You may be wondering what to wear in Greece and for that matter what to pack. No worries in this post we cover some of the basics and what we recommend you take for your trip to the Mediterranean. The alluring Greek islands are staggeringly beautiful, rich in history, abundant in delicious cuisines, and full of extraordinarily hospitable locals.
The first time we landed in Santorini we were out of our element. We were on a European backpacking trip, and little did we know how posh and romantic the island was for travelers. Now, we make annual trips to Greece and can safely say we know how to pack our bags.
What to Wear in Greece
Essentials of What to Wear in Greece
Sandals are meant only for the beach in Europe, especially for men. However, with all of the gorgeous beaches in Greece sandals are acceptable beach attire and they’re far more comfortable on the sand.
Men should keep the sandals for the beach generally. However, a stylish pair of sandals are great for women when they visit a Greek seaside town. Greece is a very laid-back place and most of the islands cater to tourists in the hot summer so you won’t feel out of place.
We both travel with Rainbow leather sandals and they’ve lasted for years. It’s a basic leather sandal that doesn’t look overly cheap and feels stylish enough. They’re super comfortable too!
Greece sees plenty of sunshine and a stylish pair of sunglasses is a great addition to an outfit. It’s important to protect your eyes from the sun since you’ll likely spend a lot of time outside around water. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes.
We made our first investment in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Truthfully, not everyone needs to invest $150 in a pair of sunglasses; however, we love ours and will never buy cheap ones again. Of course, there are always more affordable options! See our list for the best sunglasses for travel here.
T-Shirt or V Neck
A classic tee will never go out of style. We suggest sticking with solid colors like black, white, or grey. There’s also the option of a v-neck for a more stylish look, but it all depends on personal preference. For those who sweat more grey better as it is super easy to stain white.
Greeks very much care about their appearance, but they aren’t snobs and the dress is generally more casual than Western Europe. When we’re on the islands we love to wear a pair of relaxed pants in a light neutral color. There are a variety of options, but we love natural fibers such as hemp or linen that handle the heat well and have a classic look.
They are perfect for beach destinations, especially if you find yourself in more conservative areas. These pants are lightweight and weigh nothing in a carry-on bag — great for a quick change after the beach to hit the beach bar.
For everything outside of the beach, a simple sneaker is great! A lot of brands make light and airy sneakers that aren’t overly flash, match a wide range of outfits, comfortable for all-day wear, and remain cool in hot weather. We’ve tried a lot of different travel shoes over the years and love tree runners from allbirds.
You’re going to Greece! A swimsuit is a must unless you’re on some of the famous nudist beaches. If you’re heading to the Mediterranean obviously the number one thing you need is a swimsuit! We like to travel with two different swimsuits so that we know we will always have an extra dry one on hand.
For women, one of the best brands for swimsuits I’ve found is Andie Swim. They make amazing swimsuits that fit as nice as they look. Many of their pieces are stylish, yet supportive. Cameron loves a good pair of board shorts from Billabong or Dakine. When purchasing board shorts it’s best to stick with darker colors as they hold up longer and to get a shorter cut above the knee.
No matter what you will need a beach bag when heading to the beach. This is to throw in anything like towels, a book, a speaker, sunglasses, snacks, and sunscreen. As full-time travelers, we often use our daypacks for trips to the beach since a tote is unnecessary.
However, a classic tote that everyone has in their closet is a great option for those on short trips or who live close to the beach. They also travel well as they can fold flat and lie in your luggage.
Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF during the summer. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house as you will need them underneath the sun. Most of the islands have limited imports and charge high prices.
We highly recommend getting an eco-friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals. They’re mineral-based and usually only cost a few dollars more to help protect our oceans.
If you’re not going to swim in the ocean or lakes just go with a reliable name brand. You can learn more about eco-friendly travel products here!
We always recommend bringing a travel towel when you’re on the road, Greece is no exception. If you plan on staying in hostels or more budget accommodation you’ll often need your own towel.
Also, if you head to the beach or want to take a hike it never hurts to have a towel packed away in your day bag. Consider a towel an essential for your Greece packing list. A towel is one of those things you’ll likely regret not packing!
Traveling with freshwater in hand is important as it is easy to get dehydrated when out. We like to use insulated stainless steel water bottles because they are well insulated and great for the environment reducing plastic waste. The insulated water bottles also handle the hot sun well.
Greece gets cold too! A good warm fleece coat is perfect for that evening strolls along the ocean. If you’re visiting Greece in the shoulder seasons it’s very likely you’ll face some cool weather. For those days we always reach for a warm fleece jacket.
Patagonia’s Synchilla Snap T Pullover fleece is the best fleeces for the beach in our opinion. The fleece has a classic relaxed cut that has a timeless look for a walk on the beach or evening bonfire. It’s a double-sided fleece that provides plenty of warmth while remaining soft and comfortable.
They also make a great gift for travelers as they’re a wardrobe staple.
Women’s Packing List Items for Greece
A few comfortable tank tops and shirts are always in my bag and they’re perfect for Greek Summers. I typically pack solid colors so that they can with everything.
They’re super functional clothes that can be worn under a blouse or alone with a pair of jeans or capris. It’s always best to pick up some new ones before a trip that way they look fresh and aren’t pilling.
Cute Summer Dress
When you’re walking around the islands or cute seaside towns a loose flowing dress is a great wardrobe choice. Unless it’s winter or you’re in Athens we’d leave the jeans behind as they’re heavy, restrictive, and hot in the sun.
I love to wear a cute summer dress in Greece during the summer months. Choose a classic dress like an exposed shoulder top or a slip dress and go with light colors for the classic Greek Isles look.
Rompers are probably one of my favorite travel outfits because they’re stylish, comfortable, practical, and keep me cool in the summer. You really can’t go wrong here and I’d suggest throwing at least one or two rompers in your suitcase for Greece.
Make sure to pack a nice black dress for nights out. It’s a travel staple and takes up almost no room in your suitcase.
You’ll need a light top to pair with you capris or jeans. Most women should shy away from graphic tees or short sleeve shirts instead use a light blouse to keep cool during the day. It’s a perfect item to wear in the summer as the right blouse is super cool and comfortable.
Beach Cover Up
A cover-up is one of those vacation clothes you should always travel with. Not only do they look cute but they will also protect you from the sun’s harsh rays.
Many establishments don’t allow beachgoers to wear just a swimsuit so this is where the cover-up is essential when heading to a restaurant on the coast.
This all depends on the season, but in the spring or summer, a pair of capris are perfect for European cities. Women gravitate towards light colors during this time so go with a white or pastel-colored capri.
A pair of black flats is always great to have in a suitcase. They’re stylish comfortable and they take up minimal space in your luggage.
My tip, stay away from heels, many European towns have cobblestone streets and you don’t want to break an ankle trying to look good. Just let the locals impress you with their skills of walking in heels.
If you are considering what to pack for Greece I recommend picking up a stylish beach hat! A classic travel staple is the Panama Hat which I wore in the Galapagos Islands.
Interestingly enough Panama hats are not from Panama, but they originate from Ecuador. I picked mine up in Quito, but you can find plenty of cheap ones online that are perfect for the beach.
No need to pack push up bras when you’re active. I always bring a few pairs of sports bras when I’m traveling. It’s easy to forget to bring a sports bra as you might not be headed to the gym, but they’re tremendous for active or hot summer days. I love this one from Patagonia as it provides support in a more subtle cut.
This one is for the ladies, and I wanted to make note of it for anyone still wondering what to pack for a trip to Greece. If you’re coming from America the makeup in Greece can be expensive in comparison to prices in the States.
My first trip to Europe was almost a year long so I made sure I had enough mascara, eyeliner, and face powder to get me through that year without spending a fortune for my favorite brand.
Men’s Packing List Items For Greece
There is probably no look more synonymous for men in Greece than a linen white shirt. It’s probably my personal favorite to wear when I’m visiting any beach destination and Greece is no exception.
Linen is great as it tends to dry faster, feel lighter, and cope with sweat better than its cotton counterparts. Pair it with sandals, shorts, jeans, shoes, or barefoot and it will always work. A versatile piece of clothing that can look both casual and nice.
You’d look pretty ridiculous wearing a T-shirt or a flannel out to a nice meal in Greece. The islands and the mainland have some excellent restaurants and a great culinary scene. Not to mention men in Greece are known for their style and always look clean-cut when it comes to a night out.
It’s a great idea to travel with at least one nice outfit that fits your style. Your travel plans in Greece will also have a large impact. We suggest a nice blue dress shirt and or a blazer for a classic look. Bluffworks makes travel-specific men’s dress clothes that are wrinkle and stain-resistant. They also make a great gift!
A technical long sleeve shirt looks great and is typically well constructed. You should look for a nice blend of synthetic materials that allow for quick drying and ventilation in the hot sun. It has the nice ability to blend in at the beach and transition easily to a beach club or restaurant.
A long sleeve shirt like this allows for greater comfort moving from chilly mornings into hot days. It’s a great travel shirt as it avoids wrinkles, resists stains, and looks better than a relaxed tee.
It can get really hot in the summer in Greece and you’ll definitely want to pack a pair of shorts. With the hot temperatures, Greek men have no problem wearing shorts as pants would be almost unbearable.
Style is very similar to anywhere else in the world these days and I’d advise against cargo shorts. Mountain Hardwear makes the beloved AP shorts that are functional, stylish, and comfortable. They’re great for travel, leisure, hiking, or working in the yard.
Greeks are much more stylish than North Americans who prefer casual clothes in public. A pair of chinos works on both sexes. It’s a classic look that when combined with a simple t-shirt or dress shirt.
When combined with a pair of jeans you’ll be able to mix and match your wardrobe to be appropriate for a multitude of environments. For Greece go with a light color and shy away from the traditional khaki look that feels dated.
Jeans go with anything, and despite the notion, they are “American” casual the right pair is attractive. I see jeans everywhere I travel as well, and it’s definitely not just Americans wearing them. You’ll find plenty of Greeks in well-cut jeans, but nothing baggy or ripped.
We stick with the classic look in jeans. That means fitted jeans that are a dark color. No fades, light blues, or rips! That would be the Levi’s 511 for men.
I wouldn’t recommend wearing a pair of jeans during the day as it will be too hot, but they’re great for cooler evenings or off-season travel. However, if you visit in peak summer it may be so hot it’s difficult to ever feel comfortable in a pair of heans
It’s a good shoe to have in the summer as the right pair can be worn with a low cut sock that shows ankle for a more relaxed look by the seaside. It’s perfect for a night out at a local Taverna while you listen to live music.
Although, I’ve gotten away with a simple sneaker for almost all settings around Greece! The important thing with footwear is that it looks clean and simple.
Greek men love their beards, seriously. Taking good care of their personal hygiene is very important and you’ll find most men with trimmed beards and clean necklines.
I always love to travel with a facial trimmer as it helps me manage my facial hair. While you’re at it, I’d suggest getting a fresh haircut before you leave on your trip.
Accessories to Pack for Greece
You’ll need something to stash your photography gear, hand sanitizers, papers, phones, and anything else that you need for a full day out when traveling.
As Lonely Planet Pathfinders who regularly go on assignment for the guidebook company we love to have a physical guidebook when traveling. We spend enough time attached to our phones in everyday life and planning our trips.
Once we reach a destination like Greece we put the phone away and pick up a guidebook to help with our trip.
We’ve suffered through enough red-eye flights to never forget to pack a travel pillow for international flights. My favorite travel pillow is the Cabeau Evolution Pillow, but we break down more of our favorite travel pillows here.
Packing cubes are great for any backpack or suitcase. They keep all of your clothes and toiletries organized. I’ve had these Eagle Creek cubes for three years now and think they were worth the investment to stay organized and create space in my luggage.
For the women, I suggest traveling with a theft-proof purse that is black and stylish to hold belongings. Cameron has a great passport wallet that holds his passport and credit cards so he never leaves it anywhere.
No matter what we recommend traveling with some sort of protection for your passport to save it from wear or any unforeseen accidents.
Hanging Toiletry Bag
It’s always a good idea to keep your toiletries organized and separated from your clothes. So we love always travel with a toilety bag; however, Greek bathrooms can be cramped and small.
If you are limited on counter space a great option is to buy a hanging toiletry bag. This style of the bag tends to have a better organization system with a variety of sections for storage than the traditional option.
Toiletries you’ll want to pack for Greece are body lotion, nail clippers, dental hygiene, UV lip balm, deodorant, razor, cotton swabs, and cosmetics.
Electronics To Pack For Greece
You will definitely need an adaptor for your electronics on your packing list for Europe. We always keep one handy in our carry-on bags, that way we can charge electronics on arrival or at the airport.
Greece outlets use the Europlug and I would recommend getting one before you land on Amazon. The price may be doubled if you show up on a Greek island in an outlet emergency.
A high-quality camera is an important packing item for Greece if you want some great shots while on your vacation We travel with a bunch of cameras, but the one we universally recommend is the RX 100.
They make a number of models at different price points, but it’s a simple to use point-and-shoot camera that anyone can operate. It also takes superb images with a 20mp resolution and full manual controls.
While I love having a good real book when I travel sometimes it’s just not practical because of the weight — keep them at home. If you plan to island-hop you’ll want to pack fairly light.
We switched to a Kindle Paperwhite for travel because it is small and compact, plus it has a backlight for reading at night without a harsh glare. The Paperwhite version is great as they mimic a real book and you can read them in the sun.
Many of the big tourist sites have self-guided tours. Like the Museums and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, I find it’s always nice to have your own personal earbuds to stick into your ear for these tours.
No one wants to stick dirty headphones over their head or use disposable ones that you’ll toss away after, just wasteful. They’re small and easy to carry along.
I love traveling with a power bank to make sure my phone never dies. The majority of the time I don’t need to use it on long flights as some of the nicer airlines provide entertainment systems with USB ports!
We also make sure to find a charging point during layovers, but getting to a new city without your hotel reservations and map can be a major pain in the ass.
You Need This To Travel in Greece!
We never travel without travel insurance with World Nomads. Natasha is a bit of a worrywart and would rather stay safe than sorry. World Nomads offers incredible flexibility and great plans!
You never know if the worse could happen while you’re abroad and often your insurance plan at home will not cover medical emergencies abroad. Having the peace of mind that we have a good backup plan helps us sleep at night.
What NOT to Pack for Greece
Leave the heavy items at home like a hair dryer, books, and multiple shoes at home. You may find yourself carrying luggage up a flight of steps, a ferry, or along a cobbled street and you’ll regret any heavy luggage.
Most of the towns and cities are set along hills with old cobbled streets or uneven surfaces. Unless you’re staying within a resort you’ll just place your ankles at risk by wearing heels around.
Silly Travel Accessories
Don’t fall for silly travel accessories that are unnecessary expenses like a neck wallet, jet lag pills, charcoal tablets, or a female urination device.
If you do plan on investing in travel accessories stick with the classics. Useful investments for travel are quality luggage, packing cubes, a toiletry bag, power bank, adapters, or noise-canceling headphones. We use eye masks and earplugs all the time as well!
There are some great hikes in the mountains and hilly countryside in Greece, but you can leave the hiking boots at home. Instead, opt for a lightweight trail running shoe that eats up less space and can be used at the gym or for a run.
The Kitchen Sink
It’s really easy to overpack when you’re getting ready for a trip. When you travel you’ll find you often find gravitate towards only a few staple items. This means you end up reaching for the same items over and over because they’re most practical, fitting, or stylish. Try to think about what you wear in a week for everyday life. Also, don’t forget Greece has plenty of shops and stylish boutiques for shopping.
Quick Greece Travel Tips
- ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in Greek: “Yasou” and “Efharisto”
- Currency: Euro – (EUR) – €
- Visa: Schengen visa. Which is 90 days in the European Union out of 180. Many nationalities are granted this on arrival for free. Check with your embassy to see if that is you.
- Weather: The weather in Greece is a Mediterranean climate. This means winters are mild and rainy, while summers are warm and dry with plenty of sunshine throughout the year.
- What to Pack: Warm weather clothes and a swimsuit, don’t forget a good pair of clothes to go and a jacket for cool nights. Read about what to wear in Greece.
Travel in Greece
Greek Travel Planning Resources
- Packing Guide — Check out our Greece Packing List to help pack your bags and ensure you don’t leave anything at home.
- Rent a Car — We suggest most visitors consider renting a car for the best trip possible. Try Discover Car Hire to compare quotes from different rental agencies. Check Price Here!
- Protect Your Trip — Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance! We always carry travel insurance to protect from injury, theft, or a canceled trip. Try World Nomads for competitive short term plans. Read a review of World Nomads here.
- Tours in Banff — Check out our list of the best tours you can enjoy in Greece!
- Travel Adapter – Make sure you find a good adapter to keep your personal electronics charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land. Purchase one here.