A Guide to Student Housing in Thessaloniki

March 19, 2024

This article aims to simplify the intimidating process of finding an apartment in Thessaloniki. It covers everything from the best neighborhoods to live in, to average rental costs, and tips on finding the ideal student housing.

One of the most intimidating tasks when moving to a new city, yet alone, a new country- is finding student housing. Thessaloniki is Greece’s second largest city, with one major university: “Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.” This university (AUTh) is located in the very heart of Thessaloniki.

This simple guide includes the majority of the information that is helpful to know before moving here. This way, you can properly complete all the steps and be more relaxed when finding student housing!

Which area should I live in?

Below is a map that can help localize you:

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The main areas that students choose to live in are highlighted in the map (above).

  1. Ladadika

Indicated by the white box.

It is not as big as depicted on the map, but to ease the process, I have grouped it together. This neighborhood is centrally located and near the port. It contains a notable architectural style, with buildings preserved from the 19th century.

It is occupied by a lot of restaurants and small boutiques, and contains most of Thessaloniki's nightlife. The downside is that this area is relatively far from the university; it is a 40-50 minute walk by foot and approximately a 15-25 minute bus ride.

  1. Ano Poli

This area is a beautiful neighborhood, composed of traditional houses from the Byzantine and Ottoman era that remain untouched ever since the great fire of 1916, which burnt the majority of Thessaloniki to the ground. It is full of colour and, personally, one of my favorite areas that the city has to offer. The neighborhood is built completely uphill; it can be quite a workout to climb to the top, where the remains of a castle reside. Depending on how far upwards you decide to live in Ano Poli, it can be a close (or far) walk to the university.

By foot, I would say that the walk varies from 10-30 minutes (if you stick to the blue box). Buses do go into Ano Poli, but to a much lesser extent than the rest of the city, as the streets are extremely narrow.

  1. Agia Triada and Toumpa

These two neighborhoods can be very lovely, especially Agia Triada, however, they are a lot further from the central part of Thessaloniki. They are relatively popular to students due to their inexpensive housing and great parking options. To commute to the university, these areas require a strong source of transportation, otherwise walking will be very time consuming.

  1. Remainder of the yellow box

Thessaloniki is dense with student housing that is centrally located, yet close to the university. Buses travel on all the main roads of the city, and there is a major bus stop near the university. I would highly recommend living within this yellow perimeter (indicated in the image above).

How much should I expect to pay?

This all depends on the area, size, and condition of the apartment. Generally, for a 1-bedroom apartment that has a separate kitchen and bathroom, the minimum price is around € 400 per month (without utility bills). This implies that the apartment is on the first floor or above, in a decent environment.

With this being said, many students decide to partner up and live in a more expensive apartment. By splitting the rent rather than living in a single studio, you can cut down on living expenses.

Utility bills generally account for € 150 of monthly expenses. This is only an estimate and varies depending on your consumption, area, and utility company.

Housing in Thessaloniki requires a deposit (usually the price of 1 month’s rent), as well as an upfront payment of 1 month’s rent. This, again, is dependent on the real estate agent and the landlord. You can either decide to go to a real-estate agent or directly to a landlord (usually private student accommodations).

A major difference between Greece and the rest of Europe is that the real-estate fee is paid by the tenant. This fee is generally a month’s rent (maximum), but can differ based on the real-estate agency’s decision. Additionally, a 24% VAT will be charged alongside the real estate fee. Hence, with an apartment costing € 400 per month, you can estimate to pay:

€ 400 deposit +  € 496 real-estate fee including VAT + € 400 first month rent *

*Note: the deposit will be given back, if the apartment is returned in the same state as it was given.

However, by going directly to a landlord, you can bypass this fee. When choosing private student housing, the price of bills is normally included and will not fluctuate with the economic environment, regardless of the contract’s duration; this is a great benefit. Many student housing agencies (i.e. Oikotrust) include other perks, such as a gym and study rooms.

By paying a set price for bills, you are paying slightly more in rent than you generally would. It all depends on what suits you better!

What documentation will I need?

This is probably the most important section. Current information is as follows:


This AFM number takes some paperwork to get (something that will be covered in another article) and does complicate getting an apartment before moving to Greece.

The AFM makes the contract legally binding in court. Many rental estate agents will ask for this before accepting a contract with you. Hence, it gives you two options:

  1. Come to Greece and stay in a hotel for a week or two until you find a flat/studio to your liking (the most popular option).
  2. (targeted to student housing, but not exclusively) Create a contract between you and the landlord – without requiring the AFM – as a temporary measure, until you obtain the AFM number and can make a legal contract.

The difficulty with the second option is that the tenant lacks a lot of protection. Theoretically, the landlord could decide to change his mind and kick you out, etc. In this way, any problems that you encounter are not protected legally, to the same extent, as the contract containing the AFM. You can go to court, but the process will be much longer, and you are not sure of the outcome. I went via this route when I first moved here and had no issues at all; we simply created the full contract as soon as I received my AFM (around 2 weeks after moving in).

Passport and ID:

International students are required to present their passport, while EU citizens can use either their ID or passport.

International students are also required to have a residence permit and student identification.

Where do I look for housing?

Now for the main question!


The main method in Thessaloniki is via an app called “Spitogatos,” which can be found in the App Store of iOS and Android devices, as well as a simple Google search (linked below). With ”Spitogatos,”  you are able to set certain criteria, depending on your needs and wants. Alternatively, many housing options can be found on Facebook marketplace.

Please note, we are not affiliated with any of these resources and cannot vouch for their content or services. They are provided solely for your convenience and assistance.

Written by Amandine Bontoux, Vice President of Publications, 3rd Year Medical Student at Aristotle University School Of Medicine