It’s important to realize that whilst this is possible, it’s not advisable. Yes, technically you can eat on as little as €3 a day in Athens, but this will lead to serious nutritional deficiency. This was something that I had to do after quitting my job in the UK and looking for work in Athens with no savings.
I realized that it could have taken me a few months to find work but I was even willing to be homeless for as long as it was going to take me to build a life for myself in Athens; as crazy as that might sound. I was fortunate that I was able to find a job here after just three days of searching. As it turns out, it’s by far the best job I’ve ever had… but I was just lucky.
Looking back now, I really could have been smarter with my budget and bought food items in bulk, from supermarkets. This is not by any means a guide on how to eat cheap. I’m just telling you what I was able to live off for three days in Athens.
I plan to write a full detailed guide on how people can eat cheap in Athens, but I just wanted to share how I managed to do it whilst being caught up in an extremely desperate financial situation.
I often found myself sat in Syntagma Square gnawing into a large but dry piece of naan bread that I bought from an Asian grocery store. One would leave me full for a couple of hours and they came in a pack of two for €1
Across Athens you’ll many street vendors, mainly koulouri stands. The ones I found all charged fifty cents, so I often bought one of these sesame coated delights whilst walking around the center.
I found an Indian man who sold vegetable samosas out of what looked like an oven tray with a lid on, but for fifty cents I couldn’t complain. He was usually sat on the same corner of Omonia Square so I visited him every evening. They were actually quite nice.
You can pick these up from almost every food shop in Athens for anywhere between forty cents to one euro. I bought one, sometimes two, chocolate croissants a day simply for the energy.
If I had a spare euro then I would treat myself to a cheeseburger from McDonalds. I remember being happy to eat something that actually had flavor to it.
A food budget this extreme leaves no room for luxuries such as coffee or fizzy drinks. The tap water in Athens is safe to drink, although can be risky if you’re not used to it. However, I didn’t experience any issues, so I regularly filled up my water bottle in my hostel bathroom or from bathroom sinks in cafes and coffee shops.
These are literally the only items I ate. After living like this for just a few short days, it absolutely amazes me that so many homeless people in Athens are able to survive at all.
If I was to go back in time and do this again, I would have done everything completely differently but I just wanted to share my experience.