Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 20 June 2019, 12:30 NZST
  • Still current at: 29 February 2020

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Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution in Greece due to the potential for civil unrest and an underlying threat of terrorism.

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Civil unrest
Demonstrations in relation to many issues including economic and political developments occur frequently in Greece, and have the potential to turn violent with little warning. Demonstrations primarily occur in Athens, particularly in Syntagma and Omonia Squares, and Exarchia.The likelihood of civil unrest in Greece may increase during days of national significance.

New Zealanders in Greece are advised to avoid all protests and demonstrations as even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn violent. Police may use tear gas and/or water cannons to disperse demonstrations. Monitor the media and adhere to any restrictions and instructions issued by the local authorities.

New Zealanders who find themselves in an area affected by demonstrations or violence should leave the area if it is safe to do so, or if this is not possible, find a safe location, remain indoors and heed the advice of local authorities.

New Zealanders should be aware that strikes occur regularly in Greece, and can cause disruption to public transport, including air travel, sea and rail transport and taxi services.

Terrorist groups, including those based in Syria and Iraq, have made threats to conduct attacks across Europe. There is also an ongoing threat of domestic terrorism, often targeting government buildings, police stations, banks and diplomatic and commercial interests. In the past, there have been a number of bomb attacks in urban areas, some of which have resulted in injuries. Further attacks are possible, and could occur anywhere at any time, including in places frequented by tourists.

New Zealanders in Greece are advised to keep themselves informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources. We recommend following any instructions issued by the local authorities and exercising a high degree of vigilance in public places.

Cash and cards
New Zealanders travelling or living in Greece should be aware that not all Greek islands have international ATMs, and that locations with limited ATMs may run out of cash. We therefore recommend making sure that you have multiple means of payment with you (including cash, debit cards and credit cards) and ensuring that you have enough cash to cover emergencies.

Opportunistic petty crime like pickpocketing, bag snatching and passport theft is common in tourist areas and on public transport. Tourists are often targeted on the metro and on the train to and from Athens Airport. We advise New Zealanders to be alert to their surroundings at all times and take steps to safeguard and secure their personal belongings. Don’t leave any baggage unattended and remain vigilant.

Tourists have been the victims of serious physical and sexual assaults in Greece. Extra care should be taken to ensure drinks are never left unattended.

General travel advice
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include lengthy imprisonment or fines.

Photography of military installations, personnel and locations is prohibited, and could result in detention and prosecution. If in doubt, don’t take a picture.

Carry your passport or some form of photo identification at all times. If your passport is stolen, please report it and apply for a new one online immediately.  You may be detained if you do not have proper identification with you.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Greece should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Greece are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

The New Zealand Embassy Rome, Italy is accredited to Greece

Street Address Via Clitunno, 44, 00198 Rome, Italy Telephone +39 06 853 7501 Fax +39 06 440 2984 Email Web Site Hours Mon- Fri 0830-1230 and 1330-1700

See our regional advice for Europe

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Accredited New Zealand Embassy Italy

Street Address
Via Clitunno, 44, 00198 Rome, Italy

Telephone: +39 06 853 7501

Fax: +39 06 440 2984



Hours: Mon- Fri 0830-1230 and 1330-1700

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