Planning another getaway to enchanting Europe without burning a hole in your pocket? There’s no need to wonder anymore, Greece is the country to visit next! Let this country impress you with their blend of modernity and enchanting history. From majestic ancient ruins to idyllic island destinations and delectable Mediterranean cuisine, it’s time for your Greek adventure with this budget itinerary 😉
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Who says you can’t fly to Europe for cheap? If you’re from Singapore, you can book a flight with budget carrier Scoot. Scoot has very affordable non-stop direct flights from Singapore to the capital city of Athens – with 4 flights a week in summer and twice a week during winter. As part of their Take-off Tuesday deals, prices can be as low as SGD239 one way 😱 Plus, the 11-hour flight will have you arrive in Athens in the morning at 8.25am, so your day isn’t wasted only on travelling!
#HHWT Tip: Don’t forget to pre-order your vegetarian meals to fill your stomach when you book your flight. Not all their inflight meals are halal so you can opt for vegetarian bundles.
If you’re from Malaysia, check out affordable flight deals on Middle Eastern airlines like Emirates and Etihad. You might even snag some pretty good deals below RM2,000!
Day 1: Athens
Travelling from Athens Airport to city (1h)
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Skip the taxis and head to the city with Athens airport metro for €10 per person! Catch the Metro Line 3 from the airport station which will bring you to Syntagma Square, the center of Athens. If you are going to travel around on the metro, you could also purchase a 3-day tourist ticket from the airport. At only €22, it includes your train ride to the center and short train trips around Athens.
Cost: €10 per person
If you are travelling light, you can stretch your euros and take the airport bus instead! At only €6, you can take the x95 Athens Airport Bus to Syntagma Square and this route runs for 24 hours.
Checking in to your accommodation (30 min)
For the budget-conscious: Athens Backpackers
Credit: Athens Studios & Backpackers on Facebook
Located in the heart of Athens, Athens Backpackers is a great hostel choice, complete with free WiFi, air conditioning and friendly dorm-mates! Oh, and did we mention it comes with free Muslim-friendly Greek breakfast spread too – fresh bread, spreads, salads, honey as well as tea and coffee! They also have female-only dorms as well as studio apartments for families.
Cost: From USD28 on Agoda
For big groups and families: Book an AirBnb
It will be budget-friendly to book an AirBnb if you are coming as a family and big groups – you can expect to pay less than USD60 per person and you get to have an entire apartment to yourself! Check out this accommodation offering breathtaking views of the Acropolis, Parthenon and Philopappao Hill! Fully equipped with all the facilities needed for a stress-free holiday, this penthouse is also steps away from supermarkets and attractions.
Cost: From USD400/night for 8 guests (per person: USD50/night)
Watch the Changing of Guards on Syntagma Square (1 hour)
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After checking in and washing up, catch the ceremonial changing of the Presidential Guards in front of the Hellenic Parliament building! Their precision in timing and coordination is just incredible.
Explore Athens like a local with a Free Walking Tour (2-3 hours)
Credit: Athens Free Tour on Facebook
What better way to see the sights and sounds of a city than with a local Greek? Get acquainted with the beautiful city of Athens with a free walking tour which will bring you to the classic sights and a little touch of modern life in Greece! It will take about 2 to 3 hours, led by a knowledgeable local guide and you might even make a friend or two during the tour! Booking is required to make the tour an authentic experience with a small group size here!
Have your first bite of authentic halal local food for lunch (1-2 hours)
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After the fun and informative tour around the city, it’s time to savour some delicious Greek cuisine at Raja Jee Fast Food! Food fresh off the grill, meat seasoned to perfection and hot toasted Greek bread, you will not be disappointed here. For those on a tight budget, get their delicious falafel wrap, which costs only €2! Alcohol is also not served here, so it is perfect for Muslim travellers.
Trace Athens’ Islamic heritage (1-2 hours)
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Contrary to popular belief, Greece has deep roots in Islamic history which dates back all the way to the 14thcentury. Not to be missed is the Benaki Museum of Islamic art, the largest and oldest museum in the whole country! Here, you can immerse yourself in the Islamic world where the museum preserves hundreds of artefacts such as ceramics and jewellery. Retreat back to your accommodation for a good rest before an early and eventful second day!
Cost: €7 per person
Have a mini museum-hopping adventure at metro stations (1-2 hours)
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Peer into the stations’ nooks and crannies and you will find yourself looking into Ancient Athens! Some metros in Athens are like mini museums, with excavated areas, artefacts, clay cups and 6thcentury old oil lamps. As an added bonus, the stations also act as galleries for contemporary Greek artists. Hop from Monastiraki station to Syntagma, Egaleo and Akropoli stations for some fascinating history of Athens! In Monastiraki Station, take some time to see the ancient remains of a settlement dating back all the way from the 8th century BC. Now who would’ve thought metro stations could also be great places to display these priceless reminders of a great culture!
Enjoy a taste of India in Athens at Namaste Indian Restaurant (1-2 hours)
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Popular among tourists and locals alike, Namaste Indian Restaurant is known for their top notch service and unique Indian atmosphere. Imagine sinking your teeth into tender shish chicken kebab and freshly toasted naan bread with that butter chicken goodness! You can’t go wrong here if you are looking for halal, spicy Indian cuisine. Lip smacking is an understatement.
Price: from €1.50-€15
#HHWT Tip: There are also prayer facilities here, just ask their friendly staff!
Day 2: Athens
Have an enchanting day exploring Acropolis! (4 hours)
Your trip to Greece is simply not complete without a visit to the Acropolis! Put on your walking shoes and start your day as early as you can to make full use of day. Purchase the Acropolis combo ticket which covers 7 different areas: Acropolis, Ancient Agora, Temple of Zeus, Keramikos, Hadrian’s library, Roman Agora and Aristotle’s Lyceum. Step back in time and be mesmerized by these UNESCO-registered spots!
If you are considering to visit just some of the spots, you could just get the €20 Acropolis ticket which covers the Acropolis and the North and South Slopes. Remember to charge your camera batteries – the views around these historic sights are breathtaking!
#HHWT Tip: Queues here can be as long as 2 hours especially during summer, so it’s best to come early at 7AM. You will have the best chances to take amazing photos without hundreds of other tourists!
Replenish your energy at O Thanasis Kebab (1-2 hours)
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Refuel at the best go-to spot for halal Greek souvlakis just minutes away from the Acropolis! This Greek dish are succulent and tender meat chunks grilled on skewers. Don’t forget to get the tzatziki dip as well to give your kebabs that extra flavour.
Have your prayers at Athinais Cultural Centre and visit the local mosques (2h)
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While you are here in Athens, take some time to visit the several mosques dotted all around the city where you can meet some local Greek Muslims! The ones nearby the city center are Masjid As-Salam and Masjid Al-Farouk. There is also a prayer hall that you can use in Athinais Cultural Centre.
Visit the oldest neighbourhood in Athens, Plaka (1-2 hours)
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Nestled in the center of the city, the neoclassical buildings, narrow alleyways and old world charm makes it a perfect evening for a leisurely stroll. Several museums such as Frissiras Museum and the Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments are also worth a visit. If you aren’t into museums, you can continue your Greek adventure by exploring the tiny settlement, Anafiotika in Plaka itself. The quaint whitewashed houses give it a Greek-island vibe – you would probably forget that you are actually still in the city!
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Try some of the tastiest and healthiest vegetarian meals at Vegan Nation (1-2 hours)
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An eclectic mix of different fast and healthy meals, you will be spoilt for choice here. Vegan Nation prepares almost everything from moussaka, sushi to Lebanese rice, sugar-free milkshakes and decadent desserts! Only fresh food is made daily and the all-vegan menu will definitely leave you craving for more healthy food. And yes, they have vegan ice-cream too – a great guilt-free way to end your fun-filled day!
Price: from €2.49 – €7.99
Day 3: Santorini
Travelling from Athens to Santorini (1h or 7h)
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Begin your journey to Santorini from Athens (Piraeus) on the Blue Star Ferry at 7.25AM and arrive at 2.55PM. Once in Santorini, travel around using the K-Tel Public Bus – the most expensive leg will set you back at only €2! Make sure you keep those €2 coins with you, they will definitely come in handy. Cost: The tickets can range from €20 to €76 according to the season and operates 365 days a year.
Apart from ferries, there is also another option to take a flight from Athens to Fira. With budget carriers such as Ryanair and Volotea, you can get pretty good deals from €29 round trip!
Check in your backpacker’s hostel or cosy AirBnb (3o min)
Head to your accommodation for a wash up and prayers. We recommend staying in Fira or Imerovigli for convenience and affordability. There are plenty of hostels around the town if you are tight on budget, and you can also opt to stay in a caldera through AirBnB if you are willing to spend a bit more!
For the budget-conscious: Fira Backpackers Place
Credit: Fira backpackers place on Facebook
For a budget accommodation, this hostel is the best choice! Best part of all is the main Santorini bus station, main square, supermarkets and museums are all at the doorstep of this accommodation. There are also female-only dorms and private rooms.
Cost: From USD48 on Hostelworld
For big groups and families: Santorini Cave House on AirBnb
If you are coming in big groups, we recommend booking this cave house through AirBnb! This traditional cave house atop a caldera (cliff) has unobstructed views of the Aegean sea and a volcano! Mini markets and the main town of Fira are only steps away. With fully equipped kitchen, beds and veranda, this cosy accommodation is ideal for families and groups of friends!
Cost: From USD464/night for 6 people (per person: USD77)
#HHWT Tip: Visit from March to May and in October and November to enjoy cheaper accommodation prices!
Explore the maze of meandering alleys in Oia (2 hours)
No trip to Santorini is complete without a stroll along the cobbled streets of Oia! Known as the most beautiful and quaint town around, look past the crowds and it will take your breath away.
Treat yourself to the best vegan ice creams in Santorini at Lolita’s Gelato (1 hour)
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Although not an exclusively vegan gelato parlour, there’s still plenty of vegan options and sorbets to choose from! Offering scoopfuls of homemade heaven, be sure to try their orange and lemon sorbets! At €2.50 for a small cup that comes in two flavours, we won’t be surprised if you come back here more than once. Their warm and friendly service – and delicious gelato – will make you scream for more ice cream!
Price: from €2.50
Take in the amazing views of the sunset from Oia Castle (2 hours)
A Santorini sunset is breathtaking regardless where you are, but it is most picturesque from the Oia Castle at the northern-most tip of the island. Enjoy the moment as you view the bright white and blue of the church contrasting with the deep blue of the Aegean Sea. Remember to reach here early to enjoy the best views!
Enjoy your dinner at Jaipur Palace Indian Restaurant (1 hour)
Credit: Jaipur Palace on Facebook
For the best Indian vegetarian food in the whole of Santorini, end your day with a tasty dinner at Jaipur Palace Indian Restaurant. There is plenty of vegetarian options for you to choose from but you definitely should not leave without having a taste of their briyani! From time to time, they will have halal meat and poultry available, but do remember to ask their staff members first. With their exceptional food and friendly service, you will definitely be impressed!
Price: €1.50 – €10.60
Day 4: Santorini
Get your adrenaline pumping and rent a quad bike (2-3 hours)
Credit: Santorini Moto Car-Atv-Scooter Rentals on Facebook
For a fun and easy way to get around the beautiful island, buddy up and rent a quad bike! You can explore the island all at your own pace and discover areas that are not easily accessible by bus. What better way to explore Santorini on a budget!
#HHWT Tip: If you are nervous about driving on busy roads, just head towards the black sand beaches of Perissa and Kamari. It is a very easy drive with almost no traffic!
Soak up some sun at the Black Beach (Perissa) (1-3 hours)
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If you love the sun, sand and beach, you will enjoy lounging here! The volcanic activity on the island is evidenced here at this beach where the sand is black. It is also the place to be if you are after some water sports. Just don’t forget to apply some sunscreen!
Treat yourself to traditional Greek food in a local restaurant at local prices in Santorini – only at Mike Grill House (1-2 hours)
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Welcome to seafood heaven! At this unpretentious gem known as Mike Grill House, you will not be disappointed with their very fresh and traditional food cooked to perfection. The mixed seafood grill is their house speciality, but if you aren’t a huge fan of seafood, you can also order their highly recommended gyros and souvlakis. Big portions, friendly service, reasonable prices and authentic Greek dishes right in Santorini, what more can you ask for?
Do take note that pork is served in the restaurant, but if you inform the friendly staff they are able to prepare halal dishes separately. They even have their own halal slaughtered meat!
Admire the beauty of the Red Beach (Akrotiri) (1-2 hours)
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For the chance to up your Instagram game, make your way to one of the most scenic and interesting beaches that you won’t find anywhere in the world. You will simply be mesmerized by the contrasting red colours of the volcanic rocks, that surround the crystal clear waters. For an otherworldly landscape like something right out of a science-fiction movie, it is not to be missed!
Wander through the streets of Fira town (2 hours)
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You haven’t been to Santorini if you haven’t visited Fira town! By far the largest and busiest part of the island, the town consists of alleys filled with shops selling souvenirs, artwork, jewellery and what not. With every corner comes a unique surprise – you can’t leave without buying a thing or two.
Marvel at the gorgeous views of the sea from the Three Bells of Fira (1 hour)
Having adorned a million postcards of Santorini, the Three Bells of Fira is the picture-perfect church which attracts many visitors from all over the world. Capture the signature photo of the blue domed church bells overlooking the caldera to your hearts’ content!
Have a guilt-free healthy dinner at Falafeland (1 hour)
Credit: Falafeland Santorini on Facebook
A heaven for vegans, this Muslim-friendly eatery is the healthiest street food corner in Fira! Their falafel is freshly made and everything on the menu is vegan, so you can have some guilt-free Greek dinner (or supper) here! Do try their highly raved falafels and baba ghanoush (aubergine) sauce!
Price: €2.50 – €7
Day 5: Back to Athens
Do some last-minute shopping and hunt for souvenirs at Monastiraki flea market (2 hours)
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Depart for Athens by Blue Star Ferries at 6.45am to reach the city at 3pm. After checking in your accommodation, head to one of Athens’ most popular markets which is a paradise for bargain hunters! In the early evening, the place also comes alive with musicians, jazz bands and street performers.
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A quirky street market with a jumble of antique shops, trinkets, and souvenirs, Monastiraki flea market definitely has something for everyone. Who knows, you could also be coming home with an antique piece that you’ve always wanted to put in your house (a gramophone anyone?)!
End your Greek adventure with your last sunset at Philopappos Hill (2 hours)
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For a breathtaking view of the iconic Acropolis at sunset, make your way to Philopappos Hill from the market!
Satisfy your cravings for halal meat and spicy food at Indian Chef Restaurant (1 hour)
Credit: Indian Chef on Facebook
We know you will probably crave for spicy food after five days, so look no further than at Indian Chef restaurant! Fans of spicy food can pick a variety of dishes such as chicken vindaloo and lamb curry.
Price: €2 – €15
Day 6: Back to Athens
Time to say goodbye to Athens
Credit: Athens International Airport on Facebook
Take the metro along the green line for a direct train to the airport. If you’re going back to Singapore, Scoot’s flight from Athens to Singapore is at 11.30am. If you’re heading back to Kuala Lumpur instead, flights like Etihad and Emirates will usually leave Athens in the afternoon to evening, so you still have some time to squeeze in some last minute shopping!
Cost: €10 per person
Now, it’s not as expensive as you would expect a European destination to be, right? Time to take the next flight out to Athens and begin your Greek adventure!