Greece for Digital Nomads: The Definitive Guide 2021
Last updated on September 2nd, 2021
Greece for Digital Nomads: The Definitive Guide 2021
Greece is one of the latest countries to be planning to launch the digital nomad visa. Despite the weak economy, the country is slowly turning into a top destination for entrepreneurs, remote workers, and digital nomads. So, while it is making many political and bureaucratic policies towards this goal, its natural landscape, and pristine tourism industry is also adding to their efforts.
How would it be like to spend a part of your professional life in a European country, surrounded by the deep blue ocean and breathtaking views? Keeping this aside, it has got everything that a digital nomad needs to work, live peacefully, enjoy life, and that too at a reduced price.
So, if you’re thinking of Greece as your next destination for remote-working, read along. Here you will find everything you need to know before moving. From best places and cities to live to party hotspots, we have rounded up everything in detail.
So, dive right in!
Places to Live: Accommodation in Greece
No matter which Greek city you are moving to, you are likely to have a hard time finding accommodation. Therefore to save you from that pain, we have rounded the places you can live in as a digital nomad.
Coliving Spaces: In co-living spaces, a group of people shares the accommodation, and the amenities present there. These people share the kitchen, bathroom, and living area. Sometimes, people also share the bedrooms to save money or when they cannot find any other place to live.
Note: Long-term stays often have lower rates than monthly rentals.
Rental Apartments: Rental apartments are best if you are moving with your family or prefer privacy. These are usually short-flexible term rentals, but the least you have to stay for is one month. Besides, these might be a little more expensive than coliving spaces. You can find these apartments through various Facebook pages.
Airbnb: Airbnb is increasingly becoming the primary choice of every digital nomad in Greece. It makes you feel like a real home, and you can stay relaxed for the entire duration you are there. You can find these online easily and make a booking.
Hotels: Digital nomads in Greece looking for more luxurious accommodation with free internet access, hot showers, laundry, and sometimes even breakfast, can book a room in a hotel.
Caution: This is a costly option.
Hostels: This is the best choice for nomads who want to meet new people and form networks. Most importantly, hostels are absolutely affordable and somewhat similar to coliving spaces.
Places to Work: Coworking in Greece
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of coworking places in Greece. These hubs not only provide office space and desks but also helped in building lively communities where people share ideas, contacts, and skills. Here are some famous coworking places in the country.
Impact Hub—Psirri: This tree-lined courtyard in Athens provides a flexible workplace to freelancers and other self-employed businessmen. They also organize talks, conferences, and screenings.
Colab Athens: It was the first coworking space in Greece. It is a technology and business-oriented space. It mostly offers start-up and entrepreneurs accelerator programs and workshops to kickstart and develop their business.
THERMI link: This one is the only coworking place in Thessaloniki. Launched in 2011, it supports all businesses in whichever stages of their life cycle. Working from here will extend your opportunities to meet and collaborate with top professionals.
Camp: This is not recognized as a typical coworking place but offers a community to bring people together and work on projects.
If you do not find an ideal coworking place in Greece, do not get disheartened. Since the country is known for its food and cafes, you are likely to find one where you can sit and work for long hours. Most of these cafes provide free-wifi as well!.
Best of all, because of Greek’s late-night culture, you are not bound to wind up the work and move back home at 7 pm. Instead, most of these cafes remain open till late hours. Therefore, you can schedule a night call with your client in a different continent or time-zone.
Places to Meet: Networking in Greece
Coworking places are the best places to meet top professionals in Greece and exchange business ideas and plans. Besides, there are some big entrepreneur networking groups in the country, like
- Thessaloníki WordPress Meetup, Thessaloníki
- Open Coffee Heraklion, Iráklion
- Athens Startups and Business Network Cluster, Athens
- INNOVAThess, Thessaloníki
- Hellas Business Club (Αθήνα), Athens
Apart from these, there are many Facebook groups like Work Remote in Greece or Digital Nomads Athens. Also, there are several meetups where digital nomads and remote workers can connect with like-minded individuals.
Digital Banking in Greece
One thing a digital nomad in Greece is always considerate about is his finances. Since their native country’s bank account is not operational overseas, expats are left helpless and have no option other than stuffing pockets with cash. (However, most places accept only cash, so it’s essential to keep some whenever you step out).
One solution that Greece has provided is that of digital banking. Now nomads can make transactions with their mobile phones or laptops provided that they have opted for online banking services. N26 Bank is a popular option. You should also check out Transferwise (Wise) as a currency exchange solution.
There are several local and international banks in Greece, the most prominent ones being Alpha Bank, Euro Bank Ergasias, National Bank of Greece, and Piraeus Bank. Moreover, internet and mobile banking are easily available in these banks. You just have to open an account in one of these providing your documents and a Greek Tax Number (AFM).
With an organized transportation system, Greece is well connected with the rest of the world. Furthermore, all cities and small towns too are connected by roads and air as well.
This is the only city in the country to have a metro along with an urban and suburban railway and a tram network. The ticket is affordable. The structure is like 1.40 euros one and a half hours devoid of the distance you have traveled. Moreover, the e-tickets are not yet implemented completely, and people buy paper tickets from the vending machines available at every stop.
Even in the remotest islands of Greece, taxis are readily available and are really cheap. The minimum fare is 3.47 euros. Also, traveling by taxi has been considered very safe with zero incidents of fraud or violence. Some old drivers may smoke while driving and talk rudely.
Buses and trains
There are extensive train and bus networks in the country. Bus tickets are cheap and can be easily bought at bus stops or while onboard.
Renting a car to travel around is one of the most secure ways. There are a number of agencies that offer rental services at the airport and other common places. Besides, make sure to go through all the traffic rules before stepping into the driving seat.
Food and groceries
Food and groceries and Greece are relatively affordable in Greece than in many other EU countries. Moreover, the best part is that the prices are mostly consistent and so you can plan your budget well in advance.
Besides, the best place to buy fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables are at the local market. These markets are a lot cheaper than the supermarkets. Besides, you’re likely to find a huge variety of olives, honey, cheese, and other Greek products here. Moreover, these local streets will let you explore and taste the real Greek food items.
Furthermore, Greece is famous for its range of food options like the Greek souvlaki (grilled skewers of meat or chicken in pita bread), seafood, and pies. Oh yes, the Greeks love to have cold coffee throughout the year!
If the clothes are hand washable, you can wash them easily in the bathroom basin and later hang them out to dry. In fact, many hotels provide a drying rack on the balcony. In addition, there are a few dry cleaners shops in the country.
Besides, there are self-service laundry facilities all around Greece called the laundromat. You just have to select one commercial washer depending on the number of clothes to be washed. However, you will need to bring your own detergent. In case you do not have one, buy it from the vending machine.
Make sure you follow all the instructions. Not to mention, self-service laundry is really cheap.
Alternatively, if you are staying at a hotel or Airbnb, you can avail their laundry services. Sometimes, the accommodation packages include laundry as well. However, this may be a bit costlier.
Leisure & Lifestyle
Now, apart from the hectic working schedule throughout the week, everybody deserves a break. And guess what, Greece has something to offer for everyone present in the country. It has a rocking nightlife, and one can experience a number of fun outdoor and indoor activities. Have a look.
Nightlife in Greece
Greece boasts a dynamic nightlife. Whichever city you are in, Greeks will certainly show you how they party without setting their pocket ablaze. People there love to go out to enjoy all types of music, dances, drinks, and food! Athens, Psiri, Keramikos, and Thessaloniki are some of the favorite party destinations of digital nomads in Greece.
If you wish to go outdoors and explore the real beauty of the country, go for a weekend away from the city. Stay on the mainland and travel the islands. You can go for water sports, hiking trails, canyoning, kayaking, paragliding, and fly fishing. Moreover, you can also go cycling in the woods or practice yoga outdoors. There is a lot to do in Greece!
Greece has an exciting culture and many museums worth visiting. If you want to spend a calm and silent weekend, the museums and old castles are the best escape. There are many historical monuments, entertainment venues, and recreational hubs.
Cost of Living in Greece
The cost of living in Greece is economical. Although the prices have increased in recent years, the country is still affordable than other European countries. Moreover, it depends on the place you have chosen to stay.
Cost of Accommodation in Greece
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation
|In an expensive area||€780|
|In a normal area||€518|
|Other expenses (gas, electricity)||€115|
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sq ft) furnished accommodation
|In an expensive area||€485|
|In a normal area||€335|
|Other expenses (gas, electricity)||€78|
Cost of Food and Drink in Greece
|Appetiser or salad (dining out)||€6 – €9|
|Basic lunch (drink included, dining out)||€14|
|A day’s bread for a couple||€0.78|
|A cup of coffee + cheese pie||€5|
|Cost of 1 litre milk||€1.27|
|1 bottle of good quality red table wine||€10|
|Cost of 0.5 l domestic beer||€1.16|
|Total average monthly grocery cost (all food essentials)||€205|
Cost of Transportation in Greece
|Minimum taxi fare per mile||€0.80|
|Bus/ train fare in city centre||€1.40|
|Average monthly ticket public transport||€30|
|One way metro||€1.2|
|1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas||€1.45|
|Traveling between islands by ferries||Under €100|
Best Cities for Digital Nomads in Greece
Out of all the cities and islands that welcome digital nomads, we have enlisted the best ones.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest Greek city and is also included in the list of 20 best cities globally for digital nomads. It has a range of coworking spaces, restaurants, and fitness centers. It is well-connected with the rest of the cities and countries through a major domestic and international transportation network.
Moreover, with an enriched history and culture, you can learn the most about the country.
- The average monthly rent in Thessaloniki is € 305.24 (small accommodation).
- It is not over-crowded or touristy.
- You will get to relish the amazing variety and taste of food.
- There are many digital nomad-friendly cafes.
Caution: It can get too chilly during winters.
This is one of the main islands of the country and is situated in the southeastern part of Greece. Rhodes has the longest summer season in the country, making it digital nomad-friendly, full of energy, and party places. Although the place is a little tourism-oriented, you can easily find a spot away from the crowded hotspots.
- The average monthly rent in Rhodes is € 234 (small accommodation).
- It offers a decent internet speed with 3.83 Mbps (download speed).
Caution: Limited healthcare options.
Patras is a busy port city and has been an important center of trade for centuries. There are a lot of fancy bars and restaurants, one of the reasons it remains a hub for university students. It is an ideal location for digital nomads in Greece, with many people to form networks with and escape away for the weekend. Not to mention, there are some marvelous beaches nearby.
- The average monthly rent in Patras is € 255 (small accommodation).
- The average internet download speed is 13.7 Mbps.
- There are many open spaces for working, hosting meetings, and also free coffee in the coworking.
Caution: The city doesn’t have any airports.
For several years now, Athens has attracted a lot of digital nomads. The Greek capital offers a combination of climate, quality life, and affordable cost of living. Moreover, it is a transit hub for the whole of Europe. There is a never-ending range of monuments and several UNESCO world heritage sites.
- The average monthly rent in Athens is around € 300 (small accommodation).
- It has everything a digital nomad in Greece or anywhere in the world needs, like cafes, gyms, coworking spaces, and delicious food.
- The average internet connection speed is 18 Mbps.
Caution: The city is mostly polluted and crowded.
Santorini is one of the most wonderful islands in the country. With its blue domes, whitewashed walls, and a breathtaking view of the ocean, it is not only a favorite tourist spot but also becoming one for digital nomads. Although the island is a little expensive, there’s no harm in experiencing the island life for a few months.
- The average monthly rent in Santorini is €305 (small accommodation)
- It is neither too crowded nor bustling.
- A lot to do over the weekend or after working hours.
Caution: A person may feel isolated if he stays for a longer time.
The not-so-great parts of living in Greece
- For a digital nomad, Athens is the most exciting place in Greece, simultaneously the most expensive. Therefore, we recommend that you stay there for a maximum of two weeks before moving. Besides, during summer it’s scorching, and some parts of the city are really dirty and shabby.
- If you decide to put up on an island, note that you might not get a good internet connection over there. Not to mention, a digital nomad cannot work in a no-internet-zone.
- Greeks like to deal in cash more than digitally. Therefore, chances are your credit cards might not work everywhere.
- Almost half of the population smokes in Greece. So, you will have to avoid coughing or raising your eyebrow while stuck at a place full of smokers. If you just can’t stand it, request politely for the person to move aside.
Visas & Entry Requirements: What type of visa do I need to live in Greece?
Non-EU citizens wishing to work in Greece require a visa to enter the country. Moreover, if you plan on staying for less than 90 days, you need not apply for a residence permit. A tourist visa would do the needful.
Moreover, you will have to apply for a Schengen Greece visa, whatever be the purpose of your visit.
Greece Digital Nomad Visa
Greece’s government is planning to introduce a special visa for digital nomads, which would permit internationals engaged in remote jobs, to work from Greece.
The plan agreed mutually between Greece’s Ministers of Migration, and Foreign Affairs aims to help remote workers choose the advanced way of working. It has also been reported that the visa will be combined with tax incentives in order to attract permanent investments.
Internet Connection: Wifi Speed
The Internet is indeed an indispensable part of a digital nomad’s life. Greece has an average internet speed of 9.64 Mbps. Moreover, it is easy to install and afford than many other European countries. Internet connectivity is one of the biggest trump cards for expats to make Greece their workplace.
First of all, nomads can benefit from the numerous free wifi zones that most cafes offer. Apart from this, you can buy your own prepaid card to use a dial-up connection. Forthnet, Net One, Otenet, Hellas On Line, On Telecoms, Tellas, and Vodafone are important internet service providers in Greece.
Besides, the mobile internet is a bit more expensive compared to other European countries. However, you can always find good deals and packages from different service providers. Besides, most cafes are open till night, and almost all have free wifi.
To apply for the internet in Greece, you will have to show a passport, identity proof, address proof, and contact number. Bills are paid monthly and mostly online.
The average internet cost with 8 Mbps for 1 month is €20.
It may not be as great as many other top cities in western Europe, but it is good nevertheless.
Quick Tips for Digital Nomads in Greece
- Make an informed decision about the number of days/months or years you are going to stay in the country. Whether you are from the EU or a non-EU country, check the government website to know exactly how long you can stay.
- No matter where you belong, you need valid health insurance as long as you are in Greece.
- Besides, research about the place where you are going to stay and check whether you will get every necessary item there. If not, it’s always a smart idea to buy it from your native place. Of course, provided that the airlines allow you to carry it.
- Try to learn some common Greek words before moving. Since you will encounter less number of people speaking English or any other language. If possible, download an offline Greek dictionary.
- Greece is really hot during summers, so keep yourself hydrated with lots of fluids and keep drinking water.
How to save money in Greece
- Say no to taxis, metros, and buses! When in Greece, make sure you opt for the walkways unless it’s really needed. Moreover, the best you can discover and adore the beauty of Greece is by walking.
- Find out where the locals shop from. Instead of buying vegetables, fruits, and other groceries from the supermarket, try the local Greek market. You will know that the food is fresher and tastier there.
- Do not eat at your hotel every day. This is for the ones who are staying in hotels. We recommend you go to a local restaurant for your meals. Check with the locals where you can find the cheap and best food.
- It is wise to rent a private room in an apartment in a relatively costlier city like Athens. This way, you can spend on other necessary items with much more ease.
- Although the water bottle rates are regulated at 50 cents per small bottle, you can save that money by drinking tap water. It is safe.
What type of Digital Nomad is Greece for?
Greece is ideal for digital nomads who are indulged in blogging, web development, online marketing, and art. With a developed infrastructure to support all types of professions and good internet connectivity, anyone can move to Greece.
Lastly, the country has a laidback lifestyle, and the calming weather is in itself a stress-reliever. Therefore, the country welcomes everyone who wants a change of work culture and living style. If you’ve never been to Greece and planning to move there, don’t miss out on our The Beginner’s Guide to Greece article, too