Is the cost of living in Athens cheap or expensive?
Sure, the city is located in Europe and it’s a world-renowned tourist destination. It’s only right to assume that it would be fairly expensive but honestly, it might just surprise you!
Matthew and I lived in Athens for about 2 months as digital nomads. We got a great idea of what it costs to live in this Greek capital when it comes to rental prices, cost of food, activities and so much more.
In this blog post, we are going to share our personal, honest cost of living in Athens to help you get a better picture of what you might spend living in Athens. We go into each category in-depth to help you understand each expense!
Let’s get into it!
Why Are Digital Nomads Living In Athens, Greece?
When you think of the digital nomad lifestyle, you imagine places like:
- Bali, Indonesia
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Lisbon, Portugal
But what about Athens, Greece? Honestly, it’s not on everyone’s radar. Matthew and I just absolutely love Greece which is why it was a goal of ours to live the digital nomad life in Athens. After living in Athens for 2 months, we think it’s definitely an underrated digital nomad destination.
While it isn’t at the top of the nomad country list, Athens is becoming an increasingly popular city for digital nomads. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning scenery, it’s no wonder that many digital nomads are starting to consider making Athens their home for a while.
What makes you want to become an Athens digital nomad? The Greek capital city offers digital nomads so much including:
- Fast, reliable wifi: According to digital nomad statistics, wifi is the thing that digital nomads are worried about the most! You don’t have to even wonder if the wifi is stable or fast in Athens. Our speed test in Athens ranged from 25 Mbps to 200 Mbps.
- Greek cuisine: Need I say more? Greek food is one of our favorite cuisines in the world (and that reflects in our spending lol) but we love eating gyros, greek salad and so much more. Athens has a great restaurant scene with delicious Greek food and even international food too!
- High standard of living: Athens can be a little rough around the edges but that doesn’t mean your quality of life is less. Athens is safe, there are lots of things to do and you can have a great work-life balance here!
- Beautiful architecture all around: Athens is iconic for the Acropolis and many other ruins scattered across the city. We loved just walking around and admiring that we are passing 1000-year-old buildings – like what?!
- Affordable cost of living: Athens has a relatively lower cost of living compared to other major European cities like Paris, Lisbon or Amsterdam. There are good deals around every corner if you’re willing to spend the time to hunt them! We got a great apartment for a reasonable price and Matthew couldn’t resist a gyro for $2.50 every day!
- Amazing weekend trips: You aren’t bound to stay in Athens – there are a whole lot of islands you can explore. Athens is a huge hub to get to other islands like Santorini, Paros, Naxos and more. You can easily hop on a ferry ride or take an airplane to get to your weekend trip! The options for weekend trips are endless if you’re living in Athens!
There are tons of reasons why digital nomads are starting to live in Athens! We believe that it’s only going to grow in popularity as the cafe culture, coworking spaces and coliving spaces open in the city. Greece is a beautiful country with welcoming people – it’s obvious why digital nomads are starting to flock here.
Quick Price Facts For The Cost Of Living In Athens
Want a quick grasp of what some things cost in Athens? Here’s a snapshot of the bigger and smaller expenses you might encounter as a digital nomad in Athens:
- 🏠 1 Bedroom Apartment in a Nice Area: $800 USD per month
- 💰 Cost of Living For a Local: $850 USD per month
- 🍽 Nice Restaurant Meals: $13-23 USD
- 🏋️♀️ Monthly Gym Membership: $30-50 USD
- 🥙 Street food: $2-4 USD
- 🍺 Local beer: $4.80 USD
- ☕️ Coffee: $3.60 USD
These are just a general snapshot of the costs we experienced in Athens. Several things can either inflate or deflate those costs like being a local, for example. You can expect to pay more for short-term rentals and prices in Athens can depend on where you are located in the city!
QUICK OVERVIEW – Our Cost Of Living In Athens Was For 1 Month As Digital Nomads
The digital nomad lifestyle can look different for everyone. The best part about this lifestyle is that you have the freedom to make it what you want, right? Matthew and I like to slow travel from city to city, spending at least a month in each location. Slow travel has allowed us to build routines, get to know the place we’re staying on a deeper level and of course, get some needed work done!
Whenever we share our cost of living guides – whether that’s in Playa del Carmen, Antigua or Medellin… They are always going to be from a 1-month perspective! We feel this gives digital nomads a more accurate idea of what it truly costs. At the end, we will also include how much it cost us to get to Athens (often an overlooked expense that’s pretty important).
Another thing to keep in mind is that this is our cost of living as a COUPLE. Matthew and I share the monthly expenses and each price you see will be for both of us.
Okay, you get the picture already. Here’s our cost of living in Athens as a digital nomad couple for a one month stay:
- Accommodation: $932
- Groceries: $236
- Dining Out: $616
- Coffee: $153
- Transport: $66
- Phone Plan: $28
- Activities & Entertainment: $78
- Gym: $87
TOTAL: $2196 USD
If you’ve read any of our other cost of living guides eg. Guatemala, you’ll know that this is probably one of our more expensive months.
The biggest reason is that we paid $932 USD for rent and that’s getting up there for us. We have usually stayed in Latin America and South East Asia where rent is much cheaper. In saying that, we thought we found a pretty good deal when compared to other European cities we’ve been digital nomads.
Other than a few things which I’ll discuss below, we still think that this was a pretty good month compared to what it could have been – if that makes sense? Since our time in Athens, we have spent 9 months being digital nomads in Europe and we have paid way more for much less value for money.
That’s why we think the cost of living in Athens is fairly reasonable considering the quality of life you can have in this beautiful Greek city.
Before we continue: Please remember that these are our PERSONAL expenses. You don’t have to pay as much as we did – it’s all up to you! Spend more or spend less. We try to have a good balance between enjoying ourselves and sticking to a budget.
You’ll understand how good (or bad) our cost of living in Athens was for a one month stay and get an in-depth view of why our expenses ended up totaling $2,196 USD.
A Detailed Breakdown Of The Cost Of Living In Athens
You’re considering staying in Athens for a while and you may be asking yourself:
- Is it expensive to live in Athens?
- How much is rent in Athens?
- How much do I need to live comfortably in Athens?
- What’s the food prices like?
There are all valid questions to ask before choosing to live in a new city as a digital nomad. We have found that the cost of living in a certain city can make us go to a place or avoid depending on how expensive or cheap it can be.
We think the cost of living in Athens was pretty reasonable for us. We loved going out to eat and we decided we would splurge on that a little. We also did a few day trips here and there but found free activities to do in Athens as well. The cost of living in Athens depends on you and how you want your lifestyle to be in Greece!
Let’s deep dive into each expense we incurred while living in Athens to help you understand why it cost what it did.
Accommodation Costs – $932
From the get-go, we expected to pay much more than we are used to as we were Latin America digital nomads just before staying in Athens.
As a digital nomad who only stays in a place for one month (very short-term rentals), you won’t get an apartment for less than $700 USD. We found this one bedroom apartment and it continues to be one of our favorite places we’ve rented on Airbnb.
Our Athens apartment was very modern, spacious and had everything we could want in a place as digital nomads! We each had a desk and chair which made working from home very easy. There was a Nespresso machine which if you know us – we can’t go a day without coffee! We also had a cute little balcony where we could enjoy our coffee and we had views of Mount Lycabettus.
If you want a video tour of our Athens apartment, check out our Instagram Stories here!
Where was the apartment located exactly? It was a good location for us personally because we wanted to be further away from all the action but close enough to it at the same time. Our Athens apartment is located in the Pagrati neighborhood which felt more like a local neighborhood but this area is also only a 20-minute walk away from the famous Plaka neighborhood.
The reason we also got a very good deal on this apartment is that we booked it for 2 months. I think it would’ve been something like $100 USD more per month otherwise.
With your cost of living in Athens, you can choose to splurge or save on accommodation. If you live closer to the city center, you will probably have a smaller space and pay much more. And if you live a little further from the city center, you will likely pay less and get better value for money.
Curious about the best neighborhoods in Athens? Read our complete guide on where to stay in Athens here.
Airbnb is the most convenient option for digital nomads when finding accommodation. This means that you will be paying for that convenience. It’s always much cheaper to get on the ground and go calling, apartment hunting while you’re already in the area. You can usually get better deals but you still have to pay for a place while you’re apartment hunting – which doesn’t really make sense if you’re in Europe.
If you want to find a good deal to lower your cost of living in Athens, you will need to do your research and not give up on searching! I spent hours just trying to pick the right neighborhood and work out which place will give us the best value for money.
As for the cost of living in Athens, we thought this was a reasonable price for a modern one bedroom apartment. I believe you can still find the same value for money today!
Grocery Costs – $236
Lucky for us, we lived only 5 minutes away from a grocery store called Lidl. It’s a popular grocery store across Europe and we could easily find all we needed to buy to cook food at home. Lidl usually has pretty competitive prices for vegetables, meat and even alcohol!
Here’s what certain grocery items cost in Athens:
- 🥚 Dozen of eggs: $4.12
- 🥛 Liter of milk: $1.78
- 🥔 2lbs of potatoes: $1.20
- 🧅 2lbs of onions: $1.04
Whenever we do groceries, we usually bulk buy about a week’s worth of food. Our monthly cost of groceries was $236 USD, which comes to about $59 USD per week. That said, you’ll see below that our dining out costs are much higher! We ate at home for about half of our meals, otherwise, you’d catch us with gyros in hand – not even kidding lol!
Dining Out Costs – $616
We spent a lot on eating out – there I admit it! Matthew and I love Greek food, like LOVE Greek food. It’s one of the top reasons we decided to live in Athens for 2 months.
What’s not to love about Greek food? You’ve got classics like souvlaki, pita gyros and greek salad. If you want to explore Greek cuisine a little more, you’ve got moussaka, lamb chops, octopus and so much more I could go on!
Here are some of our favorite restaurants we tried in Athens:
- Takis Bakery
- TAVERN – GRILL MANDRAKI
- Lithos Tavern
- Baba au Rum
- The Traditional
- Tuk Tuk Thai Street Food
- Anafiotika Cafe – Restaurant
We spent a total of $616 for a month which is higher than what we usually allow ourselves to spend. You can definitely do it cheaper than us, for sure! Gyros are very cheap in Athens only around $2.5-$3.5 and a cup of coffee was approximately $3 USD. If you ate at a restaurant, you could find something for every budget.
Transport Costs – $66
I’m quite surprised at how low this turned out to be because took Beat (similar to Uber) rides everywhere. We were about 20 minutes walking to the city center and we had everything we needed in our neighborhood – gym, grocery, cinema. We only took a ride whenever we went further into the city, otherwise we walked everywhere else!
Download the BEAT app because it’s a little cheaper than Uber and much more reliable in terms of getting cars at any hour of the day. You can use public transport too in Athens but we were never close to any bus stops to take them.
A metro ride from Athens airport to the city costs about $9 USD. The metro is fairly cheap only around less than $2 USD per ride. It can be cheaper if you get a monthly card! Transportation costs in general are pretty affordable in Athens!
SIM Card & Pre-Paid Data Plan Costs – $28
When you become a digital nomad in Athens, one of the first things you need to do is get a SIM card. It’s pretty easy to do if you know which companies are right for you and your budget.
We were able to get an AMAZING deal for our SIM cards, only paying around $14 USD per person for 15 GB per month. The company was called What’s Up which from what we understand is a subsidiary brand of the telecom giant, Cosmote!
You’ll need your passport to buy a SIM card in Greece. The other companies you can buy from are Cosmote, Vodafone and Wind. We recommend Cosmote, especially if you are planning to visit any of the islands. They have much better coverage all across the country.
Read our detailed SIM card Greece guide to find out more.
Activities & Entertainment Costs – $78
Matthew and I were starting this blog that you’re reading when we were living in Athens. We were putting the hours in and focusing on the blog so we didn’t really get to do too much in Athens.
We did go to the cinema a lot because it was only 5 minutes away from our house lol. The cinema was surprisingly cheap in Athens, we paid around $7 per ticket! We also just enjoyed walking around the city and dined out tons which ended up being our activity basically.
Another great thing about Athens is that some of the museums and ruins will be free on certain days. We were in Athens during EXO day which meant free entry into the Acropolis for the public. We got there super early (as soon as it opened) to beat the crowds and it was just a cool experience that we go to completely free!
The activities you can do in Athens are endless and we don’t think it’ll break the bank. Although, a weekend trip to an island might be a whole other expense! You’ll easily be able to find affordable things to do that won’t burst your cost of living in Athens for sure.
Gym Membership Costs – $87
The average gym costs around $20-50 USD in Athens. I didn’t go to just any average gym which is why I paid slightly more.
I went to the best pilates studio in Athens! The studio was located around 10 minutes away from our apartment which was very easy for me. I had a monthly membership which allowed me to have unlimited access to all the classes.
It was the first time I ever tried pilates and the teachers were so welcoming. I felt I found a community at 3 Circles Pilates. You can definitely find a cheaper gym with your usual machines and equipment but I seriously loved my pilates studio!
There are quite a few gym options in Athens and you’ll easily find something within your budget.
Was The Cost Of Living In Athens Cheap Or Expensive?
The cost of living in Athens is very affordable for digital nomads. It’s easy to assume that it would cost an arm and a leg because it’s a top destination in Europe but Athens is surprisingly an affordable city!
You’re in charge of how much you spend and it all depends on what kind of lifestyle you want to live. Athens is a great city where you can spend more or spend less – it’s honestly what you make it!
We felt that the rent was much cheaper compared to other major European cities and you can get great value for money in Athens. Once you get a good deal on your accommodation, your other expenses can be relatively low.
We did spend a lot on dining out but we think that you can probably find a better balance than we did. I’d say our cost of living in Athens is pretty average if you want to live comfortably!
Is the cost of living in Athens great for digital nomads? After living in Athens for 2 months – yes we think it is a great place that offers good value for money. We think Athens is making its way to the top digital nomad cities list and the cost of living can be part of the reason!