Cost of Living Forum

AthensLocal22 @athenslocal22
Joined: 12 months ago

What are the typical living costs in Athens for a single professional?

I’m a 32-year-old software developer who has been offered a job in Athens. I’m currently living in a smaller city, so I’m trying to get a sense of how much I would need to budget for living expenses in Athens as a single professional.

I’m looking to rent a modern 1-bedroom apartment in a safe area not too far from the city center. I don’t have a car, so I’ll be relying on public transportation. I enjoy going out for meals a few times a week and socializing at bars/cafes on weekends. I also want a gym membership to stay active.

Any insights from Athens locals on typical monthly costs for housing, groceries, eating out, transportation, utilities, gym, entertainment, etc. would be much appreciated! I’m making around $55,000 per year, so let me know if that seems like enough to live comfortably in Athens.

Posts: 17

10 Replies

GreekGuru @greekguru
Joined: 2 years ago

Hey AthensLocal22, your $55,000 salary should allow you to live quite comfortably as a single professional in Athens. Here’s a rough breakdown of costs:

Housing: For a modern 1-bedroom apartment in a nice neighborhood like Kolonaki or Pangrati, expect to pay around $900-1200 per month in rent. Utilities (electricity, water, internet) will likely add another $150-200.

Transportation: Public transit is very affordable in Athens. A monthly transit pass is around $30. Taxis are also relatively cheap for getting around at night.

Food: Eating out is quite affordable compared to many other European capitals. A casual meal at a taverna runs $15-25. Nicer restaurants $30-60 for a full dinner with drinks. Groceries are also reasonable – around $200-300 per month if you cook at home regularly.

Entertainment: Gym memberships tend to be $50-80 per month. Going out for drinks will vary a lot – $5 for a beer at a casual place, $10+ for fancier cocktail bars. Cinema tickets around $8.

Overall, I’d estimate a single person’s living costs at around $2,000-2,500 per month to live quite comfortably in Athens while going out regularly. Your salary provides a very decent standard of living here, especially without car/transportation expenses. Let me know if you need any other Athens tips!

Posts: 7
OliveGroveMama @olivegrovemama
Joined: 2 years ago

As a mom of three living in the residential Kifisia suburb, I’ll offer my perspective on costs for a family lifestyle. Housing will be your biggest expense – we pay $1800 for a decent 3-bedroom apartment here. Groceries for a family run us around $600-700 per month, eating out maybe $300 more.

The cost savings come with having access to the metro and buses – we get by with one car, so transport is only around $100 per month including gas. Entertainment is affordable with kids – movies are $5 each, lots of free outdoor activities. We splurge by sending our kids to private schools though, which run $8,000-10,000 per child per year.

On your single income, living centrally and taking advantage of Athens’ nightlife/culture would be very doable. But budget carefully if you plan to have a family, as costs for housing, education, etc. can really add up. Overall though, the mild climate and Greek hospitality make Athens a great city for quality of life if your finances are in order.

Posts: 6
CyprusCommuter @cypruscommuter
Joined: 2 years ago

I’m actually based in Nicosia, Cyprus but frequently travel to Athens for work, so I have a decent grasp of expenses there. A few key points:

Housing is pricey, as mentioned, but you can find decent 1-beds in areas like Ambelokipi for $600-800 if you avoid the most touristy areas. Trade-off is a 20-30 minute commute to the city center.

Eating out is very affordable, with great casual spots offering filling Greek dishes for $10-15. Drinking scene is lively and cheap too – $3-5 for beers in most places.

Transportation is a mixed bag – Athens traffic is terrible, so I’d budget around $300/month for weekly Uber rides to avoid soul-crushing commutes. Metro system is decent though if you live near a station.

One underrated cost is air conditioning – summers are scorching, so those electricity bills can really add up June-September if you want to stay cool at home.

Overall, Athens isn’t necessarily cheap compared to other European cities, but the food/nightlife value is hard to beat if you’re okay with a bit of a no-frills lifestyle. Your $55K salary would allow you to live very comfortably there.

Posts: 5
SouvlakiSaver @souvlakisaver
Joined: 3 months ago

As a lifelong Athens resident, I have to disagree with some of the high costs mentioned here. While Athens isn’t dirt cheap, it’s definitely possible to live well on a $55K salary as a single person.

Start with housing – you can find perfectly nice 1-bed apartments in non-touristy areas like Patissia or Kypseli for $500-600 per month if you avoid the pricey neighborhoods. Sure, they may be a bit dated, but great value.

Food is also quite affordable if you shop smartly. Stick to local markets, not supermarkets, and you can get plenty of fresh produce, bread, cheese, etc for $150-200 per month. Restaurants are a splurge, but you can find great souvlaki or home-cooked Greek food for $5-10.

Transportation via metro/buses is easy and only $30 per month with a pass. Skip taxis/Ubers aside from occasional use.

Gym membership can be had for $40-50, or just use the (free) outdoor exercise parks everywhere. $100/month for entertainment and drinks is very doable.

All in all, I’d estimate $1200-1500 for total living costs if you have a Greek mentality for finding deals and not splurging constantly. That leaves plenty of room for savings or travel on a $55K salary.

Posts: 4
CafePhilosophy @cafephilosophy
Joined: 11 months ago

The cost of living in Athens really depends on your lifestyle priorities. As a single academic who loves the cafe/culture scene, here are my typical monthly expenses:

Housing: I live in a simple but charming 400 sq ft apartment in Pangrati, which runs me around $600 in rent plus $100 for utilities. Not luxurious but full of character.

Food: I usually start my day with a $2 coffee and pastry from my favorite kafenio. Lunch is a $5-6 souvlaki or other affordable street food. Dinners I tend to cook simply at home, spending $150/month on groceries. But I’ll splurge $40-50 on a nice taverna meal 1-2 times per week to enjoy the atmosphere.

Transportation: The metro gets me everywhere I need for $30/month. Taxis are cheap for late nights out as well.

Entertainment: This is where I spend more than most – $150/month or so between books, museum visits, live music and theater performances, movies, etc. The arts/nightlife scene is incredible and I try to take full advantage.

Gym: $60/month for a no-frills weightlifting gym

Overall, I likely spend around $1500/month to live very comfortably with an enriching/indulgent lifestyle full of cultural activities. Athens has such an amazing, affordable cafe culture that I find it quite livable on a modest academic’s income. It’s the perfect city for enjoying life’s simple pleasures.

Posts: 5
ChrisBanker @chrisbanker
Joined: 2 years ago

I’ll provide a perspective from the opposite end of the income spectrum as an expatriate finance professional working in Athens. My wife and I definitely spend more than the average local, but the city provides a very high quality of life at a reasonable cost compared to other major European capitals.

For housing, we rent a spacious 3-bedroom apartment with a view of the Acropolis in the prestigious Kolonaki neighborhood. It runs us around $3,000 per month, which is steep but the location is amazing. $1,200-1,500 could get you a nice 2-bedroom in a nearby area like Pangrati.

We tend to splurge on dining out frequently at upscale restaurants, running $300+ per week. But there are also great casual tavernas for $40-60 per couple. Groceries from the local markets are very affordable.

Transport between my office in Athens Centro and the garage parking spot is just a $30/month metro pass. We take Uber/taxis in the evenings after drinking though, which adds around $200/month.

Other major costs are a gym/pool membership at a fancy club ($250/month for two) and private elementary school tuition ($15,000 per year) for our son. We also take 4-5 international vacations per year, leveraging Athens’ convenient airport.

Overall, we likely spend around $8,000 per month to live an extremely luxurious lifestyle in Athens. But a single expat could easily live extravagantly in the $4,000-5,000 range by cutting back on housing, schools, etc. The city provides incredible value at both low and high budgets.

Posts: 4
VindalooCravings @vindaloocravings
Joined: 2 years ago

As an Indian software engineer, I’ve found Athens to be quite affordable coming from the San Francisco Bay Area, though certainly more expensive than cities back in India.

My biggest monthly expense is a modern 1-bed apartment in the trendy Gazi neighborhood near lots of Indian/Middle Eastern restaurants and nightlife. It sets me back around $900 including utilities. I could pay less further out, but I really enjoy the central, lively location.

Food is very economical – I spend about $200/month on groceries from the local markets cooking at home. But I do splurge $300+ per month eating out regularly at all the delicious Desi, Greek, and Arab places in Gazi. The mixed culinary scene in Athens is amazing.

I take the metro and occasional Uber to/from work, which runs about $100-150 per month. $50/month for a basic gym membership.

Entertainment is quite affordable – movies are $5-8, bars/clubs $20-40 for a night out if you don’t go too crazy. Though I do make an effort to sample Athens’ lively nightlife scene regularly!

All in all, I probably spend around $2000 per month while living a very comfortable lifestyle with the ability to sample Athens’ incredible cultural/culinary diversity. Cost of living here is quite reasonable for a major European capital city.

Posts: 14
GloriaSunlover @gloriasunlover
Joined: 2 years ago

As a California retiree, I’ve been absolutely loving the Athens life for the past two years! The sunshine, hospitality, and low costs have made for an affordable, fun retirement.

I rent a cozy but nicely updated 1-bedroom apartment in the low-key Neos Kosmos neighborhood for only $600 per month. It’s a 15 minute metro ride from all the major sites, but the local vibe is so charming.

Groceries and household items are very economical – I probably spend $200 per month shopping the local markets and stocking up on cheap Greek produce, bread, cheese, etc. Eating out is a major splurge, but so affordable – $15-20 for delicious meals at local haunts.

With the great weather, I walk everywhere locally and take the metro to get around the city for just $30/month. Doctors are also quite cheap with my Medicare policy – maybe $20 co-pays.

My biggest indulgence is traveling around Greece and the Mediterranean at least 2-3 times per year, leveraging Athens’ cheap flights and hotels in the off-season.

Overall, my monthly costs are likely under $1,500 per month even while living an active, socially-engaged retirement lifestyle full of cafe hopping, walking tours, and travel. Athens provides such incredible value – the warm climate and friendly culture are just huge bonuses on top of the low costs.

Posts: 9
GreekFoodTruckFan @greekfoodtruckfan
Joined: 4 months ago

I’m a young freelance graphic designer, and Athens has been great for maintaining an affordable, fun lifestyle with low overhead costs. A few keys:

Housing: I keep it pretty minimal, renting a sunny studio apartment in the artsy, bohemian Exarcheia neighborhood for $450 per month. Simple but perfect for just me.

Food: I love Athens’ incredible street food scene! Between affordable souvlaki joints ($4), Greek bakeries ($2 cheese pies), and the amazing food truck parks (full meals $6-10), I rarely cook at home. Maybe $300/month all in.

Transportation: I use the metro and buses heavily for $30/month, plus $30 or so for occasional Uber trips. Bike rental subscriptions are cheap too ($25/month) for cruising around the city.

Entertainment: There’s so much to do for low costs – $5 movies, $3 beers out with friends, cool music/art events and exhibitions for $10 or less. I probably spend $150-200 per month.

Office/Internet: As a freelancer, I get by with $40/month for internet at home and working out of cozy, atmospheric cafes when I need a change of scenery.

In total, I likely spend around $1200 per month to live a simple but very fulfilling, social lifestyle in Athens as a creative freelancer on a tight budget. The affordable costs have allowed me to save money while immersing myself in this amazing historic yet modern city.

Posts: 15
KoulouriGirl @koulourigirl
Joined: 18 days ago

As a lifelong Athenian, I have to agree with others that the cost of living here is very reasonable overall, especially compared to other major European cities I’ve visited. The key is being flexible and embracing the local Greek lifestyle:

Housing: I rent a simple yet spacious 2-bedroom apartment in the lively Patissia area for only $500 per month. Sure, it’s not fancy, but it’s a great local neighborhood with all amenities nearby. $75 covers utilities.

Food: I spend around $150 per month on fresh Greek produce, cheese, bread, olives, olive oil, etc from the local markets and bakeries. So flavorful and affordable! That covers most meals at home. I’ll maybe spend another $100 per month eating out at casual tavernas.

Transportation: With no car, it’s just a $30 monthly transit pass for getting around easily. I walk everywhere locally.

Entertainment: This is where I probably splurge more than the average Athenian. $50 per month for a neighborhood gym, $75 for movies/concerts/theater, and $150 for nights out at bars, clubs, and restaurants in areas like Gazi. But so much fun to be had for reasonable costs!

I likely spend around $1200 per month to live a very fulfilling life filled with delicious food, culture, nightlife, and an active social circle. Athens is such an amazing city when you embrace the laid-back Greek lifestyle and keep things simple!

Posts: 9

Detailed Price Insights of Abilene, TX

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant – 22.00 $
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – 35.00 $
  • McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) – 11.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) – 8.00 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 10.00 $
  • Cappuccino (regular) – 3.00 $
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.00 $
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.00 $
  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – 0.99 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 2.36 $
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – 4.31 $
  • Eggs (regular) (12) – 2.79 $
  • Local Cheese (1kg) – 12.67 $
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) – 6.59 $
  • Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) – 11.02 $
  • Apples (1kg) – 4.39 $
  • Banana (1kg) – 1.37 $
  • Oranges (1kg) – 4.35 $
  • Tomato (1kg) – 4.52 $
  • Potato (1kg) – 3.26 $
  • Onion (1kg) – 4.27 $
  • Lettuce (1 head) – 2.27 $
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) – 1.84 $
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) – 13.50 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – 1.78 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 3.41 $
  • Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) – 7.00 $
  • Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) – 5.00 $
  • Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) – 3.11 $
  • Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) – 50.00 $
  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 0.83 $
  • Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) – 34,689.37 $
  • Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) – 24,975.64 $
  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment – 215.33 $
  • Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data – 64.86 $
  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) – 57.50 $
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat – 8.00 $
  • Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child – 1,802.11 $
  • International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child – 25,965.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) – 59.25 $
  • 1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) – 58.50 $
  • 1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) – 161.25 $
  • 1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes – 143.33 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre – 900.00 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre – 750.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre – 1,500.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre – 1,200.00 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre – 2,013.00 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre – 2,013.00 $
  • Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) – 8,333.33 $
  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate – 6.66
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