16 Pros And Cons Of Living In Greece

Updated On October 9, 2023

For many people, living in Greece sounds like a dream.

Enjoying the Mediterranean coast, eating delicious food, and exploring ancient ruins might just be heaven on earth.

But like anywhere else on the planet, there are both benefits and drawbacks to living in Greece.

Whether you are planning to start a new life in Athens or move to a remote island off the coast, here is everything you need to know before you pack your bags for Greece.


Pros of Living in Greece

Greece is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, but it is also a great place to live.

Here are some of the biggest reasons that people say they love living in Greece.

1. Cost Of Living Is Low

The cost of living in Greece is surprisingly low, especially in comparison to elsewhere in Europe.

Many people find that they get on quite well, especially when it comes to housing costs, transportation, and groceries.

The exception is in the popular tourist areas, where costs are often driven up.

However, if you are living in a rural area or a part of the country that isn’t a tourist hotspot, costs are highly affordable.

2. The Weather Is Stunning

It should come as no surprise that the weather in Greece is gorgeous for much of the year.

Being in the Mediterranean means that the country enjoys an average of 250 sunny days annually.

Though winters can sometimes get cold and snowy, they are generally mild; summers, meanwhile, are quite hot and dry, with brilliant sunshine.

Despite the summer heat, you can also expect a refreshing breeze off the sea every day. 

3. Greek Culture Is Welcoming

Greeks are famously warm and friendly, making tourists and newcomers alike feel right at home.

You are likely to find yourself swept up in a fun and fascinating culture, which includes many holidays and community events.

Greek culture emphasizes hospitality and social support, so you may be surprised at the outreach of your new community.

4. There Is An Abundance Of History

In case you didn’t know, there is a huge amount of history all around Greece!

On an average day, you might find yourself walking past ancient ruins or cultural sites.

Most of these charge low fees for admission, but they are usually highly affordable.

With thousands of years of history preserved, there is always something amazing to see in Greece, no matter where you are. 

5. Healthcare Is Affordable

In general, Greece has excellent healthcare.

Though there is a private insurance system, anyone in the country can access emergency services free of cost, so you will never have to worry about how you’ll pay for a broken bone or an urgent operation.

There are both public and private options for healthcare, each of which has pros and cons.

6. Life Moves Slower

Many people say that they love the pace of life in Greece, which tends to be slower and less hectic than many other cultures.

Greeks value enjoying the simple pleasures of life, such as spending time with friends and relaxing.

This can be a big shift for people who come from a faster-paced society, but it also means that more people achieve a healthier work-life balance and are less stressed.

7. Greek Cuisine Is Excellent

Greek food is some of the most internationally-loved cuisines, and for a good reason.

Foodies will love living in a place with amazing cultural dishes.

Greek communities also place a heavy emphasis on the importance of good food and togetherness, so you can expect to have some excellent meals.

What is more, the Mediterranean diet tends to be extremely healthy, featuring plenty of healthy vegetables, meat, and seafood.

There are also countless regional specialties.

8. Crime Rates Are Low

Greece is an extremely safe country, with some of the lowest crime rates in Europe.

Violent crime is, in particular, quite rare, and the most commonly-reported crimes are theft-related ones, usually in larger cities or packed tourist areas.

Most residents say they feel safe on average, even while walking alone or out at night (though it’s important to practice street smarts in general).


Cons of Living in Greece

There are many benefits to living in Greece, but there are also drawbacks.

These are some of the main cons that residents bring up about living in Greece.

1. Healthcare Can Vary In Quality

Didn’t we mention that the Greek healthcare system is excellent?

In general, it is, but it can vary.

There are significant discrepancies between private and public healthcare providers, which can involve lower quality and longer wait times.

You may also have a difficult time accessing services in more rural areas.

Depending on where you are and what facility you visit, you might have trouble finding a provider who speaks English.

2. You Will Need Sponsorship To Work

Greece is home to the coveted “Golden Visa”, which allows ex-pats to get a five-year, renewable residency permit under the condition that they purchase the property.

However, to qualify for the visa, you need to be officially sponsored by a Greek employer.

This involves a lengthy application process and can raise problems in finding a stable job until you find a sponsor.

3. Greek Is Difficult To Learn

If you plan to learn to speak Greek — and it is a good idea if you plan on staying for a long time — you might have a surprisingly difficult time.

Greek is a tricky language that has few similarities to most Germanic or Romance languages; it also requires learning a new writing system.

There are big differences between written and spoken Greek, to add an extra layer of difficulty.

4. You Will Have To Deal With Tourists

Depending on where you live, you can expect to deal with a regular influx of tourists, especially at certain times of the year.

Living in Athens, for example, means sharing the city with more than six million tourists annually, while cities such as Heraklion and Rhodes get three million and 2.5 million, respectively.

That means more crowds, more noise, and other loud events, which can be irritating to deal with. 

5. The Bureaucracy Is Infamous

Greece has a reputation for bureaucracy, unlike almost any other country.

This is particularly evident in the healthcare system and in the government.

Many people cite this endless red tape as one of their least favorite parts of living in the country.

You can expect to be mired in paperwork for even basic applications, which can cause slow processes and significant frustration.

6. Paying Taxes Is Difficult

Paying taxes in Greece is notoriously complicated and time-consuming.

Even non-residents have to pay taxes, and there are additional rules for them.

Even if you speak some basic Greek, you are likely to find yourself lost in the language of finances and tax laws, so you may need to hire a certified accountant to help you navigate the tax process.

7. Non-Urban Living Can Be Outdated

Infrastructure in Greece is excellent, by and large, but it can also vary significantly depending on where you live.

If you move to the countryside or a more remote island, you might find yourself struggling to find resources.

This is particularly true when it comes to healthcare services and utilities such as Wi-Fi.

Don’t be surprised if non-urban living in Greece feels like stepping back in time.

8. It May Be Hard To Find Work

Finding work in Greece may be a complicated process.

This is especially true for ex-pats, but it is also the case for Greek residents as well.

Greece has a higher-than-average unemployment rate.

When it comes to non-residents, there are quite a few barriers in place.

Greek workplaces often prefer to hire EU residents.

That is not even to mention the fact that you’ll need an official sponsor and of course, you probably need to speak Greek.

Pros And Cons Of Living In Greece –  Summary Table

Pros of Living in GreeceCons of Living in Greece
1. Cost Of Living Is Low1. Healthcare Can Vary In Quality
2. The Weather Is Stunning2. You Will Need Sponsorship To Work
3. Greek Culture Is Welcoming3. Greek Is Difficult To Learn
4. There Is An Abundance Of History4. You Will Have To Deal With Tourists
5. Healthcare Is Affordable5. The Bureaucracy Is Infamous
6. Life Moves Slower6. Paying Taxes Is Difficult
7. Greek Cuisine Is Excellent7. Non-Urban Living Can Be Outdated
8. Crime Rates Are Low8. It May Be Hard To Find Work

Greece Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Greece Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Live in Greece Without Speaking Greek?

The answer to this question varies significantly depending on where you live.

In more popular tourist regions, you are likely to find people who speak English.

On the other hand, if you live in a more rural area, you might have a harder time finding English speakers.

Of course, if you plan on living in Greece for the long term, it will be easier and more convenient to learn at least some basic Greek.

Does Greece Pay You to Move There?

You may have heard that the Greek government will pay you to move there, but this is only true for certain highly specific areas.

In 2019, it was announced that the Greek island of Antikythera would pay people to move there in an effort to bolster its population, which had sunk to about 20.

How Much Money do You Need to Live Comfortably in Greece?

The cost of living in Greece tends to be fairly low, so you won’t need a lot of money to live comfortably.

Some estimates put the average costs for a single person at about €600 a month.

This is in line with the average monthly salary, at €1,182.

Is it Difficult to Move to Greece?

If you are a citizen of the European Union, it is fairly easy to move to Greece.

The difficulty comes if you are a resident of a non-EU country, in which case you will need to undergo a lengthier and more complex application process, especially if you want to work.

Can I Move to Greece Without a Job?

The answer to this, again, partially relies on your country of origin.

Citizens of the EU have a much easier time moving to Greece regardless of their employment status.

On the other hand, people from outside the European Union are likely to need sponsorship from a prospective employer before they can apply for residency.

4 Comments on 16 Pros And Cons Of Living In Greece

  1. T
    Terri Watson says:

    Would like some information on the Island of Antikythera. My fiance and I are retired and l we are Expats living in Mexico. We love the idea of moving to Antikythera. Any info would greatly appreciated.

    1. I recently heard that they are no longer taking applicants. I suggest checking with the Orthodox church as they were the stipend sponsors.

  2. V
    Valentina says:

    If I have a remote job that I can do anywhere as long as I can apply for a land-line. Will I still need sponsorship??

  3. T
    The Old Ranger says:

    I am 80, retired, and am interested in retiring to one of the offshore islands. I am not interested in working, but would like to live in an area that has decent internet service. My retirement fund is about $75K…. is this enough to live comfortably in Greece?

Leave a Comment

Facebook Pinterest Comment Comment