Where To Stay in Athens, Greece - Guide of Best Areas and Hotels

Athens - the city that mesmerizes with its grandeur - is one of the oldest cities, being continuously inhabited for at least 7 thousand years. Different historical eras have left their marks on the city’s architecture. Strolling around, you can find ancient, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern monuments that have become Athens’ architectural landmarks and that attract millions of tourists every year.

Athens (pronounced [ˈæθɪnz] Greek: Athína [aˈθina]) is the capital of Greece and its largest city, being home to more than 3 million people. In addition, it attracts tourists all year round (e.g. circa 5 million tourists in 2017 only), so there is competition on both - accommodation supply and accommodation demand sides. However, especially when booking your rental in advance, you get higher chances for a wider choice: and there is plenty to choose from from the quality and price points of view.

Table of Content

Part 1. A quick glance at Athens’s neighbourhoods

Plaka - a nice and romantic area, is one of the most central neighbourhoods with lots of tourists and reasonably priced rentals

Psyri - a restless neighbourhood most famous for its liveliness and nightlife, offering fewer rental options

Thiseio & Makrygianni - a charming area with plenty of renovated buildings and varied accommodation options

Kolonaki - an upscale neighbourhood, featuring ritzy stores, cafes and rentals

Koukaki - an authentic and up-and-coming neighbourhood where you won’t get bored, offering reasonably priced accommodation options

Monastiraki - a small and lively neighbourhood with plenty of shopping venues, being a good choice to stay in during a short visit

Syntagma - the political and transport hub of Athens, is a busy area offering an abundance of accommodation options

Exarcheia - a revolutionary and diverse neighbourhood, with gorgeous street art and cheaper rentals

Part 2. Recommended neighbourhoods and hotels to stay in Athens


Pronounced: [‘plʌkʌ]

- Overview

Plaka is Athens’ oldest neighbourhood, situated right close to some of its main attractions. The picturesque pedestrian lanes feature eateries and bars enticing to hop in. The medieval streets form a labyrinth easy to get lost in, but taking a stroll around makes it a pleasant and relaxing treat you definitely deserve. Plaka has varied rental options to offer, but do not forget that this is the most touristy area as well, and it may get busy from the early morning. It is best to stay here if your visit is short and you cannot waste time on traveling from one area to another, or if you are visiting Athens for the first time.

- Main Attractions

* Athens University Museum
* Church of Agios Eleftherios
* Stoa of Attalos (Ancient Agora Museum, must see)
* Church of Agios Nicholas Rangavas
* Figoures kai Koukles
* Hellenic Children's Museum
* Museum of Greek Folk Art
* Metropolitan Cathedral
* Museum of Greek Children's Art
* Mosque of Mehmet the Conqueror
* Harma Gallery
* Tower of the Winds
* Museum of Popular Music Instruments
* Jewish Museum

- Recommended Walks

Check out these walking tours to get a more streamlined experience in Athens downtown:

* Plaka Attractions Walking Tour
* Athenian Museums Tour
* Plaka And Anafiotika Walking Tour

- Pros of Staying Here

- Great location
- Wealth of sightseeing
- Many fine eateries, cafes and bars
- Souvenir shopping
- Transport links to other areas
- Pedestrian streets

- Cons of Staying Here

- Pricier accommodation
- Very crowded
- Might get noisy

- Recommended Hotels within $258 - $366

New Hotel (5*) - an unusually yet beautifully designed hotel offering plenty of on-site facilities, spacious rooms and a great location
Electra Palace Athens (5*) - a high-quality service hotel with a gorgeous rooftop swimming pool and restaurant, and other on-site facilities

- Recommended Hotels within $149 - $257

Home and Poetry - a charming classy hotel offering a central but quiet location, good for a family stay
Adrian Hotel (3*) - a perfectly located hotel with quality service and a nice rooftop terrace

- Recommended Hotels within $40 - $148

Alice Inn Athens - a quirky inn with antique decorations, ideal for a romantic stay
Adam’s Hotel (2*) - a homey hotel located in the close proximity to some of the main sites

Other hotels worth mentioning: Nefeli Hotel (2*), Dioskouros Hostel (1*)


Pronounced: [‘sɪrɪ]

- Overview

Once a working-class neighbourhood, today Psyri is a well-developed area especially popular for its nightlife. It seems to wake up late in the afternoon and stays awake till early in the morning. In the daytime there is not too much to do and see, except visiting some of the nice cafes or wander the streets while admiring the extraordinary street art. There are no other attractions whatsoever in this area, but it is pretty close to the ones in other neighbourhoods. Similarly, you won’t find a big choice of rentals. This would be a perfect neighbourhood to stay in if you are travelling alone, with friends or mate and are looking for fun. Although it is a safe neighbourhood, we would not recommend it for a family stay.

- Pros of Staying Here

- Great location
- Varied accommodation options
- Plenty of cafes, tavernas and clubs
- Fun and intense nightlife

- Cons of Staying Here

- Not too much to see or do in the daytime
- Few accommodation options

- Recommended Hotels within $149 - $257

18 Micon Str. Hotel - a modern interestingly decorated hotel boasting homemade pies for breakfast and quality service: good value for money
360 Degrees pop Art Hotel - a new cozy hotel located on the edge between Psyri and Monastiraki offering the advantage of being close to both landmarks and fun

Other hotels worth mentioning: O&B Athens Boutique Hotel (4*), A for Athens

- Recommended Hotels within $40 - $148

Pella Inn Hostel - a very affordable and nice hostel with small rooms and a good location
Andromeda Downtown Suites - a modern hotel with comfy beds and spacious rooms offering great value for the prices charged

Other hotels worth mentioning: athensotel.com, AthenStyle, Evripides Hotel (2*)

Thiseio & Makrygianni

Pronounced: [θiˈsi:o], [,mʌkrɪ’janɪ]

- Overview

Thiseio and Makrygianni may both transmit an upscale feel, offering a central location and some gorgeous views of Athens and its landmarks, especially if you climb one of the hills. In addition to that, the area is quieter, being less crowded. You can find plenty of things to do here. Numerous attractions, presence of pedestrian streets all flourishing with nice cafes and restaurants, charming avenues with renovated neoclassical buildings all add up to the wonderful atmosphere. Makrygianni provides a lot more rental options, while you can find just quite a few in Thiseio. Accommodation is averagely priced. Renting in this area might be a good choice for a romantic or family stay, given the location, proximity to the attractions and the green zones to take a walk and unwind.

- Main Attractions

* Temple of Olympian Zeus (must see)
* Museum of the Center for the Acropolis Studies
* Acropolis Museum (must see)
* Church of the Holy Apostles
* Church of Agia Marina
* Kerameikos (must see)
* Kerameikos Museum (must see)
* Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum

- Recommended Walks

This guide will help you to get a better feel of the area:

* History Tour, City Center

- Pros of Staying Here

- Good location
- Plenty of sightseeing options and pedestrian streets
- Quiet and less touristy
- Diverse rentals
- Plenty of cafes and eateries
- Parks to sit back and unwind
- Transport links to other neighbourhoods

- Cons of Staying Here

- Fewer luxury hotels

- Recommended Hotels within $258 - $366

AthensWas Hotel (4*) - a well-located hotel with large rooms and varied on-site facilities

- Recommended Hotels within $149 - $257

AD Athens Luxury Rooms & Suites - a modern hotel boasting great location and professional staff
Herodion Hotel (4*) - a very convenient hotel featuring a rooftop terrace, restaurant, good for family stay

Other hotels worth mentioning: The Athens Gate Hotel (4*), Hera Hotel (4*), Philippos Hotel (3*)

- Recommended Hotels within $40 - $148

NLH FIX - Neighbourhood Style Hotels - nice hotel with beautifully done rooms and on-site parking; good value for the prices charged
Chameleon Youth Hostel - a well-located hostel with nice rooms and a panoramic terrace, offering also great value for the money

Other hotels worth mentioning: Acropolis View Hotel (2*), Acropolis Stay


Pronounced: [‘kɔlɔnʌ,kɪ]

- Overview

Kolonaki is a lively and upscale neighbourhood, giving itself away as the most elegant and chic area. Many embassies are hosted in the neoclassical mansions. You can see plenty of locals and tourists alike sitting on the pedestrian streets especially at night, giving the area a restless and entertaining vibe. Shopaholics will be delighted to spend time here and to find local and international designers and brands, jewelry and many more. Art buffs will rejoice at the multitude of galleries and museums to visit. If you are young and restless, the choice of fancy nightclubs will add up to the attractiveness of this neighbourhood. Regardless, it still remains to be a residential area, and almost every traveler will find his or her own reason why to stay here. Budget travelers, however, would better consider another neighbourhood to stay in, as the downside of Kolonaki is that it’s quite expensive.

- Main Attractions

* Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art (must see)
* Benaki Museum (must see)
* French School

- Recommended Walks

To get a better idea about the attractions and shopping in Kolonaki, check out these self-guided walking tours:

* Walking Tour Along Vassilissis Sofias Avenue
* Monastiraki And Kolonaki Shopping

- Pros of Staying Here

- Good location
- Residential area
- Sightseeing options and pedestrian streets
- Abundance of fine eateries, and shopping and entertainment venues
- Transport links to other neighbourhoods

- Cons of Staying Here

- Expensive accommodation and food

- Recommended Hotels within $149 - $257

Hotel Periscope (4*) - a well-designed hotel right next to the Athens’ shopping heaven, best known for spoiling its guests with snacks and coffee all day long
Coco-Mat Hotel Athens (4*) - a stylish funky hotel boasting comfy beds, good breakfasts and high-quality service

Other hotels worth mentioning: St George Lycabettus (5*)


Pronounced: [ku’ka:kɪ]

- Overview

Koukaki has long been a residential, working class neighbourhood. Recent gentrification has kept its authenticity but also made it a hip, up-and-coming neighbourhood with plenty of things to do while not being too crowded. You can enjoy a nice walk on one of the pedestrian streets, or have a coffee in one of the cafes. The multitude of Greek tavernas and restaurants, found side by side with alluring wine bars will assure that you head to your hotel well dined and wined. Accommodation is reasonably cheaper, and most travelers will find here a rental that would suit his or her needs. It is a good area to stay in whether you are travelling alone, with friends or with a family.

- Pros of Staying Here

- Residential neighbourhood
- Plenty of Greek restaurants and tavernas
- Vegetable market on Fridays
- Many pedestrian streets
- Transport links to other neighbourhoods

- Cons of Staying Here

- Longer walks to the main attractions

- Recommended Hotels within $40 - $148

Marble House - a neat hotel located in a safe and quiet zone but still close to the main attractions, offering great value for money and ideal for a family stay
Ilissos (4*) - a likeable hotel, with a bit remote but still good location, featuring an on-site bar and restaurant


Pronounced: [,mɔnastɪ’rʌkɪ]

- Overview

Monastiraki is a centrally-located shopping neighbourhood. Fashionistas will be delighted by the variety of shopping boutiques. The flea market works every day, and that’s the place where you’ll find any souvenirs you’d like. The attractions surrounding the area make it a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the views. The downside is that it might get crowded, especially on Sundays. Besides, there are not too many accommodation options. Rentals are differently priced, and this neighbourhood would be a good choice if you are visiting Athens for the first time or if your visit is short.

- Main Attractions

* Temple of Hephaestus and Athena Ergane (must see)
* Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea
* Tsisdarakis Mosque
* Hadrian's Library

- Recommended Walks

If you need help or instructions on how to find the most attractive spots of this neighbourhood, use these walking tours:

* City Orientation Walk
* Monastiraki Gift Shops

- Pros of Staying Here

- Good location
- Shopping neighbourhood
- Sightseeing options and pedestrian streets
- Many cafes and tavernas
- Transport links to other neighbourhoods

- Cons of Staying Here

- Fewer accommodation options
- Pricier accommodation
- Might get crowded on Sundays

- Recommended Hotels within $149 - $257

The Athens Edition Luxury Suites - a new interestingly-decorated hotel with spacious rooms and varied on-site facilities, including car rental services
360 Degrees - a modern and quirky hotel boasting a lovely rooftop terrace with gorgeous views and quality service: great value for money

- Recommended Hotels within $40 - $148

Y - a homey small hotel, offering a good location for an affordable price


Pronounced: [‘sɪ,dʌgmʌ]

- Overview

Syntagma is the neighbourhood surrounding the Syntagma Square, one of the two main squares in Athens. It is a very popular spot for tourists and locals alike, a transportation hub, but also the place where all the celebrations or political demonstrations take place. Here you’ll find a series of important attractions, and remember that all the other main attractions in the city are within walking distance. The multitude of fashion boutiques and stores can keep you busy, and the abundance of cafes and bars gives you the convenience to just sit back and relax. This neighbourhood is ideal to rent in for most travelers, either single or with a family (except the situations of social instability, but why would you even come then?). Although this is not the most expensive neighbourhood in Athens, keep in mind that this ain’t the area where the cheapest rentals are, so if you are travelling on a budget better opt for other neighbourhoods.

- Main Attractions

* The Parliament House (must see)
* Syntagma Square (must see)
* National Garden (must see)
* Arch of Hadrian (must see)
* Numismatic Museum
* Lord Byron Monument

- Recommended Walks

To find out more about Syntagma’s attractions, check out these guides:

* Walking Tour Around the Peaceful National Garden
* Athens For Children Walking Tour

- Pros of Staying Here

- Great location
- Plenty of sightseeing options
- Proximity to all main attractions
- Proximity to the National Garden
- Abundance of cafes, bars and shopping venues
- Transportation hub

- Cons of Staying Here

- Dangerous during protests or political gatherings
- Always crowded

- Recommended Hotels within $367 - $476

Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel (5*) - a luxury hotel right in the beating heart of Syntagma, offering plenty of on-site facilities

Other hotels worth mentioning: King George, a Luxury Collection Hotel (5*)

- Recommended Hotels within $258 - $366

Electra Metropolis (5*) - a well-located hotel best known for its rooftop pool and terrace offering some gorgeous view of the city

- Recommended Hotels within $258 - $366

InnAthens - a boutique-style design hotel offering central but quiet location and great value for the prices charged
Hotel Lozenge (4*) - an enjoyable modernly decorated hotel featuring plenty of on-site facilities including bike hire service; great value for money

Other hotels worth mentioning: Vol.5, Amalia Hotel (4*), Athens La Strada, Best Western Plus Amazon Hotel (3*)

- Recommended Hotels within $40 - $148

Pan Hotel (3*) - a conveniently-located hotel, being affordable and good for family stay

Other hotels worth mentioning: Athos Hotel (3*)


Pronounced: [eg’zar,hɛɪa]

- Overview

As opposed to Syntagma, the place where the political life is concentrated, Exarcheia is the area where you can meet plenty of intellectuals and students, anarchists and immigrants. Although it is the place where many protests arise, it is a nice neighbourhood with plenty of things to do and interesting people to meet. Edgy as it is, this neighbourhood also hosts various festivals, shows and concerts. The area is an architectural labyrinth, featuring political bookstores, vinyl record stores, underground bars and plenty of street art. For younger travelers, staying here would definitely be a fun adventure. Moreover, this neighbourhood will suit well the budget travelers, as accommodation here is cheap. However, if you are looking forward for a quiet stay or are visiting with a family, we would recommend you to consider another neighbourhood.

- Main Attractions

* National Archaeological Museum (must see)
* Epigraphic Museum
* Pedion tou Areos
* National Technical University of Athens

- Recommended Walks

Controversial as it is, Exarcheia will charm you if you start getting to know it from the right foot:

* A Walk In Controversial Exarcheia District
* Walking Tour Around Athenian Exarcheia

- Pros of Staying Here

- Cheaper accommodation
- Street fresh produce market on Saturdays
- Plenty of bars, fine coffee shops, eateries and underground clubs
- Transport links to other neighbourhoods

- Cons of Staying Here

- Not recommended for family stay
- Not recommended for a quiet stay
- Home to protests
- A bit remote

- Recommended Hotels within $40 - $148

Athens Quinta - a vintage homey hostel welcoming everyone with a great atmosphere, kitchen and garden: great value for money
Nubian Hostel - a modern hostel featuring nice decorations, comfy beds, and offering great value for the prices charged

Other hotels worth mentioning: Areos, Dryades & Orion Hotel (2*)

As most large cities, Athens has safe and less safe zones. Of the two central squares, we recommend staying in Syntagma Square. The second one, Omonia Square, although being the oldest square of Athens and very popular among tourists and bloggers, is the place we would recommend against staying in. From the late afternoon till early in the morning, this place resembles a horror movie scene, so better stay away from it. If you are curious to explore it as a historical landmark, better do it in the daytime. Similarly, we would not recommend you to stay in Metaxourgeio and other less central neighbourhoods.

Part 3. Getting from the airport to your hotel

Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport is a bit remote, so the ride to the city will take a while regardless of what type of transport you choose. Generally, traveling around the city is not too expensive, especially if you opt for passes for several days for all types of public transport. Taxis, obviously, are pricier. Note, that the right way to learn the real price of your cab ride is to ask several taxi drivers what the price would be. After figuring out the average price, you will be able to choose a taxi where you won’t be scammed.


Right across the street from the airport you can take the metro line 3 (M3), which will take you to downtown, stopping at the Syntagma metro station (where you can change to M2) and at Monastiraki (where you can change to M1). M3 trains run every 30 minutes from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. The trip from the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport to the Syntagma metro station takes 40 minutes, so make sure not to fall asleep after your flight!


From the airport’s arrivals level, between exits 4 and 5, you can take the express bus X95. It will get you to Syntagma station in about an hour and 10-15 minutes. X95 runs 24/7, with varied frequency, so you should better check in advance the schedules for the time of your visit. Tickets can be bought either at kiosks or on board, for the same price.

Taxis and private transfers

Taxis or private cars might be the best solution if your flight to Athens was long and exhausting. There is a series of taxi or private rental services that can be booked online in advance (don’t forget to check the reviews). This would be the way you’d be sure you’ll get a cab and that you won’t be scammed at the ride fare right away on your arrival to Greece. Generally, you should know that a ride from the airport to downtown should be around €35.00 (~ US $41.10) in the daytime, and €50.00 (~ US $58.70) at night. Prices for the private transfers vary based on the vehicle and number of passengers.

Car Rental

At the airport you can also find some offices of car rental services companies, but you can also book a car online in advance, and the company you choose might pick you up at the airport. It might get quite expensive, but it is well worth it if you are travelling with a family or a group of friends. Just be sure you really need the car, given the multitude of pedestrian streets along with all the public transport options.

Part 4. A Few Tips to Choose the Right Neighbourhood for You

Undecided yet where to stay? Check these quick tips on where to stay in Athens.

If you are visiting Athens for the first time, or are not planning to stay more than just one or two days, then stay in Plaka or Monastiraki. Besides, if your visit is short while you have a lot of things to do, opt for Syntagma, as it is one of the city’s transportation hubs, and you can easily get to almost any destination.

Many tourists who visit Athens are into sightseeing, and if that is your thing, you can literally choose any of the central neighbourhoods, best the ones recommended in this article. Some areas have more attractions, others less and some do not have attractions at all. But all of the neighbourhoods do offer gorgeous views, especially if you climb one of the Athens’ numerous hills.

Architectural buffs can go for a more centrally located neighbourhood, just to assure the proximity to main attractions. Otherwise, there are many settings to see and explore here, so renting in any of the described neighbourhoods would be a good choice.

If you are visiting Athens with a family, better choose Thiseio & Makrygianni, Kolonaki, Koukaki and Syntagma. For a romantic stay choose Plaka, Thiseio & Makrygianni or Kolonaki. In Koukaki you can enjoy a calm and quiet vacation.

If you are looking for a high-class experience or for a luxurious vacation, stay in Kolonaki. Thiseio & Makrygianni can also assure an upscale feel to your stay. For budget travellers Psyri, Koukaki and Exarcheia can be the most convenient neighbourhoods.

Stay in Syntagma or Kolonaki if you are a foodie and would like to be surrounded by fine restaurants serving Greek and international cuisine. In Koukaki you will have the chance to enjoy many authentic Greek restaurants.

If shopping is your game, best stay in Kolonaki or Monastiraki.

If you are willing to stay closer to art galleries, choose Kolonaki. You can enjoy the creativity of local and visiting street artists all over Athens, however some of the most excellent ones can be found in Psyri, Thiseio and Exarcheia. If that is your game, maybe you will find a clean wall and dare to compete with these artists?

To take the most out of Athens nightlife and have fun, rent in Psyri or Kolonaki. For an alternative, edgy and fun experience, choose Exarcheia.