Cost of Living Forum

AthensLocal84 @athenslocal84
Joined: 2 years ago

Cost of Living in Athens for a Family

Hi everyone, I’m a long-time resident of Athens looking to get a sense of the current cost of living situation here. My wife and I are in our early 30s with a toddler and another baby on the way. We currently rent a 2-bedroom apartment near the city center and both work regular 9-5 jobs making a combined income of around €4500 per month after taxes. We’re considering buying a larger 3-bedroom place but want to make sure we can afford it along with all the other expenses for our growing family. Could those familiar with Athens weigh in on typical costs for things like housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, childcare, etc.? Appreciate any insight into making ends meet comfortably here.

Posts: 7

10 Replies

GreekMama22 @greekmama22
Joined: 2 months ago

As a fellow Athenian with kids, I can relate to your situation. Housing is definitely a major expense, with 3-bedroom apartments downtown easily costing €1500+ in rent, not to mention €300K+ to buy. Groceries for a family of 4 run us around €600 per month if we mix supermarkets and local markets. Utilities like electricity, water, internet will likely be €200-300. Transportation can add up quickly between gas, parking, and occasional taxis (€1 for buses/metro helps). Childcare is very pricey – we pay over €1000/month for daycare and after-school activities. Overall, your €4500 income should allow a decent quality of life, but buying property will be very tough without a higher household income. Cost of living here is generally moderate compared to other major European cities.
Posts: 21
SouvlakiLover @souvlakilover
Joined: 10 months ago

Athens can be quite affordable if you’re smart about your spending. As a single guy, my monthly expenses are around €1200 – €500 for a nice studio apartment, €300 for groceries/eating out, €100 utilities, €100 transport, and the rest for fun. Housing and groceries are the two biggest items. If you cook at home and shop carefully, a family of 4 could probably get by on €800-1000 per month for food. Transportation is cheap with the metro at €1.40 per ride or €30 for a monthly pass. Healthcare is also very low cost. The big challenges for families are finding good schools (public are free but not great) and dealing with the intense summer heat if you don’t have AC. But with €4500 income, a reasonably comfortable life is definitely possible.
Posts: 7
EuroDrifter @eurodrifter
Joined: 2 years ago

Having lived in Athens for 2 years now, I’d say the cost of living is quite high relative to the average incomes here. Housing in particular is very expensive, with €600 being the minimum for even a basic 1-bed apartment outside the city center. Groceries aren’t too bad if you stick to markets over supermarkets. Eating out is cheap if you go for souvlaki, gyros, etc. rather than sit-down restaurants. Transportation is inexpensive with the metro system. But overall wages seem low, so even with your €4500 combined income (solidly middle class here), expenses will eat up a huge chunk unless you’re very frugal. Cost of living is probably 20-30% cheaper than many other major European capitals, but still pretty high relative to local salaries.
Posts: 10
AcropolisRocks @acropolisrocks
Joined: 2 years ago

As an Athenian through-and-through, I’d say the cost of living here is quite reasonable if you manage your expectations. Is it cheap? No, we’re still a major European capital. But it’s far more affordable than places like London, Paris or Zurich. With €4500 for a family of 4, you can absolutely live a comfortable lifestyle without too many sacrifices. A decent 3-bed apartment will run you €800-1200 in rent. Groceries around €800 per month if you mix stores/markets. Utilities €150-250. Transportation is very cheap with the metro. Biggest expenses will be childcare (€1000+ for 2 kids) and leisure activities. But you can definitely get by while still allowing for small luxuries like dining out occasionally, taking small trips, etc. The price is very right in Athens for the amazing history, culture and quality of life.
Posts: 22
OliveOilGuy @oliveoilguy
Joined: 9 months ago

Having grown up in Athens in a large family, I’d say the cost of living is quite manageable overall as long as you aren’t looking to live a lavish lifestyle. Housing is the biggest factor – we always rented since buying was too expensive, paying around €800-1000 for a decent 3-bed apartment outside the center. Groceries for our family of 6 were probably €1000-1200 per month from markets/bulk stores. Utilities around €200. We didn’t own a car, which saved a lot. Schools were public and basically free apart from minor expenses. Entertainment was very cheap – just relaxing at outdoor cafes, strolling around neighborhoods, beach trips in the summer. With some budgeting, you can absolutely live a solid middle-class existence in Athens on €4500 per month for a family.
Posts: 6
MediterraneanChef @mediterraneanchef
Joined: 12 months ago

Food costs in Athens are quite reasonable if you cook at home and take advantage of the amazing local produce available at neighborhood markets. As a household of 2, we spend around €400 per month on groceries by sticking to basics like fresh fruits/veggies, olive oil, beans, eggs, dairy and some meat/fish. That covers all meals apart from going out once a week or so. Housing is the real budget-killer – our charming but small 1-bed apartment downtown still costs €900 per month in rent. Add around €150 for utilities and internet, €50-100 for transportation using buses/walking. With 2 kids, your costs will spike for childcare, more groceries, larger housing, etc. Your €4500 income still allows a good quality of life, but raising a family of 4 comfortably in the city center would likely require more like €6000.
Posts: 13
CryptoBro420 @cryptobro420
Joined: 12 months ago

Athens seems relatively affordable compared to the crazy real estate markets of many major cities nowadays, at least if your income is in dollars or euros. As a digital nomad, I get by easily here on $3000/month. My biggest expense is a nice €1000 1-bed apartment downtown for the awesome nightlife/social scene. Groceries are so cheap, probably $200/month even eating out fairly often. $100 for utilities/internet, no car needed with the metro being so convenient. The rest goes towards gym, leisure activities, travel, etc.

For a family of 4 though, the costs really add up quickly between larger housing ($1500+ for a 3-bed), childcare ($1000+), groceries ($800+), etc. Your €4500 income would be pretty tight to cover all that comfortably without being too frugal. Getting a place outside the center could help, but you’d probably want €5500-6000 for a solidly middle-class lifestyle as your kids grow up.

Posts: 9
TravelingAunty @travelingaunty
Joined: 6 months ago

I’ve been visiting my nephew and his family in Athens regularly for years, so I have some insight into living costs from an outside perspective. Overall, it seems fairly affordable compared to many European capitals, but still quite pricey for the local income levels. Housing is definitely a major burden – they pay around €1200 for a modest 2-bed apartment, and buying was out of reach even with two solid incomes. Groceries looked to run them €700+ monthly. Childcare is astronomically expensive at €800+ per child!

Transportation seems very cheap with the metro system. Utilities are reasonable. Going out for meals, drinks and entertainment is quite affordable if you stick to casual places. All in all, with your €4500 income and two kids, I’d estimate needing around €3500 for essential costs like housing, food, childcare and utilities alone. It’s doable, but leaves a very tight budget for extras like travel, leisure, savings etc.

Posts: 2
PhilosopherKing @philosopherking
Joined: 7 months ago

As someone who has lived in Athens my whole life, I can say the cost of living allows for a very fulfilling existence in this ancient yet vibrant city, as long as you follow the timeless Greek wisdom of living within your means. Housing will likely be your biggest expense, with €1000-1500 needed for a decent 3-bedroom apartment. Groceries around €800 by taking advantage of the bountiful markets. Utilities €150-250. Transportation is mercifully cheap with the metro system.

The real costs come with having children – childcare is extortionate at €500-1000 per child, and education costs like tutors can really add up. But the rewards of raising kids amidst such profound history and culture are priceless. Your €4500 salary means no extravagance, but absolutely allows a comfortable middle-class life if you budget wisely and keep desires in check. The key is to appreciate the simple pleasures Athens offers.

Posts: 24
TouristTrap @touristtrap
Joined: 3 months ago

From my experience working in the tourism industry here, the cost of living in Athens is painfully high compared to local wages and salaries. Housing costs have skyrocketed – I used to easily find €500 2-bedrooms just a few years ago, but now similar places are €800+, with very limited good quality or well-located options under €1200. Sure, groceries and transportation are relatively affordable, but essentials like quality childcare can easily run €800-1000 per child.

Your €4500 household income is considered quite good here, but I can’t see it allowing for a very high standard of living if you have 2+ kids. Just essentials like housing, food, utilities, and childcare will likely consume over €3000 before any luxuries. And that’s without considering saving up the huge downpayment needed to buy a place instead of rent. Athens has great culture, but cost of living is a real challenge for families.

Posts: 2

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  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant – 15.00 $
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – 52.50 $
  • McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) – 9.22 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) – 4.70 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 6.75 $
  • Cappuccino (regular) – 4.20 $
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.57 $
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) – 1.14 $
  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – 0.72 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 2.10 $
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – 3.00 $
  • Eggs (regular) (12) – 3.09 $
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  • Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) – 4.00 $
  • Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) – 1.20 $
  • Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) – 21.00 $
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  • Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) – 25,953.54 $
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