Athens is the most expensive place to live in Greece. Mercer's 2023 Cost of Living Survey places the capital 97th out of 227 listed cities, similar to Lyon or Nuremberg but cheaper than other European capitals such as Lisbon, Rome or Madrid. On the mainland, basic amenities should be cheaper than on the Greek islands.

Cost of accommodation in Athens

Accommodation prices in Greece are on the rise, and Athens is no exception. Rental costs in Athens are estimated to be 29 percent higher than in Greece's next largest city, Thessaloniki. Accommodation on the Greek islands will be similarly priced to Athens.

Renting or buying a home will be the highest cost for expats in the capital. That said, it's worth knowing that foreigners who invest above a certain threshold in Greek property can apply for residency on that basis.

Cost of transport in Athens

Unlike the rest of the country, Athens boasts a metro and a tram network, both of which are reliable, convenient and cost-effective. Greece's bus network is its primary form of public transport and is generally safe and affordable. There are, however, sporadic strikes in the major cities, and these can bring the bus network to a halt.

Greek drivers are notorious for their disregard for road laws, and driving in Athens is neither easy nor free from risk. Expats who insist on driving should consider car insurance mandatory. Parking is limited and may be pricey.

Cost of education in Athens

Public education is free, but the language of instruction is Greek. Expats who plan a long-term stay are largely happy to enrol their children, but many expats prefer private or international schools at a higher cost. Prices usually go up with the learner's academic level. Athens provides a wide range of private schools with various languages of instruction, and expat parents should not have trouble finding something to meet their budget.

Cost of healthcare in Athens

Athens is home to some of the best public and private hospitals in Greece. Expats can access tax-funded public healthcare in the city, but new arrivals should be prepared for long waiting lists. Well-off expats typically secure comprehensive healthcare coverage to access private healthcare. Private hospitals will typically also have English-speaking staff, making them ideal for expats.  

Cost of groceries in Athens

While groceries in Athens are expensive compared to other mainland Greek cities, they are still relatively modest compared to many European cities. Locally produced wine, cheeses and olive oil are cheap. Expats can visit laiki, weekly farmer's markets, to source reasonable and fresh fruits and vegetables. Imported and branded products are steeper than what expats may be used to but are still affordable.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Athens

Athens's restaurants, nightlife, flea markets, malls and boutiques are a major draw. Whether shopping, visiting the capital's attractions or just going out and taking in the city, there is always something to do in Athens. That said, the lifestyle in this cultural capital can get expensive. Price-conscious expats can try avoiding tourist areas and eating at their local establishments.

Cost of living in Athens chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices in Athens in May 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

EUR 500

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

EUR 475

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

EUR 920

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

EUR 890


Eggs (dozen)

EUR 4.03

Milk (1 litre)

EUR 1.71

Rice (1kg)

EUR 2.30

Loaf of white bread

EUR 1.16

Chicken breasts (1kg)

EUR 8.84

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

EUR 4.80

Eating out

Big Mac Meal


Coca-Cola (330ml)

EUR 1.83


EUR 3.37

Bottle of local beer

EUR 4.50

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

EUR 50


Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

EUR 0.58

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) 

EUR 31

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

EUR 234


Taxi rate (per kilometre)

EUR 0.85

Bus/train fare in the city centre 

EUR 1.20

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

EUR 1.91

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Medical insurance specifically designed for expats. With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider.

Get a quote from Cigna Global - 20% off

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo logo

International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.

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 from select removal companies now!