Once part of the ancient Roman empire. An impactful civilization that altered many countries in its path inventing things such as cement, sanitation systems, roads, the legal system and so much more. The beautiful and breathtaking city of Athens is an incredible place to discover.

Home to over 3 million people Athens is known as the “birthplace of western civilization” with great food and amazing sites at every place you turn. Here are 8 things you need to know before you settle into Athens!

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1) Transport

The best way to get around the city of Athens is by walking or catching the metro. Athens is a very walkable city and walking around can help you see things about the city public transport won’t show you.

With the risk of traffic in the streets of Athens this is best avoided by taking the metro that will allow you to have less delays getting to your destination. Athens has varying modes of transport that you can choose from buses, trains, metros (underground trains), trams and electric trolley buses.

There are three types of public transport cards that you can get. The Ath.ena Ticket, the personalised Ath.ena Card and the anonymous Ath.ena Card.

The Ath.ena Ticket

This is a paper card that is for short use that can be recharged for short trips to consecutive days. This ticket can only be charged once so, if you buy a 5 day ticket and you need an extra day, you can only upload that amount once the first amount you charged has expired. This ticket can be purchased at machines at bus and train stations. These tickets can only be charged with tickets of day days or less.

The Anonymous Ath.ena Card

This is a plastic card that can only be purchased at ticket offices. Similar to the Ath.ena ticket it just isn’t plastic. This ticket can be charged with tickets of 5 - 10 days.

The Personalised Ath.ena Card

This is also a plastic card but as the name suggests it is personalised. For this your name and image will be attached to the card and can be charged with a fare of up to 365 days. You can get this card on your phone digitally, at a ticket machine or at a physical booth at transport stations. If you lose it you can also renew it and the card can be charged with any ticket.

Here are a few fares to know:

  • A 90 minute ticket costs 1.20 euros.
  • Two 90 minute tickets 2.30 euros.
  • Five 90 minute tickets 5.70 euros.
  • Eleven 90 minute tickets 12 euros.
  • 24 hour tickets cost 4.10 euros.
  • A five day ticket costs 8.20 euros.
  • 30 day tickets cost 27 euros.
  • 90 day tickets cost 78 euros.
  • 180 day tickets cost 155 euros.
  • 365 day tickets cost 300 euros.

2) Cost of Living

The average salary in Athens is around 20,000 euros therefore the cost of items are relatively reflective of this. If you have an income from outside of the country these items may seem quite affordable but keep in mind for the Athenian worker these items can be quite expensive so be cautious and aware as you move through the city and integrate with natives and expats alike.

Here are a few figures:

  • A meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs 12 euros.
  • Domestic beer 0.5 litres cost 4.50 euros.
  • Bananas cost 1.81 euros.
  • Onions 1kg costs 0.96 euros.
  • Lettuce heads cost 0.90 euros.
  • A 12 pack of eggs costs 3.85 euros.
  • Mid range bottle of wine costs 8 euros.
  • Monthly gym membership 41 euros.
  • A cinema ticket costs 8 euros.

Source: Anna Kurmaeva

3) Where You Can Buy Your Groceries

Food glorious food. Finding the best shops that have food that can not only help you integrate within the society but also help you feel like you can make items that you are familiar with and at home with.

Here are a few supermarkets around the city of Athens that you can explore and find which one feels best for you:

  • Sklavenitis.
  • AB Basilopoulos.
  • Ipirotissa.
  • Lidl.
  • Aldi.
  • Masoutis.

Source: Matheus Cenali

4) The Fun Stuff: Food, Bars & Nightlife

There are so many events within Athens that you can attend to meet people and have fun. With open and welcoming people and artists providing interesting events around the city, here are a few fun events and places you can attend around the city to get started finding the spots that will be your go to.


  • Ermou 18 beyond the horizon.
  • Romatella - Pizza al Taglio.
  • Manouka Athens.
  • Mavros Gatos.
  • Souvlaki Kostas
  • Lost Athens.
  • Balcony In Cyclades.


  • Manhattan Cafe - a chill cocktail bar.
  • Hi-Lo - chill global lounge.
  • Nowhere Bar - a live music venue.
  • Blue Sky Bar - wood panelled bar that serves craft beer and cocktails.


  • Studio 24 - hip hop music.
  • Teddy Boy - punk/rock music.
  • Astron Bar - techno music.
  • Six Dogs - electronic music.

Source: Alexandra

5) Weather

The climate in Athens is reflective of its location on the map. Situated close to The Mediterranean Sea with mild and wet winters and hot dry summers under the beaming sun.

Temperatures can reach a low of around 7 degrees Celsius in the winter months of  January and February and highs of  34 degrees Celsius in the peak summer months of July and August.

Source: Corbett Campbell

6) Focus Places & Coworking Spaces

If you want a change of scenery and want to study or work in a different environment there are a few spaces around the city you can go to by yourself with friends to get the task you want done for the day.

Here are a few spots:

Source: Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu

7) Safety

Athens is a pretty safe city. From EU reports the EU has an average of 40.8 police reported incidents per 100,000 inhabitants. Greece as a whole has a statistic of 23.7 lower than the EU average and 0.68 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.

The crime rates overall in Greece are lower than countries such as Sweden and France. You are safe and accepted regarding a physical attack regarding nationality, race and religion. Walking around during the day is safe and you can explore art filled alleyways but at night be conscious of your surroundings and people around you.

Source: Christos Papandreou

If you are part of the EU (European Union) then things will be a lot easier for you becoming an adopted Athenian as there is free movement within the Schengen area for nationals.

If you are from outside of the EU make sure you go through the proper legal procedures to ensure you do not run into any issues with the government. Make sure you have every single document you may think you need and make copies. If you think you may not need a specific document take it anyway, it is always better safe than sorry. In addition Greece is a country with a lot of bureaucracy so the more proof you have the better.

If you work remotely and receive a regular source of income, you may be interested in moving to Athens and changing your working environment. If you want to know more about digital nomad visas in Greece we have a whole blog post listing all the ones you can access in Europe!  

Source: elCarito

Is Athens The City For You?

If you crave sun, Athens may be the city for you. If you admire a culture that puts an emphasis on traditional values, collectivism, AMAZING food and a more relaxed way of life you will fit into the society perfectly.

If you want a few quick points to help make your decision here are a few.


  • Warm and welcoming people.
  • Many cultural and historical events to attend.
  • The food.
  • Cost of living (if you have an income outside of the country).
  • Convenient location to explore Greece.
  • The weather.


  • Slow internet.
  • There is a lot of traffic.
  • Bureaucracy.
  • A lot of vandalism.

Ready to move to Athens? Find your beautiful apartment in Athens here!

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