the sidewalks can be uneven on the islands as well as in Athens.
I personally take a rolling suitcase on almost all longer trips. It makes getting on the Greek ferry easier for me and saves my back. I also arrange transport on the islands with the hotel or take a taxi for arrival.