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Patras, Greece

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Travel Infomation Description

Short-term Car Rentals: Greek law requires that visitors carry a valid U.S. driver?s license and an international driver?s permit (IDP), even if the rental company does not request to see your IDP. The Embassy does not issue IDPs. You must obtain your IDP in the United States from the American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA). Contact AAA directly to inquire about their mail in option that will allow you to apply from overseas, but note that it will likely take days or weeks. If you drive without these documents, you may face high fines (1,000 Euros or more) or be responsible for all expenses in the event of an accident.

Road Conditions and Safety: Greece has one of the highest traffic fatality rates in the European Union. Exercise extreme caution as both a driver and a pedestrian, and follow these tips:

  • Drive defensively.
  • Expect heavy traffic, obscured traffic signs, and vehicles traveling at high speeds.
  • Driving at night in inclement weather and on mountain roads can be hazardous.
  • Local law requires all motorcyclists to wear a helmet.
  • Check for motorbikes between lanes and on either side of you.
  • Do not rely on lane markings. On many two-lane highways, slower traffic will drive on the shoulder, and cars will pass straddling the center double-yellow line.
  • Review your insurance coverage before renting. Most insurance companies require that you have both your valid U.S. license and an international driver?s permit (IDP) for coverage in Greece. Small motorbike and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) rental firms frequently carry no insurance and require customers to cover the cost of all damages to their vehicles. Your insurance company may not cover two-wheel or ATV rentals.

Traffic Laws:

  • Talking or texting on a mobile phone while driving is illegal. The police check phone records when investigating accidents.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal, and police conduct random alcohol testing.
  • A Greek license is required if you stay more than 185 days in Greece. Contact the Regional Office of Transportation and Communications for more information.

See our road safety page for more information, including information on IDPs. Visit the Greek National Tourist Office website for more helpful tips.                                       

Public Transportation: Purchase and validate your ticket by touching it to the pad on the turnstile prior to boarding a bus or train. Inspectors randomly check for tickets. If you do not have a ticket, have the wrong ticket, or fail to validate your ticket, you could be fined up to 60 times the basic fare.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Greece?s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Greece?s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Greece should monitor U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at, the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website,, and the NGA broadcast warnings website Greece implemented a Recreational and Daily Tour Cruise Ships Fee on all private and professional leisure ships with a total length of over seven meters, regardless of flag, in Greek territorial waters. Mariners should consult for details.

Patras, Greece
Patras, Greece
Patras, Greece
Patras, Greece

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