The currency used in Santorini is the Euro. Cards are widely accepted on the islands, but cash is still useful, particularly for buses.
Using Euros in Santorini
The only legal tender in Greece is the Euro, and so when you visit Santorini, you will be transacting in Euros. While cards are accepted almost everywhere, in some places such as on buses, card machines rarely work.
That is why it is suggested to always have some small amount of Euros in cash when you go to Santorini.
ATMs and Banks in Santorini
ATMs are easily accessible throughout Santorini, especially in popular tourist areas like Fira and Oia. Most of these ATMs allow you to withdraw Euros using your debit or credit card. Some banks, like the National Bank of Greece, also have branches in Santorini where you can exchange foreign currency for Euros if needed.
Unless you absolutely have to use a bank in Santorini, we advise against it. The wait times in queues would be quite ridiculous, and you would waste a lot of time.
Cash vs Cards in Santorini
While most places in Santorini accept card payments, it’s still a good idea to keep some cash on hand. Some smaller shops and restaurants may only accept cash, or you may encounter technical issues with card machines.
It’s recommended to carry around 50-100 Euros in cash, just in case.
Currency Exchange in Santorini
If you need to exchange foreign currency for Euros, you can do so at some currency exhanges. However, the exchange rates may not be as favorable compared to exchanging money at your home country before arriving in Santorini.
It’s best to check with your bank on the exchange rates and fees to know which option is more cost-effective. Some travelers prefer to exchange a small amount of currency before their trip to cover immediate expenses and then rely on ATMs for the rest of their stay.
Tips for Using Money in Santorini
Here are some useful tips to help you manage your money while on the island:
- Withdraw larger sums from ATMs to avoid excess fees: ATM fees can add up, especially if you’re making multiple withdrawals. It’s better to withdraw larger sums of money less frequently to minimize the charges.
- Use a credit or debit card for larger purchases: Credit and debit cards are convenient for larger expenses such as hotel bookings, high-end restaurants, or shopping. They offer added security and often provide travel insurance or rewards programs. Just ensure that your card is widely accepted and check for any foreign transaction fees that may apply.
- Keep some cash on hand for smaller transactions or in case of emergencies: While cards are widely accepted, it’s always a good idea to carry some cash for smaller establishments that may not accept cards. Additionally, having cash on hand can be helpful in situations where card machines are not working or in case of emergencies.
- Check the exchange rates before making any currency exchanges: If you decide to exchange currency in Santorini, be sure to check the current exchange rates to ensure you’re getting a fair deal. Compare the rates at different banks or exchange offices to find the most favorable option.
- Inform your bank that you’re traveling to Greece to avoid having your card blocked: Banks may flag international transactions as suspicious if they’re not aware of your travel plans. To avoid any inconvenience, inform your bank beforehand about your trip to Santorini, Greece. Provide them with the dates and destinations to ensure smooth card usage during your stay.
Money in Santorini FAQ
Here are some frequently asked questions related to using money in Santorini:
What currency does Santorini use?
Santorini, like the rest of Greece, uses the Euro as its official currency.
Can you pay by card in Santorini?
Yes, most shops and restaurants in Santorini accept credit and debit cards. However, it’s still a good idea to carry some cash or a backup card just in case.
Where can I withdraw money in Santorini?
ATMs are widely available in Santorini, especially in popular tourist areas like Fira and Oia.
Do I need to exchange my currency to Euros before going to Santorini?
No, it’s not necessary to exchange your currency to Euros before arriving in Santorini. You can easily withdraw Euros from ATMs or exchange your currency at local banks.
Thinking of going island hopping from Santorini? For Greek Ferry Travel tips take a look here: Greek Island Hopping