Living in Greece

The prospect of living in Greece is inviting for many expatriates. Greece is an extremely vibrant country that is famed throughout the world for its year-round good climate, detailed history, beautiful architecture, and unique culture. It was accepted into the EU in 1981, and since then, the country has grown from strength to strength.

Greece is generally a very safe place, and there is very little serious crime. They have one of the lowest costs of living in the European Union, although cities such as Athens are generally more expensive than the rest of the country. The standard of living is high, particularly if you are living in Greece on an expat contract to become digital nomad.

Greeks are famed for being exceptionally welcoming and friendly. The Greek Orthodox Church is an integral part of Greece, and 99% of the population follow this religion.

Living in Greece as an Expat

The acceptance of Greece into the EU in 1981 heralded the beginning of a more expat-friendly environment for overseas nationals. Before this, Greece had been very much a developing nation where ex-pats often faced a wait of over two years for a telephone line, and cars were rarely seen on the road.

However, membership in the EU changed the living standards dramatically, and life became easier, even if this may have been at the expense of Greece’s previous untouched nature.

To this day, Greece is not as popular amongst the expats as some of its European neighbors. This is largely down to the fact that there are not as many international companies located here. Before moving to Greece, you should know that the chance of furthering your career is perhaps not as easy as other destinations across Europe.

That said, the country does welcome foreign workers, and Greece’s heavy promotion of tourism means that there are usually opportunities in this industry, such as opening a business, becoming a tour guide, or managing hotels. For those considering relocating to this beautiful country, it is wise to secure a job before you do so as unemployment levels are fairly high; 9.5 percent. The destination guide can provide you with a list of valuable resources to help you with this process.

Cost of Living in Greece

Greece is a member of the European Union and shares the Euro. The cost of living in Greece is generally 30% less than many other European countries, but Greece’s average local salary is also lower. However, social security rates are also lower than those in the average EU country, so expats in Greece on a local salary will still be able to live quite comfortably.

Food products are extremely cheap in Greece, especially in Rhodes, where there are no import duties, which makes this a better place than many other European countries in terms of living costs. It is strongly anticipated that the cost of living in Greece will fall even more in the forthcoming months due to deflation caused by the economic crisis.

Our international relocation guides contain detailed living costs across different lifestyles and living options for many popular expatriate destinations. Because our guides are written by expats in Greece themselves, you can be assured that the information is accurate, up to date and reliable.

Living in Greece: Language

99% of the people living in Greece speak Greek. Other languages spoken are predominantly English and French.

Climate in Greece

Greece has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry days and cool and mild winters. There can be snowfall In some parts of Greece during the winter months, but this is mostly limited to the mainland’s mountainous regions.

Job and Career Opportunities for Expats in Greece

It can be difficult to get a job in Greece if you are not fluent in Modern Greek. However, jobs in teaching English, the tourist industry, child care, and manual or agricultural work exist for some expats. Many English speaking multinational companies may also consider employing none Greek-speaking expats.

Key Facts Every Expat Should Know Before Moving to Greece

  1. Greece is notorious for having one of the worst healthcare systems in Europe, and there is no healthcare at all available to expatriates. Therefore, before moving to Greece you must have private healthcare insurance if you are considering living in Greece.
  2. Every region in Greece has separate and unique construction rules, so what has worked for one expat may not work for another.
  3. Before moving to Greece, you should know that payment in Greece is almost exclusively made with cash, in Euros. Hotels will usually accept credit cards, but most other local places such as tavernas, cafes, taxis, kiosks, street vendors, and other types of shops deal strictly in cash.
  4. The majority of the sewerage systems in Greece are undeveloped, and, for this reason, you should not flush toilet roll down the toilet. It should be placed in a separate bin.
  5. It is Tuesday the 13th that is unlucky in Greek culture and not Friday the 13th.

Greek City Guides

An ex-pat guide to living in Athens will be available soon on this website.

Have a comment?

Do you have a comment about this article, a further question or even a correction? If so please do let us know. We may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all comments will be published, please be nice!

Our Expat’s Manual is updated regularly so comments about the article may have already been addressed.


  1. Thank you very much for this it was very helpful to me and my family (ariana my daughter, Eric my bf and me)

  2. the possibility for a good improvement of the Greek economy say at least 4% pa growth and expansion, sustainable over a period of time is needed depends whether the conservative Government incumbent remains in power and proceed with sufficient Parliamentary majority in implementation of the needed reforms, curtail unions (government employees) and liberalizing employment of employees in private business. Many Hellenes abroad supported the last 200 years after independence the economy and development needed. But entrenched interest have retarded progress over the period with few exceptions at certain periods.

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