304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Athens with its more than 5 million inhabitants is one of the largest cities in Europe. Nevertheless, it is much easier to choose where to stay in Athens than in other European capitals. A large part of the city’s hotel offer is concentrated in its historical center and surrounding neighborhoods, in a compact area that can be explored on foot.
The center of Athens is articulated around the Akropolis and covers an area that on the map seems much larger than it is. It includes neighborhoods like Syntagma, Plaka, Monastiraki, Psiri, Thisio, Omonoia and others.
In my opinion the best areas to stay in Athens are Syntagma, Plaka, Monastiraki, and Kolonaki.
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It’s best not to stay very far away from the main attractions in the city. Focus of the neighborhoods of Thissieo, Plaka, Koukaki, Syntagma and Monastiraki when looking for available hotels. These are the best areas in Athens.
Always book your accommodations in advance. The city is a tourist hotspot especially during the month of may until around October.
If you’re catching a ferry to another greek island, stay in the areas close to the monastiraki metro station. It’s the best option to reach the Piraeus Port. Boats tend to leave early in the morning so be sure to arrive before 7 am just to be sure. You can also try taking a taxi to the port but it’s not recommended due to uncertainty in the exact time of arrival.
Located in syntagma square, Grande Bretagne is the top luxury hotel in Athens.
On the other hand, Plaka’s AthensWas Hotel is the top boutique hotel.
Hailed as the top luxurious hotel in all of Athens, this hotel has everything you’d ever need. A spa, a wine bar and a garden restaurant located at the very top of the hotel where you can admire the magnificent view of the city of Athens.
With its strategic location in the syntagma square, this hotel is only walking distance from many major tourist attraction sites including the parthenon, the acropolis and the first olympic stadium.
Location: Syntagma square
Located close to Grande Bretagne, this hotel is also a few steps away from all the great historical sites. The King George boasts an excellent staff, top-notch service and breathtaking rooms that will surely enhance your stay.
Location: Syntagma square
Contact:+30 210 322-2210
The AthensWas hotel is a small but well-recommended hotel in Plaka. It is located in a pedestrian-friendly area of the neighborhood. This hotel boasts large rooms, great hospitality and top-notch accommodation.
Contact:+30 21 0924 9954
This hotel features a luxurious restaurant in the roof with a breathtaking view of the city and large rooms that guarantee comfort. The Royal Olympic is a short walk away from the great Acropolis and its museum. It’s located in a street across the center of Plaka.
With its modern design, Coco-mat is a breath of fresh air. This hotel is located in a busy neighborhood crawling with various stores. It’s only half an hour walk from all the major sites and has a bar at the roof where you can drink and enjoy the amazing view of the city.
Contact:+30 21 0723 0000
This hotel, like the coco-mat, has modernized designs. It’s very close to the Syntagma square and has a bar at the roof as well as a restaurant. This hotel has plenty of little add-ons to their rooms that really enhance the experience for guests.
Contact:+30 21 0327 3000
This hotel is the best place to stay in if you’re travelling to the city with your family. It’s large and spacious rooms would be more than enough to accommodate everybody comfortably. The Electra has a pool on the rooftop as well as the basement. Located in a busy neighborhood, plenty of restaurants are very accessible from this hotel.
This small penthouse boasts an outdoor jacuzzi where you can relax while enjoying a view of the city. The periscope is designed to be modern and minimalistic. It is located in a peaceful part of Kolonaki near boutiques and stores.
Contact:+30 21 0729 7200
Located in Lycabettus hill, this hotel has great view of both the parthenon and the acropolis but only if you got a good room. Otherwise, you can just enjoy it from the rooftop, the swimming pool or the lobby.
Contact:+30 21 0741 6000
The Hilton has Athens’ best swimming pool. It has adequately spaced rooms and a great staff. It’s walking distance from Plaka and Syntagma Square as well as the Monastiraki Metro Station.
From this hotel, you’re only a couple of minutes away from the Thissio station, Acropolis and the sunday Flea Market. It’s a warm and cozy hotel that comes with a breakfast buffet and a great view of Acropolis.
Contact:+30 21 0331 2940
If distance from the main attractions isn’t a problem for you and you’re mainly focused on the quality of the hotel, then give InterContinental Athenaeum a try. It’s a good 20 minutes walking distance from Plaka but a free shuttle comes every 30 mins to take the guests to the city’s main attractions. This hotel has a great pool, large rooms and, even though from a distance, an amazing view of acropolis. You can also take the nearby tram or a train going to Syntagma square.
This hotel is one of the best places you can stay in while in Athens. It’s got great rooms, great amenities, stunning view of the beach and even activities made especially for kids. If you’re travelling with your family to Athens then go for this hotel. Although it’s a little far from everything, the hotel has a shuttle service that takes guests to Glyfada for free, or they’ll pay for the taxi to take you to Glyfada if the bus is not available.
Location: The coast
Contact:+30 21 0890 1000
One of the best parts of Athens is Plaka. A very accomodating neighborhood that’s bursting with life. Enjoy walking in its ancient streets close to the famous athenian landmark, the Acropolis. Immerse yourself in Greek culture and visit the Museum of Popular musical Instruments and the museum for Folk Art. See for yourself the Ancient and the Roman Agoras that helped shaped the world. In the middle of Plaka sits the Monastiraki Train Station that makes hopping from one place to another, an absolute breeze.
See the beauty of the neighborhood from acropolis.
A local favorite, The Brettos wine bar and its homey atmosphere attracts both local and tourists. An amazing find located right in the heart of Plaka.
Historical gems adorn this neighborhood like the Stoa and the Roman Agora.
As much as you can, avoid the big, luxurious restaurants and wander through the neighborhood to find the little stores that serve home cooked food. This is the best way you can get a taste of the true flavor of Plaka.
Plaka is so used to tourists that souvenir shops are found everywhere.
If you’re looking for a more serene experience, go for Monastiraki instead of Plaka. While both neighborhoods have the same homey and accommodating feel to them, Monastiraki has more stores than Plaka. It’s offerings are more diverse too. From antiques to cultural crafts and even a sunday Flea market, Monastiraki is an area that’s more for shopping than sightseeing. This neighborhood is the perfect place to stay if you plan to ride a ferry in Piraeus or get to the airport in Athens because it’s connected to both of them by the Monastiraki Station.
The Monastiraki train station connecting Monastiraki to both piraeus and athens, makes it an ideal place to spend the night if you plan to reach either of them early the next morning.
Monastiraki is the best place to taste authentic Greek food. Unlike Plaka, this place gets lesser share of the spotlight and therefore less tourist.
Acropolis on the horizon as seen from a street in Monastiraki.
Here are the best places to stay when in Monastiraki:
(Best place to stay if you plan to catch the ferry early the next day)
Another great place in Athens is Koukaki. It’s a great neighborhood that’s perfect for tourists who wish to see more of Greece without getting overwhelmed the number of visitors in the area. Koukaki has a great view of the acropolis and the parthenon.
Koukaki and the acropolis museum as seen from the Acropolis
Farmer’s market in Koukaki only open on Sundays
Koukaki has a smaller number of tourists that it’s easy to find a store where you’ll be the only tourist at a given moment.
Where should you stay when you’re in Koukaki?
Syntagma is One of the most eventful places in Greece. All the major sites, hotels, stores and banks are in this place. It is the center for tourism and business in the city. It has a very accessible metro station to conveniently take you to the different parts of the country. Many major tourist attractions are walking distance from this place. Both the National Historical Museum and the National Gardens can be found here.
From Syntagma you can take a bus to literally anywhere in the city. There are also buses here that would take you from the airport and back to it.
Syntagma is very much alive at night and day as seen in front of the Greek Parliament Building.
While the Syntagma station has a train that can take you directly to the airport, it doesn’t have a direct ride to the ports in Piraeus. You need to transfer trains when you reach Monastiraki.
The Athenian Neighborhood of Syntagma
Where should you stay when you’re in Syntagma?
Located near the Syntagma square, Kolonaki is a busy neighborhood that’s full of shops and stores. It has a number of museums, a couple of which are the National War Museum and the Benaki Museum. This neighborhood is close to the Syntagma metro station and the Evangelismos metro station. It’s really close to Plaka and can be traveled by foot from the Acropolis.
The Athenian Neighborhood of Kolonaki
Kolonaki is located on the hillside and can be taxing to travel to. It’s full of shops, restaurants and stores. Coming from Plaka, you can reach Kolonaki after 15 minutes of walking.
Where should you stay when you’re in Kolonaki?
Piraeus is the port of Athens. It’s not a tourist destination itself. It’s just a port where the ferry docks to take passengers to the different islands on Greece. It’s recommended that you stay in Athens and travel here to board the early morning ferry instead of staying on the area but if you don’t like travelling early, you can also stay in piraeus to wait for your ride. The train ride from Athens to the port is about 30 minutes. In peak seasons, the port and the train station is full of tourists that there’s no need to worry about travelling really early or getting on the port late at night.
Where should you stay when you’re in Piraeus?
If you want to see a lot of historical sights then the neighborhood of Plaka is the best place you could stay in Athens. Every major tourist attraction in Athens is walking distance from Plaka. Except for the National Archaeological Museum, which is a taxi ride away. It’s crawling with tourists and it never runs out of people even at night so you can be sure of your safety in the area.
But rest easy, even Plaka’s surrounding areas are pretty safe too. The neighboring towns of koukaki, Syntagma and monastiraki all share the same busy, crowded scene of Plaka, and they never run out of people too, even at night. Your safety is guaranteed as long as you stick to these areas.
To make the most out of your visit, you’d want to make sure to be as close to the major attraction sites as possible to avoid wasting any time travelling to them. Find a hotel that’s at least walking distance from the Acropolis and its museum, Plaka’s busy neighborhood and other historical sights. Here is a list of hotels that’s near the area: