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Cost of Living in Greece 2021: Comprehensive Guide for Expats Seeking to Relocate

25 Sep 2021
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Residence Permit Greece

Comprehensive Guide for Expats Seeking to Relocate

 

Whether you’re temporarily relocating, retiring or generally interested in moving to Greece for good, it’s important to have an idea of what the average cost of living would be as an expat. Here’s a quick guide to assist you.

 

In this relocation guide we will answer the following popular questions:

 

1.How expensive is Greece in comparison to the UK and the rest of the EU?

 

2.What is the cost of living in Greece (general living expenses)?

 

3.What is the average salary in Greece?

 

4. What is the average cost of accommodation in Greece?

 

5.What are the average healthcare costs in Greece?

 

6.Travel and transportation costs?

 

7.What is the cost of education in Greece?

 

1.How expensive is Greece in comparison to the UK and the rest of the EU?

 

Greece is a country known for its good quality of life: sun drenched, affordable accommodation, timeless traditional cuisine, friendly locals and rich history. What is there not to fall in love with? In terms of the costs of living, in comparison to the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, Greece has a relatively low cost of living. According to the European Commission, the cost of living in Greece on a global scale is relatively low, however in relation to the income of its population it is quite high. This of course depends on numerous factors,  however most expats seeking to relocate to Greece, tend to find the cost of living is much cheaper.
The official currency in Greece is the EUR(€). You can find the exact value of your money, simply by using a currency converter.
The current exchange rate is as follows (below are the rates as of 23/09/2021):
  • 100$ USD = 85.32€ EUR
  • £100 GBP = 116.46€ EUR

 

2.What is the cost of living in Greece (general living expenses)?

 

Utilities are worth looking into as they are an expense which can fluctuate and leave you with unpleasant surprises. These expenses are usually paid monthly or quarterly depending on your contract and chosen location. Whether you are renting or the owner of the property, these bills will more thank likely have to be set up in your name. The average cost for basic utilities for an 85m² apartment in the Ionian Islands region, including electricity, heating/air conditioning and water bills is estimated at 163.34€ per month. These prices aren’t fixed and can vary, depending on the size of the property, number of people residing, the daily usage and utility prices.

 

Groceries are also another expense which would need to be taken into account when working out monthly expenditure. The average person will need to approximately spend a minimum of 50€ per week. If you have any special dietary requirements you may find that you will spend a little more as there is still not enough variety, however this is rapidly changing as people are becoming more conscious about having healthy balanced diet.

 

3.What is the average salary in Greece?

 

According to Statista the average salary in Greece is estimated at 16,767 EUR per annum. This is relatively low when comparing it to the average salary in the United Kingdom and the rest of the EU, however if this salary is combined with that of a partners then it should be sufficient enough to live off comfortably. Most expats looking to relocate to Greece however, either already have an established position and are able to work abroad taking advantage of the increased salaries, visa and taxation schemes which are available, or they are in search of somewhere to retire and therefore rely solely on their pension and savings. In this case, relocating to Greece could be highly desirable as the cost of living would be relatively low.

 

With remote working on the rise, Greece recently introduced a new law allowing third country nationals (Non EU citizens) who are either dependent employees or self employed persons, the right to work and reside in Greece under a new Visa, known as the Digital Nomad Visa. This will offer individuals the opportunity to maintain a higher salary but enjoy the perks of living in the Mediterranean.

 

4.Average cost of accommodation in Greece?

 

With regards to the average cost of accommodation in Greece, as with all previous costings mentioned above it can fluctuate depending on numerous factors, some of which include: the location, the size of the property/apartment, the time of year (if renting), etc. There is abundance of places to choose from and all depend on individual circumstances and preferences.

 

If you’re looking to purchase a property in the Ionian Islands region, you will often find a wide variety of homes or plots of land to suite your needs. By just conducting a simple search on a real estate website, you will be able to customise your search and see what is available to purchase within your budget. If purchasing a home is high on the agenda and you fall under the category of a third country citizen, then you will most likely benefit from the Golden Visa Program. To find out more about relocation Visas for Non EU citizens check out our recent article: Golden Visa Greece: everything you need to know before applying.

 

Despite this, if you are seeking to relocate temporarily or are unable to buy a property, renting is another popular option amongst locals and expats. Depending on the time of year you decide to relocate, rental prices can sometimes fluctuate. If you are seeking a yearly rental contract then it is most likely that you will find a property with a steady rental payment. If however, you would like to rent a property or an apartment in the summer months you may find that the prices are higher due to the high demand for accommodation in touristic areas. In order to find the right rental property/apartment for you, you can simply search through the numerous real estate agencies operating within the Ionian Islands region.

 

As a rough guide:

  •  A one bedroom apartment (55m²-85m²) in the city centre could cost a minimum of 450 EUR per month (excluding bills).
  • A two bedroom apartment (up to 85m²) outside the city centre could cost around 500 EUR per month (excluding bills).
  • A three bedroom detached home (150m²-200m²) outside of the city centre could cost approximately 1.200 EUR per month (excluding bills)

 

 

5.What are the average healthcare costs in Greece?

 

Before relocating abroad, taking into account the healthcare system of another country is imperative with regards to making your decision. The Greek healthcare system is comprised of the National Health System (known as ESY) and Private Health institutions. The cost related to either public or private depends on a few different factors.

 

Emergency healthcare is free across Greece to all, regardless of your residence status. However if you’re relocating to Greece as an expat, most residency permits/visas will require private health insurance until you are able to enroll onto the National Health System. These plans are usually at a low cost and they offer the minimum coverage you will require. You can get a free quote today, as costs vary depending on age, health conditions, etc.

 

After three months of residing in Greece you will be able contribute to the Social Insurance Institute (IKA). Once this has been established, you will be able to enrol onto the National Health System by acquiring an AMKA number (Social Security Number). Medical services through this system are mostly free, although patients are required to pay a fee for their prescribed medicines.

 

Despite this free service, many prefer to maintain their private health insurance as they feel more comfortable knowing that they will be seen immediately in the event that they require health assistance but also due to the fact that most private hospitals employ medical staff whose level of English is of a higher standard.

 

European Citizens are entitled to free healthcare benefits providing they hold a European Health Card. This enables them have access to the public healthcare system for a limited amount of time. European citizens who are receiving a pension, will also be entitled to claim on state health benefits.

 

In the event of an emergency, expats can dial 166. However operators may not hold a sufficient level of English, so it is encouraged for expats dial the general European Emergency number 112 for an English speaking operator.

 

6.Travel and transportation?

 

In terms of travel and transportation, most people travel by car. Especially if you live on an island, you will more than likely find that you will require one, if you want to make your life just that little bit easier. If you aim to use your car on a regular basis (approximately 200km per week), you could spend anywhere from 20€ per week for a small sized car (Fiat Panda) to 50€-60€ for a larger vehicle. These prices are just an estimate as fuel prices fluctuate constantly and seem to be on the rise.

 

In the summer months locals tend to use motorbikes to get around. This mode of transport is not only extremely affordable but also very handy when it comes to dodging the never-ending summer traffic and parking nightmares. Due to the amount of tourism flooding the Greek islands, it is a staple option for many. The cost related to mopeds is significantly lower than a car and many can get by with spending 10€ a week on fuel, making it an ideal option for many.

 

If you plan on travelling by bus, the prices tend to be relatively low as well. A one way fare for the bus is usually around 1.50€ however there are always deals for individuals that want to use the service regularly. A monthly unlimited pass is around 60€ per month, allowing you to use any route as many times per day as you wish. There is also the possibility to purchase a daily pass (5€). Depending on where you choose to live there many bus routes which will allow you to explore your surrounding areas affordably.

 

Since the pandemic struck there has been noticeable increase in cycling and walking amongst locals. With electric bicycles on the rise, the governments new scheme to promote more sustainable modes of transport, is an ideal option for anyone wanting to purchase an electric bicycle. The government is offering to pay 40% of the original price of purchase, this generous contribution is certainly not worth disregarding. There is an abundance of different electric bikes to choose from depending on the type of use and starting from as little as 450€.

 

7. The cost of education in Greece

 

If you’re currently debating moving to Greece and have children, education is definitely important to consider in terms of costs. Most children in Greece attend the state run schools from the ages of 6 to 18. These are free of charge however a high number of children often benefit and require private tutoring after school. The cost of these extra lessons can vary depending on the area and age of the student but tend to start from 100€ to 180€ per month, per subject. Students usually require extra tutoring after school towards their final years of education due to the high level of knowledge that is expected from the educational system. With regards to international schools, the costs tend to range between 7000€-13000€ per academic year. These schools are usually located in big cities such as Thessaloniki and Athens.

 

In terms of extra curricular activities, children often take up languages and different sports as school hours tend to be from 8am until 2pm. These can be quite costly depending on the area. For example private English tutoring can range from 150€ – 200€ per month (approximately 3-4 hours per week). Sport activities are also popular amongst the young population. With tennis on the rise in Greece, it is estimated that lessons range from 80€ – 150€ per month (approximately 2-4 hours per week).

 

With the information above in mind it is easy to see that in general the cost of education in Greece is fairly low however if someone wishes to partake in many extra curricular activities and private tutoring, one may need anything from 150€ to 500€ per month.

 

How BeNative can assist you!

 

With regards to relocating abroad we provide all the expert knowledge to guide and assist you with all formalities. From finding the right propertyfor you, to assisting with all legal matters, we possess the know how in order to make your transition to Greece straightforward and hassle free. If you would like to find out more about the services we offer, contact us at info@benative.gr  and book your consultation with us today or alternatively check out our website for more information.

 

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