I downloaded the bathymetric data from GEBCO in geotiff format. When I load it in QGIS, the image is just completely grey. I am using QGIS 2.8.
How I can visualize this data in QGIS?
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Once your geotiff is loaded into QGIS, right click on the image in the layers list, select properties.
In 'Render type' select 'Singleband pseudocolor', then in the box on the right, choose a colour map you like the look of, and click on 'Classify'. You can tweak other settings here to get the desired affect e.g. manually changing the range of each colour value, and/or adding more colour classes.