So, you’ve decided to move to Athens, Greece. Living in one of the world’s top cities can be very exciting and intimidating at the same time. Up to this point, you’ve done your research, mapped out your relocation plans, and now the next item on your agenda is to rent an apartment in Athens.
Challenges of renting in Athens
Athens offers a diverse array of rental options, including apartments, shared living spaces, houses, and penthouses, some being older and others more contemporary, some furnished and others not. Your first task is to determine which option best suits your needs.
Additionally, you’ll need to decide whether you prefer a renovated older apartment and whether having a balcony is a must for you.
Another critical consideration before choosing an apartment in Athens is access to public transportation. Athens boasts an extensive tram and Metro network, and since owning a car may not be in the cards, having convenient access to one or both of these transportation systems will be essential.
Choose the neighborhood where you want to live in Athens
Once you’ve settled on the type of accommodation that suits you, the next step is to narrow down your preferred areas in Athens for your new home. Athens comprises seven distinct districts and 22 neighborhoods, each offering its unique charm.
Factors such as pricing, proximity to the city center, ease of transportation, and nearby points of interest will play a pivotal role in your decision-making process. Athens offers a diverse selection of neighborhoods, from lively and colorful ones nestled near the city center to those slightly further out along the picturesque coast. The city’s center is compact, making it easy to navigate on foot.
Plaka, a picturesque and tranquil neighborhood centrally located between Syntagma and Monastiraki, offers stunning views of the Acropolis. The nearest metro station is Monastiraki. This area boasts elegant neoclassical houses, although apartments in these charming 19th-century buildings can be quite pricey.
Within Plaka lies Anafiotika, often referred to as the “island village.” This area features car-free streets and Cycladic-style cube-shaped houses, evoking the ambiance of a Greek island.
Monastiraki, conveniently equipped with its own Metro station, is within walking distance of Syntagma and Omonia squares. This neighborhood is popular for its open-air market, ancient sites, and grand neoclassical mansions that have been converted into apartments.
Offering splendid views of the Acropolis and located near the Ancient Agora, Thissio boasts its own Metro station. This relaxed neighborhood is dotted with numerous street cafés, making it an ideal spot for meeting friends.
Located near Monastiraki and its Metro station, Psiri is one of the city’s historic neighborhoods, characterized by cobblestone streets and captivating old houses. Psiri is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, featuring numerous clubs and bars.
A popular neighborhood in the heart of Athens, Kolonaki is a sought-after, upscale area within walking distance of Syntagma Square and Lycabettus Hill. Its closest Metro stations are Syntagma and Panepistimio. This part of the city houses some of Athens’ most important museums and galleries. The upscale apartment buildings here boast significant architectural value, albeit at a higher price.
Overlooking the Acropolis and nestled in the heart of Athens, Koukaki is a pleasant and highly sought-after neighborhood for renters.
This lively, newer neighborhood is situated about three kilometers from the city center. Gazi derives its name from a refurbished, massive old gas factory that now serves as a popular cultural center. The area offers more reasonably priced apartments and is renowned for its vibrant nightlife.
A charming and relatively quieter part of Athens, Petralona lies to the west of the city center. It’s divided into Upper (Pano) Petralona and Lower (Kato) Petralona by the Metro line.
Pano Petralona is the livelier of the two, featuring numerous family-run tavernas, while Kato Petralona offers character, green spaces, pedestrian streets, and affordable rents.
Situated outside the historic city center, Exarchia has long been favored by students, artists, and musicians. It’s less touristy and offers more affordable rents.
The main street, Kallidromiou, is renowned for its vividly painted wall art and graffiti. Exarchia boasts a lively music scene and a vibrant nightlife, with a popular Farmers’ Market held in the neighborhood every Sunday.
10. Glyfada, Voula, Vouliagmeni, and Saronida
These farther out areas of metropolitan Athens are highly desirable because they are located on the coast. Since they are all popular vacation destinations, rental prices for apartments are higher. There is high demand for rentals in these areas because there have been few new building projects, and demand outweighs supply.
Vouliagmeni is located 20 km from the city center and is known for its top-notch restaurants and Lake Vouliagmeni, which has thermal springs and underwater caves. There are certainly some lovely apartments for rent in Vouliagmeni, but they come with a hefty price tag.
Types of rental apartments in Athens
Rental apartments in Athens are available either furnished (επιπλωμένο- epiploméno) or unfurnished (χωρίς έπιπλα – pronounced chorís épipla, meaning without furniture). For your first apartment rental in Athens, it will probably be easier to opt for a furnished apartment.
How much does it cost to rent an apartment in Athens?
Rent prices in Athens can vary from $400 to $1,000 on average, depending on the size and exact location of the apartment. The average rent price in the city of Athens is $450, in the eastern suburbs of Athens it is $660, in the northern suburbs it goes up to $880, in the western suburbs of the metropolis rents are $625 on average, while apartments in the sourthern suburbs of Athens are the most expensive, around $1,000.
What paperwork do I need to rent an apartment in Athens?
- A scan of your ID/passport will be required.
- Copies of your last three pay slips or a current bank statement showing that you have the funds to cover your stay.
- Proof of a job offer in Athens and details of your expected earnings.
- You must apply for a Greek tax number (TIN), also known as an AFM – which you will need to work in Greece.
- You need to open a bank account with a Greek bank.
How do you find an apartment to rent in Athens Greece?
Finding an apartment in Athens can be challenging, especially because the good ones get snatched up very quickly. If you are browsing in newspapers or online, you may find that they have already been rented.
Some good websites to find apartments for rent in Athens are:
You can also use a real estate agency to find a rental apartment. In this case, some fees may apply, so check who is responsible to pay the commission fees.
In addition to using modern methods to locate an apartment, the traditional approach of asking in local coffee shops can still be effective in Greece. Once you’ve pinpointed the area where you’d like to live, pop into local coffee shops and inquire if there are any apartments for rent.
Another traditional way to find an apartment is to look for a yellow sign with the word “ΕΝΟΙΚΙΑΖΕΤΑΙ” meaning “FOR RENT” with a mobile number written underneath.
Tips for renting an apartment in Athens
- Good rental apartments in Athens are in high demand and get rented quickly.
- Beware of scammers; do not provide any money until you have a signed contract.
- Do not attempt to arrange an apartment rental before arriving in Athens.
- If you are doing a private rental, having a friend who speaks fluent Greek with you could be advantageous.
- Photographs may not tell the full story; properties for rent are often poorly presented.
- Always visit the apartment before agreeing to rent it, ensuring it suits your needs and is in good condition.
What are the costs involved when renting in Athens?
When starting a rental agreement in Athens, it is common to pay two months’ rent upfront. This money will be held by the landlord as a security deposit and will be returned at the end of the tenancy, provided the apartment is left in the same condition as it was at the start of the rental.
Utilities (electricity, water, gas, telephone) are not usually included in the rent, and this will be mentioned in the Rental Agreement and must be paid separately. Some apartment complexes have costs shared by the tenants, covering things like the cleaning of common areas (hallways and staircases), a gardener, elevator maintenance, and electricity for communal areas, etc. These additional charges are referred to as “kinohista.”
What does an Athens apartment lease entail?
Having a rental contract for your chosen apartment is a must, as it ensures your rights as a tenant and also lists all the landlord’s obligations, to avoid misunderstandings. Both the landlord and tenant must sign the agreement at the same time in front of a third party. There should be two copies of the Rental Agreement – one written in Greek and the other in English; otherwise, the Rental Agreement is rendered invalid.
The rental agreement or contract should state at a minimum:
- The duration of the agreed rental with start and termination dates
- The deposit amount paid upon signing the contract
- The monthly rent
- Any additional costs such as electricity
- Any predicted rent increases
- An inventory of furniture – if applicable
- Any house rules regarding expenses for repairs, damage, etc. and who will cover these expenses
- Length of notice required by either party – usually one month minimum
As the date for moving into your rental apartment in Athens approaches, it is important to obtain some “ασφάλιση σπιτιού” (pronounced asfálisi spitioú) meaning home insurance. Choose a policy that covers both your apartment and your belongings, as this will bring you peace of mind.
Once you’ve settled into your new apartment home in Athens, you can finally feel like a local and start enjoying all the unique things you can do in Athens.
This article originally appeared on MyDolceCasa and was syndicated by MediaFeed.
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