Sights like the Acropolis and Santorini caldera are as universally recognizable as Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower. But where a trip to London or Paris might cost you $100 a day, Athens comes in at just half the price. Yes, Greece is one of Europe’s most affordable big-ticket destinations. Read on to see the full breakdown of what I spent in three weeks in Athens and Santorini.

Transportation $241.77

Bus to airport $2.73
Flight to Athens $86.66
Metro from airport $11.23
Taxi from Metro to Airbnb $4.49
12 Metro tickets $18.62
Ferry to Santorini $44.91
Bus from port to Fira $2.58
Bus from Oia to Fira $2.02
Bus from Fira to Perissa $2.69
Bus from Perissa to Fira $2.69
Bus from Fira to port $2.58
Ferry to Piraeus $44.87
Taxi to Athens airport $15.70

Accommodations $416.66

12 nights in a private room on Airbnb $255
8 nights in an 8-bed dorm at Fira Backpackers $161.66

Dining $265.72

5 days groceries at Asian Mini Market $16.37
1 week groceries at Skalvenitis $27.83
4 days groceries at Marinopoulos $9.87
1 week groceries at Fira supermarket $38.86
1 breakfast on ferry $4.38
1 breakfast at Fira newsstand $1.68
1 lunch at Spezie $11.23
1 lunch at Makriyianni $2.58
1 lunch at Cafe Metropol $10.06
1 lunch on ferry $5.28
1 lunch at Taverna Syrtaki $11.23
1 lunch at Skiza $11.79
1 lunch at Meat Corner $5.05
1 lunch at Atlantis Island Restaurant $13.57
2 lunches at Yogi Gyro $5.38
1 dinner at Obelix $3.03
1 dinner at Rastoni $24.73
1 dinner at Volkan $12.35
1 dinner at Elia $15.14
1 dinner on ferry $6.62
1 frozen yogurt at Snoyo $4.02
6 drinks at Fira Backpackers $5.83
1 gelato at Cremalatte $3.37
2 gelatos at Zotos $5.49
2 gelatos at Yes Cafe $5.49
1 frozen yogurt at LouYo $4.49

Entertainment $101.39

Acropolis ticket $22.46
Acropolis Museum ticket $5.62
National Archaeological Museum $11.18
Alternative Athens street art tour $33.53
Fira cable car $5.61
Nea Kamini volcano hiking tour with Dakoutros Bros. $20.19
Nea Kaimini National Park entry $2.80

Miscellaneous $40.49

restock contact solution at pharmacy $7.85
7 postcards on Postagram $6.93
gifts/souvenirs from Athens street vendor $5.59
replace lost sarong $16.76
gifts/souvenirs from Fira souvenir stand $3.36

Total: $1084.34
Average Spent Per Day: $51.63

How I Saved

  • Using the Postagram app
    This is such a minor point, but as it goes beyond the typical stay in hostels and cook for yourself budget tips, I feel I should mention it. I send at least one postcard home from every country I visit. I pay only 99 cents a pop by using the Postagram app to turn my own photos into a postcard on my phone. It’s so easy and way, way cheaper than buying a postcard at a souvenir stand and paying international postage separately.
  • Sharing a cab
    I was severely disappointed to dock at Piraeus around midnight and find out I couldn’t take the Metro all the way to the airport at that time. Luckily, a French couple was in the same bind and agreed to split a cab with me. Instead of paying 40 euro plus a tip, I paid about 15. Wherever you guys are, bless you!
  • Scheduling nicer dinners
    It may seem counter-intuitive, but making plans to splurge once in a while can actually help your budget. On Santorini, I picked one night I wanted to sit down at a fancier restaurant and watch the sunset over the caldera with a glass of wine in hand. Knowing I had that splurge night to look forward to kept me from impulsive splurges and made all the other nights of cheap eats easy to get through. (Though let’s be honest, you don’t need to twist my arm that hard to eat a two-euro gyro!)
  • Taking a break from hostels
    Peak season dorms in Athens run at least 20 to 30 euro a night. I found a nice private room in Exarchia on Airbnb for just under 20 euro a night. I usually only look for Airbnb when I have a longer stay in a city, like a month. But I felt like having private space and knew I couldn’t afford that in a hostel. Taking a look at a different source served me really well.
  • Hiking
    Personally, a lot of the attraction to Santorini for me was the hiking. But it was also a money saver. Instead of paying for lots of cable car or donkey rides in Fira, if I wanted to go to the Old Port, I’d take the 30 minute walk down. I also took the 3-4 hour Fira Trail to Oia. Bus rides aren’t much on Santorini, but your own two feet are free, and those couple of euro can become a gyro. And you already know how I feel about gyros.

Need more advice for a budget sojourn in Greece? Check out my Creative Professional’s Guide to Athens.

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