Athens is the most expensive place to live in Greece. Mercer's 2022 Cost of Living Survey places the capital 126th out of 227 listed cities, similar to Belfast or Wellington but cheaper than other European capitals like 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. 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 very expensive.


Cost of education in Athens

Public education is free but conducted in Greek. Expats who plan a long-term stay are generally 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 groceries in Athens

Expensive compared to other mainland Greek cities, groceries in Athens are still relatively affordable compared to many European cities. Locally produced wine, cheeses and olive oil are very affordable, and laiki, weekly farmer's markets, are a great source of fresh and affordable fruits and vegetables. Imported and branded products go for more than expats might expect, but are overall reasonable.


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. The lifestyle in this cultural capital can get expensive, however. 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 November 2022.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

EUR 490

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

EUR 430

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

EUR 850

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

EUR 790

Shopping

Eggs (dozen)

EUR 4.01

Milk (1 litre)

EUR 1.63

Rice (1kg)

EUR 2.27

Loaf of white bread

EUR 1.07

Chicken breasts (1kg)

EUR 8.26

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

EUR 4.79

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

EUR 8

Coca-Cola (330ml)

EUR 1.73

Cappuccino 

EUR 3.19

Bottle of local beer

EUR 4

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

EUR 50

Utilities/household

Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

EUR 0.31

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) 

EUR 19

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

EUR 115

Transportation

Taxi rate (per kilometre)

EUR 0.75

Bus/train fare in the city centre 

EUR 1.20

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

EUR 2.09