The chance of living in Greece is attractive for many expatriates. Greece is a remarkably active country that is well-known in the world for its good climate, its long history, the stunning architecture, and unique culture.
Greece is a safe place to live in. The cost of living is one of the lowest across the European Union. An exception could be Athens which - as a capital - has a more expensive cost of living in relation to the rest of the country. The standard of living is high, especially if you are living in Greece on an expat contract.
Greeks are known as very welcoming and friendly. The country's population is around 11 million and four million of them live in Athens, the capital city. Other worth-mentioning cities are Thessaloniki (commonly referred to as the “co-capital”), Patra, Heraklion, and Chania in Crete, Larissa, Volos, Ioannina, etc. Due to 2011 statistics, 90% of the population has the Greek citizenship, but this is changing fastly because of the expats and the refugee crisis. Although the formal language is Greek, most people speak and understand English and it is not uncommon for a Greek to have studied, also German, French or Italian.
Everyday life in Greece, it's very affordable for an EU citizen. Transportation, museums tickets, have a reasonable price, and for sure you can experience a lower cost of living in comparison with the most European cities. Live events, theaters, plays end late and restaurants or bars stay open until very late. Greeks enjoy drinking coffees in their brakes all day long, so don't be impressed by the number of cafeterias that operate in the country. Shops are closed on Sundays, so you have to schedule your shopping for some other day.
While you always have to be prepared beforehand for any procedure, unexpected turns can happen at any point, but - don't worry - there will be always a friendly Greek to help you out with that.
Cost of Living in Greece
Greece's currency is Euro. The cost of living in Greece is 30% less than in other European countries. Consequently, the average Greek salary is also lower. Social security rates are also lower than those in other EU countries. Food products and supermarkets are cheap in Greece, especially in Rhodes and other islands, where there are no import duties. Due to financial issues, such costs are due to changes from time to time.
Cost of common products or services (via Cost of Living)
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant €8.00-15.00
Cappuccino (regular) €2.00-3.50
Water (0.33 liter bottle) €0.50
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) €0.70-1.00
Milk (regular), (1 liter) €1.00-1.50
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) €1.00-1.40
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment €90.00-250.00/month
Ιnternet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) €20.00-45.00/month
Transportation in Greece
You will be impressed with the fact that in most cities and islands of Greece, you don't need to use any transportation mean. You can walk and head to everywhere you want simply on foot.
Athens is the only city with a subway system, while Thessaloniki's metro is under construction. You can purchase a 90-minute ticket for €1.40 and use it for an unlimited number of transfers on city Buses (excluding Airport express buses and X80 line), Trolley-Buses, Tram, Metro (all stations except Airport), Suburban Railway (only the urban section, no Airport).
Taxis are available almost everywhere in Greece. The rates are considered to be extremely low compared to other European Countries.
Apart from the convenient subway or bus, tram, trolley or suburban railway are some other options you can use daily (in Athens).
There are bus lines in every city of Greece. You can purchase a ticket for just 1-2 euros depending on the type it.
You can go from one city to another by train. Trains connect almost all the major cities in Greece and the fares are really affordable.
Ferries will get you to almost any island in Greece. Bear in mind that some islands are only accessible via other islands.
And of course planes. You can easily get to Greece by plane and also use it in domestic transportation (from a major city to another).