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Athens is the capital of Greece and it’s one of the oldest cities in the world. Staying in Athens will give you the opportunity to explore some amazing museums, neighborhoods and some of the best cultural events in Europe. But if you are wondering where to stay in Athens, then this is your ultimate guide with the best hotels and neighborhoods.
With a history of more than 5000 years, Athens is one of the most culturally and history rich cities in Europe with lots of cute neighbourhoods, picturesque restaurants and lots of interesting things to do and explore. But as in every big city, you need to know where to stay so that you make your trip as efficient as possible and maximize your time in such an interesting city.
I was born in Athens and lived there for more than 25 years, so I will give you all the secrets and tips below.
So…let’s dive in or click below quickly:
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So, let’s start with the basics…
There are 2 main reasons why you would want to stay in Athens for a few days:
Athens is a city of more than 4 million people and it will be quite naive to think that you can explore all of its neighbourhoods and areas in a few days.
So, here is my suggestion for Athens:
I will be honest with you and admit that Athens is not the most beautiful city in the world. Yes, there are beautiful neighbourhoods (like Plaka, Monastiraki, Anafiotika, Psyri etc) but the city was developed wthout any proper planning and urban design back in the 50’s , 60’s and 70’s.
Also, bear in mind that apart from the areas that are directly linked to archaeological sites and/or museums the centre of Athens hasn’t seen much love and it is surprisingly the less developed area of the city and it would feel degraded and abandoned if it wasn’t for the tourists…
To understand that you need to ask any young greek living in Athens why nobody actually would choose to live in downtown Athens but everyone prefers the suburbs. Most big businesses are also outside of Athens.
The best area to stay in Athens is Plaka neighbourhood.
Plaka is situated very close to the famous Acropolis temple, the Acropolis Museum, Syntagma Square, Ermou shopping district, the bars and clubs of Gazi and Syntagma Square and of course the greek Parliament.
If you have ever seen a picture from Athens, then chances are it was from Plaka…
The thing with Plaka is that you won’t find large chain hotels and resorts but rather smaller (and cuter) boutique hotels and apartments.
While staying in Plaka, you will be in 20 mins walking distance from all major attractions in Athens, so location wise it is perfect.
Other safe and cute areas in Athens that you can definitely stay and explore:
The great thing about Athens is that all major attractions are within 30 mins walking distance between each others. So…that’s great!
If you stay in Plaka, Koukaki, Syntagma, Kolonaki, Psiri and around the Acropolis Temple in areas such as Thission, Filopappou or Petralona then you are within 20-30mins walking distance from any major attraction in Athens.
The main attractions in Athens are (in no particular order):
Plaka neighbourhood is also the best area to stay in Athens with your family. It is super safe, very quiet and you will have everything at your doorstep.
Apart from Plaka, other great areas to stay with your family in Athens are: Kolonaki and Petralona. They are both safe and quiet residential neighbourhoods.
Plaka is considered the most romantic and cute neighbourhood but it may feel very touristic sometimes.
The perfect area to stay in Athens for a young couple is Plaka and the Filopappou area. This is becasue they are both very cute, quiet nad in close proximity to all attractions and romantic walks.
BUT if you are not the romantic type and you just want a chilled area that won’t break the bank then stay at Koukaki area (see it on Google Maps).
Koukaki doesn’t have the cute alleys that Plaka has but it has lots of perfect flats with even 30-40 euros per night and it is very close to all main attractions and museums. It is also a safe residential area with lots of good restaurants around.
Apart form the romanic dinners under the stars with Acropolis views one of the most romantic things you can actually do (only in the summer months though between June – September) is to watch a movie under the stars at an Open Air Cinema. This is one of the most famous ones in Athens
The best area to stay in Athens on a budget is Koukaki. The area is not that touristic as Plaka is and it has hundreds of available flats you can book on booking.com.
Koukaki is a safe and quiet residential area in the centre of Athens. It has lots of cute traditional greek restaurants to eat from (though not the cutest or with the best views) but most importantly it will give you the opportunity to walk everywhere.
You can literally walk to the best bars of Athens and you can go back home without calling an UBER!
How cool is that for a European capital?
The prices there are considerably lower than in Plaka and Kolonaki and you can easily find a 1-bed flat for about 40 euros per night even during the high season (May-October).
Athens is an amazing city with a million things to do and amazing cultural sites with thousands of years of history.
The best area to stay in Athens is Plaka neighbourhood which is also the most touristic but also the cutest of them all.
You can also stay in areas such as Koukaki, Kolonaki, Monastiraki, Petralona or Filpappou.
If you want to stay at one of the most unique hotels in Athens then stay at Coco-Mat Athens BC.
If you only have limited time in Greece then don’t spend more than 2 nights in Athens and that only if it’s your frst time in Greece.
Yes, I love Athens as it’s my birth city but I truly believe that you will be better off if you spend your precious days on a greek island.
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