Greece is one of the countries where political openness to LGBTQIA+ is increasing. In one of its annual reports, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) has reported that Greece was the top European country for improvements between 2014-2018.
In our Greece for LGBT expats guide, we’ll explore Greece’s relationship with the LGBT community, what rights do LGBT expats have there, and the best neighborhoods and islands to live in.
The History Of The LGBT Community In Greece
Greece legalized homosexuality in 1951. The government passed a law allowing civil partnerships (though not marriages) for same-sex couples in 2015. In 2017, transgender people were given the right to change their legal gender without having to undergo surgery. Same-sex couples were granted the right to be foster parents in 2018.
Greece has laws that protect LGBTI individuals against discrimination. In this regard, the country performs better than the OECD average. Since 2016, discrimination explicitly based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics has been prohibited in the country.
Athens is home to Gay Pride events since 2005. Another gay pride takes place in Thessaloniki. Most greek Islands are gay-friendly, too.
LGBT Rights In Greece
There are still some areas Greece can improve for LGBTI inclusivity. Following are the rights that the LGBT community has currently in Greece.
Adoption Rights For LGBT Couples In Greece
Same-sex couples aren’t allowed to adopt children in Greece. However, the law allows them to provide foster care.
Civil Partnership Between Same-Sex Couples
Although same-sex marriages aren’t allowed in Grece, the laws allow the civil union.
Same-Sex Couples Can Enter Into Cohabitation Agreements
The Law 4540 of 2018 allows same-sex couples to avail of cohabitation agreements and jointly apply under the Greek Golden Visa Programme. Same-sex couples can apply for a residency visa in Greece under the investment program.
IVF For LGBT Couples In Greece
Same-sex couples aren’t typically allowed to have IVF treatment. But if one partner signs a notarial deed stating that she’s undergoing the treatment as a single woman using the donor sperm, it’s agreed upon. However, same-sex male partners aren’t allowed this treatment.
Is Greece an LGBT-Friendly Country?
Greece is one of the liberal countries for LGBT expats. Homosexuality has been legal in the country since 1951. Additionally, equal age of consent has been legal in Greece since 2015. The country also allows LGBT individuals to serve openly in the military.
Over the years, there has been a significant shift in the perception of people towards the LGBT community. However, the community still faces some social discrimination that non-LGBT residents don’t deal with.
But the government has stringent anti-LGBT discrimination in place. It encompasses all areas of hate crimes, including gender identity, sexual orientation, sex characteristics, etc.
The Most LGBT Friendly Places in Athens, Greece
Athens, the capital city of Greece, hosts many gay bars and clubs. It’s a gay-friendly city and you’ll enjoy your stay there.
Below are some of the best gay-friendly places in Athens that LGBT expats can consider living in.
Platia Agaias Irini
It’s in close proximity to Monastiraki and is becoming quite popular. It’s one of the central destinations where you can learn about the gay community in the region. You’ll have tons of restaurants to choose from and meet new people. Whether it’s during the day or evening, the place also remains vibrant.
The area is close to the Acropolis and is one of the popular gay-friendly neighborhoods. It is especially loved by gay tourists who enjoy bar-hop. The place is brimmed with LGBT-owned restaurants, bars, and small businesses. The queer-friendly crowd will make it among the most popular neighborhoods in Athens.
Real Estate in LGBT-Friendly Neighborhoods in Athens
The real-estate cost in Athens can vary based on what kind of property you’re buying and its location.
Real Estate in Plateia Agias Irini
The neighborhood is extremely beautiful, with a gay-friendly crowd. The area is home to different types of houses, from apartments to studios. There are also detached house options. The prices vary depending on the size of the house.
Real Estate in Gazi District
Gazi District is considered one of the biggest hubs for the LGBT community in Athens. You’ll find different kinds of properties here including apartments, houses, villas, etc.
The Most LGBT Friendly Greek Islands Greece
Greece is home to some of the amazing islands that you’ll ever come across. Here are some options that are best suited for LGBT expats.
A vibrant nightlife, sparkling boutiques, and all things extravagant are the few characteristics of Mykonos. The place is fun and free-spirited, making it ideal for LGBT expats. In August, the island host XLSIOR Mykonos International Summer Gay Festival. The festival is famous for its epic parties that include the best DJs from across the globe.
This island has been popular among travelers for many years. Skiathos is a blend of striking landscape and adventurous nightlife. Moreover, the island also hosts the International Gay Culture Festival, which makes it a perfect destination for gay travelers. Skiathos is home to some of the most striking beaches in Greece.
Real Estate in LGBT-Friendly Neighborhoods in Greek Islands
The real estate cost in Greek islands varies based on what kind of property you’re buying and its location, same as in Athens.
Real Estate in Mykonos
In Mykonos, you can choose from one-bedroom apartments to big villas with pools. The island offers detached houses with great sea views. You can find affordable houses in Ornos and Ano Mera. The prices go up in the center.
Real Estate in Skiathos
If you’re looking for a villa, the prices are lower in Skiathos. The island also offers different types of detached houses, apartments, and maisonettes.
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The Greece Golden Visa For Gay Couples
Greece allows Golden Visa applicants to include their same-sex partners as a dependent. The only requirement for this is to sign a cohabitation agreement in Greece in the presence of the Greek Notary public. This step is important to make your relationship valid in front of Greek law.
There are several investment types that qualify you and your partner for a Golden Visa in Greece.
. You can choose to buy a property that is worth €250,000. There are no restrictions on locations in Greece Golden Visa. You can choose a home either in Athens or on the islands.
. You can invest a minimum of €400,000 in Greek government bonds, or bonds/shares of real estate investment companies in Greece.
. Another option is to invest €400,000 in shares and bonds of venture fund and private equity which have headquarters in Greece.
For further reading, please refer to our guide on Greece Golden Visa.