Welcome to your comprehensive guide on navigating the drinking scene in Greece! We’ve got all the information you need, including the answer to the frequently asked question, “What is the legal drinking age in Greece?” So, let’s embark on this practical journey through Greece’s drinking culture and regulations.
However, if you’re planning to indulge in a few drinks, a common question you might be asking is: “What’s the legal age to drink in Greece?” or “What should I know about Greek drinking culture.”
In this post, we’ll talk about the lowest drinking age in Greece, whether you need an I.D. card, the drinking culture and customs, as well as a few things to be aware of for safe drinking and what are some of the popular alcoholic beverages on the Greek Islands and the mainland.
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What Is The Legal Minimum Drinking Age In Greece
The legal drinking age in Greece is 18 years of age – like the driving age in Greece. Anyone, including those coming from the U.S. or other countries with a higher drinking age, can purchase and consume alcohol in Greece as long as they are over 18 years old.
The sale of alcohol to anyone under 18 is illegal, and companies face hefty fines if caught, so if you look young, then your alcohol purchases may come with a request to show I.D. So carry it with you.
In some cases, you might need to prove you’re at least 18 years old. So, you should carry your passport, national I.D. card, or another valid form of identification to avoid problems.
Plus, if you wonder: “What is the official legal drinking age in Europe?” We can say that the minimum age requirement is not the exact same across the whole continent.
Legal drinking ages in European countries vary between 16 and 18 – much lower than that of 21 in the United States. While some countries allow anyone over 16 to drink mild alcoholic beverages, the most common European drinking age is 18.
Do I Need My ID Card
In Greece, most restaurants, bars, clubs, or cafés don’t ask for an I.D. card. However, as Greek alcohol laws prohibit younger people under 18 from drinking alcohol, those who look young might be asked to show their I.D.s before purchasing alcohol. That’s why you should carry a passport or I.D. card when going out to have a couple of drinks.
What Should I Know About the Drinking Culture in Greece
Drinking is a big part of Greek life and Greek culture, as it’s a way of socializing, celebrating, and enjoying your loved one’s company. From a glass of wine to beer to local spirits, Greeks enjoy quite a vast array of alcoholic beverages.
This deep-rooted drinking culture can be traced back to the country’s ancient history. During antiquity, Greeks saw wine as a gift from the gods and consumed it almost all the time, from religious gatherings to family dinners. Besides, ancient Greeks used wine as a medicine and ingredient for different recipes.
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What Are The Most Popular Alcoholic Beverages In Greece
If you don’t know what to drink in Greece, you needn’t worry! Here is a brief list of the most popular Greek alcoholic drinks and when to try them:
The most famous Greek alcohol, Ouzo, is the anise-flavored national drink of Greece. The traditional Greek way to enjoy this drink would be during or after meals and served with ice or water. It’s customary to have small plates of mezze, such as olives, cheese, and seafood with Ouzo.
We recommend you try Ouzo when you aren’t alone – as it’s customary to drink it with others – and have plenty of time to spend. It also makes a fantastic souvenir!
Tsipouro is another anise-flavored Greek spirit that tastes, smells, and looks like Ouzo. However, tsipouro is typically stronger and more flavourful than Ouzo. If you have already tried Ouzo and loved the flavor, it might be time to try tsipouro.
As mentioned earlier, Greeks are known for their delicious traditional wines. Since the country has a long history of winemaking, they have a vast variety of wines with different flavors. Romantic evenings or fancy dinners are the perfect setting for having a few glasses of Greek wine – don’t forget to buy a few bottles as souvenirs.
If you enjoy a beer with your burger, you’re lucky! Most Greek restaurants have many beers on their menu, including lagers, ales, and craft beers. Whenever you want to drink something lighter than Ouzo or less fancy than wine, go for Greek beers.
What Is Mezze
Mezze is a large selection of appetizers served on small plates and consumed with meals and – usually – spirits. Mezzes are important in Turkish, Greek, Albanian, Armenian, Balkan, and Persian cuisines.
Mezzes are usually served with drinks, such as tsipouro or Ouzo.
It is customary to start with lighter dishes like dips and spreads. Grilled meats and seafood often come afterward. Using bread is a must to scoop up dips and spreads better.
What Should I Know About The Drinking Customs
When in Greece, you should do as the Greeks do. Here is a list of the most prominent aspects of Greek drinking customs:
How Can I Avoid Greek Drink Scams
Some restaurants or bars in Greece have various strategies to rip off their customers. It is common for restaurant staff to try to sell you a product without revealing its price or showing you the menu. In such cases, you should suspect it might have an inflated price. The best way to avoid these scams is never to order something before reading the menu.
Can I Drink In Public Places In Greece
Although being drunk in public is frowned upon, there’s no Greek drinking law against public drinking in Greece. However, you should behave well and avoid causing any trouble to locals.
Since Greeks prefer drinking in private, we recommend you do the same. This way, you can truly enjoy local drinking culture with the tastiest mezze and best spirits you can find.