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The Culture Guide: 5 Things You Should Not Do When Visiting Greece

Ready to see the stunning islands and ancient ruins that Greece has to offer? You’re going to have a great time–and you’ll want to be sure to avoid doing these five things while you’re in the gorgeous southern European country. 

1. Only Carry Credit Cards

We get it–when you’re in a foreign country that you are not familiar with, you may feel more comfortable carrying credit cards than cash. In Greece, however, you’ll likely run into quite a few stores and restaurants that are cash-only. Be sure to carry cash on hand so you don’t have to deal with the hefty fees that come with using an overseas ATM. 

2. Forget a Gift

In the exciting event that you’re invited into a Greek’s home for dinner, it’s common courtesy to arrive with a gift. Showing up empty-handed shows as lack of respect for local tradition and culture, and a lack of appreciation for the invitation. 

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3. Toss Your Toilet Paper into the Toilet

To most Americans, this one isn’t going to come naturally. Greece is an old, old country with old, old plumbing systems that struggle to handle modern-day toilet paper. When you go to the bathroom in Greece, you’ll notice a trash can with every toilet. Throw your toilet paper in there instead to avoid an embarrassing and costly mistake. 

4. Speak Your Mind to Smokers

Nearly half of all Greeks smoke cigarettes, and it’s not a smart move to criticize locals who are lighting up. The country attempted an indoor smoking ban, and it failed miserably. If you’re not a smoker, you’ll be happy to know that the weather in Greece is typically fantastic, and there’s no need to be cooped up in a smoky bar or restaurant if that’s not your thing. 

5. Ask For Butter With Your Bread

When you sit down to dinner in Greece, you’ll (almost) always be served a bread basket. Don’t ask for butter to go with your bread–instead, Greeks dip their bread in the communal salad bowl to soak up the dressing. Tear off a small piece of bread and dip it in the salad bowl so that you’re not double dipping.