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Every country writes out addresses differently, so if you’re trying to decipher a Greek address, this post will help you.
How Greek Addresses Are Written
Greek addresses start with the street name, and the building/house number is given at the end. After that, the postal code/ zip code often comes next, followed by the village, town or city.
The prefecture (which is a bit different to the area municipality) comes next, with the country at the end (if that’s being used).
If you need to find postal codes, Google Maps is usually quite helpful.
An example Greek address format is:
STREET NAME 01
You’ll see addresses written in both Greek script and Latin script.
Sometimes, it can be confusing because some street names include a number, like 3is Septemvriou / 3rd of September Street. So you see a number at the beginning of the street address, but it has nothing to do with the building number.
28th October Street is another example.
Often, the floor isn’t given, just the building number. So when you arrive somewhere, you’ll need to check door buzzers or signage to see where to go. If you’re sending or receiving something to an address, don’t worry too much about which exact apartment/flat someone is in.
In my building, for example, there are four apartments and the post is all put into one mailbox. I don’t have a flat number and I rarely give details of my floor number on my address.
I do sometimes for deliveries, just because the buzzers on the front gate are in a random order and don’t correspond with the floor they’re for. So it’s to try and help delivery people trotting off in the wrong direction.
But usually, I don’t see floor numbers being written.
Finding A Hotel
If you’re getting a taxi to somewhere like a hotel, give the hotel name. The driver is probably more likely to know that. Even if it’s on a main street that drivers will know, the number might not help them narrow it down, but the hotel name will.
If it’s a smaller hotel they don’t know or you’re going somewhere less obvious, the drivers usually plug the address into their SATNAV. In that case, it’s helpful to know the building number because some streets are very long.
Confusing Things to Bear in Mind
Receiving mail or finding places in Greece isn’t always as straightforward as in other places I’ve been. So here are some things to watch out for.
Duplicate Street and Place Names
Like with people’s names, street names and place names are often repeated throughout the cities and country. My street is one of ten in Athens with the same name. That’s why the town/suburb and post code are important to know.
And even when you do know, be careful when putting the details into Google Maps. I’ve caught the wrong street when selecting from the list on more than one occasion. And only after driving about 30 minutes in the wrong direction realised I was going the wrong way!
If you’re staying or living on an island, be aware that your mail might head off to the mainland. In some places, island villages have the same village / town names as a much bigger mainland towns.
I know people living there sometimes struggle to receive their post because the mail sorters automatically assume it’s the mainland place. It’s one of the challenges of living on the islands.
Having No Address at All
Some properties I’ve stayed at on the islands have had no valid addresses at all. In the UK even the hamlets get mail but I guess the posties just know who lives where.
In my experience of the islands, it’s only the main towns that get post and normal deliveries. Instead of addresses, anything to do with the property is done by grid reference.
Getting a P.O. Box
If you’re somewhere like that, you need to organise an alternative. That usually means getting a P.O Box. There are usually some within the local post office and sometimes a bank of them somewhere in the village.
However, finding an empty one can sometimes be a challenge. To get a post office box, you’ll need to go to the post office with your AFM (tax number) and passport and whatever the fee is.
Receiving Online Orders
Online shopping is usually delivered through couriers. There are several companies, but the most common seem to be A.C.S, Taxydromiki and Speedex.
If you have an address, you can have the item(s) delivered there directly. If it’s a large or heavy item you might need to arrange to collect it from the office. But for normal things, they’ll deliver.
Looking for my delivery in Mykonos while I queue up at the courier office!
Public Delivery Boxes
If you don’t have an address and don’t actually need a P.O box for mail there are a couple of options. You can use delivery boxes and collect your parcel from one of those. Or, you can have your stuff delivered directly to the courier office.
These are provided by different companies. Skroutz, for example, which is like an Amazon equivalent in Greece, has its own dedicated drop-off points. They’re within or near popular places like chain coffee shops.
Box Now is another company that anyone can use. Again, they’re usually next to prime locations like high street shops, supermarkets and council offices.
I’m yet to see any of these on the islands (which isn’t to say there aren’t any). But over time, they might become more common.
Give a Greek Mobile Number
What’s really important with any delivery is that you include a Greek phone number.
The only time I’d say not to worry about that is if you’re getting a delivery from Skroutz because you can get delivery notifications through their app. And you use the QR code at the drop-off point to access your stuff through the app.
But for all other deliveries, have a phone number. One, you can get text alerts of the time slot your stuff will come. (A.C.S are good for this, but I haven’t always found it the case with other couriers.)
And two, you’ll need it for the courier office to let you know when your package has arrived if you’re having it delivered directly there.
Even for home deliveries, you should have a Greek number associated with them. If you’re out they’ll call and ask what to do.
Sometimes, they’ll buzz on your neighbours’ doors, and someone will accept it for you. Or you agree a place for the delivery driver to leave it (generally chuck it over the wall). Or they might wait if for you if you’re just a few minutes away from home.
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