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Crowded Market in Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 02, 2023

Summary: People describe Athens, Greece as a vibrant city with a rich history, culture, and nightlife. Expats love the city's Mediterranean climate, its vibrant culture, and its friendly people. The weather in Athens is typically mild, with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit. The average cost of living for an expat is estimated to be around $1,500 to $2,000 per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment in Athens is typically around $600 to $800 per month, while a two bedroom apartment can cost around $800 to $1,200 per month. The approximate population of Athens is 3.2 million people.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Athens?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Athens responded:

"I love the area where I live and honestly I wish there was more incentives for homeowners / landlords to rent out their place to locals rather than use them for Airbnb. It is nearly impossible to find a nice modern place for a decent rate in the area. and I understand why they do it because owners pay a much lower tax rate to rent out to tourists vs locals. They should do something about that because it's a big problem," said another expat in living in Athens, Greece.

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What advice to expats in Athens have about housing?

"It is overpriced honestly and it should cost less. It's also hard to find good availability," remarked another expat in Athens.

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What do I need to know about living in Athens?

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

"When considering retirement in Athens, there are some important aspects to be aware of. The cost of living in Athens is relatively low, allowing for comfortable living on a retirement income. The city also offers numerous leisure and cultural activities, making it a vibrant place to spend your retirement. Healthcare services are also excellent in the city, and pharmacies are easily accessible. Additionally, taxes are lower in Athens than in other parts of the country, further adding to the appeal of living in the city. It is important to secure a reliable source of income to help cover the cost of living, including health insurance and retirement benefits. When seeking retirement benefits or visas, it may be helpful to consult an attorney specializing in immigration and retirement law in order to ensure a secure future in Athens. Lastly, it may be beneficial to familiarize yourself with the different areas and neighborhoods of the city prior to relocating in order to find the best place to call home," replied an expat in Athens.

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What do I need to know before moving to Athens?

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

"Before moving to Athens, you should research the cost of living, including the availability and cost of housing, transportation, and food, as well as the job market and language requirements. You should also research the crime rate and safety precautions to take. It may be beneficial to familiarize yourself with the city’s culture and customs, as well as the attractions that the city has to offer. Lastly, you should obtain health insurance and make plans for any necessary visas or permits," explained one expat.

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How do I find a place to live in Athens?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"When looking for a place to live in Athens, consider researching different neighborhoods to find the one most suitable for you. Additionally, you can look at local newspapers, websites such as Craigslist, and real estate agencies to find the best option for your needs and budget. Additionally, you can use online sites such as Compuna to compare different listings and find the perfect spot for your Athenian home," said another expat in Athens.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Athens?

"A typical expat home or apartment in Athens is usually within close proximity to the city centre and other attractions. Homes are often found within areas that are well maintained, safe, and popular among expatriates due to their convenience. Apartments are usually modern in design and come with a variety of features such as air-conditioning, balconies, and washers/dryers. Prices can vary depending on the size and proximity to the city centre. Expat homes may also come fully furnished, making for a convenient and comfortable living environment," remarked another expat in Athens.

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What is the average cost of housing in Athens?

If you are thinking about moving to Athens, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The average cost of housing in Athens generally varies depending on the type of accommodation and its location. In general, housing costs in Athens tend to be higher than other parts of the country," remarked another in Athens.

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How do I meet people in Athens?

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

"There are many ways to meet new people in Athens. Going out to local bars, cafes, or events is a great way to meet people with similar interests. Joining meetup groups and attending their events can also be a great way to meet people in the area. Local gyms, bookstores, and day trips to nearby places can also be great opportunities to meet new people. Additionally, making an effort to converse with people on public transportation and participating in volunteer work can be excellent ways to meet new people," remarked another in Athens.

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What should I bring when moving to Athens?

People living in Athens were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"When moving to Athens, you should pack clothing to suit a warm climate as well as winter weather, as Athens experiences four distinct seasons. Be sure to also pack any prescription medications, personal toiletries and other necessary items that you may need, as well as any furniture or appliances you plan on bringing. Bring enough cash to cover the cost of setting up utility accounts, renting a furnished apartment, or buying furniture. Other items to bring include a bike for transportation, goggles and other swimwear for the beaches and mountains of Athens, a router for Wi-Fi, cooking utensils, towels, sheets and pillowcases, as well as any necessary adapters for electronics," said another expat in Athens.

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Where should I setup a bank account in Athens?

We asked expats in Athens what banks they use and there advice about banking. They advised:

"In Athens, there are multiple options for setting up a bank account. Some of the most popular banks in the city are Alpha Bank, Eurobank, Piraeus Bank, NBG Bank, Attica Bank, and the Piraeus Bank Group. Each of these banks offer a variety of banking services, including current accounts, savings accounts, debit cards, credit cards, loans, and more. All of these banks are located throughout the city, making it easy to find a convenient location. Additionally, many of them have online banking tools and mobile applications to help simplify the process of managing your money," said another expat in Athens.

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Will I be able to find a job in Athens?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Athens, they reponded:

"Yes, there are many job opportunities in Athens. The city hosts a variety of industries, from technology, banking, tourism, and finance to healthcare, education, and more. Job seekers can also find positions in sectors like retail and hospitality. The availability of jobs in Athens will depend on the applicant’s skills, qualifications and experience," explained one expat living in Athens.

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What is life like in Athens?

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

"Living as an expat in the area can be both a joy and a challenge. As a result of many different cultures living side by side, there are a wealth of different festivals and cultural activities to take part in, as well as a variety of international cuisines to sample. It also offers a great opportunity to make new international friends and contacts which can help to open up many new experiences and opportunities. On the other hand, expats may find it difficult to adjust to the new language and culture of the area. Communication may be difficult, as not all locals will necessarily be fluent in English, and support networks such as churches and other community-based institutions may require some research in order to find them. All in all, living as an expat in the area can make for a unique and fulfilling experience, with plenty of rich opportunities to explore," remarked another expat in Athens.

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What do expats in Athens appreciate most about the local culture?

"The hospitality of the people in Athens is highly appreciated by expats. Athens is known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere, and many expats enjoy being a part of the local culture and interacting with friendly locals. Athenians are known for their generous and hospitable natures, and are usually willing to help those new to their city. Expats also enjoy the diverse culture of Athens, with its traditional Greek culture, international influences and modern city feel. The unique cuisine, historical sites and vibrant art scene add to the overall cultural experience. Locals often hold celebrations and festivals throughout the year, offering expats the opportunity to immerse themselves in the city’s culture and enjoy its rich tapestry of traditions," said another expat in Athens.

"Greeks are assertive, have a culture of education so can speak lots of languages, and have the highest number of university degrees in the population. They are a useful sort to your company, business and governmental liaison. Loads of languages and having global languages and some may have spent a lot of years in England, either at university or university and work for a while. Even more useful," added another person living in Athens.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Expatriates often find it difficult to adjust to a new culture and language, as well as to establish strong social relationships and networks. Establishing a balanced work-life balance can also be a challenge, as well as dealing with cultural differences in work and communication styles. Other common challenges include financial concerns, such as the cost of living and visa compliance, as well as the physical and psychological stress of living and working abroad," remarked another expat in Athens.

"The politics, sense of righteousness, lawlessness, outright hostility to anything foreign, unmistakably corrupt system, terrible driving and parking culture that goes completely unchallenged. It's the wild west when they think they belong to civilization," explained one expat living in Athens.

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Is there a lot of crime in Athens?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"Athens has a relatively low crime rate compared to other major cities in Europe. Although crime does occur in the city, it is generally confined to certain areas and is rarely violent. Most crime in the city is opportunistic in nature and involves theft or property damage," remarked another in Athens.

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

"Athens is a metro area of close to half a million residents, with a population that is approximately 70% white and 22% African American. While there is a notable amount of diversity, Athens has its struggles with race relations and is actively striving to increase acceptance of its minority communities. City initiatives like the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement have been put in place to engage citizens and confront racism head on. In addition, Athens has a thriving LGBTQIA+ community, with a number of organizations and events that support the safety and acceptance of its members," remarked another in Athens.

"Athens is a diverse city, with more than 35% of the population coming from different countries. The city is very welcoming of the many cultures and is full of people from different backgrounds. The population consists of a variety of ethnicities, religions, and nationalities that live together in peace. Residents are quite accepting of differences, and the city is a great place to experience a variety of cultures in one place," explained one expat.

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What are the schools in Athens like?

"Athens has a wide selection of public and private schools to choose from. Athens-Clarke County School District is the public school district that serves the students of the Athens area. It consists of 19 elementary schools, eight middle schools, and four high schools. Several college preparatory schools also exist in the area, including Athens Academy, Athens Christian School, and The Classic Center Academy. Additionally, Athens is home to the University of Georgia and Piedmont College," remarked another expat living in Athens with children attending .

"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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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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