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Athens for students

Greece’s capital and largest city, Athens has a history dating back thousands of years. The city has been called the cradle of western civilization as well as the birthplace of democracy.

The classical city-state of Athens has been transformed into a busy modern metropolis, home to around 34 percent of Greece’s total population. Rising four places this year, Athens is now ranked 72nd in the Best Student Cities 2019.

Considered the birthplace of modern thinking, Athens is home to some of Greece’s most prestigious universities, three of which are included in the QS World University Rankings® 2021.

In fact, in the student survey, Athens’ affordability is frequently mentioned, with one individual saying, “in contrast to other European cities, Athens is much more affordable.” Another respondent praised “the weather and the nightlife.”  

Best universities in Athens - QS Best Student Cities ranking: 72nd

More about Athens

Number of universities ranked by QS


Top ranked institution



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank


To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, 
view the methodology.

Why study in Athens?

The low cost of living

With a low cost of living and tuition fees costing only US$2,100 per year, Athens is incredibly affordable for students. It ranks 32nd worldwide for affordability.

The people

The friendliness and hospitality of the Greek people is widely known around the world.

The nightlife

As it gets dark, the city’s cafés turn into bars and friends rush to the Gazi district to dance and drink in the city’s nightclubs. 

The sights

Enjoy the city’s amazing monuments, including the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the Acropolis.

Cost of studying in Athens?

Greece earns its highest score in the affordability indicator in 32nd place worldwide. This is due to its relatively low tuition fees (US$2,100) and inexpensive cost of living.

For example, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center would cost you only US$470 per month, compared to US$1,400 for the same thing in France’s capital, Paris.

Life & culture in Athens

Home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites (including the world-famous Acropolis), the city retains much of its classical heritage, with many ancient monuments such as the famous Parthenon. Athens is a city that certainly mixes old and new – you can’t walk the streets without seeing reminders of the city’s fascinating history.

As well as exploring one of the oldest cultures in the world, you could also spend time enjoying the city’s lively nightlife, delicious Greek food, great shops, its long tradition in sports, as well as theater and entertainment.

Greek people are noted for their warmth and friendliness and, if you fancy more exploration, the city is just a quick ferry ride away from beautiful Greek islands such as Kea and Aegina.

Career in Athens

Finding a job in Athens isn’t exactly easy. The Greek economy is still recovering financially and the unemployment rate is high. Despite this, there is a growing demand for specialized skilled workers, particularly in the technology sector.

If you’re looking to work in Athens after graduation, tourism accounts for around a fifth of Greece’s GDP so there is often work in the hospitality, retail and transportation industries.

However, it’s worth noting that it’s significantly harder to find work in Greece if you come from outside the EU/EEA.

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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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