Welcome to Athens! This historic city is known worldwide as the birthplace of modern Western civilization and democracy.
Human civilization has existed in Athens for at least 9000 years. During the Golden Age of Athenian Democracy, which took place during the 5th century BC, the political system of Athens set the foundation for what would later become the entirety of Western democracy. Athens’ contribution to Western culture cannot be overstated—modern Western art, literature, music, poetry, sports, philosophy, architecture, government, medicine, and education are all heavily influenced by ancient Athens. Modern Athens combines the rich history and culture of its past with modern innovations in technology to create a city unlike any other in the world.
Where to live in Athens
There are 58 neighborhoods in the Greater Athens area. The neighborhoods within the city of Athens itself are definitely more historic, more informed by classical history, and more crowded. For a more relaxed, contemporary experience, consider living in one of the suburbs in the Greater Athens area, which are still generally less than 2.5 miles away from the city center.
Best Neighborhoods in Athens
Athens is home to over 665,000 people, making it the most populous city in Greece. The city of Athens is surrounded by the Athens Urban Area, which is surrounded once more by Greater Athens. There are 58 different neighborhoods in this region, which sounds like a lot, but that just means that you have plenty to choose from when looking for the neighborhood that’s perfect for you!
Pagrati is like the Greenwich Village of Athens. It contains some of Athens’ coolest coffee shops, restaurants, bars, artisanal food stores and markets, vintage shops, and art galleries. Don’t miss Panathenaic Stadium, the only stadium in the world that is built completely out of marble. It was originally built in the year 144 AD and was reconstructed in 1896 to host the first modern Olympic Games.
Kolonaki is well-known for being Athens’ premier high-end shopping district. Here, you’ll find luxury retailers, high-end boutiques, jewelers, art galleries, and some of Athens’ trendiest restaurants. For one of the best views in Athens, walk or take the cable car up to the top of Mount Lycabettus.
Amazing Apartments, Coliving Spaces and More
We've been rounded up the best housing options in Athens. All are available on flexible terms, so you can stay one month or as long as you want
Quick Facts About AthensAthens is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world. However, before you move to Athens, here are some important things you need to know:
Expat life can be somewhat hardExpat opinions on living in Athens are notoriously divided—although many expats love living in Athens, others have reported that native Greeks are not super welcoming to foreigners.
Carry cashAlthough some businesses accept credit cards in Athens, most only accept cash. Don’t expect to rely on paying with a card the way you might in the US.
Many people speak EnglishGreek is a notoriously difficult language to learn. Although you should probably learn at least the basics if you’re actually going to live in Greece, the good news is that many people in Athens also speak English very well.
Tons of outdoor theatersIf you’re a movie lover, you’ll love Athens. In other cities in Europe and the US, most movie theatres are indoors. In Athens, the beautiful weather means that many movie theaters are located on rooftops, in gardens, and even on balconies.
It’s difficult to get aroundBecause Athens is such an old city that has been continuously inhabited for thousands of years, the infrastructure is not as organized as more modern cities. Expect traffic, very few bike lanes, and a high likelihood of getting lost.
The weather is amazingAthens is sunny almost every single day, with temperatures averaging at 51°F in the winter and 82°F in the summer, making it the perfect place for people who love warm weather and sunshine!
Greek food is amazingMediterranean food has a reputation for being both healthy and delicious, and that’s definitely the case in Athens. In addition to delicious traditional Greek dishes, the produce in Athens is usually pretty cheap and super fresh!
The way of life is relaxedIf you’re accustomed to a super ambitious, hectic, type-A lifestyle, the way of life in Greece might be a refreshing departure, or it might drive you insane. Even in Athens, people are generally more laid-back, even when it comes to things like careers and money.
Work in Athens
The Greek debt crisis of 2007-2008 has had lingering impacts on the job market in Athens to this day. It is not easy to get a job here, especially because relatively few major corporations are headquartered in Athens. In order to get a job, especially in industries like education, you need to be able to speak fluent or near-fluent Greek. However, digital freelancing is always an option!
How good is Athens for Digital Nomads or Remote Work
Remote work is changing how the global workspace operates. In a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down, remote work is rapidly on the increase all around the world—especially in a place like Athens. And about 25% of remote workers describe themselves as digital nomads—those who like to travel or stay in cities around the world while they work. So, how good is Athens for both of these growing movements?
Average Internet SpeedAthens has pretty decent WiFi speed, averaging at around 12 Mbps throughout the city. Many cafes, hotels, bars, and coffee shops offer free WiFi, so it’s fairly easy to work outside of your home.
Work-friendly Coffee ShopsSome coffee shops can be noisy, but Athens has some decent spots that will help you focus and ply you with delicious coffee. Here are some of the best in the city: Mind the Cup in Peristeri: This relaxing, low-key coffee shop is located near the Peristeri Train Station, and offers delicious, high-quality coffee. If you visit during the nighttime, you can also order some amazing cocktails!Cafe Taf in Agios Stefanos: Cafe Taf is an Athens mainstay, and has been open since 2009. It offers an extensive menu of delicious coffees, teas, and pastries. Be warned: their espresso is amazing, but notoriously strong and not for the faint of heart!Just Made 33 in Plaka: This cozy cafe serves a full menu of delicious coffee, but also amazing quiches, pastries, sandwiches, and salads.
Coworking SpacesYou’ll find several coworking spaces in Athens! Here are some amazing spots that you may want to consider checking out: Tzaferi 16: Tzaferi 16 is one of the highest-rated and most professional coworking spaces in Athens. If you host a lot of meetings, Tzaferi 16 offers 7 different meeting spaces, including a rooftop terrace, penthouse, and cafe space. Stone Soup: Stone Soup prioritizes community and collaboration. In addition to fast WiFi, 24 hour access, a fully-equipped kitchen and lounge, and a rooftop garden, Stone Soup also offers yoga and pilates classes as a great way to unwind!Romantso: Hosted in the former headquarters of one of the most significant magazines in Greek history, Romantso is all about fostering the careers of young creatives.
Suitable Level for Digital NomadsAthens is a great place to be for digital nomads. The effects of the financial crisis in Greece are still lingering, especially in Athens, but remote work offers more flexibility and security than other jobs might. Plus, in your off time, you’ll be able to explore one of the most historic cities in the entire world!
Visa RequirementsIf you’re a citizen of an EU member state, you can enter and work in Greece without a work visa. However, if you’re not from the EU, and you’re planning on working in Athens, you will need to obtain a work visa. If you’re working for a Greek company, you will need to be sponsored by that company in order to obtain a National Work Visa. If you do not have a Greek company to sponsor you, you need to visit your neighborhood’s local Dimarchio (municipal office) to apply for a working permit within 30 days of arrival in Athens. No matter which type of work visa you’re trying to obtain, it’s important to get started on the paperwork early, because it takes a long time to process. If you’re just planning on visiting, you can enter Greece visa-free and stay for up to 30 days if you’re a citizen of the following countries: Albania, Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Timor Leste, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela.
Food and Drink in Athens
Greek cuisine is famous worldwide for its fresh, delicious flavors. While you’re in Athens, there are some iconic Greek dishes you absolutely have to try, like moussaka (a casserole-y eggplant dish) at Kouvelos, souvlaki (grilled meat skewers) at O Kostas, fava (a split pea dip served with bread) at Vlassis Restaurant, spanakopita (phyllo dough layered with spinach and feta) at Ariston Bakery, and literally anything at Varvakios Agora, a food market that sells produce, seafood, meat, and street snacks!
Top 6 Things To Do in Athens
Athens is full of countless historical landmarks, each one more beautiful than the last. Be sure not to miss the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Ancient Agora of Athens, and Mount Lycabettus. If you have a full day to wander, just take a stroll through Plaka and browse the shops selling anything from ceramics and jewelry to olives and spices. Athens is also home to many incredible museums, like the Acropolis Museum, the National Archeological Museum, the Benaki Museum, and the Byzantine and Christian Museum. There’s so much history, art, and culture to take in, you’ll never be bored in Athens!
Hellenic Motor Museum
Ioulianou 33, Athina
Central Municipal Athens Market
Byzantine And Christian Museum
Leof. Vasilissis Sofias 22, Athina
Monument of Philopappos
Koumpari 1, Athina