Cost of Living in Greece

For the last decade, the cost of living in Greece has been low due to the effects of the economic crisis. However, now that the country is emerging from the crisis, prices are gradually beginning to rise once more.

That said, living costs in Greece are still fairly low, relatively speaking. In Mercer's 2019 Cost of Living Survey, Athens was ranked 128th out of 209 cities worldwide. This puts it well below other European capitals like London, Paris and Milan.

As with other destinations, the cost of living in Greece varies depending on location. The mainland is generally cheaper than the Greek islands when it comes to fuel and certain basic goods. The countryside is cheaper than cities but there is a much smaller range of products and services. Athens's northern and southeastern suburbs are the most expensive areas on the mainland, while the most expensive islands are those which attract the most tourists. Chief among these are Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu and Crete. 

Cost of accommodation in Greece

Throughout the economic crisis, accommodation prices in Greece were low. Although both rental and purchase prices are now increasing, the cost of accommondation is still relatively inexpensive.

For those who have funds available, it's worth mentioning that foreigners who invest a certain amount of money in Greek property gain the right to apply for residency. 

Cost of food in Greece

Greek culinary culture is famous and food in Greece is generally quite cheap, making for a happy combination. On the other hand, the country has some of the highest VAT rates in the EU, meaning that the costs of basic products are not as low as one might expect. However, the VAT rate for food is lower than other goods and the wide range of locally grown produce means that eating cheaply and well is not difficult. 

Cost of transportation in Greece

Driving in Greece is notorious for being somewhere between challenging and perilous. For expats who do intend on driving their own vehicles, car insurance is a must. In the case of hiring a car in Greece, it is important to check what kind of insurance is on offer, as the costs of hiring a vehicle can be high.

The alternative is public transport. Most people who take public transport in Greece take a bus, or in Athens, the metro. Prices are reasonable but buses can be a slow way to travel.

Cost of education in Greece

Public education in Greece is conducted in Greek. In light of this, expats who are not staying for the long-term often send their children to a private English-speaking international school. However, local Greek schools can be ideal for expats intending to remain in the country for the long-term. 

Private schools in Greece cost more than public schools but some provide education in English. Prices differ between individual schools, and prices go up as children progress through their school careers. 

Cost of living in Greece chart 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices in Athens in March 2020.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

EUR 400 - 500

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

EUR 300 - 400

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

EUR 700 - 800

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

EUR 500 - 600


Eggs (dozen)


Milk (1 litre)

EUR 1.30

Rice (1kg)

EUR 1.70

Loaf of white bread

EUR 0.80

Chicken breasts (1kg)

EUR 7.50

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

EUR 4.60

Eating out

Big Mac Meal


Coca-Cola (330ml)

EUR 1.60



Bottle of local beer


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

EUR 40


Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

EUR 0.40

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) 

EUR 25

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

EUR 140


Taxi rate (per kilometre)

EUR 0.80

Bus/train fare in the city centre 

EUR 1.40

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

EUR 1.60

Zografia Avgerou

Zografia is a self-employed craftswoman living in Thessaloniki. A Greek native, she has experienced the effects of the Greek debt crisis first hand. She specialises in jewellery, home decoration, recycling objects and fashion.

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