Cost of Living in Greece
We would not be exaggerating if we say that Greece is the cradle of civilization. It is the place the Western culture and civilization were born, and democracy emerged for the first time.
Greece is a country where an immense historical heritage meets with beautiful Mediterranean islands in the sun. It is a country where you can find the urban life you are used to and experience authentic traditions simultaneously, not to mention the natural beauty.
To put it in a nutshell, there is something for everyone in Greece. If you bear the question “is Greece expensive to live in?” on your mind, we can say that the cost of living in Greece is low compared to the rest of Western Europe.
Although the average salary is lower than it is in the other European countries, the general costs of services being low as well compensates for this gap. To give a more exact answer to the question “is it expensive to live in Greece?”, it can be said that the monthly cost of living in Greece for a single person is around €650. Accommodation is not included in the aforementioned amount.
Of course, the expenses depend on the location. If you prefer to live in the islands or major cities, for example, your living expenses will be higher than in the countryside or small towns. Especially the islands are more expensive compared to the mainland due to their touristic nature.
Let us elaborate more on how much is needed to live in Greece by categorically examining the basic expenses.
Food is affordable in Greece because there are no heavy taxes on it. What is even better is that it is easy to access fresh food that is grown locally in Greece. Find below a list of average prices for specific groceries:
|1 kg potato||€0.85|
|1 kg apple||€1.52|
|1 kg rice||€1.70|
|1 kg local cheese||€7.91|
|1 kg chicken fillet||€6.75|
|Mid-range bottle of wine||€6|
Eating and drinking out is, again, cheap in Greece compared to the rest of Europe. You can have a three-course meal for €40 whereas a BigMac Meal costs €7. At cafes, the average cost for a cappuccino is €4 while it is €1.60 for a 330ml Coca-Cola.
One of the best answers to the query “is Greece expensive to live in?” are the accommodation costs. Rental and property prices are very affordable in Greece, despite their slight recovery after bypassing the economic crisis.
Accommodation is an important issue that makes up a large part of the general expenses, therefore low purchase and rental prices result in the low cost of living in Greece. The prices vary depending on the location, naturally, but they are appealing in general.
For example, if you want to live in a major city like Athens, the capital of Greece, or Thessaloniki, your monthly rent will be around €400-€700. This price range goes for single-bedroom apartments. The rent for a three-bedroom flat, however, will be around €600-€1.200.
Further away from the city centers, the average monthly rent ranges for the two apartment sizes mentioned above are respectively €200-€400 and €350-€800.
If you are an expat planning to relocate to Greece by the means of the Golden Visa Program, purchasing a property may be a convenient option for accommodation, as well. This way, as you obtain an affordable, beautiful house in the Mediterranean, you can also get legal residency and maybe even citizenship in the long run. For a flat in the city center, the property price is between €1.500-€4.000 per square meter whereas it ranges between €900-€2.500 in the upstate.
Monthly utility expenses including the internet, gas, electricity, and water cost around €170-€322. This amount may vary according to the season and the size of your apartment.
It is effortless and cheap to travel using public transportation in Greece. While buses are the most frequently used means of public transport in many cities, Athens has a good metro system, as well. A monthly public transport pass costs around €30 whereas the price for a single-use bus ticket is €1.40.
If you prefer to get around by your own car, you are required to obtain car insurance. However, if you plan on renting a car, you should note that hiring is a little expensive.
Is Greece Expensive in Terms of Healthcare?
On the contrary, healthcare is easily accessible for all the citizens and legal residents of Greece. If you are an expat, you need a Greek social security number and to pay your state insurance fee. If you meet these two requirements, you will have free access to public healthcare.
Private healthcare has better equipment and shorter waiting times but private insurance is more expensive. The cost varies depending on how comprehensive the insurance plan is, your age, and your nationality.
See below some healthcare and medication costs in Greece:
- Doctor’s appointment: €40
- Antibiotic prescription without insurance: €7
- 6 days of cold medicine: €2.70
The Bottom Line
There are numerous reasons to enjoy living in Greece. It’s a great place to live a healthy lifestyle, the scenery is breathtaking, and the Greeks are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.
The bonus is that it’s an affordable country that will offer you more than you expect and help you a quality life.