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Moving to Athens?

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Living in Greece, from India

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Athens at a Glance

Moving to Athens

Expats have been choosing to move to Athens for many years because of its attractive combination of climate, culture, and cuisine. Whether you move to Athens for work or for retirement, the city has plenty to offer for expatriates of all age groups.

About the City

The history of Athens dates back to around 3,000 BC, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. According to Greek legend the city was named after Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, whom the people chose over Poseidon to be their protector.

In 2011, the City of Athens — in contrast to the wider, metropolitan area — has a population of around 665,000, and covers an area of about 39 square kilometers, making it the largest city in Greece. However, the population is currently in decline, having fallen from 745,000 in 2001. This is largely attributable to the economic problems, but is also due in part to an ageing population. The municipal area of Athens is situated in the Attica region, which had an overall population of over 3. 8million in 2011.

The Climate in Athens

With its mild winters and long hot summers, the climate in Athens is very appealing to many expats. It is largely dry for much of the year, with rainfall increasing during the winter months, particularly in December when average rainfall reaches 98 millimeters, as compared with just 6 millimeters in August. Humidity is low in Athens. In August the temperature in Athens averages 29°C, falling to an average of 11°C during the winter. Snowfall is rare in the city, and anyone hoping to see snow in winter would need to head out of Athens to one of Greece’s mountainous regions.

Finding Accommodation

Areas favored by expats living in Athens include central parts such as Kolonaki, Plaka and Thission and the suburban areas of Kifisia and Glyfada. Many businesses are based in the city center, and there is also a financial district in the suburb of Marousi. The attractive Riviera area is also popular because of its lovely sandy beaches and stylish restaurants, as well as its convenient location just 10 km from the city center.

If you intend to work in Athens for several years or are simply looking for an investment, you may be interested in purchasing property. In order to purchase property in Athens you must have a Greek tax number. It is recommended that you have a preliminary sale/purchase agreement drawn up for maximum protection.

Details of property to rent can be found in newspapers as well as with real estate agencies. Alternatively you may come across rental accommodation simply by word of mouth, as some properties are still let this way. As you might expect, the cost of renting is usually slightly higher in Athens than outside the capital, although costs have come down since the start of the recession. Sites such as have detailed listings of housing in Athens, including both sale and rental properties.

InterNations Expat Magazine