If you have moved to Greece recently you may be wondering how you can make new friends. This could be difficult if you don’t speak the language, but it isn’t impossible if you make an effort to get out and about.

1. Make friends at work

When I first came to Greece, I worked at a large private language school in Athens. I made friends with the other expat teachers, English, German, French, Irish and so on, and can’t say that I was lonely. I also had Greek friends who invited me to name day celebrations, weddings, baptisms and other social occasions. I quickly learned the appropriate greeting to be used at such occasions, ‘Χρόνια Πολλά’ [chronia polla], which literally translates as ‘Many years.’

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Follow my seven top ways to make friends in Greece.

Follow my seven top ways to make friends in Greece.

Χρόνια Πολλά is a very useful phrase to remember as you say it at every happy occasion, such as New Year’s Eve, birthdays and other holidays.

You’ve probably realised that for Greeks, their name days are celebrated more than their birthdays.

You’ve probably realised that for Greeks, their name days are celebrated more than their birthdays. This site gives a list of these days, so you can be prepared to greet your friends appropriately and give them a gift, whether or not you have been invited to join in a celebration. The person celebrating a joyous occasion usually pays the bill at a taverna or café if you have been invited, but a gift is always appreciated.

2. Introduce yourself

First of all, if you have bought a property in Greece, you should introduce yourself to your neighbours and break the ice if they have not already introduced themselves to you. Take some cakes or pastries to accompany the coffee you will probably be offered. Take some cakes or pastries to accompany the coffee you will probably be offered.

Your neighbours will undoubtedly welcome you into their homes and will probably introduce you to their friends and relatives, so you will soon have quite a circle of friends and acquaintances. Don’t cut yourself off from them, you will need them. They will be eager to practise their English and will teach you some Greek. They will also want to ‘show you off’ to their friends. You may feel like a prize poodle, but stick with it, they mean well. Take some cakes or pastries to accompany the coffee you will probably be offered.

3. Café bars and tavernas

Of course, you will meet Greeks and possibly other expats if you go to a café regularly and don’t hide behind a book or tablet. Show that you are open to communicating by smiling. Body language is very important.

4. Join a group to meet other expats

Join a group which reflects your interests. Even outside the cities such groups exist. This site – Meetup – is aimed at expats and may be useful, although it is Athens-centric. It may give you some ideas though.

You should check with your embassy to find out what events are planned. Embassies organise Christmas, New Year and other events for expats, so get on the mailing list.

You can ask the estate agent you bought your Greek property from if there are other expats living locally and ask if he or she would mind forwarding your email address to them so that you can get in touch if they don’t object.

You can ask the estate agent you bought your Greek property from if there are other expats living locally and ask if he or she would mind forwarding your email address to them so that you can get in touch if they don’t object.

I write for several sites and sometimes other Brits write to me via the websites.

5. Volunteering

Wherever you live there will be opportunities for you to volunteer and if you do, you will meet others with interests similar to yours. You can work with animals, for example, or with refugees, teaching them English or a new skill. If you are a volunteer, you won’t necessarily need a qualification to teach.

This site for volunteers has opportunities all over Greece. Currently there are opportunities for helping on marine life projects and teaching refugees, both children and adults.

You can find your local animal rescue centre and offer your services. This site operates all over Greece.

There are many other sites and organisations for you to explore, so hopefully you will find something that appeals in your area. If there aren’t any, think about setting up your own small organisation. Friends of mine set up a branch of a cat and dog rescue society which has grown over the years, but it is Athens-based.

Give the resource team a ring on +44(0)20 7898 0549 or email greece@propertyguides.com if you have questions about moving to Greece.

6. Sell your skills

Everyone has skills, so think about teaching yours to the appropriate age group in your community. For example, help kids with their English. You’ll probably be surprised at the uptake. Everyone wants to be taught by a native speaker. You could charge for lessons or give them free.

7. Visit the town hall [Δημαρχείο]

If you go to the nearest town hall you can ask for details of what’s on. You may find that there’s a local drama group You might be able to join it in some capacity.

There could be exhibitions at the town hall that you are interested in, or you can get information about what events are planned.

A taxi driver friend of mine took me to an art exhibition and introduced me to the artist. That was the beginning of a friendship which lasted until she died an early death.

She [her name was Vasiliki Tambouri] went on to found an association for artists, Technosfaira.  Because of her, I met a lot of Greeks and my social life was enriched.

You never know whom you may meet once you go out and about. A lifelong friend can be found anywhere, on the beach in a local shop and so on.

To make new friends be more open and don’t forget to smile.

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The Greece Buying Guide takes you through each stage of the property buying process.The guide will help you to:


  Ask the right questions
  Avoid losing money
  Avoid the legal pitfalls
  Move in successfully

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