[Last update: May 23, 2022] Zeus, god of the sky, chief Greek deity, as well as ruler, protector, and father of all humans was born in Crete, the biggest island of the Hellenic Republic. His weapons, the thunderbolts, helped him to defeat the Giants. His home was Mount Olympus, where he ruled over the winds, and the sky. One of his many children was Athena, goddess of wisdom and warfare, which gave Athen - the capital - its name.
Athen has the most theaters in the world, with 148 stages, the most archeological museums worldwide, and is one of the sunniest countries in the world. Greece has 227 islands, and 80% of the country is covered by mountains, which makes Greece a popular travel destination.
For digital nomads, besides Athens and Thessaloniki, also Crete experiences a growing community of international remote workers. Let's have a look at what Greece has to offer and why you should travel to Greece this year.
🇬🇷 Entry requirements for Greece
- Valid visa: valid visa for non-Schengen citizens or national ID/passport for Schengen citizens.
- Insurance: Travel health insurance is required to get a Schengen visa. Check out Genki Explorer.
🌱 Travel health insurance for Greece
🏡 How to find a place
In Athens, you should estimate a monthly rent between 800 and 1,000 Euro, if you want to rent a decent apartment in a nicer neighborhood. Of course you can find cheaper places, and more expensive ones too.
- Hotels: If you chose to book a hotel, make sure you check beforehand where it is located. Greece is a very attractive holiday destination and it has a long history as a tourist destination. When traveling to Greece in the summer months, be aware that this is the high season for many countries in Europe as the majority of holidaymakers travels in the summer months. Prices can skyrocket during summer.
- Airbnb: The go-to booking system for rentals in many places, such as Athens, Thessaloniki, or on the islands. For short-term rents (1-3 weeks), Airbnb is a good option. For shorter stay a hotel might be better, and for longer stays, you can monitor the Facebook groups for better deals for long-term (1-3 months or more) rentals. In summer, you can estimate rent around 800 to 1000 Euro, from November on, the rents drop down a few hundred Euro.
- Coliving spaces: This type of accommodation is for you, if you want to integrate a social aspect in your accommodation and if you are okay with having accommodation and workplace all in one location. A recommended coliving space is for example Greek Escape in Crete which cost around 1,800 to 2,300 Euro per month.
✈️ How to get to Greece
- Plane: You can fly to Athens directly from 156 international airports worldwide, including many cities in Europe, Singapore, South Korea, United States and a few destinations in Africa. Arrived at the Athen's Airport, you can choose between metro (10 Euro), bus (6 Euro), taxi (40 Euro) or Uber to get into the city center which is 35 km away from the airport. If you want to be picked up and have a smooth transfer, you can book a welcome pick service for the same price as a regular taxi.
- Ferry: An alternative route to Greece is by taking the ferry, for example from Italy.
🚌 Public transport
- Uber: You can find Uber only in Athens and you will ride in an official taxi which uses the Uber app. The cars are called Uber Taxi. There is no Uber outside of Athens.
- Taxi: You can easily get a taxi by simply rising your hand at the side of the street. Check the prices beforehand, maybe with your accommodation host or receptionist, or make sure the meter is working. The minimum charge is 3.47 Euro, every km is 0.74 Euro during the day and 1.29 Euro during the night. If your luggage exceeds 10 kg, you need to pay an extra fee.
- Metro: Athens has 3 metro lines, which run daily from 5 am to midnight, and the trains run every 5 to 6 minutes. Also Thessaloniki has a metro. A single ticket is 1.20 Euro and a 5-day ticket is 8.20 Euro.
- Tram: Athens also has a tram network. When purchasing a single ticket, you need it to exit, so do not toss it.
🏘 Where to stay in Athens
- Monastiraki: Monastiraki is the most ideal neighborhood to base yourself in Athens, if you want to experience new and ancient parts of the city. Casual eateries and flea markets are popular in this neighborhood.
- Exarcheia: The district of Exarcheia lies just outside of the historical center of Athens but still in the downtown area. This student-friendly neighborhood is home to the Technological University and the National Museum, to large migrant communities, and anarchist communities. After the economic crash in 2008, many long-term suqats have been removed and the neighborhood is now famous for its short-term rentals, immigrant-run cafés and restaurants, student-friendly bars, and community events, such as free movie nights, and street fests.
🧑🏻💻 Where to work from in Athens
Coworking spaces in Monastiraki
- Stone Soup: Stone Soup was one of the establishments at the forefront of the Athens coworking scene. Their offices are located in Omonia Square and are spread across several floors of a local office building. Some of those working here are running long-standing local businesses. Others are digital nomads who join for a few days or a couple of weeks. The spaces hosts community events. A week membership is 50 Euro and the month is 140 Euro. Click here for the location.
- The Cube: The Cube Athens is one of the best coworking spots in the city. It can be found at 73 Aiolou Str, a short walk from the Plaka, Syntagma, and Thissio districts. The premises are spread over nine floors in a recent renovated city center building. You can find entrepreneurial talks, presentations, and informative events here. For instance, the Cube often hosts inspiring international entrepreneurs who come here to and share how they were able to obtain success in their field and how others can follow suit. Some of these presentations are free to attend, others require a small fee. Regardless, the Cube is more than just another office space. Two weeks membership is 100 Euro, a month is 200 Euro. You can also attend the entrepreneur's brunch for 13 Euro. Click here for all their prices.
Coffee shops in Monasteraki
- The Underdog: A coffeeshop in Thissio, centrally located which has developed something of a cult following in recent years. This specialty coffee spot roasts its own coffee beans and has won several national awards for the quality of its brew. Many of the owners and baristas that work here have won international barista tournaments. That said, you know you’re in good hands when you stop here for coffee. The Underdog is located inside a converted warehouse and the contemporary space has retained many characteristics of the original building combined with industrial lighting displays, floor-to-ceiling windows, and exposed brick walls. It is a very nice place to work from.
- Little Tree Books and Coffee: This coffee shop is a popular digital nomad haunt, with various and regular entrepreneur and writer meetups. This Koukaki venue is a combined bookstore and coffee shop. You can sink down into one of the cafe’s oversized armchairs with your laptop, grab a hearty slab of cake, and a Greek iced Freddo cappuccino. If the indoor seating is taken, you can sit beneath one of the cabanas outside on the leafy adjacent plaza.
- Vegan Beat Athens: This place is top-rated amonth the vegan foodies. Being vegan or vegetarian in Athens isn’t nearly as hard as it was. It is just on the other side of a very busy main street mall and has a small but delicous menu.
Coworking spaces in Exarcheia
- Impact Hub: Impact Hub is a coworking network with offices around the world, including Athens. While workers come from all backgrounds, many dedicate themselves to social projects, environmental actions, and fair trade. This is the spot for you if you not only are looking for a comfy place to work, but want to meet other like-minded people who are building a brighter future. Prices are calculated by hours, 40 hours is 60 Euro, and 80 hours is 100 Euro. Click here for the location.
- Tzaferi 16: This award-winning coworking space is modern, and stylish and comes with different areas, such as fix desks, hot desks, offices, and event space. The building used to be a factory, and is located next to the Benaki Museum with easy access through public transport. The entertainment areas include a basketball hoop, pool tables, and bikes to hop on to explore the neighborhood. A month membership is 270 Euro.
Coffee shops in Exarcheia
- Third Place: With its simple interior and delicious brews, there are little factors to distract you from a successful working day. This cafe near the Acropolis and National Garden has lots of seating space including larger tables for coworking sessions. From cold brew to filter coffee, the black gold here comes in any variety you could ask for. A collection of pastries and other sweet treats to pair with your coffee helps keeping your energy and workflow going.
- Booze Cooperativa: This place mixes an art hub, a cultural center, and a cafe. Booze Cooperativa is decorated with artworks and hosts music performances in its quirky rooms, but it’s also a hotspot for digital workers. With a choice of long tables and quiet corners, you can pick your preferred space to accomplish your tasks. A selection of excellent coffees and the opportunity to sit down for a chess game enable you to both work and play in this creative melting pot.
- Bamboo Vegan Mini Market & Cafe: Start the day with a tea or vegan cappuccino, and some plant-based wraps, pies, or desserts. Cute place to work from for a couple of hours.
🏘 Where to stay in Thessaloniki
- Seafront: If you want to stay close to museums, restaurants, shopping facilities, and cafés, have a look at Thessaloniki's seafront. The Seafront district is home to a gorgeous promenade, quaint churches, and numerous historical attractions. There’s plenty of accommodation for all travel types, and good public transport connections, and proximity to the train station, if you want to take the train to Athens.
🧑🏻💻 Where to work from in Thessaloniki
Coworking spaces in Thessaloniki
- i4G Pro: This coworking hub is a solid choice for those looking to work individually or in groups. The space has desks, meeting rooms, and handy equipment like printers and scanners. i4G Pro also has an outdoor terrace and lounge, in case you want to give your brain a break. You can choose from various arrangements, from a single day entrance to a monthly rental of private rooms. Month membership is 250 Euro. Click here for the location.
- coho coworking home: A creative hub located in the cool neighborhood Agia Triada. Its cozy interior reminds you of someone's living room, but it has all the amenities for a productive working day. The private rooms are perfect for a business meeting. They offer free tea and coffee, or you can walk outside for a quick break in Agia Triada with its range of cafés and restaurants. Month memberships start at 150 Euro. Click here for the location.
Coffee shops in Thessaloniki
- The Caravan B&B Thessaloniki: Technically you are entering a hotel, the establishment welcomes nomads in their cozy lounge area. You can get drinks, meals and snacks.
- Zogia: With its brick walls and dark timber furniture, Zogia has a cozy ambiance. Their comfortable seating and praised coffee should help to have some productive working hours.
- ROOTS: This café is the pinnacle of herbivorous dining in Thessaloniki. It was the first exclusively plant-based restaurant in the city, and its menu will even make die-hard meat-eaters drool. Dig into a plant-based burger with barbecue sauce, vegan gyros with tzatziki and country potatoes, and finish off with mango panna cotta. Cozy place to work with stable wifi.
🏘 Where to stay in Crete
- Chania: On the island of Crete, the best area to stay is Chania. Chania is both an ancient town and one of the four provinces of Crete. Found on the Western quarter of the island, Chania is defined by great beaches, the stunning White Mountains and their legendary National Park that dominates much of the area.
🧑🏻💻 Where to work from in Crete
Coworking space in Chania
- Workhub Chania: Workhub was founded in 2020, in the beautiful sunny coastal city of Chania, by Effie Pouli and it’s the very first co-working space (family-run) in the city. With really warm Cretan hosting, modern facilities with high internet speed and various events, and off the beaten track tours, Workhub aims to make people’s stay a productive and unforgettable experience. If you want to work remotely from Crete Greece, this is probably your best option. Month membership is 265 Euro.
Coffee shops in Chania
- Kross Coffee Roasters: After being greeted by lush banana plants, you’re entering a semi-dilapidated building with a cozy coffee shop inside. The atmosphere is matched by equally good coffee, plus decent picnic-style working tables. There are limited power plugs available inside but it could do the trick for a few hours.
- Just Veronesi: A hip cafe in the Old Town with an extended food and drink menu. For nomads, the free WiFi comes in incredibly handy. Sit inside at a private working table, or choose a seat on the cobbled street.
- To Stachi: Simple, rustic Greek, vegan food hits the right spot at To Stachi, a taverna-style dining room. In the mornings and afternoons, also a cozy work spot.
🚊 How to travel around Greece
- Plane: A fast way to get around Greece, especially when hopping from island to island is by taking a plane. You can find a map of the international and domestic airports here. Greece counts 22 international and 17 national airports.
- Ferry: A country with 227 islands is made for ferries and you can expect a great connection between the mainland and the islands. From car ferries, speed boats, flying dolphins (hydrofoils), catamarans, sailboats, and slow local ferries - you can choose between many different options. You can find connections, schedules, and tickets here.
- Train: Within Greece, you can travel by train from Athens to Thessaloniki, which is the main route. You can find schedules and tickets here. Please note that a negative Covid test result is required for non-vaccinated travelers.
- Bus: Buses operate on the mainland and on some bigger islands too. The main operator is Ktel.
- Rental car: Maybe not worth renting a car in Athens, but if you want to explore remote parts of the Greek mainland or an island, renting a car gives you the most freedom and all the travel options. However, please note that many rental car companies do not cover damages caused on dirt roads but many beaches and sites are only accessible by taking dirt roads. Additionally, parking and traffic can be a problem, especially in the tourist high season (summer months), which comes with high congestion levels.
🎖Must see in Greece
- Athens: It is nearly impossible to visit Athens and not stumble upon ancient heritage. When in Athens, make sure to visit the Acropolis, and the Acropolis Museum, the National Archeology Museum, the Ancient Agora, and Olympieion. Stroll through the Pláka and the Anafiotika neighborhood.
- Delphi: To excavate the ancient town of Delphi, the modern town of Delphi had to be relocated. Modern Delphi is a modern city just next to the famous archeological site of Delphi. In ancient times Delphi was the seat of the orarcle Pythia which was consulted for important matters in the ancient classical Greek world. You can reach Delphi by bus (4 hours) from Athens.
- Thessaloniki: Thessaloniki is Greece's second-biggest city - historic, avantgarde, and culturally colorful with many coworking and coliving spaces. When in Thessaloniki, try the coworking space Office Club. Coffeeshops to work from could be Mob, Palermo, or Toms.
- Mount Olympus: Around 80 km southwest of Thessaloniki lies Mount Olympus, home to the ancient Greek gods. The average length of an expedition to its peak takes between 2 and 3 days. There are shorter hikes you can do as a day trip. You can reach Mount Olympus by taking the train from Thessaloniki to Katerini (1 hour) and then continue by bus (30 min) to Litochoro, a good starting point to explore the national park.
- Metéora Monasteries: When staying in Katerini to explore the Mount Olympus, check out the nearby Unesco World Heritage site of the Metéora Monasteries. The 6 Greek Orthodox monasteries are built on a rock formations overlooking the surrounding hills.
- Santorini: Maybe one of the most photographed island is Santorini, a volcanic island in the Aegean Sea, famous for its picturesque towns Fira and Oia, and its white, red, and black pebble stone beaches. You can reach Santorini, which is officially known as Thera, by ferry or plane from many Greek islands and from the mainland.
- Mykonos: Part of the Cyclades, Mykonos is famous for its summer beach parties, and night clubs. The Island of the Winds is also known as gay-friendly and counts a big LGBT-community among tourists, expats, and locals.
- Crete: The biggest island in Greece is home to the biggest and strongest digital nomad community within the country. You find Greek Escape here, a coworking and coliving space located in Chania. Digital nomad-friendly coffeeshops are Coffee Lab and Monogram.
- Other islands: Depending on your mood, or the purpose of your island trip, you want to choose carefully which islands you go to. When looking for a peaceful timeout, check out the Saronic islands which are for everyone looking for a slower pace. If that sounds too boring, you might want to look into Cyclades and Crete, known as the party islands. Are you interested in Greek architecture? Then have a look at the beautiful Ionian islands like Corfu or Kefalonia. But maybe you are looking for the perfect beach destination? Then the Dodecanese islands could be your spot. The Sporades are for you when you are into nature and hiking, and the Northern Aegean is for those looking for relaxation.
💡Good to know
- Internet: The average internet speed for the fixed broadband is 36 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload speed.
- Sim cards: Cosmote sim cards come with a good 4G and 5G network. You can buy sim cards from Cosmote, Vodafone, or Wind already at the airports. If you are wandering around the streets in Athens and you see vendors with branded uniforms, you can also buy from them. They are employees of the provider company, they will take a photo of you and your ID, which is the same procedure as if you would buy in a shop.
- Digital nomad community: Athens, Thessaloniki, and Crete are three fantastic places for digital nomads. The smaller islands are usually for different types of tourists, from party to relaxation, and from budget to luxury. If you are looking for vibrant city life with coffee shops to work from, meetups and events, Athens and Thessaloniki might be what you are looking for.
- Currency: Greece uses the Euro.
- Climate: Greece has a Mediterranean climate with mild and wet winters and sunny and hot summers. The median temperature between April and September is about 24 degrees Celsius, it can be colder in the northern mainland regions.
- Safety: The country ranks 66th on the Global Peace Index, with an overall score of 1.9. Greece is a very safe country to travel to, and tourists are unlikely to experience violent crime. Pitty crime is possible of course.
- Culture: Greece is famous for being the cradle of democracy, art, music, architecture, politics, philosophy, and storytelling. You can find 18 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the country, including the famous Acropolis, the temple of Apollo, and the Old Town of Corfu.
- Landscape: Did you know that Greece is made up of 80% of mountains? The country is a real hiker's paradise.
🚧 What to avoid in Greece
- Clothing faux pas: When entering a church or other religious place or site, dress appropriately in long sleeves and shorts covering the knees. Avoid going shirt-less, or with swimwear, barefoot, or in a tank top to holy sites.
- Food and drinks in the metro: The metro in Athens was built in 1869 and Greeks are very proud of this form of transport. Eating and drinking in the metro is a no-no.
- Touching artifacts and climbing historical sites: Paying respect to the historic sites of a place should be a no-brainer but there are still so many incidences where tourists climb temples and ruins, touch artifacts for selfies or walk on closed paths.
🚴🏻♀️ How to stay healthy
Greece has a mild climate and mountainous landscape which are the perfect condition for a great variety of outdoor activities. Local markets are a reliable supply of fresh produce, and the island's rich culture offers many occasions to meet new people and make friends.
- Hiking: Dense pine forest, beautiful beaches, secluded coves, and quaint villages would describe the Sporades islands best. The island group is made for hiking, for example, the Skopelos walk or a walk up Mount Palouki.
- Walking: Greece, from Athens to Thessaloniki but especially the islands are amazing for walking travelers. You can easily combine sightseeing with a long walk, sunbathing with a beach run, and soaking in nature while hiking.
- Cycling: I haven't done a mountain bike trip in Greece yet but I hear good things about it. You can find many different mountain bike routes on the mainland but also on islands, through the forest, uphill and downhill, along the coast with panoramic views, and through small fishing villages and beach towns.
- Water quality: In general, you can drink tap water in Greece.
- Air quality: The air quality in Greece is generally moderate.
⚓️ Long stay
If you intend to stay longer in Greece, check out the following possibilities.
Digital nomad visa
The digital nomad visa, also known as Greece National Visa, or type-D visa. You are able to work location-independent, and you can perform your work duties remotely using telecommunications technology. You either have an active employment contract with a company registered outside of Greece, conduct business through your own company registered abroad, or work as a freelancer for clients mostly outside of Greece. Currently, the monthly income threshold is 3,504 Euro (gross of tax). If you fulfill these points, you can apply by submitting an online form. The digital nomad visa is valid for 1 year and you can extend it for 1 more year. This visa is designed for non-EU citizens, as EU-citizens are already allowed to enjoy the freedom of movement due to the Schengen agreement.