It may be a European country with familiar facilities and social structures, but that doesn’t mean that expats won’t experience at least some degree of culture shock in Greece. 

It is a country of rich traditions and ancient history, as well as sea and sunshine. In response to their environment and history, the Greek have developed traditions which expats should respect. Greek characteristics have been shaped by a fascinating blend of the ancient and the modern, and the country’s long history as a crossroads between East and West. 

Language in Greece

Greek is considered by many to be a tricky language to learn. There are differences between spoken and written Greek, as well as between regional idioms. Greek also employs inflections, where the meanings of words change depending on tone. As a result, expats in the first stages of learning Greek can expect some confusing exchanges.

Generally, locals are accepting of foreigners who don’t speak Greek. At the same time, Greeks are extremely proud of their language, and rightly so: it is one of the oldest in the world and has made significant contributions to the English language. Expats intent on staying would do well to learn the language – not only does it create more possibilities for employment, but it is also the best way to integrate into Greek society. 

Time in Greece

It is often said that Greek people would rather relax than rush through their daily routines. Time in Greece seems to move more slowly. Statistics show that the average Greek employee works more hours in a year than most Europeans, but this fact doesn't affect the value Greeks place on enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Being half an hour late for a social gathering is normal and even expected, but expats should take care to be on time for business appointments.

Food in Greece

Food and drink are important in Greece, and serve as the gathering point for socialising. Locals spend hours at coffee shops when they can, but this is often less about the coffee itself and more about spending time with friends or family. 

Even in the toughest times, Greek people are fantastic hosts who provide their guests with everything they can. Expats who enjoy this privilege should always bring a gift for the host such as wine or flowers. They should also be prepared to eat whatever is in front of them – it is considered rude to turn down food. 

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global

With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

Get a quote from Cigna Global



Aetna International, offering comprehensive global medical coverage, has a network of 1.3 million medical providers worldwide. You will have the flexibility to choose from six areas of coverage, including worldwide, multiple levels of benefits to choose from, plus various optional benefits to meet your needs.

Get your free no-obligation quotes now!

Moving Companies

Sirelo logo

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes now!