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Crowded Market in Athens, Greece

Living in Greece

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 10, 2022

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Greece: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

What do I need to know about living in Greece?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Greece, they said:

"Learn some Greek before you arrive..although, more & more people speak English, it will be appreciated by your new neighbors.... The other thing I'd suggest is.. network.. find, join, meet, make friends,with people already here .. have some type of support network in place before arriving.. You may need it, when whatever your trying to get done.. is being handled in only the way that Greeks know how..! Good Luck.," added another expat in Thessaloniki.

"Definitely not for those who are looking for action. A nice place to raise your family. Just close enough to main towns and highways. Most stores are open even on Sundays since its considered a tourist area. This is always a plus. All in all Im glad I moved here from Kifissia, my baby is growing up in fresh clean air, with no street noise... it's nice to hear the birds chirp once in a while ya know..," remarked another expat who made the move to Nea Makri .

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How do I meet people in Greece?

When we asked people living in Greece about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Thessaloniki, being a cultural city.. has many nationalities mixed together.. Much more so than when I first arrived in Greece.. There are many groups/organizations here in Thess. I.W.O.G. International Women`s Organization of Greece e-mail: They meet on the 2nd Wednesday of every month (not in summer) for coffee, networking & social activities.. yearly membership 35 euros or guest fee 5 euros ( this pays for your tea/coffee , cake/snack at the meetings )there is also a raffle & 2nd hand book store, all money raised goes to local charities... T.O.W.E.R. ( Thessaloniki Organization for Women Employment & Resources ) Non for profit organization to help women ... It is not a job agency..! web site: www.tower4women.gr
e-mail: During the first week of June, all the country specific clubs get together to raise money for local charities... with the International food festival , with over 30 countries taking part.. this year it will be held on Sunday 6th June at Aretzou plaza Krini , next to the beach..," said another expat in Thessaloniki.

"Northern Greece is extremely restricted in terms of Clubs and Associations. If you speak the language it is a little easier to meet people, I have been involved in charity work which I found in Drama's Government offices. I would recommend joining a Gym or local Swimming Pool," added another expat who made the move to Drama.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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What is life like in Greece?

When we asked people living in Greece what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"As a general rule, peoples priorities here are work & family... Well family comes first.. But Greeks in general are very sociable, if you make the effort to speak to your neighbors, especially if you have children you'll find them to be friendly.. Okay so some expats object to there neighbors interfering (as they see it ) Greeks will give you their opinion (whether asked for or not ) on everything from whether your child should be wearing a jacket or not, to what food your making that day ... I know nothing about sport, but my son informs me that there are 4 football teams for Thessaloniki.. 1. PAOK 2. ARIS 3. IRAKLIS 4. APPOLON KALAMARIAS Thessaloniki has a great variety of clubs, bars, tavernas & restaurants.. The last 5years or so has seen a change, with Indian, Chinese & Japanese restaurants opening.. We also have Mac Donald's, Pizza Hut and coming soon... Kentuky Fried Chicken...! So you won't get to home sick... Night life generally doesn't get started til after 10pm.. So don't be surprised when your new friends ask you out for a drink at the time you'd usually be thinking of going to bed..," added another expat in Thessaloniki.

"It's a beach town so its really laid back. Without the hustle and bustle of other towns. Although the summers are really crowded since everyone comes to the beach on the weekends. Fresh produce along the side streets from local farmers (just like Jersey..) a nice waterfront with boats, playgrounds, a 2 kilometer path along the sea for jogging, walking or bike riding. Nice restaurants along the coast as well. And close to Kifissia, (about 20 minutes over the mountain of Dionissos)," remarked another expat who made the move to Nea Makri .

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Greece accepting of differences?

"There are many Pakistan immigrants living here due to the farming as well as other nationalities. And I understand they have been for many years, so this is nothing new to the townspeople. As far as being accepting of differences, as is the case with most Greek towns, especially the smaller ones...the "original" Nea Makri residents are not that happy about the recent infux of people to this pretty town. Many new homes, stores and even a Carrefour soon means alot more traffic and Im sure they are used to the way thinngs were before..," mentioned another expat in Nea Makri .

"Being 1/2 English, 1/2 Greek and having blonde hair, I stick out like a sore thumb! I believe most people, especially the young accept my cultural differences, although they are particularly condeming of the English tourists who have changed the images of the Greek Islands and see the English as tarts! For a small town there is a lot of foreigners, in particular English, Russian, Bulgarian etc I seem to be accepted more readily than those from just over the borders. A word of advice, if you're American, beware there is a strong anti-bush/USA feeling amongst these people. In general I am accepted, however Drama is very backward and set in it's ways. People seem to want to shut out the rest of the world. Very few people travel abroad and therefore to see a foreigner is a novelty. Greeks are always right! This includes their religion, culture and beliefs! But it is good fun persuading them otherwise," commented one expat who made the move to Drama.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Greece

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

What are the schools in Greece like?

"Look elsewhere, the school is great for younger children and convenient if you live in the area, till 8th grade, but after that, I would reccomend some of the other IS in the area," remarked another expat living in Vari with children attending St. Lawrence .

"I would recommend it without any hesitation. My child loved this school and the staff, as did we," said another expat in Athens with children at Cottage.

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Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Greece?

"I do not have insurance, but the costs of private medical care are quite reasonable," remarked another expat in Paros.

"The cost is reasonable under the IHC, private care varies, but in general is cheaper than UK I believe," added one expat living in Paros.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Crowded Market in Athens, Greece

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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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