Cost of living in Greece: Your guide


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.

How expensive is Greece in comparison to the UK, the EU, the USA and Australia?

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 living1 bedroom flat in city centre (monthly rent)Lunch for 2 (3 courses, mid range restaurant)Transportation (monthly pass)
Athens, GreeceEUR 278EUR 35EUR 30
Thessaloniki, GreeceEUR 276EUR 30EUR 30
London, UKEUR 1,919EUR 62EUR 149
New York City, USAEUR 2,675EUR 67EUR 105
Berlin, GermanyEUR 739EUR 40EUR 81
Sydney, AustraliaEUR 1,757EUR 54EUR 109

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 fair mid-market exchange rate with no margin added on top and no hidden fees. 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.

What are the general living expenses for Greece? How much can you get by on?

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 costAthens average cost
Single person, per monthEUR 582EUR 584
Single person, per yearEUR 6,984EUR 7,008
University student, per monthEUR 445EUR 439
Four person family, per monthEUR 1,998EUR 2035
Four person family, per yearEUR 23,876EUR 24,420

What are the average salaries for Greece?

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 GreeceAverage annual salary
CashierEUR 5,424
CopywriterEUR 12,700
Financial analystEUR 17,151
Graphic designerEUR 12,317
Mobile developerEUR 12,708
Product managerEUR 20,227
ReceptionistEUR 6,052
Software engineerEUR 21,121
TeacherEUR 10,578
Web developerEUR 14.988

How expensive is housing and accommodation in Greece?

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 GreeceAverage monthly cost (Athens)Average monthly cost (Thessaloniki)
One bedroom apartment (city centre)EUR 278EUR 276
One bedroom apartment (outside of city centre)EUR 282EUR 217
Three bedroom family home (city centre)EUR 477EUR 465
Three bedroom family home (outside of city centre)EUR 540EUR 371
InternetEUR 21EUR 20
Utilities (gas, electric and water for a 85m2 apartment)EUR 141EUR 165

What about healthcare and dental costs in Greece?

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.

Healthcare serviceAverage cost to you
Family doctor check-up (no insurance)EUR 40
Cold medicine for six daysEUR 2.70
Antibiotic prescription (no insurance)EUR 7

How much is travel and transportation in Greece?

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 GreeceAverage cost
Gasoline (one litre / 0.25 gallon)EUR 1.47
Monthly bus/transport passEUR 30
Bus ticket, single useEUR 1.40
Taxi tariff, 8km/5mile journeyEUR 12
Toyota Corolla, newEUR 18,840
VW Golf, newEUR 18.650

How much does education cost?

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.

SchoolAverage cost
Preschool / kindergarten (monthly fee)EUR 368
Private school for lower grades (annual)EUR 8,000
University tuitionFree 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!

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