Moving to Greece as an expat is an ideal environment for both remote working, and retirement is certainly not in doubt.
From lower living expenses, mild winters, plenty of good food, and magnificent nature, there are uncountable reasons to consider moving to Greece for either activity.
By the way, if you are ready to move now to Greece either for business or your retirement, then this company is highly experienced in that and will help you out (website is in Greek, but they speak fluent English).
To make your movement into Greece to find work or retirement worthwhile and hassle-free, you need to familiarize yourself with all that surrounds the issue.
We have broken this article about moving to Greece into two parts for the sake of handling the issue.
The first part shall discuss Greece in its entirety, whereas the second segment shall highlight and examine some of the hottest tips you have to adhere to if you ever hope to make your transition to Greece hassle-free.
Part 1: Moving To Greece: The Country
It is a bit rough to describe the whole of Greece in just one post, right? Best to read all posts regarding Greece from here.
However, we will keep it short here and expand on things to know when you decide to move to Greece.
Cost of Living in Greece
As has already been hinted above, the cost of living in Greece is comparatively lower than in the rest of Europe.
The per capita income is a paltry 18,613.42, which is almost one-fifth of Switzerland’s 80,189.70.
For this reason, goods cost comparatively cheaper here than in the rest of Europe.
It is also worth noting that the costs of living vary significantly within Greece itself.
Expect to part with more money to stay afloat in major commercial centers like Athens, Patras, and Thessaloniki, but less for cities like Kalamata, Volos, Ioannina, Kavala, Sparti.
Life outside of major cities is far less expensive. Perhaps that is the reason many who choose Greece after retirement wants low-cost such towns.
As you recede to the rural areas, though, the costs drop significantly.
The same case applies to different times of the year. The winter months are generally more expensive than the summer or spring.
This is because you have to pay more for heating and food in response to the cold weather.
Is Greece Safe?
YES, it is! In recent times, Greece has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. From the loan defaults to bailouts to civil unrest.
However, despite these sporadic moments of anarchy and economic crisis, Greece is for a large part of a peaceful country.
The U.S. Department of State has never issued any travel advisory to its citizens not to visit the country.
What’s more? Greece probably experiences one of the lowest levels of crime in the world. (It ranks position 39 among the world’s safest countries).
Its safety is further couched for by the fact that each summer, millions(!) of tourists from all walks of life travel to the nation to experience its historical wonders.
Moving to Greece and Living in Athens
Moving to Athens, Greece, from any destination within Europe and around the world, is a highly subjective matter.
It is all dependent on the nature of your visit and the length of time you intend to spend in the nation.
On the whole, though, the nation of Greece and the city of Athens, in particular, is open to tourists, retirees, expats, and workers.
To get to the city from within continental Europe, road and rail would be the better options. This is informed by their cheaper costs and ready accessibility and flexibility.
Moreover, they can also accommodate plenty of cargo at almost no extra cost.
If you, however, intend to get into the city from outside the European Union or other far-flung areas, air would be the better option.
It is subjected to limited bureaucracy, is faster, and more comfortable.
Athens has a busy and internationally renowned Athens International Airport, which connects it to the four corners of the earth.
Though not a port city, Athens is also easily accessible via the adjacent Aegean/Mediterranean seas.
Cruise ships and cargo vessels dock at the nearby Piraeus Harbor, a fact that makes it possible to get into the city via the sea as well.
Where to Stay in Athens after Moving to Greece?
Greece is far cheaper than in other European countries. The decision of the area to stay depends on your income.
Many who come to Greece after their retirement, prefer locations outside of the main cities.
These two web sites are a perfect base to check out for the cost of living in Greece.
If you intend to move into the city to look for work or retire and your income is not that high, you definitely will want a cheaper neighborhood.
Expensive neighborhoods will eat into your savings and cause you unnecessary financial stress in the process.
Below are some of the three low-cost neighborhoods for your consideration:
This inexpensive neighborhood contains streets that are adorned with politically-charged murals.
Along the streets are anarchist bookshops and other stores that sell the rare vinyl and vintage guitars, among other merchandise.
A fully furnished and serviced one-bedroom apartment may go for as little as $29 per month here!
This is yet another low-cost neighborhood which is surrounded by market stalls and other low-end shops. Homes here are also cheaper and very affordable.
Moreover, by setting base here, you will have all that you need within your easy reach.
This assures you reduced transport costs and a fair degree of convenience.
Kypseli is perhaps the most populated neighborhood in Athens.
It occupies central Athens spans much of the 6th municipal department of Athens, and has a population of around 50,000 people.
It attracts many due to the meager cost of housing here. Its congested nature, coupled with poor amenities, may, however, not be great for those who value space.
On the other hand, if you are looking for upper-scale neighborhoods, then Kifissia, Ekali, Politeia, Maroussi are for you.
Yet, areas like Koukaki, Pangrati, Kolonaki area at the Athens center in case you work near there.
For many, Metro is the key to decide where to stay, live, and work. Here is all the info you need for Metro stations, and their neighborhood areas.
Top Τhings to Do in Athens When You Move to Greece
The city of Athens has an oversupply of places of interest, amenities, and other breathtaking attractions for anyone to explore.
You can read this post for more than 40 things to do in Athens only.
Listed and explained hereunder are but a few of those attractions:
Gaze the city below from the Acropolis of Athens vantage point
This is a hilltop temple monument that traces its roots back to the 5th-century BC.
Today, it is a ruin which serves as a silent reminder of this once admirable and busy temple.
You want to get here to capture photos and ‘travel back in time.’ Its strategic location also accords excellent views of the city skyline.
Take Photos at the Parthenon
Just like the Acropolis, the Parthenon is also a temple ruin. This iconic structure also traces its roots back to the 5th BC.
It is yet again a beautiful place to take photos, relive Greece’s incredible past and gaze the city of Athens below.
Explore Greece’s past at the Acropolis Museum
Containing ancient treasures that are encased in a contemporary venue, the Acropolis Museum is a ‘must visit’ venue by any lover of matters history.
It houses some ancient artifacts which are drawn from the Acropolis archaeological site.
Its ultramodern glass and steel construction makes it all the more attractive to behold as well.
Eat out at the Plaka
Even though Plaka is primarily an Acropolis temple ruin area, it has since been converted into an area with multiple taverns, small bars, and intense nightlife.
Visit the Temple of Olympian Zeus
Lastly, you have the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus to visit.
It is a sanctuary that was once dedicated to the worship of Zeus.
A visit to the site will elicit the memories of Greece’s golden age and help you appreciate how far the nation has come.
Read our Athens related post and the post for day trips from Athens.
How to Move to Athens
To make an excellent move to Athens, you have to get a couple of issues right. A number of these are discussed below:
Work Permit Requirements
To be eligible for work in Greece, you will have to acquire a valid work permit if you are a non-EU citizen.
In most cases, the permits are readily issued to people who have skills that are in high demand in the nation.
On some rare occasions, though, the permits may be given out to those who are able and willing to do jobs which the locals are unwilling to do.
Either way, you have to obtain the permit to engage in any meaningful economic activity as you may land in trouble by flouting this rule.
Learn the Language: Greek
Even though Greek people understand and also speak other European languages like German, French, and English, they use their language most of the time for local transactions.
You will, therefore, have to make an effort to learn it if you ever hope to make your stay in the nation fruitful and hassle-free.
Start with some of the standard terms like greetings and directions, as you will need them more often.
You will have to travel a lot from Athens and Greece. To succeed in this, you will have to acquire a map or a GPS-enabled device.
The monthly pass may perhaps be your safest pair of gloves as it grants you unconstrained access to transportation everywhere in Athens apart from the airport for only €30.
Rules and Regulations
Just like every other city, Athens has its own rules and regulations.
You must familiarize yourself with them to be able to say on the right side of the law.
These regulations cover what you can, cannot do, and the accompanying penalties.
For instance, there are some designated smoking zones, times when you cannot visit some districts, and so on.
Invest some time to get to know about these issues before or almost immediately after making a move.
Healthcare System in Greece
Even many Greeks have private healthcare insurance, on top of their public insurance. The public hospitals in the country suffer more or less from the same reasons that affect public health in most countries in the world.
Private healthcare insurance is not that expensive in Greece and worths to checkout plans that can cover your needs in the country and internationally.
Money and Credit Cards
All means of payment and collecting money applies to Greece. Cash is still prevalent and stores accept credit cards are widely accepted.
Part 2: Tips for Moving to Greece
To make your move to Greece a success, you have to adhere to certain principles and best practices.
We have bothered to identify and explain a couple of these hot tips here-under:
Carry out Extensive Research Before Moving to Greece
You have to carry out extensive research beforehand. You have to know the geography, demography, culture, and a little bit of the history of Greece as a whole and the portion, you intend to set up base in particular.
Doing this will prevent unnecessary culture shocks, which many confront when they get to places which they are utterly unfamiliar with.
At the same time, you will also settle faster and blend seamlessly in your new environment.
Do Not ‘burn bridges’ With What You Leave Behind
Most people are often excited to relocate elsewhere. The thought that all may not be well in their new destination never even cross their minds.
The sad reality, though is that these issues indeed do arise. It is only fair that you prepare appropriately for them.
One of the surest ways of guaranteeing this is by not burning any bridges you leave behind.
Do not be so quick to sell your things, resign from your job, or abandon your business, among others.
Instead, leave these investments intact as you might typically have to return to your native land.
Hire a Reliable Moving Company for Moving to Greece
To be assured of smooth moving experience, you have to hire and make use of a reliable moving company.
Get online and choose only that company whose moving track record is impeccable. You will surely spend more but at least be guaranteed a smooth transition and reduced likelihood of pilferage or loss of property.
We suggest this company as we know them and have used their services.
Inform your Friends or Sponsors for Moving to Greece, in Advance
Before departing your native land, be sure to inform your peers and colleagues in Greece of your impending entry or relocation into Greece.
This will prepare them in advance of your coming and enable them to adapt to welcome you well.
Conclusion on Moving to Greece
You are strongly advised to move in phases.
Visit Greece and start by relocating yourself. Familiarize yourself with what it means to live in the country.
Stay in Greece for some time, around one year or so, before bringing in the rest of the family. This is to give you some space to study the environment and acclimatize.
It will also help you to enable your family to adjust to the new environment with ease. Moving to Greece all at once may lead to family breakdowns and the attendant emotional issues.
If you come from a country that is highly organized, be prepared for some troubles in your daily routine and arm yourself with patience.
When are you making a move to Greece?
Given the remarkable benefits and resources that Greece has to offer, you cannot afford to drag your feet in this.