Traveler’s checks in Greece, bad idea!

Cashing Travelers Checks in Greece.
First, please, please, please, let me dissuade you from bringing travelers checks to Greece. There are ATMs everywhere, and you’ll have no problem finding one that you can use with your ATM debit card. But for all of you that decide to bring them, here is the way to deal with them.
Merchants DO NOT accept them, so forget about using them for purchases at shops and restaurants (or at least we have not found any that are willing to take them).

So, if you’ve ignored my initial advice, here’s what you’ll need to know:
1. The ONLY bank that will cash them is the National Bank of Greece. They have branches everywhere -that is the one good thing.
2. You’ll need to bring along your passport, the address and telephone number of the place you are staying and alot of patience. Plan on spending anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours getting through the process of cashing them.
Banking hours in Greece are 8 AM – 2 PM Monday to Thursday and 8 AM to 1:30 PM on Fridays.
When you get to the bank do not take a number and wait in line.
You need to find the Foreign Currency Exchange person [“Synalagma” – the Greek word for Foreign Currency Exchange].
Make sure you have your passport and
Do not sign the checks until you are in the presence of the bank employee.
After the Foreign Currency Exchange person verifies the checks, they will ask you to sign them and then they will sign them as well. After this you will need to get a signature from the Branch Manager. Ask the person that helped you to direct you to the Manager or to call them over – Greeks are not very informative unless you ask them.
Then you will have to go to the special window that deals with foreign currency. If you have not done any of the above steps, you will need to leave the line, complete them and come back.
You will be asked for a phone number and an address. This is mandatory, you can give them the address and the telephone number of the place where you are staying, so bring it with you.
If you have a companion with you at the bank, Have them wait in line – make sure you are in the right line – as these lines are usually the commercial tellers and may have many people with lengthy transactions to process ahead of you.
Do not take and number and wait in the general line, you will be going to a different line (see above, commercial transaction line).
Make sure you HAVE YOUR PASSPORT and
Do not sign the checks until you are in the presence of the bank employee.

Again, my advice, leave your traveler’s checks at home – but if you fail to head this advice and find yourself faced with going through the above process, just chalk it up to having the chance to experience another side of “real Greece”.