Cost of Living in Greece

The cost of living has decreased in GreeceThe country's economic difficulties have resulted in the overall cost of living in Greece actually becoming cheaper, largely as a result of a significant drop in housing and rental prices. This is reflected in Athens falling to 136th out of 207 cities in 2015 on Mercer's Cost of Living Survey, in comparison to 2014, when it was ranked 78th. 
 
This doesn't change much for Greeks struggling with rising unemployment, lower salaries and significantly reduced purchasing power. It does, however, present an opportunity for expats who can afford it to save precious Euros on property in Greece, especially as the government attempts to attract foreign investment. 
 
Jobs in Greece are hard to come by, particularly for expats, since Greek legislation requires employers to prove that any position filled by a foreigner cannot be filled by a Greek citizen. Most expats in Greece that aren't in low paid jobs are retired, teach English or are in the country due to an intra-company transfer. 
 
For those who find a way around the comparatively low salaries, living costs in Greece are much cheaper than other major European cities. For instance, a month's expenses, including rent in Athens, can cost as little as half of what it would in London. It is, however, far more expensive than a city such as Mumbai. 
 
As with other destinations, the cost of living in Greece varies between different areas. The mainland is generally cheaper than the Greek islands when it comes to fuel and certain basic goods. The countryside is generally cheaper than cities but often offers a much smaller range of products and services. Athens's northern and southeastern suburbs are the most expensive areas on the mainland, while the most expensive islands are those which attract the most tourists. Chief among these are Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu and Crete. 
 

Cost of accommodation in Greece


Buying and renting accommodation in Greece has progressively become cheaper, and foreigners who invest a certain amount of money in Greek property have the right to apply for residency. This hasn't benefited most locals but it does present an opportunity for expats to purchase a house or apartment that suits their needs at a reduced price. It is, however, recommended that those looking at moving to Greece rent first. 
 

Cost of food in Greece


Greek food is world famous and food in Greece is generally quite cheap, which makes for a happy combination. Austerity measures have resulted in some of the highest VAT rates in the EU, meaning that the costs of basic products are not as low as one might expect. At the same time, however, the VAT rate for food is lower than other goods and the wide range of locally grown produce means that eating cheaply and well is not difficult. 
 

Cost of transportation in Greece


Driving in Greece is notorious for often being somewhere between challenging and perilous. For expats who do intend on driving their own vehicles, car insurance is a must and is included with almost all vehicle rentals. In the case of hiring a car in Greece, it is important to check what kind of insurance is on offer, or the costs of hiring a vehicle may be more than was budgeted for.
 
Most people who take public transport in Greece take a bus.
 

Cost of education in Greece


Given that public schools in Greece use Greek as their medium of instruction, the children of expats who are not staying for the long-term often go to a private international school. Some expats do elect to put their children in Greek public schools, especially if they intend on staying in the country. Owing to the standard of many schools, Greek parents who can afford it have also been known to spend thousands on private tutors.
 
Private schools in Greece cost more than public schools, prices differ between individual schools, and prices go up as children progress through their school careers. 
 

 

Cost of Living in Greece chart 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for November 2015.

Accommodation (monthly rent in a good area)

Furnished two bedroom house
EUR 600
Unfurnished two bedroom house
EUR 500
Furnished two bedroom apartment
EUR 500
Unfurnished two bedroom apartment
EUR 400

Shopping

Eggs (dozen)
EUR 3.40
Milk (1 litre)
EUR 1.25
Rice (1kg)
EUR 1.74
Loaf of white bread
EUR 0.80
Chicken breasts (1kg)
EUR 6.40
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)
EUR 4

Eating out

Big Mac meal
EUR 6
Coca Cola (330ml)
EUR 1.45
Cappuccino 
EUR 3.05
Bottle of local beer
EUR 3.50
Three course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant
EUR 35

Utilities/household (monthly)

Mobile to mobile call rate (per minute)
EUR 0.19
Internet (Uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) 
EUR 25
Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)
EUR 160

Transportation

Taxi rate (per kilometre)
EUR 0.70
Bus/train fare in the city centre 
EUR 1.20
Petrol/Gasoline (per litre)
EUR 1.50

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Our Greece Expert

Zografia Avgerou's picture
Greece
Thessaloniki
Zografia is a self-employed craftswoman living in Thessaloniki. A Greek native, she has experienced the effects of the Greek...
Zografia Avgerou

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