Are you thinking about relocating to Greece? With it’s beautiful beaches, vibrant culture and incredible history, this country is hot spot for expats. But in...
Greece has enviable history and culture, climate and cuisine - and yet, the cost of living is among the lowest in Europe. Since the economic crisis hit, prices of accommodation especially have fallen dramatically, making it possible to live a very good life here on a rather limited budget. No wonder it’s a popular destination for tourists and expats alike.
Whether you’re retiring, temporarily relocating or moving to Greece for good, it’s helpful to have a picture of what life there will cost as an expat. Here’s a quick guide.
The official currency in Greece is the Euro (EUR or € on currency exchanges).
You can find out the exact value of your money in EUR, using an onlinecurrency converter - but here’s a rough guide:
- 1000 USD = 897 EUR
- 1000 GBP = 1139 EUR
- 1000 AUD = 678 EUR
|Comparing basic cost of living
|1 bedroom flat in city centre (monthly rent)
|Lunch for 2 (3 courses, mid range restaurant)
|Transportation (monthly pass)
|New York City, USA
One major factor that adds expense for expats in Greece, is the cost of converting cash to EUR from your home currency. Even if your bank says it offers fee-free money exchange, you can be sure that its cut is rolled up in the exchange rate it uses. To get the best deal, you should use an exchange service like Wise, which applies the mid-market rate. With a quick service, and low flat fees to transfer your cash, this can be a much better deal than relying on your home bank.
Life in Greece is unusually affordable for Europe. With a relatively low budget, you can live a good life - even in the capital of Athens. As Greece’s second city, Thessaloniki is another hotspot for expats. You can live well for less here and life could be even cheaper if you move away from the big cities.
|Living expenses in Greece (excluding rent)
|Thessaloniki average cost
|Athens average cost
|Single person, per month
|Single person, per year
|University student, per month
|Four person family, per month
|Four person family, per year
The salaries in Greece, in general are fairly low, reflecting the current weakened Greek economy. However, as cost of living is also pretty low here, it’s still perfectly possible to live well on an average salary.
Check out what you could earn in Greece here:
|Salary averages for Greece
|Average annual salary
One of the major factors determining how expensive life in Greece will be for you, is where you choose to live. Rental prices are low for a European nation, but be wary of overpriced properties aimed at expats who simply haven’t done their homework. Naturally, if you move outside of the big cities you can rent in Greece for even less.
See what it might cost you here:
|Renting in Greece
|Average monthly cost (Athens)
|Average monthly cost (Thessaloniki)
|One bedroom apartment (city centre)
|One bedroom apartment (outside of city centre)
|Three bedroom family home (city centre)
|Three bedroom family home (outside of city centre)
|Utilities (gas, electric and water for a 85m2 apartment)
The healthcare system in Greece has historically been very good - but the recent economic crisis in the country has hit spending on health care hard. Because of this many Greeks also buy private health insurance, and as an expat it’s definitely advisable to purchase private insurance to make sure you’re covered for all eventualities.
|Average cost to you
|Family doctor check-up (no insurance)
|Cold medicine for six days
|Antibiotic prescription (no insurance)
The cost of travel in the major cities in Greece is very reasonable. Athens, in particular, has a very strong public transportation system if you prefer not to drive in the city.
|Transportation and vehicle prices for Greece
|Gasoline (one litre / 0.25 gallon)
|Monthly bus/transport pass
|Bus ticket, single use
|Taxi tariff, 8km/5mile journey
|Toyota Corolla, new
|VW Golf, new
University level education in Greece is free to Greeks and citizens of other EU countries up to Masters level. You might even be able to get your school books paid for.
|Preschool / kindergarten (monthly fee)
|Private school for lower grades (annual)
|Free to Greeks and EU citizens, around EUR 1,500 a year to non-EU students
Greece is a great expat destination whether you’re considering a permanent move or just looking to spend a year or two exploring somewhere new. Here you’ll find a great mix of history, vibrant modern cities, friendly laid-back people and costs which make it possible to live well for less.
Good luck with your new life in Greece!
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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