Like the rest of Greece and many European countries, the currency in Crete is the Euro. Here’s everything you need to know.
Using Euros in Crete
When visiting the Greek island of Crete, it’s important to note that the official Greek currency is the Euro. You can’t spend dollars or British pounds in places in Crete!
While you can use credit and debit cards at most establishments in Crete, it’s worth mentioning that, particularly on local buses, card payment machines may not always be operational.
Also, on some remote places where there may not be phone signal, POS transactions might not work, so cash in Euros might be needed.
While most people travel to Crete and never need to use cash (if they don’t want to), to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience, it’s advisable to carry a modest sum of Euros in cash when you venture around Crete.
This will ensure that you’re prepared for any situation and can easily handle transactions at places where card payments might not be an option.
ATMs and Banks in Crete
Similarly to the rest of Greece, in Crete, you can find ATMs pretty easily, especially in the tourist hotspots like Chania, Rethymno, and Heraklion.
Some ATMs will be outside of banks, others will be stand-alone machines between other businesses.
These ATMs let you take out Euros with your debit or credit card. There are also some banks, like the National Bank of Greece, where you can trade your foreign money for Euros if you have to.
But honestly, it’s best to skip the banks in Crete if you can. The lines can be super long, and you’ll end up wasting a lot of time.
Using Credit and Debit Cards in Crete
When you’re visiting Crete, it’s important to know how to use credit or debit cards.
Just like in many other parts of the world, Crete accepts card payments for most of your purchases.
Whether you’re shopping, dining at a restaurant, or paying for a tour, chances are you can use your card. This is especially true in popular tourist areas like Heraklion, Chania, Rethymno, and Agios Nikolaos.
You can usually pay with major credit cards like Visa and Mastercard. American Express is less widely accepted in Crete.
Debit cards linked to your bank account are widely accepted as well. However, keep in mind that not all businesses, particularly smaller ones or those in more remote areas, may accept cards. So it’s a good idea to carry some cash with you just in case.
Related: Heraklion Ferry Port
Tips for using Bank Cards in Crete
Using your bank card when in Crete either at cash machines or in local businesses is convenient, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, make sure to notify your bank or credit card company about your travel plans to Crete. This helps prevent any unexpected issues with your card when withdrawing cash abroad.
You can typically do this by calling the customer service number on the back of your card or through your online banking app.
It’s also a good idea to carry a backup card in case your primary one is lost or stolen. This way, you won’t be left without a way to pay for your expenses in a foreign country.
Many people also carry a small amount of cash as a safety net, just in case they encounter a situation where card payments are not an option.
Where to exchange money in Crete
In Crete, exchanging money is a relatively straightforward process if you’ve brought your own currency with you.
Keep in mind though that you won’t be getting a very good exchange rate.
The best way of changing money in Crete is through foreign currency exchange offices, which are often found in tourist areas, especially near hotels and popular attractions. You can change money with them in most major currencies.
While these exchange offices may offer convenient locations, it’s important to be cautious and compare rates, as they can sometimes have slightly higher fees and less favorable exchange rates than banks.
It’s a good practice to check the current exchange rates before exchanging money at any location to ensure you’re getting a fair deal.