Frequently Asked Questions about Greece
Should I move to Greece?
Everybody's circumstances and priorities are different. Greece is not the ideal location to make or save money, but it is a great destination for expats who can afford it and want a slower pace of life. Whatever expats decide, they need to make an informed decision when it comes to Moving to Greece.
Can I find work in Greece?
Jobs in Greece are hard to come by, even for Greeks. The easiest way to move over is to go over on a company transfer, but even that is less likely than before. For the foreseeable future, most expats working in Greece will be teaching English or working in the tourism industry.
Do I need a car in Greece?
It depends on where one wants to travel. In the cities, the manoeuvrability of a scooter may be less stressful than a car in the notorious Greek traffic. At the same time, cities like Athens and Thessaloniki have very reliable public bus transport systems.
Moving between cities can be done by bus or, in some cases, by train. Those wanting to make the journey in a low-slung commercial car may have problems travelling on some of the rural roads, although, for the most part, Greece has a highly developed transport infrastructure.
Although the ferries can be unreliable, they are still the best means for moving between islands. Other options include light aeroplanes and hydrofoils. Either way, expats shouldn't have too much of a problem with transport and driving in Greece.
Is it worth learning Greek?
Learning Greek is essential. While many Greeks can understand English, there also many who can't. It is the best way to integrate into society and deal with some of the culture shock in Greece. Aside from having highly specialised expertise, it is also the only realistic way to stand a chance at being competitive in the Greek job market.
With all the strikes and riots in Greece, is it safe to live there?
Most demonstrations are actually peaceful and very few of them occur outside Athens and Thessaloniki. As long as expats avoid areas where protests are taking place, and keep their wits about them, there should be very few issues with safety in Greece.
What's the best way to buy property or rent in Greece?
With help. Real estate is tricky enough when dealing in one's first language, and the best way to avoid a bad deal would be to get help from somebody who can speak Greek. Property prices are quite low as a result of the economy, so there are great opportunities for expats to find good quality accommodation in Greece at a bargain.
Will I need a Greek bank account? Will I need to pay taxes?
Expats wanting to buy property need a local account. Almost everybody needs to be registered for tax in Greece although, in most cases, only money earned in the country will be taxed. Many expats elect to have an account in Greece and an account at home. Given the situation in the country, expats should give serious consideration to banking, money and taxes in Greece.
How good are Greek doctors, really?
Healthcare in Greece has suffered a bit under austerity.. That having been said, there are many good doctors and good hospitals in Greece, especially in Thessaloniki and Athens. And, if public hospitals don't provide the services that are needed, there are good private hospitals too.
How do I move my belongings to Greece?
There are reputable international relocation businesses that specialise in helping people move overseas. For more information, see our Shipping and Removals in Greece page.
Where should I visit?
Aside from mainland Greece, which has its own set of sites and history, there are thousands of islands ranging from large, civilization-bearing islands like Rhodes and Crete, to those that are no more than rocky outcrops.