Greece is one of the most popular tourist destinations around the world, and Greece’s capital city Athens is a beautiful place to visit, fall in love with and live. The Economist ranked Athens at number 73 in most livable cities from a list of 172 cities. Well, one would think that is probably not the best ranking, but Athens has gone 19 places up this year, which means the local Government of Athens city must be doing some amazing things to make this city more and more livable. The Ministry of tourism in Greece has renamed weekends to ‘Greekend: End your week like a Greek’; sounds catchy, right 🙂 All these positive steps by the Government contributed to tourism and local businesses’ growth. According to the world bank’s analysis, Greece’s ease of doing business rating is not among the highest, but Greece has been going upward in ranks since 2019.
Greece is famous because of its amazing Mediterranean beaches with crystal clear blue waters, culture, hospitable people and food. Among other European countries, Greece stands out for its historical monuments that fascinate many tourists and visitors worldwide.
There are multiple methods by which you can calculate the cost of living for any country. One widely used method by economists and financial experts is the consumer price index (CPI). The consumer price index is the price paid by customers for a basket of goods and services. CPI is calculated and monitored every month. The CPI of the overall European Union went up last month (reaching 122). Greece is no different, and the CPI of Greece has also gone up a bit in September. However, Greece is below the average CPI of the European Union, which is a positive sign for us. Another method to calculate the cost of living is by collecting average spending on every aspect of your day-to-day living and adding it up. I will use this simple method as it is more digestible for us laymen.
The cost of living in Greece for the ex-pats is 30 per cent less than the other European countries, and even the U.S. cost of living in Greece ranges between 600 euros to 700 euros per head without rent. The Greek healthcare system provides free healthcare facilities whether you are a citizen or resident of Greece.
Disclaimer: This article gives you a guideline to help you plan your monthly budget in Greece. These are not the exact figures so I would recommend that you do your research to know the exact spending in Greece.
An Example Of Costs Of Living In Greece
When we talk about the average living cost in Greece, it means some households will be spending more, and some will be spending less according to their affordability. So the average cost of living in Greece is summarised as follows:
Rent: 600 euros
Basic utilities: 107 euros
Internet: 30 euros
Groceries: 205 euros
Insurances: 26 euros
Car: 90 euros
Other multiple factors count towards the overall cost of living per head. If you have kids, then your spending pattern may be different from other adults. Similarly, if you are using your car or renting a car for your daily commute, it will be costly as compared to public transport. Dining out is costly throughout the world, and the same is the case in Greece. So if you are good with a budget, cook by yourself. Other than that, if you can save further on miscellaneous items, you can go travelling.
Greeks have their ways of having fun; while they like to work hard, they are equally a fan of going out and having a delicious meal or a coffee. Besides a spending pattern of eating out, Greeks also love their festivals and celebrate those with great passion. Spending a significant part of their earnings on these getaways, eating out and festivals is a norm and kind of forms a necessary part of their living cost. While you may have to spend a couple of hundred bucks on groceries already, you will still end up at a decent restaurant twice a week, if not more, spending roughly 15-20 euros per meal per person at least.
Greeks like to wear conservative but trendy clothing, but they are not obsessed with becoming a model displayed in a fashion magazine. They spend a reasonable amount on clothing, not making it a highlight of their expenses per month.
I recommend that you take these figures as an indication of your expenses. Depending on your needs, you can increase or decrease your budget on any item.
Cost Of Renting A Home In Greece
A major chunk of spending goes to renting and then groceries. Rent of housing widely ranges from 550 euros to 1200 euros depending upon area, locality and city. Largest Metropolitan cities like Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras have a higher cost of living than smaller towns and villages. The key to a cheaper residence is to stay away from city centres. If you are looking for more options, then you can go for shared apartments. Especially suitable for students who are tight on budget.
On the other hand, if you want a modern house, many properties are recently constructed with modern updated kitchens and washrooms with all stylish interiors.
Monthly Costs For Renting A Home In Greece
Once you are done with the rent, you must focus on the rest of your monthly spending.
Utilities (Electricity, Heating And Rubbish Management):
The cost of electricity is moderate in Greece as compared to the rest of the European Union. Due to extremely hot weather, the electricity bill can go extremely high if you are running your air conditioning throughout the day. Depending upon your usage and season, your electricity bill can range from 50 euros to 170 euros. During the winter season, you may need a heating system to keep your house warm and cosy. There are two methods to go with whatever suits you. One is to go for an individual heating system, and the second is to opt for an apartment building-controlled one. If you want to opt for “koinochristo”, which is shared expenses, then you have selected the building heating system, and the management of the building will decide when to turn it on. Every apartment or building has different management and decides its rules and regulations separately. So it is important that you carefully see all the terms before renting any apartment.
Throughout Greece, you will not find any garbage pickup service; rather, there are garbage bins on every street where you have to dispose of your litter by yourself responsibly. And it is free of charge; you need to through your litter in the bin, and the rest will be done by the administration.
In Greece, there are free wifi spots in some public areas. For private places, you need to have an internet connection, and that, too, is very expensive in Greece. The speed of the internet in Greece is very slow; in fact, it stands at 32nd in rank out of 138 countries in mobile speeds. For fixed broadband users, this rank is even much lower at 94. The cost of the internet is very high in Greece compared to other European countries. You can go for different packages of internet depending on your income and need. On average monthly internet package cost around 35 euros.
The Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation:
This state-owned radio and public broadcasting cost around 36 euros annually. It is directly added to the electricity bill, so you are not left with any option other than paying the fee. Whether you watch this state-owned public tv or listen to the radio; you have to pay the licence fee. The Government collects huge revenue from this fee.
One-Time Costs For Renting A Home In Greece
Whenever you want to take any property on rent, you are supposed to deposit some amount in the form of security. This amount is refundable and is equivalent to one to two months’ rent. This advance deposit is used if there is any damage made to the property by the tenant. If you keep the property intact, the landlord will deposit money back into your account once you vacate the property. But always remember to keep everything in written form to keep yourself away from any hassle.
If you are considering a furnished apartment, then your spending on the furniture will be covered in the rent. But in that case, the rent will be high. If you got an unfurnished apartment, you should also calculate the furniture cost in your rent.
A modernly furnished kitchen with all appliances available makes the rented apartment more attractive. It won’t be easy to buy new appliances if your visit to Greece is short or even if you are moving to another city in Greece for a shorter period.
Besides most appliances that are kitchen related, like a refrigerator, oven, microwave, a hot plate/burner, there are other appliances one would consider buying according to one’s priorities. One obvious appliance would be buying a TV. Many would buy a decent sound system to go with the TV or to play some music whenever they feel like unwinding a bit.
Not all homes that you rent may have ample storage space. Sometimes relatively more minor rooms would not have a cabinet, and in that case, you might want to buy one. The kitchen, at times, is short of storage space, in which case you may get a rack or two, and the same goes with warming up your living area a bit, perhaps putting a book rack and a cabinet that goes with your television and music system.
Our Monthly Costs For Renting A Home In Greece
The average cost/rent of a single-bedroom apartment in Greece is sound 500 euros depending upon area, floor, availability of elevator and tram and train stations distances.
Cost Of Mobile Phone Plans In Greece
Anyone living or visiting Greece can get a sim card if they are 18 years or older. The Sim card cost 5 euros. After getting the sim card, the next thing is your connection. Prepaid connections are very common here, ranging from 8.50 euros to 17 euros for the tourist package. Greece has a 12 % telecommunication tax that is levied on every top-up or recharge, so practically, if you are loading a balance of, let’s say, 10 euros, you will get 8.80 euros. But this is part of all sorts of connections with any telecommunication company.
Our Monthly Costs For Mobile Phone Service In Greece
Once you have a mobile phone and a sim card with a prepaid card next thing to ask for is an internet connection. There are monthly packages as well as weekly ones. 7GB internet data for 25 days cost you 10.50 euros, 5GB mobile data internet costs you 8.50 for 25 days, and 2GB mobile data cost 4.44 euros and is valid for the same 25 days. Coming to some weekly packages, 4GB mobile data internet valid for seven days costs 5 euros and 2GB mobile data internet costs you 2 euros. For daily packages, 3GB mobile data internet costs 1.50 euros and 1GB mobile data internet costs 1 euro.
Transportation In Greece
There are many means of transportation in Greece that, include ferries, buses (ktel), cars, trains and taxis. The main mode of transportation that is most popular in Greece is Ktel, which connects Athens to the mainland. These buses connect to the main islands, and then you can travel further by ferry. Between cities, Ktel is the best option whereas for intercity metro or trains are safer options for travel.
Cost Of Cycling In Greece
Cycling in Greece is considered a safe travelling option for people to roam around. It has huge networks of routes designed for cyclists. Even people going to school, and universities, prefer using cycles for their commute. The price of an average cycle falls around 1000 euros, which is no doubt a smaller amount for one-time spending. That, too, is the basic one, but if you move on to the complex versions with many features price will be much higher. So we would suggest you get a cycle on rent. The rent of a cycle for one day is 15 euros whereas if you want to book it for a week, its rental will be 105 euros. One more thing is that you must deposit a security amount and a copy of your passport before borrowing the cycle, which is around 300 euros and is refundable. In case of theft or damage, they charge 500 euros. You can choose between various types of bikes like road bikes, hybrid bikes, E-bike, kids bikes, pedal trailers, and burley trailers.
Another biggest advantage of using bikes is it supports green infrastructure in Greece. It reduces around 2kg of carbon dioxide compared to vehicles and buses.
Greece has Mediterranean weather along with scenic beauty that attracts cyclists. Many of the famous tourist spots islands also have special routes for cyclists. This amazing country is considered a tourist paradise. Many of the islands have special cycling routes to let the tourist fully enjoy and relax with the amazing beauty of Greece. Crete is the largest island in Greece and the 5th largest island in the Mediterranean sea, giving the longest scenic routes to cyclists.
Cost Of Public Transportation In Greece
Public transport like buses, subway networks and trains connects all the main cities to the smaller towns in Greece. And this system is widely used by the citizens. Public transport cost is very minimal. A standard ticket for public transport costs 1.50 euros, whereas students and senior citizens pay 0.50 euros with proof of age and a student ID card. Kids under six years of age can travel free of cost whereas aged 7-18 years pay 0.50 euros.
Cost Of Owning A Car In Greece
Cars are undoubtedly the best, safest and faster way to travel by road. If you do not own a car, then there are multiple agencies providing services for car rentals. The price of a car in Greece widely varies depending upon the car’s make, model, size and specs. You can get a new sedan car for 20,000 euros. If the budget does not allow you, then you can opt for cheaper second-hand cars that will be available in the market for around 800 euros.
Cost Of Renting A Car In Greece
Car rentals are also available if you want a car for a smaller duration of time. Car rental varies from 28 euros to 43 euros for three days, 23 euros to 36 euros for seven days, 18 euros to 30 euros for 14 days, and 16 euros to 26 euros depending on car type and model.
Cost Of Taxi Services In Greece
Taxi normal tariff starts at 3.50 euros with one km tariff as one euro. A taxi with an hour’s waiting time will charge you 12 euros. You can get a monthly pass for public transport for 30 euros only.
In Greece, there is shared transportation as well. In Athens, Greece, uber works well. There is an occasional increase in its price when there are rainy days.
Lyft is currently working in Greece along with iMove and Beat. These provide car services to their customers. You can get an estimate of your fare before booking a ride. And yes, they provide rides for every occasion, with or without a professional driver. You can book a four-seater and a six-seater car if you are travelling with friends and family and need a big space. You can also get a luxury black chauffeur-driven car for your night parties because we take care of your every need.
E-scooters have recently been adopted by the Greek Government. You should have an international driving licence if you drive an E-scooter outside the eurozone.
Bikes fares vary depending on the make of the bike. 80cc and above bikes are powerful enough to ride two persons in the mountains. It charges a rent of 12 euros to 18 euros per day. Bikes of more than 125cc are the powerful bikes available for 20 euro rent.
Our Monthly Costs For Transportation In Greece
As the price of gasoline in Greece is 2.035 per litre and 7.703 per gallon in Greece, people usually use fewer private vehicles.
Healthcare In Greece
You have two options for the healthcare system in Greece. One is the public healthcare system, and the other is private insurance. With the public healthcare system, your emergency room visits are completely free, even for non-residents of Greece. For the rest of the medical services, you have to pay. If your employment is on such terms that your employer will pay your medical expenses, then you don’t need to worry about it. In Greece, when you go for a job, you must see whether the employer is financing your healthcare or not; otherwise, you have to spend out of your pocket. Because of the high quality of the healthcare system with low cost, Greece is known as a medical tourism destination.
Personal Care In Greece
The minimum wage in Greece is 713 euros. So the cost of personal hygiene matters a lot for residents.
Men’s hair cut costs around 13 euros, whereas women’s haircuts cost approximately 18 euros. And for health and fitness, a personal trainer will cost 30 euros.
Cost Of Food In Greece
The cost of food depends upon your liking.
Souvlaki is a popular Greek dish consisting of small meat pieces on a skewer. This classic meal is just 3.30 euros which is a must-have if you are living in Greece or visiting Greece. So if you are simultaneously eating something traditional and fancy, then you enjoy it.
The cost of monthly groceries will vary depending on the size of the family, diet preferences and the amount you want to cook.
There are many supermarkets in Greece. Some of the pocket-friendly supermarkets include Afroditi, Alfa-Beta Vassilopoulos, Ariadni and Chalkiadakis. These chains of supermarkets offer many deals and discounts for their customers.
Our Monthly Costs In Grocery Shopping
The key to getting good price groceries is visiting “laiki”, where individual farmers and producers sell their vegetables and fruits and other stuff. Instead of going to supermarkets where groceries are costly and kept in cold storage, it’s better to get them fresh. Moreover, eggs, nuts, rice, beans every daily routine stuff is available in laiki (people’s market). These outdoor markets have seasonal schedules where food quality is amazing, and it’s refreshing to walk around the streets with fresh olives, tomatoes, eggplants and other fresh fruits. You need to confirm the exact location of laiki nearest you.
Tavernas and restaurants are one important feature of Greek culture. As this is an amazing country with soo many tourist attractions, people who visit it want to have traditional food as well. So these are famous spots for dining out for the residents and tourists as well. The food has an amazing taste with minimum and is particularly topped with olive oil and lemons. House wine is also very cheap, with half a litre for 5 euros only, and the cost of an alcoholic drink is 8 euros. The complete meal costs around 30 euros at a fancy place.
On the contrary, if you are tight on budget, you can get your meal for even 6 euros as well, and that is not a bad deal at all.
Costs Of Banks In Greece
Opening a bank account is usually free in Greece. You can open up your account if you have a passport, valid ID card, AFM or national tax number, proof of address and proof of salary. You can easily open your account by visiting any bank branch where you want to open the account.
Tax Costs In Greece
Taxes in Greece are very high, just like in other European Union countries. The corporate income tax is at a flat 22 per cent. Personal Income tax is levied at three different scales, and it varies from 9 per cent to 44 per cent. For annual income up to 10,000 euros tax rate is 9 percent, for income range 10,001 euros to 20,000 euros its 22 percent, for annual income 20,001 to 30,000 euros its 28 percent, for income 30,001 to 40,000 euros tax rate is 36 percent and for income more than 40,001 tax rate is 44 percent. The tax on rental income is from 15 per cent to 45 per cent.
Property tax is 3.09 per cent of the property value, and municipal tax is 0.025-0.035 per cent of real estate value.
Education in Greece is compulsory for children aged 6 to 15 years. The educational system is categorized into three levels: primary level, secondary level and post-secondary level. Greece provides free compulsory education to its citizens till 15 years of age as per its constitution. Tertiary education is formal post-secondary education, where people get a formal degree, technical training and skills. Greece is famous for its excellent and affordable education system abroad. People around the world do come to Greece for their higher studies.
There are many state-funded daycare centres in the country. They are mostly operating in Athens as it is a capital hub of Greece. Parents have to pay a stipend of roughly 70 euros per child per month, depending upon their income. Something I would suggest getting even if you have a carer for your kid while you are at work. That carer can be unavailable due to any personal commitment, and in such scenarios, an alternate arrangement would come in handy.
Greek citizens have to pay compulsory public social insurance contributions. Around 15 per cent of the population also maintain private health insurance plans. ESY, the Greek healthcare system, provides free healthcare to its residents and citizens.
Every vehicle must be insured for third-party liability level. So if there is any damage, injury or loss caused by you, the insurance company will pay all the expenses.
These insurances cover employers and employees in case of sickness or accident. The employee is responsible for providing proof of accident or illness in case its
Home insurance is something that is always a wise idea for homeowners. Greek insurance providers generally cover damages caused by fire, water, theft or accidents. Damage caused by natural disasters, war and similar calamities is not covered. The cost of this insurance is directly dependent on the value of your home and additional items inside the house that you want to be covered under the insurance. I would suggest covering this risk. I understand it does seem like something unnecessary, considering the likelihood of this risk is low, but if this risk does materialize, it can be a much bigger loss.
This is something I would suggest as a must-get if you have loved ones that solely depend on you. Besides, this can help you as well if you get injured and are not able to work for some time. The easiest way to get the best insurance package is to get a quote from at least 2-3 insurance providers, which will ensure that you negotiate the best deal with your chosen insurance provider.
Cost Of Going To The Movie Theatre In Greece
Greek theatre has had historical importance in ancient Greece since 700 BC. the ancient Greek theatre consisted of the orchestra and chorus in the open-air theatre where the public could watch the performance of Greek artists.
Keeping that historical importance intact most of the cinemas are famous outdoor theatres.
As Greece is a famous tourist paradise, visitors also like visiting open-air and movie theatres. Recreational activities in Greece, like cinema or movie tickets, cost 10.89 euros per ticket.
Cost Of A Gym Membership In Greece
Greeks like to take care of their fitness as well as body shape and do not shy away from showing their body off where possible. A significant change is that most of you are living in cities (Athens mostly), and like any big city, you will find at least one gym in a commercial or sports complex in your neighbourhood. I take it that you would want to visit the gym at least twice a week. You could go for a day pass if you are very seldom a visitor, but day passes are expensive, costing around 10 euros in most gyms. A monthly subscription can start from 30 euros and go up to 60 euros. The ones with lesser monthly subscriptions are fine, too, if you are focused on the task at hand and not very interested in the experience when you visit your gym. For those who like a nice environment, courteous staff, ample machines and weights, and wide space, you can choose the ones that cost around 50-60 euros per month. Some gyms offer a lesser fee if you subscribe for longer durations, like 3/6/12 months. Like any cosmo city, gyms in Athens are generally packed during peak hours, so you might want to tailor your routine a bit to get the best experience.
Greeks are amazing people and are famous for their hospitality and friendly nature. Hospitality is an integral part of their culture and heritage, as guests were considered sacred and considered under the protection of Zeus in ancient times. These open-hearted people welcome you like anything. Once you are part of their social setup, they will offer you many discounts like discounts for teachers, discounts for students, discounts for being loyal customers and whatnot. These added charms keep you attracted towards Greece.