Greece is hardly an off-the-beaten-path tourist destination. And yet, I think digital nomads tend to overlook it. 

I certainly didn’t. 

Maybe you think it’s another overly crowded tourist destination, making things too expensive for a nomad stay. Perhaps you believe that there aren’t enough things to do to keep you entertained. But when I see the popularity of nearby hotspots like Portugal and Spain, I question why Greece doesn’t get more attention.

After all, Greece is a lot more affordable than most European countries. 

It has better food than most European countries.

And better beaches too.

So what gives? Well, there are a few downsides that we’ll discuss later. But all in all, I think Greece is easily one of the best countries for digital nomads to visit in 2023. Especially, as Portugal and Spain begin to price nomads out. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about digital nomadding in Greece.

Is Greece good for digital nomads?

As a country, I think Greece has just about everything you could want.

There’s history and natural beauty practically everywhere you go, evoking a sense of awe and appreciation at every turn. The people themselves are quite friendly and laid back. The food is fresh and delicious. Most parts of Greece, including the big cities, are quite affordable. You can live by the beach on an island, or in a city by the mountains. 

Basically, I think Greece has something to offer to everyone. The only drawback for you as a digital nomad might be the internet. It’s a little weak at times. 

7 Reasons You Should Go To Greece

Weekend Trips To Incredible Greek Islands

A great part of your lifestyle as a digital nomad is the flexibility it brings.

If you have the budget for it, you can easily hop on a flight or a ferry from your home base and have a long weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

For instance, Athens, like any major city, can be busy and fast-paced. Heading to a serene Greek island provides a change of scenery and allows you to escape the crowded urban environment and enjoy a more laid-back atmosphere.

Imagine, you could work in Greek cafes and see the Parthenon during the week, then spend time on the sandy shores of some island swimming in crystal-clear waters and basking in the sun on the weekend. It’s incredibly rejuvenating, and it can help you unwind from the dreary work routine. When you return to your mobile setup during the work week, you will possess renewed energy and focus.

Being able to switch gears like this is immensely beneficial, and as you’ll see later, flights in Greece are pretty cheap. Island hopping is a casual thing.

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Walkability And Accessibility

Most cities and towns in Greece are compact. Even Athens, which sprawls for miles, is still pretty easy to navigate, and far-away locations are accessible by metro. More than likely, you’ll stay in the centre anyways. 

If you dwell outside the cities, you might want a car to commute to various attractions such as mountains. However, even most small towns will have everything you need within walking distance, from cafes to restaurants to fruit and veggie shops.

The walks can be quite scenic too. You could immerse yourself in historical neighbourhoods like Plaka in Athens, or stroll alongside a glimmering beach on a Greek island.

Greece Digital Nomad
Greece Digital Nomad

No shortage of culture and history

Greece is rich in cultural and historical landmarks. Living in Athens allows you to experience and explore these sites, such as the Acropolis, on a regular basis. Elsewhere, you can find incredible historical sights like the Palace of Knossos in Crete or the ancient oracle at Delphi. Plus, there is an abundance of museums around you could pop into after work or during an extended lunch break.

Incredible Scenery

Whether you seek the tranquillity of secluded beaches, the thrill of hiking through verdant forests, or the inspiration of majestic mountains, Greece’s natural wonders are within reach for digital nomads.

The Greek islands, scattered across the Aegean and Ionian Seas, are renowned for their stunning beauty. Picture yourself working with a view of the turquoise waters and golden sandy beaches of Santorini, where iconic white-washed houses cling to the cliffs. 

For those who prefer the allure of the mainland, Greece offers an array of natural wonders. For instance, you could work from Meteora, where monasteries seemingly float atop towering rock pillars, providing an awe-inspiring setting for contemplation and focus.

Relaxed Lifestyle 

Greek people are incredibly laid back. Aside from the occasional argument I’ve seen break out in traffic, that is.

The sunny weather just seems to slow everything down. Greeks will spend hours lounging around at cafes, and it’s tempting to follow their example. Just ensure you actually get some work done while you’re there too.

And if you’re one of those nutjobs who need constant stimulation, Athens will deliver that too. There, you can absorb as much nightlife and big city vibes as you could possibly ask for in a city of 3 million people.

It’s Easy To Communicate

In the cities, practically every Greek person I encountered under 50 spoke English. They even spoke it quite well. I never had any problems getting what I wanted. In fact, Greek people are happy to help you with any issue you might have.

I never spent time in the country, but I heard opposite things about Greek people’s English levels on the islands. That might be because the population skews older there, but if you go to rural destinations make sure you have Google Translate ready on your phone when you ask directions or something else.

The Food Is Mouthwatering

To me, it’s not enough to have a large variety of food. I mean, that’s nice, but I always prefer quality over quantity.

Greek Souvlaki
Greek Souvlaki

Greece over-delivers in that regard. It’s easy to find delicious fresh fruit and vegetables. Part of what makes souvlaki so tasty here is that the pork has a certain juiciness and flavour that sets it above any other pork I’ve tasted. 

You won’t have to go far to find a restaurant, grocery store, bakery, or butcher shop that provides this level of quality either, making healthy food accessible to everyone.

Variety of Food In The Cities

Greek food isn’t just about sit-down restaurants, there are plenty of street food options like Gyros and Bourekas on offer if you want a quick and cheap meal too.

And if you ever tire of Greek food, you can find all manner of alternatives ranging from Asian cuisines to pizza and burgers. 

The Devil’s Advocate: 4 Reasons To Avoid Greece

OK Internet Connectivity

Greek wifi is ranked 95th in the world with a speed of 44MBPS on average according to Speedtest. I elaborate more on the implications of Greece internet speed and what you can do to solve this issue in the linked article.

Although the Wi-Fi in Greece may not be the best in Europe, it is still functional for remote work and online activities. It is possible to work, conduct Zoom calls, and utilize internet services, although occasional connectivity issues may arise. Personally, I found that the wifi slows down a lot, but it never grinds to a complete halt. Apparently, they are working on improving their infrastructure, so keep your fingers crossed.

Cost of eating out

I’ve said that Greece is pretty affordable. But I should add that there is a catch. You can easily afford Greece if you mostly eat street food or cook for yourself. Gyros cost like 4 euros, which is quite a fair deal in my opinion. However, if you want to eat at a sit-down restaurant in the city, your meal will likely cost 10 euros minimum. Thankfully, the portions are large. 

While the cost of meals at mid-range restaurants is generally affordable, it can add up if not managed carefully.

Seasonal tourist crowds

I keep yapping about how great Greek beaches are, how many cultural and historical sights there are, and so on. But trust me, you won’t be the only one there when you see them. If you go during the Summer you’ll likely have to wade through the throes of tourists to get to where you want. And in the heat of the Greek sun, that’s just no fun.

This influx of tourists can lead to longer wait times, and potentially higher prices for certain services and activities too. 

Limited variety of coworking spaces

I was lucky enough to live right near a cafe when I lived in Athens, but looking around the city it seems that not so many places welcome laptops, I imagine the situation is even worse on a Greek Island or in the country. Most cafes do not have tables big enough to work on and likely don’t welcome digital nomads posting up all day.

If you’re searching for accommodation in a smaller city, maybe check whether there is a nearby cafe that allows laptops or a coworking space. Otherwise, you might be restricted to working at home. This isn’t so bad when you have a gorgeous view of the Aegean Sea, but otherwise…

Entering Greece

Citizens of European Union countries and most other countries, such as the UK, Switzerland, and Norway can enter Greece without a visa and stay for up to 90 days within 180 days.

Any other nationalities that can enter Schengen, such as Canadians, Americans, Australians, Japanese, etc. are also permitted to enter Greece and stay for up to 90 days out of 180. For the full list of countries, check the Greek government’s website.

Does Greece Have A Digital Nomad Visa? 

The digital nomad visa situation in Greece allows non-EU citizens to work remotely from Greece for one year. The visa, also known as the Greek digital nomad visa, requires applicants to meet particular eligibility criteria. These include proving that they are digital nomads, working for an employer registered outside Greece, having a monthly salary of at least €3,500, and providing the necessary documentation such as a valid passport, application form, employment contract, proof of income, clean criminal record, proof of accommodation and health insurance, return flight ticket, and a medical certificate.

To apply for the Greece digital nomad visa, you must prepare the required documents, set an appointment at the nearest Greek embassy, submit your application in person, and wait for a response. If approved, you can travel to Greece and apply for a permanent residence permit to live there long-term. Read the linked article to learn about this visa in-depth.

Obtaining the nomad visa offers benefits such as low taxes with a 50% tax exemption on income for the first seven years. The visa application fees include a €75 application fee and a €150 administration fee. The processing time for the visa can range from two weeks to one month.

Family members, including spouses, children under 18, and children over 18 who are dependent on the applicant, can also accompany digital nomads with the Greece digital nomad visa. This makes it quite unique.

What it’s like to be a digital nomad in Greece

I’ve painted a very attractive picture of what digital nomad life looks like in Greece. Hopefully, I’ve helped you make an informed decision about whether to book a trip or not. 

Now it’s time to prepare for an extended stay in the country. Where will you live? How much does food cost? I’ll answer all these questions shortly.

What’s the best time to come to Greece?

As the title of this article aptly suggested, Greece is one of the best destinations for nomads in the offseason. Outside of the Summer months, I think that the Greek weather is perfect and the sights are not overcrowded. Even in the winter, the weather is sunny and moderate. At least, that’s how it was when I was there. As long as you find an apartment with heating, I doubt you’ll ever struggle to adapt.

Aside from that, you might want to consider that certain holidays, such as Easter or the Carnival in February will make things a bit more lively for you. Both certainly offer unique cultural experiences of their own. You can take a look at this full list of Greek holidays to help you select a date of arrival.

Finding accommodations In Greece as a digital nomad

Your accommodation options in Greece are going to be fairly abundant. Hotels and AirBNBs are the main options as always. Facebook groups, hostels, and coliving are all possible routes you could take too.

While the availability of coliving spaces may not be as abundant as in some other destinations, they can still be found with a bit of research and planning. Coliving spaces offer the added benefit of a built-in community of like-minded individuals, providing opportunities for networking and collaboration. 

Whichever accommodation you choose, it’s advisable to book it about 1-2 months in advance and potentially 2 or more months in advance during the summer months.

Another option for affordable accommodations is to explore Airbnb listings. By planning well in advance and being proactive in booking, you can find affordable options that suit your needs. Keep in mind that the availability and pricing of Airbnb rentals can vary depending on the location and the time of year. Planning ahead and snapping up desirable listings can help you secure budget-friendly yet comfortable apartments.

Of course, booking on these platforms is rife with problems, like ensuring that they are actually suitable for remote work, and livable for a months-long stay. 

Most rental sites have posed major problems for me, and I know I’m not alone. If you want a more consistent solution, we’re in the process of curating a large database of digital nomad apartments in Greece and beyond. Enter your name and email below to get access to them as soon as they’re released.

Outside of the high tourist season, hotel prices in Greece, especially on the islands, are relatively affordable. With some research and negotiation, it’s possible to find quality hotels within a reasonable budget. Prices can vary significantly depending on the location, amenities, and proximity to tourist attractions. With careful planning and a bit of flexibility, it is feasible to find accommodations for less than $2000 a month, allowing you to strike a balance between comfort and cost-effectiveness.

When it comes to negotiating accommodations, Greeks are known for their willingness to haggle. Whether it’s through Facebook groups or in-person bargaining once you arrive, there is often room to discuss pricing and terms. This approach can be advantageous for securing better deals, especially if you are flexible with your dates and willing to explore different options. Being open to negotiation can help you find accommodations that align with your budget and preferences. You could easily ask for a 10-30% discount. 10% on Airbnb, and 30% if you take the payments offline.

Cost of Accommodation in Greece

Outside the centre of cities, you can find reasonable prices on Airbnb, but you might lack things like heating which are important for the winter. Of course, during the summer, you will also need to pay extra, which isn’t worth it given how hot and busy things are.

Note that while accommodations are cheaper in some cities like Thessaloniki, you face a lack of supply when you head for the islands. You will have better luck booking hotels in smaller places like these.

A good heuristic is that inside the main areas of Athens, you’ll be lucky to find something under 1000 Euros. In the suburbs and in smaller cities though, it’s quite realistic to find this unless you’re staying at the very center. Hotels can cost less than $2,000 per month if you want more comfort. Don’t forget that you can always try to negotiate down too.

Food Options

Cost of eating out in Greece (and eating in)

When it comes to dining out in Greece, the costs can vary depending on the type of establishment and the location. In restaurants, prices typically start around 8 Euros and can go up from there, depending on the menu and the level of sophistication. It’s worth noting that dining at local tavernas and smaller eateries can offer more affordable options while still providing a delicious taste of Greek cuisine.

For those who prefer to cook their meals, grocery stores in Greece are generally fairly affordable, especially if you opt for the same ingredients and products that locals use in their everyday cooking. By shopping at local markets and smaller grocery stores, you can find fresh produce, dairy products, and pantry staples at reasonable prices. It’s worth mentioning that groceries tend to be more affordable outside of the major cities, so exploring smaller towns and rural areas can help you save on your food expenses.

A cup of coffee in a local cafe typically costs between 2 to 3 Euros, making it a budget-friendly option for remote workers looking for a pleasant spot to work or relax. Make sure you take advantage of Greece’s wonderful cold coffees, like Frappes and cold espresso, on offer. I don’t even like coffee that much but even I miss drinking them.

Greek Coffee
Greek Coffee

Finding a SIM card in Greece

When it comes to getting a SIM card in Greece, I wrote an article that helps you consider your options in more detail.

Note that you must bring your passport with you as it is required for the purchase. You might expect to pay around 20 Euros initially with an additional 10 Euros for monthly topups. 

There are several mobile network providers in Greece, with Vodafone and Cosmote being among the most well-known. While Cosmote is reputed to have the best coverage in the country, I had positive experiences with Vodafone myself. 

It’s worth noting that while the coverage is generally reliable, there may be occasional signal dropouts in certain situations, such as underground subway stations. However, in most other locations, the coverage is quite strong.

Transportation Costs in Greece

Public transport in Greece is quite affordable in big cities like Athens and Thessaloniki. Smaller locales such as the islands do have bus services, but they are obviously serving a smaller group of people, so you won’t be able to go anywhere at the drop of a hat.

Taxi rides in Greece are generally more expensive compared to using public transportation. In the past, some have reported spending an average of €30 per person, per day on local transportation in Greece. Additionally, Uber is not available in Greece, so you’re at the mercy of taxi drivers to some extent. Common sense applies, ask them to set the taxi meter when you get in the car.

When it comes to flights in Greece, there are affordable options available for travelling to the Greek islands. According to Skyscanner, flights from Athens International Airport to various destinations in Greece can range from 50 to 100 Euros. This allows travellers to find reasonably priced airfare and explore different parts of the country conveniently.

Ferry rides in Greece offer flexibility in terms of pricing based on the ferry company’s policy. On average, ferry tickets can cost around 50 Euros, and can get a lot pricier on longer journeys. That said, they permit you to enjoy scenic journeys between the Greek islands and the mainland.

Spending in Greece

Earlier in this article, I mentioned that cash is widely preferred by Greeks, but it’s important to note that most stores in Greece also accept credit cards, even small local establishments like the cozy bakery around the corner. However, it’s worth considering that in rural areas, some businesses may be less likely to accept credit cards, so having cash on hand can be beneficial. Greece uses the Euro as its currency, and if you prefer not to carry cash, you can rely on ATMs in Greece to withdraw money as needed.

Internet Speed Greece

Speedtest ranks Greece 33rd out of 200 countries with a mobile download speed of 67.80 Mbps and an upload speed of 13.41 Mbps. The latency, which measures the delay in data transmission, is recorded at 22 milliseconds. When it comes to fixed broadband, Greece ranks 95th out of 200 countries with a download speed of 44.25 Mbps, an upload speed of 7.73 Mbps, and a latency of 13 milliseconds.

These speeds seem congruent with my experience, internet speed from mobile data was a bit better than broadband, which often slowed down, but never to a point that was completely unworkable

Best Cities For Digital Nomads in Greece

I can’t talk at length about every destination here. But these are my top 10 cities for digital nomads in Greece

  1. Thessaloniki
  2. Athens
  3. Chania
  4. Kalamata
  5. Heraklion
  6. Corfu
  7. Patras
  8. Rhodes
  9. Ioannina
  10. Rethymno

Let’s go over the first 4.

Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki Digital Nomad
Thessaloniki Digital Nomad

Why you should go: Thessaloniki is Greece’s second-largest city and offers a rich cultural experience, lively nightlife, and a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere. Being Greece’s foremost university town, It is known for its vibrant arts and music scene.

Cost of living: Thessaloniki generally has a slightly lower cost of living compared to Athens.

Best Neighbourhood: Ladadika

Infrastructure for nomads: Thessaloniki has a growing number of coworking spaces and plenty of cafes with free Wi-Fi, providing ample opportunities for remote work. In that sense, it’s comparable to Athens, especially when you consider

Nomad Community: Thessaloniki has a growing community of digital nomads, and various networking events and meetups are organized to bring them together. It’s also a fairly open-minded student city so it shouldn’t be hard to meet people.

Athens

Monastiraki Athens
Monastiraki, Athens

Why you should go: Athens is the capital city of Greece and offers the ideal blend of history, culture, and modernity. It has a thriving startup scene and provides opportunities for networking and collaboration. You can stay close to historical sites like the Acropolis or chill out away from the hustle and bustle in suburbs like Piraeus

Cost of living: It can vary depending on the neighbourhood and lifestyle, but overall, it is considered one of the most affordable capitals in the EU.

Best Neighbourhood: Kolonaki

Nomad Infrastructure: Athens has a good infrastructure for digital nomads, with numerous cafes offering free Wi-Fi and coworking spaces scattered throughout the city.

Nomad Community:  Athens has a reasonably large community of nomads in the center.

Chania

Chania Digital Nomad
Chania Digital Nomad

Why you should go: Chania is a charming coastal city in Crete with a rich history, stunning beaches, and a relaxed lifestyle. It offers a unique blend of work and leisure.

Cost of living: The cost of living in Chania can be lower compared to larger cities in Greece, making it an attractive option for digital nomads on a budget.

Best Neighbourhood: Old Town

Nomad Infrastructure: Chania has a decent infrastructure for digital nomads, with several coworking spaces and cafes providing reliable internet access.

Nomad Community: Chania has a small but growing community of digital nomads. While the community might not be as large as in larger cities, it still offers opportunities to connect and network.

Kalamata

Kalamata Digital Nomad
Kalamata Digital Nomad

Why You Should Go: Kalamata is a picturesque coastal city located in the Peloponnese region of Greece. It offers a laid-back lifestyle, beautiful beaches, and access to outdoor activities such as hiking and water sports.

Cost of living: Kalamata has a relatively low cost of living compared to larger cities in Greece, making it an affordable option.

Best Neighbourhood: Old Town

Nomad Infrastructure: Kalamata does have one or two coworking spaces. Otherwise, there are cafes with Wi-Fi where you can work remotely and enjoy the local atmosphere.

Nomad Community: Kalamata is not as well-known among digital nomads as some other cities in Greece. However, it does attract a small community of remote workers and ex-pats who appreciate its natural beauty and slower pace of life.

Best Islands For Digital Nomads In Greece

Practically any Greek Island is nice, here are our top 10 Greek islands for digital nomads:

  • Crete
  • Santorini
  • Corfu
  • Tinos
  • Rhodes
  • Paros
  • Mykonos
  • Naxos
  • Kos
  • Zakynthos

Each Greek island has its unique charm and cultural heritage. Digital nomads can immerse themselves in the local culture, visit historical sites, explore charming villages, and indulge in traditional Greek cuisine on each one. Here’s the background on a few of them.

Crete

Crete Beach
Crete Beach

Why you should go: Crete is the largest Greek island and offers a diverse range of experiences, from stunning beaches to ancient ruins and charming villages. It provides a balanced mix of work and leisure opportunities. Honestly, it feels like cheating to include it since it’s so massive compared to the rest.

Cost of living: The cost of living in Crete can vary depending on the location. While some touristy areas can be relatively expensive, there are also affordable options available, especially in smaller towns and villages. That said, you need a car to live in those places.

Nomad Infrastructure: Given its role as a tourist hotspot, Crete has a decent infrastructure for digital nomads, particularly in cities like Heraklion and Chania. There are coworking spaces, cafes with Wi-Fi, and reliable internet connections.

Nomad Community: Crete attracts a significant number of digital nomads and ex-pats. However, one thing I’ve heard about Cretans is that they tend to be among the friendliest Greeks, so you could socialize with them too.

Santorini

Corfu Digital Nomad
Corfu Digital Nomad

Why you should go: Santorini is famous for its breathtaking sunsets, white-washed buildings, and stunning caldera views. It offers a unique and picturesque setting that can inspire creativity and relaxation.

Cost of living: Santorini is known for being one of the more expensive Greek islands. The cost of living, particularly in popular tourist areas like Oia and Fira, can be relatively high. However, there are more affordable options if you stay outside the main tourist hubs.

Nomad Infrastructure: Santorini has a decent infrastructure for digital nomads, with several cafes and restaurants offering Wi-Fi. While coworking spaces are not as abundant as in larger cities, you can find some options in the main towns.

Nomad Community: Santorini attracts a fair number of digital nomads, especially during the off-peak seasons. However, it may not have as active a digital nomad community as some other destinations. Thankfully, there are a fair amount of tourists to socialize with here too.

Corfu

Corfu Digital Nomad
Corfu Digital Nomad

Why you should go: Corfu is a popular Greek island known for its lush greenery, charming old town, and beautiful beaches. It offers a mix of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and vibrant nightlife. Digital nomads can enjoy a lively atmosphere, historical sites, and various recreational activities.

Cost of living: The cost of living in Corfu can vary depending on the location and the season. The main tourist areas tend to be more expensive, while less crowded areas offer more affordable options. Overall, Corfu can be considered moderately priced for a Greek island.

Nomad Infrastructure:: Corfu is fairly developed. The island’s popularity among tourists also means there are ample accommodation options to choose from.

Nomad Community: The island experiences an influx of tourists in the summer. Otherwise, you might bump into the odd digital nomad at a cafe or one of the few coworking spaces, but it’s no guarantee.

Tinos

Tinos Digital Nomad
Tinos Digital Nomad

Why you should go: Tinos is known for its natural beauty, traditional villages, and religious sites. It offers a serene and peaceful environment, making it an ideal destination for digital nomads seeking tranquillity and inspiration. It’s pretty underrated, especially since it’s right next to Mykonos.

Cost of living: Tinos generally has a lower cost of living compared to some of the more popular tourist destinations in Greece. Accommodation, dining, and daily expenses are all cheaper here.

Infrastructure for nomads: Tinos is not as developed in terms of infrastructure for digital nomads compared to larger cities or well-known islands. Even as a tourist destination, it’s untapped compared to its neighbours.

Nomad Community: Tinos is not as popular among digital nomads compared to other Greek islands. If you appreciate peace and tranquillity, Tinos is the place for you.

Digital Nomad Greece: The Final Word

I long to return to Greece once again and explore the country more. Just writing this article got me excited about all the possibilities. As I said, Greece basically has anything you want. Pretty impressive for a small country of 10 million people.

That said, if you do make the trip, just don’t go in the middle of the summer. I haven’t been during that season myself, but I imagine you’ll hate yourself for it.

If you want to learn more about the digital nomad lifestyle, plus news and tips, you should absolutely put your name and email down for my newsletter. You’ll get pertinent insights delivered to your inbox every other week. 

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