The Cost of Living in Greece: Is It Expensive?

Back to Blog
July 7, 2024

Compared to most European countries, the cost of living in Greece is quite cheap. Although the salaries are low compared to those in the rest of Europe, there is a superb quality of life. Expats often rejoice about the seemingly limitless supply of sunshine, delicious food and endless activities to entertain all types of people, and in particular, the relatively low cost of living.

Cost of Accommodation

Rental and housing prices are fairly affordable. Although they have steadily increased over the last few years due to the number of Airbnb’s that have been established, you can still find an affordable place to live. For monthly rent, expect to pay between €400-€700 for a one-bedroom apartment, and €250-€350 if it’s in a shared apartment. For a two or three-bedroom apartment, this ranges from €600-€1,200.

The average property price for an apartment in the center of Athens varies between €1,500-4,000 per m2. Outside the city center, you can find apartments ranging between €900-2,500 per m2.


While Athens is the bustling heart of Greece, some expats prefer the quieter suburban life. Areas like Marousi and Kifisia offer a more serene atmosphere or in the southern suburbs near the sea like Glyfada, but may come with slightly higher living costs. Exploring these neighborhoods and considering your lifestyle preferences will help you strike the right balance between affordability and tranquility.

Internet & Utility Fees

The monthly fee for the internet is around €30-32. For an 80m2 apartment, you’ll pay between €150-300 for utilities, such as electricity, gas, and water. This number depends on the size of your house, the season, and your level of usage.

Cost of Dining Out

Greek cuisine, which is renowned worldwide, significantly contributes to the high quality of life. Beyond the affordability of groceries, dining out is a treat without spending an arm and a leg. Traditional tavernas and restaurants offer mouthwatering dishes like moussaka, souvlaki, and baklava. A meal at a local restaurant could cost as little as €10 per person, allowing you to indulge in the vibrant food culture without straining your budget.

Grocery shopping

Food is generally very high quality in Greece: produce is freshly grown, and every ingredient tastes really good, even without so much seasoning. The supermarkets, however, due to inflation, have increased the prices of their products, but there are outdoor markets called "Laïkis" where you can buy fruits and vegetables in bulk, for the price of only a few euros.

Here's what your typical beverages and basics would cost on average:

  • One dozen eggs for €3
  • One loaf of white bread for 80 cents
  • One pack of Marlboro cigarettes for €4.60
  • One bottle of local beer for €4
  • One regular Cappuccino for €3.10
  • One Pepsi for €1.80
  • One bottle of water for 50 cents

Cost of Healthcare

If you pay your EFKA or social security contributions as an expat (more on this here), you would have free access to public healthcare. Note that you must have an AMKA, or social security number to be able to access this. For booking private doctors' appointments, it is free, but you must have made an online appointment via this EOPYY website.

Expats can also benefit from international healthcare insurance, which will reduce waiting times. Also note that, even though you would have to pay more for private healthcare, there is a higher chance of finding English-speaking staff there than in public healthcare hospitals. Usually, they have newer pieces of equipment and lower waiting times. However, it can be tricky to book an appointment at a public hospital, so ensure you have someone who speaks Greek to help you. Additionally, an average family doctor check-up with no insurance will cost you around €40.

General transport

Public transport is also relatively cheap. A 10-minute cab ride would cost €6-8, one metro ticket costs €1.2 and to reload a monthly metro card for the center of Athens, that would cost €25. These reasonable public transportation prices contributes to the overall low cost of living in Greece.

Commuting to the Islands

To commute to the islands, which is a must for many expats during their vacation or peak seasons, there are two ways to get to the desired destination: by taking a ferry, or booking a flight.

By ferry

Ferry rides to the Greek islands are relatively affordable, making it possible to travel around Greece on a budget. You can expect to pay an average of €50 for a one-way ferry ticket, but for high-speed ferries you will see a more expensive range of tickets if you want to significantly reduce your travel time.

Some of the best ferry providers are SeaJet and Aegan Sea Lines.

By plane

In some cases, traveling to the islands is cheaper than taking a ferry. For instance, you can expect to pay €48 for a return ticket to Mykonos-Athens, but this depends on the time of the year. As you can see, these flight and ferry prices contribute to the overall low cost of living.

Cultural and Recreational Activities

Apart from the breathtaking beaches and crystal-clear waters, Greece offers a range of recreational activities. With its historical museums and theaters, the minimum entrance ticket costs an average of €5, with some of them free.

For instance, to visit the Acropolis museum, visitors pay a general admission for €10 with a reduced special discount for children and young people aged between 6 and 25 years old.

The SNFCC, or the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center, organizes free events to entertain audiences of all ages. Whether you're exploring ancient ruins, attending a music festival, or enjoying a leisurely stroll through charming villages, Greece provides a diverse range of experiences to suit every taste.

Managing Your Expenses

Even though the cost of living may seem low compared to other European countries, your expenses can vary depending on lifestyle, location, and preferences. There are certain neighborhoods where stores get more expensive, such as the Northern suburbs of Athens like Marousi and Kifisia. In a general sense, Greece can be a rewarding destination that can be as budget-friendly as it is enriching.