Google Maps and Google Translate are two of the most useful apps for your trip to Greece. Here are a few more that you should download!
Travel apps for Greece
With smartphones becoming increasingly popular, there are many great apps that can help make traveling in Greece a lot easier. Like for example Google Maps. Sometimes I struggle to remember what we did before it was invented!
Here are some of the best apps to download before your trip to Greece, for iPhone and Android users.
1. Google Maps – One of the best free apps for Greece
Google Maps is the single most useful free app that you will need for Greece. Whether you are navigating the backstreets of Athens, driving around Greece, or hopping around the Greek islands, you will love Google Maps.
Here are some of the things you can use Google Maps for:
- navigate the backstreets of Athens – not as easy as you’d think!
- finding information and reviews for the most popular sites, attractions and Greek museums
- choosing the best restaurants and cafes
- figuring out public transportation from A to B
- finding your next destination when driving in Greece – the audio feature is very helpful
- locating the closest bus stops, train stations and gas stations
- mark places that you want to visit, create lists, and share them with your friends.
Is Google Maps in Greece reliable?
In my experience traveling around Greece, Google Maps mostly works well. Still, if you are travelling to some of the more remote areas, you might find it a little misleading.
Plus, the app doesn’t always recognize hiking trails, as opposed to paved roads. We had tons of fun trying to work out our route in Kalymnos, Tilos, and a few more islands 🙂
To use Google Maps with minimum disruptions, I would suggest getting a Greek SIM card. In addition, it’s best to download the offline map for the area you are visiting. Having an old-fashioned paper map can also be a good idea.
An alternative that I’ve used in the past is Maps.Me, which is great for offline use. Also, Moovit works well if you want to find how to get from A to B on public transportation, and will offer an estimated arrival time.
If you are planning to rent a car, make sure you follow any rules set by your car rental company. For example, a normal car will typically not be covered by insurance if you are driving on dirt roads. Check out Discover Cars, an online platform where you can hire a car in Greece quickly and easily. Make sure you read the small print in advance.
2. Google Translate – No need to worry about Greek!
While English is widely spoken in Greece, the Google Translate app can prove very handy. It will help if you are looking for a specific item which you don’t feel comfortable describing, like for example toilet paper.
You can also copy and paste phrases, or scan text in images written in Greek. Overall, it’s a super useful tool to overcome the language barrier.
A word of caution: although Google Translate has been improving over the years, it still doesn’t work quite perfectly in Greek.
If you only want to translate one or two words, you should be fine for the most part. But if you want to translate long, complicated phrases, don’t be surprised if people look a little lost.
Before you jump into translating, check these two useful articles about the Greek language:
3. Booking – Find hotels, apartments and rooms
In my opinion, Booking is the best online platform to look for accommodation in Greece. There is a huge selection of hotels, boutique hotels, villas, apartments, studios and hostels to choose from.
While AirBnB is popular in Greece, it generally offers fewer options, and it charges higher fees. As a result, the same accommodation can cost you more if you book it through AirBnB rather than through Booking.
We travel around 3-4 months in a calendar year, and we’ve never had any issues with accommodation booked through Booking. So I definitely recommend it if, like most travellers, you want to book your accommodation in advance.
4. Get Your Guide – Book tours and activities
Get Your Guide is a great platform where you can book tours and activities. In Greece, you can find a wide range of things to do, such as guided tours to the ancient sites, food tours, and boat trips around the Greek islands.
Get Your Guide is very easy to use, and they even give a refund in case you were unhappy with the activity. With that said, always check the reviews before you book anything, to get an idea of what other travellers thought.
I personally find the website easier to navigate, but the app is also good, and you can easily have all your booked activities in one place.
5. WhatsApp / Viber – Talk and text for free
WhatsApp and Viber are apps that are widely used to communicate in Greece – and not only. They are both free to download and allow you to call or text over wifi / data without any cost. You can also use them to send photos, videos, files and your current location.
Generally speaking, both these apps are the best way to stay in touch in Greece. You can communicate with your hotel / room owner, tour guide, driver, or anyone else that you might need to contact during your trip. Nowadays they are considered perfectly ok to use, and not just suitable for casual communication.
When you want to add a new contact, note that Greek Mobile numbers consist of ten digits, and always begin with 69, so they look like 69xx-xxxxxx. If a number begins with a 2 or an 8, it’s a landline. The country code for Greece is +30.
6. Free Now (formerly Beat) / Uber / Taxiplon – Taxi apps
While the Athens metro and Athens airport metro are an excellent way to get around the city, there will be times when you will prefer to use a taxi instead. However, over the years, I’ve seen several visitors complain that Greek taxi drivers have tried to overcharge them.
While I hope that it’s no longer the case, finding a taxi on a taxi app is becoming more and more common these days. If you are visiting Athens, you can choose between three taxi apps: Free Now (formerly known as TaxiBeat and Beat), Uber and Taxiplon.
You will need to choose your pickup and drop off locations, and then check the map to see where your taxi driver is. You can also store a payment method, but there’s always a cash option if you prefer.
Can I use the taxi apps everywhere in Greece?
It’s important to note that these apps are not available throughout most of Greece, including the islands. If you are travelling outside Athens, you can use the local buses, boat tours, taxis / cabs and transfer services, or rent a vehicle.
If you’d rather not mess around with apps, there are also several private transfers within the Athens area. Here are two of the most popular routes which you can pre-book:
- Airport: Athens private transfer from the airport to the city
- Piraeus port: Piraeus port transfer to and from Athens
7. Ferryhopper – Book your ferry tickets
Most people visiting Greece will want to book ferry tickets at some point. There are so many Greek islands to explore!
My preferred website is Ferryscanner, where you can easily compare ferries for all island destinations in Greece. Another option is Ferryhopper, which also has an app that you can download on your phone.
In all fairness, these two websites are similar, and are both very user friendly. If you are Greek island hopping, Ferryscanner allows you to add up to ten trips, which is very useful if you are travelling for several weeks at a time, like we do.
Note that, these days, there are many more websites where you can easily purchase tickets for Greek ferries. I have noticed, however, that some of them charge a (sometimes hefty) commission. So check prices thoroughly before you book!
8. Hellenic train – Take the train in Greece
If you want to go from Athens to Thessaloniki or Meteora, the Hellenic Train (formerly known as TrainOSE) is a great option. You will get to see some of the scenic landscape, and it’s quicker than driving or taking a bus.
You can book your train tickets on the Hellenic Train website, or on their app, where you can store your tickets electronically. Make sure you remember your password though – otherwise you won’t be able to retrieve them.
Here is some more information on how to book a train in Greece and how to get from Athens to Thessaloniki by train.
9. Revolut / Wise – Best ways to spend money abroad
In my experience, Revolut and Wise are the best way to spend money abroad. All you need to do is order your debit card, load it with your own currency, and use it when you travel.
You can withdraw a certain amount of money per month for free, and use it as a debit card with no hidden fees. You will get a much better exchange rate than your bank would offer, and you can monitor all your expenses on the app.
Plus, if you don’t want to use your debit / credit card details online, both apps offer a virtual card that you can only use once. I’ve found this feature extremely useful!
I have been using Revolut for several years now, both abroad and in Greece, and cannot recommend it enough. Not a member yet? Check out my referral link for more information.
10. Wolt – Food delivery app and not only
Wolt is a great app where you can order food and supermarket goods online. Apart from that, they also deliver medication, laundry, flowers, eye care products, cosmetics and selected toys.
Wolt operates in Athens, Thessaloniki, and several other areas and islands in Greece. If you live in any of the major cities, you can order from businesses that are outside your suburb, for a small extra fee.
If you are visiting Greece for just a few days, it’s unlikely that you will need to use Wolt. However, travellers / world nomads who are planning to spend a few weeks or months in Greece could find it handy. Plus, it’s always useful to know that you might be able to order things like medication in an emergency situation.
Another handy app to order food online is E-food. Unfortunately, it hasn’t yet been fully translated into English, so you are likely to get a mix of Greek and English words. You could always use Google Translate to help – or just go out for a meal 🙂
To use these apps, you will need to enter your Greek mobile number and other contact details. The apps store your previous orders, so you can repeat your order easily.
FAQs about the best apps for a trip to Greece
Here are some questions that readers have asked in the past:
What apps do I need for Greece?
Two of the most useful free apps when you visit Greece are Google Maps and Google Translate. Depending on how you travel, you can also use apps such as Ferryhopper, Hellenic Train and Uber. Also, consider getting Revolut or Wise for the best exchange rates, and Get Your Guide for tours and activities.
What’s the best food delivery app in Greece?
Some of the best Greek food delivery apps are Wolt, E Food and BOX.
Is there Uber in Greece?
The Uber taxi app operates in Athens. Other similar apps are Taxiplon and Free Now (formerly known as TaxiBeat and Beat).
Are taxis expensive in Greece?
Generally speaking, the taxis operating in the major Greek cities are fairly inexpensive. However, you will find that taxis on certain islands, like Mykonos or Santorini, are expensive.
Is it best to take cash or card to Greece?
When travelling to Greece, it’s best to have a combination of both cash and card. When it comes to debit cards, you could look into services like Wise and Revolut, which are two of the best options when you are travelling abroad.
Here are a few more articles with travel information about Greece:
- See all of Ancient Athens with the combined ticket
- Tipping in Greece
- The evil eye tradition in Greece
- The best souvenirs to buy from Greece
- What to pack for Greece for every season
- Getting around Rhodes
- Coffee in Greece
- Best websites for expats in Greece
Hi! I’m Vanessa from Athens. I hope you’ve found this article useful. If there are other apps you’ve found helpful in Greece please leave a comment below, to help more travellers! Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for photos and travel news about Athens and Greece.