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If you are looking for a long-term option, you can easily find affordable accommodation across the country, while rents in Athens are higher than anywhere, besides maybe Santorini and Mykonos. However, if you do opt for Athens, you will be happy to hear that real estate prices have drastically declined since the beginning of the economic crisis. Many of the city’s neighbourhoods are considered affordable and you can even find a decent 45 square metre apartment (480 square ft) for as low as €180 ($215) for one month, with utilities on average at about €83 ($99) for two months, if you plan on staying longer. You can also check Airbnb. Though it might get a bit more expensive in the long run, you save yourself the hassle of signing a lease.
You can also find a plethora of low-budget hostels and hotels with rates as low as €10 ($12) per night.
A basic meal (including a drink) in a taverna or restaurant totals roughly €12 ($15), but you can definitely find cheaper in family-run tavernas or if you opt for street food every now and then. But if you want to save as much as possible, cooking is the best option. Groceries are reasonably priced in Greece, with basics such as bread costing €0.70 ($0.81), 1kg of tomatoes retails at €1.41 ($1.69), apples cost on average €1.46 ($1.74) a kilo, potatoes are about €0.82 ($0.98) a kilo and 500 grams of boneless chicken breast retails at €4.34 ($5.18). Cooking will save you money and allow you to afford eating out for a meal or two on weekends. For drinks in bars and pubs, the average for a pint of beer is about €4.37 ($5.23) and cocktails are roughly €9 ($11).
In Athens, the monthly ticket public transport costs €32 ($38) and a few dollars cheaper in Thessaloniki – and allows you to travel on the bus, metro, train, tram and trolleys. But if you are visiting for a short period, a single public transport ticket €1.40 ($1.67) is the best option. If you plan on hiring a car (about €30/$35.50 per day depending on the season), the price for a litre of gas is about €1.50 ($1.79).
In Greece, you will find plenty of free beaches readily available so you can have some beach fun without spending a cent. However, when it comes to museums and archaeological sites, there is usually an entrance fee, although a few museums have free entrance days. If you are visiting outside peak season, entrance to a few attractions are free on Sundays. Alternately, you can also find free things to do in Athens.
In Athens, depending on what attractions and extra activities you want to do, you will end up with some extra cash (about $50) for any other expenses you might have, making it possible to last up to a month. If you choose to settle anywhere else besides Santorini and Mykonos, you will be able to last longer as prices are definitely cheaper elsewhere.