Erasmus in Athens: Guide for students

Published by Raquel Rubinat on

As you may already know, Athens is the capital of Greece and it is an amazing Erasmus destination by many. If this is your destination, you are in the right post because below we bring you the definitive guide for Erasmus in Athens. Let's get started!

Accommodation for students in Athens


Accommodation will be one of the first tasks you will have to carry out, but don't worry, we will explain the options below.

Erasmus flat or residence?

Living in a shared apartment or in a student residence is usually the dilemma of every student, and if you are wondering whether one option or the other is better, you should know that most students live in shared apartments. In fact, in Athens you will hardly find any student residences.

Best areas to live in Athens

As for the best areas to live in Athens, you should know that most of the students look for accommodation in Exarcheia and surroundings, since it is a very central and lively area. In addition, there are several subway stops, which will make it easier for you to move around the city in a faster and more comfortable way.

We recommend that you check in which area of the city your university and college is located, as Athens is a very big city, and it is not always easy to move around. There are many hilly streets and the city is full of hills and hills. Therefore, living near a metro stop or near your university will save you a lot of time. For example, the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens are quite far from the center, so some students prefer to live in Zografou, the neighborhood where both universities are located.

On the other hand, the University of Piraeus is located in Piraeus, a town on the outskirts of Athens. It is true that, although living in this area will make it easier for you to get to and from the university, you will be quite far from the center of Athens, and you will not find too much of a student atmosphere.

Gastronomy in Athens

The gastronomy in this city is incredible, so during your Erasmus in Athens you will be able to immerse yourself in the Greek cuisine. Some of the typical dishes that we recommend you to try are:

  • Gyros. It is one of the most popular dishes and you could say that it is similar to kebab. They are usually pork or chicken and these large pieces of meat rotate around a large metal skewer from which they cut thin strips to serve inside a cone of pita bread, on a plate or on skewers.
  • Dolmades. This dish is of Turkish origin and is made with vine leaves stuffed with a mixture of rice, minced meat and onion,
  • Moussaka. It is a kind of lasagna whose ingredients are minced lamb, eggplant and tomato. Some versions also include other ingredients such as potatoes or zucchini.
  • Saganaki. This is a popular appetizer consisting of kefalotyri cheese (a Greek cheese similar to feta) that is fried and served with lemon.
  • Souvlaki. These are grilled skewers of meat (pork or chicken), usually served in pita bread with vegetables and sauces such as tzatziki (based on yogurt and cucumber).


These are some of the typical Roman dishes but, of course, there are many more. As for places and areas where you can taste Greek gastronomy, we recommend you to go to Sintagma, Monastiraki and Plaka, where you will find a lot of restaurants, cafes and bars.

Leisure and party in Athens

The party is another important point when we talk about Erasmus. In Athens there is a great student and nightlife atmosphere, so you will have no problem if you like to party.

The area of Gazi is perfect to have a drink or go out to party, as there are many bars and clubs there. There are also many parties for Erasmus students. Some places where students usually go are: Penthouse, Lohan or GaziView. On many occasions the students go out to party in bars and discos located on the beach, such as Bolivar Beach Bar, Akanthus Summer Club or Peñarrubia Lounge.

Cost of living in Athens

Regarding the cost of living in Athens, we can say that this is an economic city. Although being the capital of Greece and being a tourist destination it may have somewhat higher prices than other areas of the country, the truth is that it is a city with a medium-low cost of living.

Accommodation will represent one of your biggest expenses, but if you look in advance you can find quite economical options. To give you an idea, a room in a shared apartment can cost around 300-350 euros per month. Other expenses that you will have during your Erasmus will be related to leisure, transportation and shopping. Something that will surely save you money during your Erasmus is that students have free full board at the university, so you will be able to have breakfast, lunch and dinner for free at the university, just by showing your university card.

Places you can’t miss

Athens is a city with more than 3,000 years of history. During your Erasmus in Athens we recommend you to visit its ancient neighborhoods, as well as its archaeological sites, but if there is something you can't miss is this small list:

  • The Acropolis of Athens. It is probably the most important place in Athens. This ancient architectural complex includes the Parthenon, the Erection, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
  • Plaka. This is a neighborhood of narrow streets full of stores and restaurants, which is worth a stroll.
  • Ancient Agora. It was once the political, social and economic center of Athens. Here you can visit the Temple of Hephaestus, the Stoa of Attalus and explore the ruins of ancient buildings.
  • Archaeological Museum of Athens. This is the most important museum of Greek archaeology in the world, where you can see a myriad of archaeological pieces.
  • Syntagma Square. It is one of the most popular squares in Athens. Among its most important buildings is the Parliament. Here the changing of the guard takes place every hour.

In addition, you can visit many of the monuments of Athens for free (or at a reduced price) for those under 25 years old.

Trips from Athens

Although Athens is an incredible destination with many interesting places to visit, we recommend that you also take advantage of your Erasmus to travel. From Athens you can easily travel all over the country.

The ferry is one of the best options to move from Athens, especially if you want to travel to its islands. All ferries depart from the Port of Piraeus. However, to move around the interior of Greece traveling by train is a comfortable and economical way to do it, although you can also do it by bus, although the roads in Greece are not very well known for the good condition in which they are.

But that's not all: if you want to travel to other European cities you can easily do it by plane, since Athens has the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, the most important airport in Greece. More than 50 airlines operate in this airport and there are flights to more than 100 destinations, so you will surely be able to find many options to travel at very affordable prices.

Some places we recommend you to visit during your Erasmus in Athens are:

  • Delphi. About two hours from Athens is located this archaeological site declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is one of the most important visits in Ancient Greece.
  • Santorini. It is one of the most beautiful Greek islands, and is known for its iconic sunsets and breathtaking views.
  • Meteora. Here you will find monasteries built atop impressive rock formations.
  • Olympia. This place is known for being the site of the Olympic Games. There you can visit the archaeological museum, the ancient stadium or the sanctuary of Zeus.
  • Mykonos. This island is famous for its nightlife, but also for its beaches with crystal clear waters.


Tips for Erasmus students in Madrid

Finally, we have included in our guide for students in Athens, a series of important tips and advice for your Erasmus experience:

  • Apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) well in advance. If you have not applied for it yet, here we explain to you how to do it step by step.
  • Meet other students going on Erasmus in Athens and find roommates in the Erasmus Play App.
  • Although the euro is also used in Greece, if you want to withdraw cash in ATMs, you will probably be charged a commission. To be able to withdraw money without being charged a commission you can use Revolut, a card without commission and free of charge.
  • Become a member of the student associations that you will find in Athens, as they organize parties, events and trips for international students. It is also important to know that by being a member of the student associations you can get discounts in a lot of places. The main student association in Athens is: Erasmus Student Network (ESN).
  • A very useful app for your Erasmus in Athens will be the OASA Telematics app, where you can find information about routes, schedules and stops for city buses in Athens.

So far our guide for Erasmus students in Athens. We hope this series of tips and advice will help you to enjoy the Erasmus experience.


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