Situated at the crossroads between Europe, Asia, and Africa, Greece's strategic location has been appreciated for centuries.

What is Greece's official name?
Greece’s official name is the Hellenic Republic. Greeks call their country Hellas or Ellada.
What is the weather like in Greece?
Greece enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine a year! Crete is considered the sunniest place in Europe.
What is Greece's population?
Greece’s population is right around 11 million based on the latest United Nations estimates.
Is it safe to travel to Greece?
Despite the recent issues with its economy, Greece is still one of the safest travel destinations in the world.
What is Greece's currency?
Greece is a member of the European Union and uses the Euro as its currency.
What was the currency of ancient Greece?
The drachma, was 2,650 years old and Europe’s oldest currency when it was replaced with the Euro in 2002.
How old is the Greek language?
Greek has been spoken for more than 3,000 years. It is the world’s oldest recorded living language.
When and where did the first Olympic Games take place?
The first Olympic Games took place in 776 BC in Olympia.

Economy

In recent times, since the early 1990s, Greece has been showing steady economic growth. However, starting in or around 2010 this country of liberal yet fiercely traditional people finds itself in a difficult phase of its tumultuous journey. Years of financial indiscipline have driven Greece into a very precarious financial situation. Tottering under a vast burden of debt, and under the guidance of the EU, the nation has been forced to adopt various austerity measures to pay off its debt and regain credibility on the world stage.

This situation has brought Greece to its knees. Unemployment has skyrocketed to over 35% (some sources claim it's over 50%) amongst people under 25 and has forced many young Greeks to move outside Greece for work. This mass exodus of usually young and highly educated workers is creating all sorts of problems to the Greek economy.

Greece's main source of income is its tourism industry which accounts for about 20% of the GDP as well as 20% of jobs.

Population
10.7
Population Growth Rate
-0.07
The population decline problem

As of early 2019, Greece’s population has declined by 360,000 in the last seven years and is projected to drop by a further 770,000 people over the next 12 years if birthrates remain at today’s levels, according to recent data collected by experts at the National Center of Social Research.

More ominously, Greece’s population could plummet by up to 50 percent in 35-50 years if nothing is done to tackle the low birthrate, the aging population and the brain drain sparked by the migration of young people to foreign lands in search of a viable career.

As a result, Greece’s workforce will shrink even further and analysts fear this will have a devastating impact on the economy and the country’s already severely burdened social insurance system.

Greek food

What food is Greece famous for?

Greek food is world famous and delicious. Greeks love their food. They love to eat and love to feed others. Greece is one place you’re guaranteed never to feel hungry.

Greek food uses mainly fresh local ingredients such as vegetables, olive oil, lemon juice, various types of fish and meat, as well as grains, and of course oregano.

Famous Greek dishes include moussaka (layers of fried aubergine, minced meat and potatoes, topped with a creamy béchamel sauce), tzatziki (a sauce made from yoghurt, cucumber and garlic), souvlaki or gyro (grilled meat - usually pork - wrapped in a pita bread along with tzatziki, tomatoes, onion, and fries), dolmathes or dolmades (vine or grape leaves stuffed with herby, lemony rice and ground beef, and folded over to create a small parcel), spanakopita (phyllo pastry layered with feta cheese and spinach and flavoured with dill).

Other popular Greeks foods and desserts include: calamari, feta cheese, greek salad, baklava, pastitsio, tiropita, bougatsa, galaktoboureko, loukoumades and much more.

Greek tourism

Interesting facts about tourism in Greece

Greece has been a major tourist destination and attraction in Europe since antiquity, for its rich culture and history, and in recent times for its amazing weather, its many islands, long coastline and beaches, and fun lifestyle and nightlife. Over 30 million tourists visit Greece each year, almost 3 times the country’s entire population, making Greece one of the most visited countries in Europe and the world

Santorini is the most-visited Greek island. Other popular destinations include Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, and Mykonos. Greece is one of the safest travel destinations anywhere in the world. Crime is extremely low in most big cities (as compared to anywhere else in the world) and it's virtually non-existent on the Greek islands. Greece is a safe travel destination for families, groups, and also solo travelers (solo female travelers too), any time of the year. Best time to visit Greece is between early May and late June, and then late August to early October, when the weather is still very hot but prices are much lower as compared to the busy months of July and August.

The Greek capital

What is the capital of Greece?

Athens is the capital of Greece and one of the oldest cities in the world. The area on which the city of Athens now stands is said to have been continuously inhabited for over 7,000 years. Athens is also the largest city in Greece with a population of close to 4 million people (Greater Athens).

Athens is one of the most famous and ancient capital cities of Europe and holds a special place in the history of Western civilization as it was the home to the first known democracy. Democracy was established in Athens around 500 B.C.

Another interesting fact about Athens is that it has the most theatrical stages in the world. Athens is home to 148 theater stages, more than the West End and Broadway combined!

Greek shipping industry

Greece, a maritime nation

Greece is a maritime nation by tradition. Greek ships make up around 70% of the European Union’s total merchant fleet and shipping is Greece's most important industry.

It may sound surprising for such a small nation, but as of 2015, the Greek Merchant Navy controlled the world's largest merchant fleet in terms of tonnage. Greece is also ranked highly regarding all types of ships, including first for tankers and bulk carriers.

Many Greek shipping companies have their headquarters located either in Piraeus or London and New York City and are run by Greek traditional shipping families which are notable for their great wealth and influence in the international maritime industry, such as the Onasis, Vardinoyannis, Latsis, Livanos, Angelicoussis, Niarchos, Angelopoulos, Marinakis, Goulandris and others.

Greek language

Greek, the world's oldest recorded living language

Greek has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Greek has been spoken in the Balkan Peninsula since around the late 3rd millennium BC.

The earliest written evidence is a Linear B clay tablet found in Messenia that dates to between 1450 and 1350 BC, making Greek the world's oldest recorded living language.

Learn more about the Greek language

Quotes of famous people about Greeks and Greece

TolstoyFamous Russian writer

“Without Greek studies, there is no education.”

Bernard ShawFamous playwright and political activist

“If in the library of your house you do not have the works of the ancient Greek writers then you have a house with no light”

Albert EinsteinFamous physicist

“How can any educated person stay away from the Greeks? I have always been far more interested in them than in science.”

Percy Bysshe ShelleyEnglish romantic poet

“We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts have their root in Greece.”

Friedrich NietzscheGerman philosopher

“"I have never come across someone who could inspire more respect than the Greek philosophers"”

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