Larissa is known by many different names. It is the capital of the Thessaly region of Greece; the City of the Greek God Achillles; and the final resting place of Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine. Expatriates have been living in Larissa for thousands of years, and the city is still growing. It is impossible to live in Larissa without thinking about its history, and the remarkable characters who have walked here throughout the ages. Expats living in Larissa would do well to spend some time at the local sights, such as The Ancient Theatre, The Fortress Hill and the Ancient Agora, in order to fully soak up the wealth of history in this beautiful city.
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There is only one book you need to read in preparation for moving to Larissa: Homer’s Iliad. Larissa is name-checked several times in Book II of this famous tome, and although the city has fewer Pelasgian spearsmen today, it can still feel very much like a place borne out of fantasy. From the tiny cobbled streets, to the majestic ancient architecture, the countryside dotted with olive trees, and the crystal blue waters of the coast, expatriates in Larissa might get the impression they have relocated to what is most people’s idea of paradise. Of course, the reality is somewhat different. European nationals will have few problems getting a working visa for Greece, but non-Europeans could run into obstacles, depending on their profession and academic background. Before moving to Larissa, make sure you have all your paperwork in order, and are aware of any potential issues, such as finding a place to live. Existing and former Greek expats are the best source of advice in this case, and you can get in touch with them via the InterNations’ forums.
Larissa has a thriving tourism industry, but like the rest of Greece, it was impacted by the global economic crisis. Make sure you have a job lined up before you arrive, as you may face stiff competition from the local population. Browse through InterNations’ Expat Magazine and the discussion boards and forums for expatriate stories about what to expect when you are working in Larissa or Greece in general. Learning the Greek language would be an obvious advantage for anyone considering a move to Larissa, but thanks to the established local tourism industry, many locals speak at least a few words of English. If you intend to learn Greek before moving to the country, start early. It is a tricky language with difficult letterings and formations, but once you have had your first conversation in Greek with a local Larissa resident, you will know you have truly arrived.