In more than three years of digital nomad life, I have been writing and living and finding all kinds of love in cities across Europe. But the one that is my true home – and my true love – is Athens, Greece – a great digital nomad city.
It’s not one of the more popular places for writers and creatives on the go, at least not yet. But it has so much to offer anyone who loves warmth and history and excellent, cheap living. Digital nomad life in Athens is great – here’s why.
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Athens is an underrated digital nomad city
My priorities when finding a digital nomad community are a low cost of living, warm weather, friendly people, and plenty of cafes to read and write in. For digital nomads, Greece has all of these, and more.
Despite how inexpensive and sunny it is, Athens isn’t yet a big digital nomad hub, though the digital nomad scene in Greece is certainly growing.
After more than a year here, I can see a few reasons why.
Pros and cons of living in Athens
The city itself can look a little bit rough for first-time visitors – all the car exhaust and graffiti and crumbling Neoclassical mansions aren’t the warmest welcomes. And there are some other drawbacks to consider before you move here – as well as some real perks.
Slow internet speeds
One of the biggest drawbacks of Greece as a digital nomad destination is that the internet is quite slow, in most Airbnbs, many cafes, and apartments as well. It isn’t a huge issue for me as a writer since I don’t do much work that requires high speeds or fast downloads, but for many other professions it can be.
As a solution, I ask my apartment hosts to send me a speed test of the wifi in their apartment. The ones that get it are happy to do it. I also join a coworking space when I’m in town (my recs are below!) as they have great internet.
Lots of traffic and cars
Another issue here is the traffic and general car-choked atmosphere of the city.
Athens has a lot of public transit options, and the subway system is terrific – fast, safe, and affordable. But buses are old, crowded, and get stuck in the terrible traffic jams that plague the city. Cars and scooters rarely obey traffic laws and there are simply too many of them.
But there are plenty of pros for digital nomads in Greece as well.
Cost of living in Athens
The cost of living in Athens is low compared to most EU countries, especially if you rent an apartment directly instead of through Airbnb and shop for food at your local laïki agora, or farmer’s market.
You can enjoy a great coffee for 2-4€ at a chic cafe, a glass of delicious Greek wine for 3-5€ if you’re going to an upscale place, and dinner out for under 10€ per person at a local taverna. And you can get a great apartment for under 1000€ per month on Airbnb, and half that if you rent from a local long-term.
It doesn’t hurt that these affordable prices give you unlimited access to the excellence and variety that is Greek cuisine, too! You’ll have lots of options for incredible Greek food from all over the country, international options galore, and tons of vegetarian and vegan choices too. Athens is an eater’s paradise.
Convenience is everywhere
Also, Athens is a very convenient digital nomad city. The airport is a 30 minute subway ride away from the center, and it’s huge – you can fly to multiple continents on any given day. You can also explore all of the beautiful, varied country of Greece from Athens, whether you’re doing day trips or weekends away.
You can get almost anything – dinner, drinks, poetry – delivered in under half an hour via Wolt. And it’s a huge city so you can find the neighborhood that works best for you, depending on if you want the quiet suburbs, the artsy center, or the upscale seaside areas (details below!).
The new Greece digital nomad visa
Plus, there’s a new Greece digital nomad visa that I plan on applying for soon that has a lot of perks! I’ll let you know how that goes when it happens.
Logistics of digital nomad life in Athens
Wondering where to work, stay, and live as an Athens digital nomad? Here’s your complete guide.
Digital nomad cafes in Athens
If you order a drink in an Athens cafe, you can sit for hours – and most of them have wifi now as well.
Finding your favorite local cafe is mostly a matter of wandering and exploring because there’s so many of them in the city, but here are my top coworking cafes in Athens.
- Kick in Kypseli has excellent coffee, decent WiFi, and a very cute and friendly vibe.
- Taf in Omonia has incredible espresso and a quiet upstairs section.
- Dope Roasting Co in Psiri has good coffee, snacks and sandwiches, and comfortable tables upstairs for working.
- Miss Tartu in Exarchia has great and healthy food, friendly staff, and pretty good wifi.
Coworking spaces in Athens
There are quite a few open in Athens now, but my favorites are Stone Soup and The Cube near Omonia. Both have a friendly homey feel but with fast internet (so rare!) and plenty of events to meet the digital nomad community and make friends.
Best neighborhoods to stay in Athens
Athens is a huge city, so finding the perfect neighborhood for you might take some searching. Here are my recommendations for the most popular digital nomad hubs.
- Psiri is very central and very hip, and fun if you want to be in the center of everything.
- Kolonaki is the most upscale area of the center of Athens, and it’s lovely and very central.
- Exarchia is a little rough but full of youthful excitement and tons of artists and lively cafes, and also quite central though there’s no subway stop here yet.
- Kypseli is packed with activity, markets, delightful cafes, and poets and actors and young families. It’s also lacking a subway stop (one is coming!) but it does have plenty of buses.
- Glyfada is for the upscale expats and feels like a Greek LA – it’s by the sea and a bit far from the center, but lovely if you prefer a quieter place.
- Kifissia is another suburb, but in the north. It’s quieter and green and a short subway ride from the center.
Finding digital nomad housing in Athens
I used to go through Airbnb to find great apartments in residential neighborhoods and get a feel for local life. (Read more about my strategy for finding housing, healthcare, and more essentials of digital nomad life.)
However, in the three years since I began living as a digital nomad, Airbnb’s prices have increased a lot while their customer service has definitely declined. Now I use Booking.com to search for short-term apartments instead.
If you plan on staying for 3+ months, you can get much better deals by joining local Facebook groups (I like this one) and asking around for options. Just be sure to do your due diligence and be careful who you rent from, like you would anywhere else.
For a more upscale experience with excellent customer service and beautiful apartments in the best Athens neighborhoods, you can use Blueground – they end up costing the same as Airbnbs for long stays, but are much nicer.
Don’t Miss: The 5 Best Books About Greece
Why as a digital nomad Athens is great
The biggest reasons I love living in Athens as a digital nomad don’t have anything to do with traffic or groceries or housing, however.
It’s the friendliness and hospitality of Greeks – they love to welcome you to their (extremely beautiful) country with warmth and genuine care.
And it’s the way I’m constantly surrounded by beauty here – the sight of the Acropolis you can catch from all over the city, the ruins from multiple civilizations everywhere you turn, the city cradled by the mountains and the sea in all directions.
For a digital nomad Athens can be paradise. It’s not for everyone, but if you love big cities with a low cost of living, ancient history all around, and a super-friendly local vibe, you should give it a try!
More posts about Greece:
- How to spend 3 days in Athens like a local
- My complete guide to planning a trip to Greece
- 10 things you need to know before going to Greece
More digital nomad lifestyle resources:
- How I find housing, pay taxes, manage money, and more as a digital nomad
- My 7 digital nomad packing essentials I take everywhere
My other favorite digital nomad cities in Europe:
This post was updated on March 27, 2022.