Living In Greece As An Expat

Living In Greece As An Expat – that will be the topic of today’s article.

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The prospect of living in Greece is inviting for many expats in today’s 21st century. This country is extremely vibrant and has fame throughout the world for its good year-round climate, beautiful architecture, unique culture, detailed history, and many others. But, why do you think of Greece now?

Living In Greece As An Expat

Having been accepted into the European Union in 1981, the country has grown from strength to strength. Aside from that, Greece is very safe, and there’s a little crime rate in the country. Also, 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.

Moreover, the locals are exceptionally welcoming and friendly. And this contributes to one major reason for expat relocating to the country. Since its inception, the Greek Orthodox Church has been an integral part of Greece, and 99 percent of the population follow this religion. In fact, the standard of living is high here!

What more to talk about Greece, if not the positive side? Of course, there are a few cons to living in Greece as an expat. And this is undoubtedly what you’ll see in other countries as no one is perfect. Have you been surfing the internet to get the right information about living in Greece? Worry less, as we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we will walk you through the concept or guide to living in Greece as an expat. Not only is that, but we have compiled this article to explain the pros and cons, interesting facts about living in Greece, the cost of living as of 2021, and many others, to mention a few. Would you love to know? Read further!

10 Interesting Facts about Living in Greece

For this day, Greece is not as popular amongst the expat destination. Of course, this is largely due to the fact that there are not as many international companies located in the country. Thus, the chance of furthering your career as an expat is perhaps not as easy as you think here compared to other destinations across Europe.

That being said, the country does welcome foreign workers. Moreover, the heavy promotion of tourism in this country means that there are usually opportunities in this industry, such as becoming a tour guide, managing hotels, opening a business, and many others, to mention a few.

In this section, we are ready to unleash some of the facts about this country. Ever wanted a vacation to Greece but didn’t know what it covers or where to go? Well, before booking your next gateway, it would be better to read this content carefully. Without further ado, below are the facts about living in Greece.

1.    Home to World’s First Democracy

When you think of Greece, the first thing that should come to your mind is the ancient world. From research and methodology, the Athenian democracy was a system dating back to the fifth century B.C., a system of democracy where citizens with voting power directly vote on legislation and executive bills. During this period, you had to be an adult and male citizen to vote. In that case, women, foreigners, and slaves had no votes.

2.    Beachy Country in Europe

It’s no doubt that Greece remains one of the countries with plenty of beaches. In fact, it’s good to say that Greece is nation number one in Europe for coastline and beaches. Besides, the Greek shoreline equals 16,000 km (9941 mi), and no point in the country is more than 137 km (85 mi) away from water.

Living In Greece As An Expat

This way, it’s hardly surprising because Greece consists of nearly 6,000 islands and islets (227 inhabited) scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Seas. In that case, if you’ve ever wondered Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal is the ultimate beach European destination, wonder no more.

3.    Ancient Greeks Invented Pizza

Have you ever heard of the invention of pizza? We’re sure that took you by surprise, right! Yes, that’s one of the least known Greek facts but also one of the most interesting ones. Since we all know that pizza is an Italian dish, it’s always been the symbol for Italian food worldwide as of today.

Just like other things you could think of, Italians took the idea for pizza from the ancient Greeks. Many hundreds of years ago, the witty Greeks liked to bake large flat unleavened bread and top it with olive oil, spices, herbs, and dates. Yes, there was no tomato sauce or mozzarella, which is a weird version of pizza.

4.    Home to Multi-coloured Beaches

Whenever you’ve thought of seeing the best beaches in the world, just try Greece. This is because; it’s one of the few countries on the globe that can brag about having multi-colored beaches. Not only is that, but when we’re talking about multi-colored, you should understand that we don’t mean white and gold. In addition to this regular white and golden seashore in Greece, you also have red and pink.

Living In Greece As An Expat

5.    Home to Archaeological Wonders

You might have been suggesting one already but let us tell you that Greece is the most archaeologically rich country in the world. Aside from this fact, Greece has countless archaeological landmarks scattered all around its island.

Also, the UNESCO World Heritage Sites equals 18, and most of them are archaeological sites, with 14 more having pending approval. Meanwhile, they also have the highest amount of archaeological museums on the planet. Surprising to no one, Greece is undoubtedly an archaeological wonder of a country.

Living In Greece As An Expat

6.    Home to Europe’s Oldest Capital

Another thing to know about this wonderful place is the oldest capital. And the country’s capital is one of the oldest cities globally, dating back as far as 3,400 years ago, and it’s also the oldest capital of the continent. This city is home to an amazing Acropolis and plenty of other ancient sites you should definitely check out.

Moreover, the fun fact here is that Athens couldn’t be named Poseidon. That’s according to its origin legend, nonetheless since inception. Besides, the story goes that the Olympian Gods Athens and Poseidon argued about who should be the city’s patron. Afterward, Poseidon gave the people the gift of water, while Athens gifted them the olive tree. The ancient future-Athenians deemed the tree to be more valuable and named their city after the goddess.

7.    Home to the Most Theatrical City

Another thing to put into consideration is that Greece is where you can see the most theatrical city in the world. Also, the capital of Greece is the most theatrical city on the planet. Since the ancient Greeks were the ones who invented the art of theatre and most of its genres, this fact seems entirely reasonable.

8.    Home to Bastion of Sports

Have you ever wondered about the origin of Bastion of sports? Well, look no further as this is the right place. Originated in ancient Greece as many as 3,000 years ago, the Olympics were held every four years in Olympia, located in the western Peloponnese peninsula, in honor of the King of Gods – Zeus.

Thereafter, the Olympics soon became the most popular sporting festival in ancient Greece and kept that title until the Roman emperor Theodosius I banned them in 393 AD. Fast-forwarded to fifteen centuries later, the games were revived to become the global event they are today.

9.    Romans Copied the Greeks in Some Ways

If you’ve ever been to Roman, you’ll notice that the structures and their system look alike. Well, the Classical Antiquity period was dominated by two civilizations, Greeks and Romans. On the other hand, while ancient Greeks seemed to invent pretty much everything, the Roman Republic just took their discoveries and renamed them. And for this, the Greek pantheon of Gods and Goddesses is a great example.

10. Obvious Sunny Greece

Our facts wouldn’t be complete if we refused to mention obvious sunny Greece. With an average of over 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, as research disclosed, Greece and specifically the island of Rhodes is among the sunniest places on the continent. We can even tell you that the country is so sunny that on July 10, 1977, the temperature of Athens reached 48 °C (118.4  °F), setting a record for the hottest place in Europe ever.

Pros and Cons of Living in Greece (2021 Update)

Whether you’re a short-term visitor or aspiring expat moving to this country for the first time, it’s quite essential to understand the pros and cons of living in Greece. Everyone corner of this country oozes chilled-out liveability, and the list of must-see places goes on and on. Without further ado, check it out!


Cost Of Living

Living In Greece As An Expat

The cost of living still remains one of the benefits of relocating to Greece. This is because; it’s super-affordable, especially when compared to North America and much of Europe. Not only that, but prices for daily essentials such as food and transport are at least 20 percent cheaper than in the United States of America. Also, costs to rent an apartment in Greece can be as much as 70 percent less.

More so, throughout Greece, you’ll save money by using public transport, avoiding touristy areas, shopping at local markets, and eating out where the Greeks do. Meanwhile, a budget-conscious expat can live comfortably in Greece for more than $2,000 a month.

Healthcare System

As of the time of writing this article, the quality of medical care in Greece is generally excellent, especially in major centers like Athens and Thessaloniki. More so, in more remote parts of the country, you may find the level of English spoken by your doctor and the standard of care a bit more hit-or-miss.

Aside from this fact mentioned, emergency healthcare in Greece is free regardless of nationality. However, for non-emergency, most expats opt for some form of private health insurance that provides better quality care and shorter waiting times than what the Greek public system provides. But pharmacies are abundant throughout the country – Greece has more pharmacists per capita than any other nation in Europe.

Safety and Security Measures

When it comes to safety and security measures, the benefit of living in Greece cannot be overemphasized. Moreover, we can tell you that Greece is one of the safest countries in Europe and has an easy-going, relaxed feel.

Basic precautions with regard to personal belongings will prevent rare cases of petty theft in the country. Also, in entertainment districts late at night, inebriated foreign tourists are likely to pose more danger than anything else.

Visa Residency Program

Dated back in 2010, the country introduced a Golden Visa program designed to lure foreign investors and move forward from the country’s financial crisis. This residency program encourages non-EU expats to take advantage of fast-tracked residency in exchange for financial investment.

But those who qualify are granted a renewable, five-year residency permit. On the flip side, there are no in-country living requirements, but obtaining legal residency status in Greece can take as little as three months, from start to finish.

Lovely Weather and Relaxed Pace of Life

Foreigners in Greece will definitely enjoy living in this country. Although the year-round sunshine is punctuated by rain on occasion, but the number of wet days is few. Meanwhile, winters are mild and bright, and a cool ocean breeze accompanies the hot summer weather in this country.

Furthermore, Greek society is laid back, and the pace of life is slow and relaxed. Besides, locals tend not to rush through their daily routine, and this is what every expats would love to know. Although they do work hard, but they enjoy the simple pleasures in life. But this may take some time to adjust for locals used to a fast-paced environment, especially in the workplace.

Cost of Food in Greece

Even though Greece is generally one of the safest countries or affordable European countries to live in, the cost of food isn’t as cheap as you might think. And that’s probably because the tax rate is set at a massive 24 percent, but there are some more budget-friendly options.

But, the good thing is that the prices are pretty consistent. This way, you can plan ahead easily as a typical meal in the Greek islands will set you back around 6-9 Euros for an appetizer or salad, and about 7-12 Euros for a main.


Tourist Areas Are Expensive in Greece

Although the cost of living in Greece is relatively low, but prices are hiked up in the main tourist areas to take advantage of the seasonal visitors. In this case, choosing a lesser-known island or city to live in will certainly yield cheaper prices for almost everything, from accommodation to food. That’s why we have compiled this article to explain some of the best places to live for expats. Read further to know more.

Getting Job is Quite Difficult

Expats without a job in hand may find it hard to live in this country. While Greece’s employment rate is declining, it is still rather high to some extent. Therefore, when looking to hire an expat, companies generally also prefer to hire an EU expats as the paperwork involved in hiring non-EU expats is immerse. Besides, while speaking Greek can assist expats in looking for a job, it will not guarantee employment.

Accommodation Varies in Quality (Greece)

As an expat moving to the country for the first time, you should visit the property and consider the condition and age of the structure before committing to it. This should be taken into consideration, especially when buying, unexpected renovation and restoration costs could ensure if expats unknowingly buy a run-down property.

Living In Greece As An Expat

Best Places to Live in Greece for Expats

Moving overseas can be a complicated process, especially if you’re moving to a country outside your continent. If you’ve been thinking of moving to Greece, we’ve got you covered with the best places to reside. Before you purchase another tourist guidebook or read another expat blog post, check what we have for you.

●        Athens

Athens is no doubt one of the best places to reside in Greece. It has over 10 million people, making it the most densely populated city in the country. This place is home to some of the most modern shopping centers and restaurants, celebrating its ancient roots and history.

For many expats, this city is their dream destination. It’s full of opportunities, amenities, and luxuries. On the other hand, high-paying work can be difficult to come by for many expats living in Athens.

Additionally, housing and food costs are higher here than in surrounding areas. As such, the bulk of expats that end up settling in Athens are those that are either retiring or working competitive remote positions.

●        Rhodes

Greece comprises several islands as well as different mainland portions. Athens sits at the southern end of the mainland and leads towards the islands of Crete, Corfu, and Rhodes. And these islands are some of the most popular destinations for expats in the country.

In recent times, Rhodes still functions as a crucial part of the trading system. However, it’s not nearly as wealthy and opulent as it once was. That said, Rhodes is a relatively peaceful island that’s far away from the hustle and bustle of Athens.

●        Santorini

Santorini is another place to consider if you’d love to live in Greece as an expat. When the average person imagines Greece, they likely imagine a place that looks a lot like Santorini. Also, snow-white walls, blue dome roofs, and sloping staircases carved into the craggy hillside are all the things you’ll see in Santorini. Besides Athens, this tiny town might just be the most expensive Greek destination.

●        Corfu

Living In Greece As An Expat

The island of Corfu is part of northern Greece that’s remarkably close to Italy. In fact, we can tell you that you could take a ferry between the Italian town of Bari and Corfu if you’re keen to visit mainland Europe. Moreover, the island is fantastically situated and jaw-droopingly beautiful with its mountainous terrain.

●        Patras

Patras is the last on our list today. It’s a unique place for expats wanting to live a comfortable lifestyle. On the one hand, it feels and looks like an ancient Greek paradise with its crumbling brick-and-marble amphitheaters. But on the other hand, Patras is so far removed from other modern cities in Greece.

In summary, this place has a castle, a hillside garden, private bathhouses, and a lighthouse. While this city lacks international or English-speaking schools, it’s one of the most cost-effective Greek destinations for retirees. Consequently, Patras might not be the best choice for growing families, but it could be ideal for older adults, childless couples, single adults, and many others, to mention a few.

Frequently Asked Question about Living in Greece

Is Greece a Poor Country?

From our research, we found that poverty in Greece in the last decades has grown rampant. Incomes have crumbled over 30 percent, and more than one-fifth of the Greek population cannot pay rent, bank loans, and electricity. Due to the country’s financial downfall, over a third of Greece’s 10-million population is in poverty.

Is English spoken in Greece?

The official language of this country is Greek, but English is also widely spoken. This way, you shouldn’t experience any problems when visiting the city. Meanwhile, English is very widely spoken in Greece, especially in the tourists’ parts of the city.

How much do I need to live in Greece?

Well, the basic requirements for a residence permit application in Greece are a passport, proof of current and continuous medical insurance, and proof of either a regular income of at least 2,000 Euros per month or at least 24,000 Euros in your bank account. So, with this amount mentioned, you can live in Greece.

Is Greece a third-world country?

Greece has already left the European Union in a manner of speaking, but it’s now part of the third world country. However, the experience of other third-world countries, which have gone through their own debt crisis, offers some lessons in that regard, as research disclosed.


When considering moving to a new country, there’s nothing more useful than hearing real-life stories. Nonetheless, it’s essential to know the bad sides to check whether it’s the right place for you. But worry no more, and refer to this expat guide about Greece for more information you need to know.

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