Working and Living in Greece

Labor market

No work permit is required to carry out a professional activity. There is almost no legal framework for an employment contract. That is why you should pay attention to the most important key data (e.g. start of work, time limit, remuneration, 40-hour week) and agree on this in writing.

On average, work in Greece is paid much less than in German-speaking countries. Finding work here is not easy as job placement is often informal. Every second job is mediated through family or friendship relationships. In addition, employers are not obliged to report vacancies to the employment office. At 17.5 percent (January 2021), the unemployment rate is one of the highest in Europe.

If you are looking for a job in Greece, according to countryvv, you should first contact the euro advisor at your employment office. The Greek Employment Agency (OAED) provides training and job placement opportunities in centers across the country. In Athens, the OAED also has an office for the placement of specialists and executives in the service sector and in industry. The tourism industry offers most job opportunities, but well-trained specialists from the IT or craft sector are also occasionally sought.

To start work in Greece you should have at least a basic knowledge of the Greek language. Test here for free how well you can speak and understand Greek right now (takes about 3 minutes).

Homeschooling, homeschooling, free learning

An increasingly popular alternative to normal school attendance is homeschooling (home tuition or home tuition) or free learning (unschooling). Home schooling is generally illegal in Greece. However, it is allowed for children with special needs.

One possibility to be examined is to have children with special needs taught at home in German by the Wilhelm von Humboldt Online Private School. This means that children can be taught according to the German curriculum by teachers who are accredited in Germany and thus be prepared for the secondary school leaving certificate and the Abitur – information HERE.

Real estate – buy or rent

Foreigners from the EU can easily buy or rent real estate in Greece. However, it is advantageous to use a licensed real estate agency for help.

Cost of living

In some areas, such as drinks, the cost of living is well above the European level. Fruit and vegetables, on the other hand, are cheaper.

You would need around € 2,621.72 in Athens to maintain the same standard of living that you could have in Berlin with € 3,700.00 (assuming you rent in the cities).

  • Consumer prices in Athens are 17.53% lower than in Berlin (excluding rent)
  • Consumer prices including rent in Athens are 29.14% lower than in Berlin
  • Rental prices in Athens are 54.65% lower than in Berlin
  • Restaurant prices in Athens are 9.87% lower than in Berlin
  • Food prices in Athens are 20.28% lower than in Berlin
  • Local purchasing power in Athens is 54.95% lower than in Berlin

Average cost of living in Athens (from 07/2020 – 06/2021)

Restaurant Ø € Price € Price from / to
Food, price w. restaurant 10.00 5.00 – 20.00
Middle class, 3 courses for 2 people. 40.00 30.00 – 60.00
Local beer, 0.5 l 4.00 2.50-5.00
Imported beer, 0.33 l 5.00 3.00 – 6.50
cappuccino 2.85 1.60-4.00
Coca / Pepsi (0.33 l) 1.69 1.00-3.00
Water (0.33 l) 0.50 0.50-0.50
Food Ø € Price € Price from / to
Milk (1 L) 1.19 0.90-1.50
White bread (500g) 0.76 0.50-1.00
Rice (white), (1kg) 1.82 0.90-3.40
Eggs (12) 3.10 1.56-4.80
Local cheese (1kg) 8.29 6.00-14.00
Chicken breast fillet (1kg) 7.09 4.00 – 9.00
Beef (1kg) 9.47 7.00-12.00
Apples (1kg) 1.49 0.70-2.00
Bananas (1kg) 1.46 1.09 – 2.50
Oranges (1kg) 0.96 0.40-2.00
Tomatoes (1kg) 1.41 0.80-2.05
Potatoes (1kg) 0.80 0.50-1.30
Onions (1kg) 0.76 0.49 – 1.40
Lettuce (1 head) 0.57 0.40-1.00
Water (1.5 l) 0.81 0.30 – 1.50
Bottle of wine (middle class) 6.00 4.00 – 12.00
Local beer (0.5 l) 1.33 0.90-2.00
Imported beer (0.33 l) 2.11 1.00-3.00

Average costs for local transport, utilities, clothing, leisure, education of Athens (from 07/2020 – 06/2021) Source:

Mode of Transport Ø € Price € Price from / to
One-time ticket 1.30 1.20 – 1.50
Monthly pass 30.00 30.00-30.00
Taxi base amount 3.44 3.00-4.00
Taxi 1 km 0.74 0.74 – 1.00
Ancillary housing costs Ø € Price € Price from / to
for 85 sqm apartment (electricity, water, garbage, etc. 140.85 90.00-250.00
1 minute prepaid mobile tariff 0.32 0.06-0.74
Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable / ADSL) 32.79 25.00 – 50.00
Clothes, shoes Ø € Price € Price from / to
Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 70.73 30.00 – 100.00
Summer dress (Zara, H&M,… 28.66 15.00 – 50.00
Nike sports shoes, middle class 71.85 50.00-100.00
Leather business shoes 86.17 50.00-120.00
leisure time Ø € Price € Price from / to
Fitness center, month / adult 26.26 6.67-50.00
Tennis, 1 hour on weekends 19.31 10.00-30.00
a movie ticket 8.00 7.00 – 9.00
training Ø € Price € Price from / to
Preschool / Kindergarten, private, whole day, monthly per child 409.60 350.00 – 600.00
International primary school per year and child 7,237.93 4,500.00 – 12,000.00

The rents for apartments and commercial spaces are (still) below the German level, at least in provincial areas, but have risen above average in recent years.

Note for owners of a property in Greece:
Regardless of their nationality and place of residence, all owners of a property in Greece are obliged to submit a tax return in Greece and, in particular, to meticulously fill out the “E9” form.

Average rental prices / purchase and salaries of Athens (from 07/2020 – 06/2021) Source:

Monthly rental price Ø € Price € Price from / to
Apartment (1 bedroom) in the city center 400.00 300.00 – 600.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) outside the center 351.30 250.00 – 500.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in the city center 717.73 600.00 – 1,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside the center 639.42 500.00 – 1,000.00
Purchase price of apartments Ø € Price € Price from / to
Price per square meter for an apartment in the city – purchase 1,658.43 1,200.00 – 2,500.00
Price per square meter – apartment outside the center – purchase 1,644.12 1,000.00 – 2,500.00
wages Ø € Price € Price from / to
Average monthly salary (after taxes) 829.31

Emigration and living in Greece

Anyone who can cope with this culture, which is different for German standards and has sufficient finances, can enjoy the sunny side of Greece. If you have to work, you should only dare to take the step if you have a secure and very well paid job and if you have sufficient command of the Greek language. At the moment, however, it is not yet possible to foresee where the economic situation in Greece will develop. Great care must be taken. Young Greeks in particular increasingly want to leave the country. Some advantages: Free of nuclear power, cost of living a little cheaper (LHK-I 81.3).

Working and Living in Greece

About the author