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Cost of Living in Greece 2024 – Monthly Budget for Living Expenses

Oia, Santorini Island, Greece|Ronan McMahon

By Karen Lefebvre-Christou

If the great Mediterranean weather, amazing food, hospitable people, and the opportunity to island-hop wasn’t already enough, the cost of living may be one more reason to lure you to GreeceFrom housing to dining out, healthcare to hair care, the average cost of living in Greece is significantly lower than the U.S.

Below we outline the basic costs, a sample budget, and a few areas to watch out for to avoid any costly surprises.

Many who vacation in Greece sigh and wish they could find a way to live year-round in this picturesque, slower-paced, sea-kissed country. It almost seems too good to be true; healthy, fresh cuisine, daily swims in the Aegean, working from your balcony at home with a view of the sea scattered with islands…Many people don’t realize that living in Greece doesn’t have to remain a dream—with some careful planning and research, it can become a reality.

When deciding what country to make your new home, one of the major considerations that come into play is the cost of living. Wake up, dreamers; Greece is one of the more affordable EU countries to live in! From housing to healthcare, rent to transportation, Greece currently offers a significantly lower cost of living than in the U.S. Of course, this all depends on your lifestyle and spending habits, but life is comfortable in Greece, even on a modest salary.

The parity of the euro to the dollar has positively impacted the cost of living in Greece for expats. The dollar goes further than it ever has, making every day, and especially larger purchases, more affordable. If you’re considering purchasing real estate in Greece, now is an opportune time to take the plunge!


Housing in Greece varies depending on where you choose to settle. A small village on the mainland will be a great deal more affordable than the center of major cities like Athens or Thessaloniki. Islands can be more expensive than the mainland, but again, it all depends on which island you choose. A touristic island will be more costly than a small, quieter one. A more popular island may also have fewer rental options, with the Airbnb boom causing many landlords to hold their rentals as Airbnbs from June to September. With buying, prices have risen slightly with the Golden Visa opportunity. Still, the minimum purchase in the majority of the country for a Golden Visa is €250,000, one of the most affordable in the EU.

Note: If you are looking at purchasing a property in the greater Athens area, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, or Santorini, the amount for a Golden Visa doubles to €500,000.

Let’s take a look at current housing costs in AthensChania, and Nafplio, three popular retirement destinations in Greece, using a furnished two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in a nice area for comparison. In Athens, the bustling capital city, it costs approximately $1200 monthly to rent an apartment this size. Purchasing a home with the same specifications would cost approximately $295,000. In Chania, Crete, a beautiful neoclassical city by the sea, you will pay around $860 in rent. To purchase a place with the same specs, you’ll pay about $250,000. In Nafplio, a picturesque city by the sea on the Peloponnese, the same apartment costs about $860 for a rental, but will only need around $160,000 to purchase.

There are a number of websites that can help you search for homes in the areas you wish to live in, such as and Happy hunting!


Not only is Greek cuisine super tasty, and one of the healthiest diets on the planet, but it also easily accommodates all types of dietary needs. Based largely on fresh vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fish with heavy doses of olive oil, vegetarians, vegans, and those with coeliac disease can eat heartily without feeling left out.

It’s worth noting that food prices have risen generally in 2023 due to inflation. Even so, buying groceries is pretty similar cost-wise to the U.S., and eating out is also very reasonable. Where Greece truly stands out, though, is in the quality of the food. Local markets run by farmers selling their freshly harvested seasonal produce and honey abound, and the prices are competitive. Supermarkets and greengrocers both carry locally-grown products as well as imported food options.

For an idea of how grocery prices in the U.S. stack up to U.S. prices, below are some current sample food prices:

•   A Dozen Eggs$3.10
•   1 Kg Rice (2.2 lbs)$1.85
•   1 Kg Chicken.$6.75
•   Loaf of Bread$1.60
•   500 g Ground Beef (1 lb)$5.10
•   1 Litre of Milk (1 quart).$1.35

If you enjoy eating out, a meal for two at an average restaurant, including a glass or two of local wine, will cost approximately $40. An average grocery budget for two in Greece is approximately $345.

Both Greek and foreign chain supermarkets abound in Greece with competitive prices if you are on a budget, although you may sacrifice quality. The German chain Lidl has become a favorite among budget shoppers. Shopping at the local greengrocer and butcher may be more expensive, but you know where everything is sourced, the food is fresher and higher quality, and you support the local economy.

If you don’t feel like cooking but are on a budget, try food takeaway places, an economical option selling freshly prepared meals to go. These meals are usually enough to feed two people and range anywhere between $5.40 to $8.50.


Like housing, transport costs in Greece depend on where you live and how connected your area is with public transportation. The more you are able to rely on public transportation, the less you will spend. Athens’ public transportation system is comprehensive and reasonable, and each ticket is valid on any bus, metro, trolleybus, or tram.

•   Single Ticket (90 Minutes of Travel)$1.30
•   Daily Ticket$4.40
•   30-Day Pass$29.00
•   90-Day Pass$84.00
•   180-Day Pass$167.00
•   365-Day Pass$323.00

Ferries are a popular inter-island mode of transport. Over the past year, with the growing fuel costs, ferry tickets have risen a great deal. An economy ticket from Piraeus to Syros used to cost around $32 but has climbed lately to $40. There is some good news for those permanently living off mainland Greece, though; Permanent residents of certain Greek islands can sign up to receive rebates of up to 50% for travel to and from Athens by ferry.

Taxi fares have also risen with the cost of petrol. It costs $4.30 for the minimum taxi ride. The base fare is $1.95 and .97 for each kilometer of daytime rides, $1.35 between midnight and 5 a.m. The average fare for a taxi ride in Athens is quite reasonable at approximately $7.50, especially if you’re sharing with a friend.

Owning a car in Greece can be a good option for those living in more remote places without a large public transport system. Used cars can be economical to buy and insure. Asking a trusted mechanic if he knows of anyone selling a car could turn up a real gem of a reliable, albeit older car. For example, a used Fiat Panda will sell for around $4300.

Once you buy the car, insurance is inexpensive compared to the U.S., at approximately $150.00 per year. There is also a license plate renewal fee every year that costs $260. The cost of petrol exponentially drives up the cost of owning a car at $2.10/liter (1/4 gallon). Of course, distances are smaller, and your budget will depend on how much you drive. Electric cars have appeared on the scene as well as electric bikes, which may be a better option, depending on your budget.


With the rise in inflation, utilities in Greece have gone up, but still come in lower than many other EU countries as well as the U.S. Local property taxes for rubbish removal and municipal services are based on the square meters of your property and are included with your electric bill. These bills arrive once every two months. For an average-sized property, you can expect to pay around $45 per month, depending on how much heating and cooling you do.

Luckily, the weather is temperate enough in many parts of Greece to open your windows and enjoy the fresh breeze. Water will cost an average of $32 per month, depending on usage. Mobile telephone services are very reasonable compared to the U.S., with talk, text, and data plans for around $21.50 per month. Many cable and internet packages exist as in the U.S. and you will pay $45.00 each month for unlimited internet and basic cable television channels.

Healthcare Costs in Greece

The Greek healthcare system operates on both public and private levels. Public healthcare can be accessed if you’re employed in Greece by a Greek employer, or if you pay into the system as self-employed. However, most third-country nationals need to prove they have health insurance coverage in Greece in order to get a residence permit necessitating purchasing a private policy. Policies vary in cost depending on age, pre-existing conditions, a health exam and blood work, and selected coverage. Private insurance allows people to avoid long wait times for appointments, and gain access to higher-quality facilities.

For visits and procedures not covered by health insurance, paying out of pocket will not break the bank, unlike the U.S. For example, an eye exam costs $65 out of pocket, and a dental cleaning costs just $43. A trip to a general doctor costs around $38, whereas a specialist will still only charge (approximately) $54. The prices are a bargain considering the excellent quality of doctors and dentists in Greece.

Pharmacies are plentiful in Greece, and even without prescription coverage, you’ll find that medications are reasonably priced compared to the U.S. With prescription coverage, the cost is almost negligible.

Cost of Living in Greece – Sample Monthly Budget

Expense$US One Person$US Two People
Electricity & Rubbish Removal$30$45
Household Help 3x/week$54$54
Internet & Cable TV$49$49
Cell Phone$21.50$21.50
Healthcare (Insurance + co-pays)$145$290
Gym Membership$43$86

Video: Cost of Living in Greece

The Good Life in Greece for Less Than $1,000 a Month

By Lynn Roulo



When I moved from San Francisco, California, to Athens, Greece, in 2012, I didn’t come for economic reasons. The move was purely intuitive. After 15 years of living in San Francisco and working as a Certified Public Accountant, something deep inside me wanted to be in Athens. And so I came with my dog, my two cats, and one suitcase.

In the years since, Greece has been good to me, and I could spend hours listing all the things I love about my adopted country: the genuine warmth of the people, the fact it gets over 250 days of sunshine a year, the mountains of Meteora, the beaches of Milos, seaside fish tavernas with grilled octopus and tsipouro (a brandy from Crete), the Greek language that has eight different words for love, the list goes on…

There’s also the more practical elements of life here. Because the cost of living is so much lower than most of the U.S., you can live very well. I was able to quit my work in the finance field to become a full-time writer and yoga instructor. If you want a life change, Greece just might be your place.

One of the first things I noticed is that the cost of housing in Greece is relatively low. You can easily rent a respectable apartment in the heart of the capital, Athens, for less than $650 per month. If you want to put down roots or even buy investment properties, that’s an option too.

Since moving here, I’ve purchased and renovated two apartments near the Acropolis and put them on Airbnb to earn extra income. My first purchase was a 269-square-foot apartment for €28,000 (about $31,000). And I went on to buy a second, bigger apartment for even less. You can get great real estate deals in Greece if you know where to look, and expats can easily buy property here as long as they follow a few administrative steps.

If you are considering a move away from the U.S., one of your considerations will be healthcare. I’ve been impressed by Greek medical care. There are plenty of extremely highly-qualified doctors who speak fluent English and have often been trained in the U.S. or U.K. The Greek medical community is sophisticated, and the country has become a destination for medical tourism too. Because healthcare is largely socialized, you can get plenty of routine or more specific treatments for a fraction of the cost you would pay back home.

Last summer I had to go to the doctor for an eye infection. I went for an eye exam and was given a prescription for antibacterial cream. The cost for the visit? Zero. Healthcare in public hospitals is free for Greeks and expats alike. The administrator looked confused when I asked where to pay. The cost of the prescription? Four dollars.

Greek doctors are also kind. This eye infection happened days before I was supposed to do my duties as godmother at a baptism. When I explained the situation, the doctor looked at me directly and said, “That’s an important day. I think the swelling will be gone by then. Don’t worry!” I actually feel much more secure about my healthcare future since moving to Greece.

The lower cost of living extends to all parts of life. In the eight years I’ve lived in Greece, I haven’t had a car because I haven’t needed one. I live in the center of Athens where I can walk most places, but when I do need to take a taxi, they are easy to hail and cheap to ride in. The minimum fare is under $4 with a standard rate of about $1.30 per mile. I easily get across town for under $10. It’s much cheaper than my life in San Francisco where taxis have a standard rate of about $3 per mile.

If you are concerned you’ll be cheated by a taxi driver, don’t be. The free app, Beat, is widely used and acts like Uber, allowing you to hail, track, and rate your taxi ride.

And if you are wondering if you will miss out on art and culture in Greece, don’t worry. You won’t. The Basil and Elise Goulandris Modern Art Museum in Athens offers a yearly membership for $65 so you can go as often as you want to see their five floors of impressively diverse modern art. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center offers all types of free events including theatre, live music, and films. My favorite time to visit is during the holidays when they offer a colorful sound and light show on their pavilion.

The economic scale of Greece compared to the U.S. can be so different, it’s almost confusing. It took a dinner with a group of friends, who all work as electricians in Greece, for it to really hit home. When the bill of €40 ($44) for the four of us came, I started to leave a €5 tip. My friend, Dionysis, looked at me in horror.

“Do you understand that most of this country lives on less than €900 per month? There is no need to leave a €5 tip!”

Thanks Dionysis—I’ve got it now.