Although many people think of lush Mediterranean islands when speaking of Greece, the county’s capital has so much to offer.
Athens is the largest city in the country and is one of the oldest cities in the world. It’s been inhabited for over 5,000 years, so as you can imagine there is plenty of great architecture, and history to see here.
When deciding on where to stay in Athens, you won’t be short of choices as there are plenty of great neighborhoods. Each area offers something unique, so as a first-time visitor to the city it can be difficult to make a decision.
This guide is going to break down the best parts of Athens to stay in and give you all the information you need. This includes a quick overview of the area, the pros and cons, and the best hotels.
So, let’s take a look at the best places to stay in Athens!
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Table of Contents
Overview of Where to Stay in Athens, Greece
As I mentioned previously, Athens is Greece’s capital and the largest city in the country. It’s situated within the Attica Basin which is surrounded by large mountains and the Saronic Gulf.
The city was built during the 5th century BC, so has been around for over 5,000 years which is pretty impressive. That means there are plenty of incredible archaeological sites for you to visit, including the iconic Acropolis of course!
When deciding on where to stay in Athens, you’ll have an endless choice of neighborhoods. There are literally dozens of districts within the city center, and I’d be here all day if I tried to name them!
Instead, this guide is going to go through 7 of the best areas to stay in Athens, and why each one is so popular.
There are a lot of factors that come into play when choosing where you want to stay, and that will include nearby attractions, transport links, dining options, and of course your budget.
Although Athens isn’t cheap, it’s a lot less expensive than many other cities in Europe. You’ll find that hotels are much more reasonably priced and food is cheaper than in many of the European capitals.
You’ll even be able to get hotels with an Acropolis view for a great price!
Athens also has a brilliant metro system, so getting around the city is easy. There are metro stations located across the city, so you’ll likely be close to one, no matter where you decide to stay.
When it comes to attractions in the city, the most iconic sites are the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and Lycabettus Hill.
You’ll also find plenty of great authentic dining options within the city, but the cost of food will vary depending on where you stay. If you’re dining with a view of the Acropolis or Lycabettus Hill, expect to pay more for food.
If you’re running short of time, you can have a quick scan of this table. Here are the best areas to stay in Athens, and a rundown of what they offer.
|AREA||BEST FOR||RECOMMENDED HOTEL||MORE HOTELS|
|Plaka||Sightseeing, first-time visitors, food, family-friendly||The Athens Gate Hotel||More hotels in Plaka
|Monastiraki||Culture, food, nightlife, shopping||Emporikon Athens Hotel||More hotels in Monastiraki
|Psirri||First-time visitors, culture, food, nightlife||Ivis 4 Boutique Hotel||More hotels in Psirri
|Syntagma||Family-friendly, shopping, transport, sightseeing||Elia Ermou Athens Hotel||More hotels in Syntagma
|Kolonaki||Luxury, fine-dining, nightlife, entertainment||Coco-Mat Hotel Athens||More hotels in Kolonaki
|Koukaki||Authentic stay, family-friendly, food, sightseeing||Coco-mat Athens BC||More hotels in Koukaki
|Metaxourgeio||Culture, budget-friendly, food, family-friendly||Wyndham Grand Athens||More hotels in Metaxourgeio
Best Areas to Stay in Athens
If you’re looking for a more in-depth guide on where to stay in Athens, then keep reading!
There are seven awesome neighborhoods within the city center that are close to many of Athen’s iconic tourist attractions.
With so many places to choose from, the decision isn’t easy, which is where I come in. In this guide, I’ve researched the best areas to stay in Athens, and what each one offers.
This includes an overview of nearby attractions, the cost of staying in each area, and the factors that make each neighborhood stand out.
When you’re deciding on where to stay you’ll also want to think about your budget, transport links, and dining options of course.
So where are the best neighborhoods to stay in Athens? Let’s take a look!
Plaka is known as ‘the old town of Athens’ and is the oldest neighborhood in the city.
It lies right under the Acropolis and is close to many historical sites making it one of the best parts of Athens to stay in.
This neighborhood is within walking distance of many of the city’s top attractions including the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the Roman Agora.
When it comes to dining options you’ll have plenty of choices including the Anafiotika Cafe, Yiasemi, and Klepsýdra.
However, you just have to visit Psaras Tavern! It’s one of the oldest establishments in Athens and offers delicious Greek dishes and fresh fish.
Transport isn’t an issue in Athens as the city has a great metro system. However, as many of the iconic attractions are within walking distance of Plaka, you won’t need to wander far to explore.
Plaka is one of the prettiest and most charming areas of Athens, but you’ll find prices to be more expensive here than elsewhere.
However, you can still find some pretty great accommodation for a reasonable price!
With a huge variety of accommodation options and endless historical sites, Plaka is one of the best places to stay in Athens – especially for first-timers.
Nonetheless, this neighborhood is very touristy and is likely to be crammed with people. If you’re looking for somewhere quiet, you may want to look elsewhere.
Pros and cons of staying in Plaka
- Plenty of great attractions within walking distance
- Lots of culture and history
- Very touristy
- One of the most expensive neighborhoods in Athens
The best places to stay in Plaka
LUXURY – Electra Palace Athens
Electra Palace Athens is one of the best luxury hotels in Plaka with plenty of facilities including a rooftop restaurant & pool, a spa, and beautiful suites. The most luxurious of them all is the Penthouse Suite, which has a private pool and outdoor terrace that offers striking views of Athens and its historic sites.
MID-RANGE – The Athens Gate Hotel
This hotel is situated right across from the Temple of Olympian Zeus and is in a great location to explore the city. There is also a bar & restaurant on-site that offers incredible views of the Acropolis, and many of the rooms offer stunning views of this iconic site too.
BUDGET – Plaka Hotel
Plaka Hotel is a great budget option if you’re wondering where to stay in Athens. It’s also close to popular attractions including the Acropolis Museum, the Archaeological Museum, and Syntagma Square. The deluxe rooms offer incredible views of the Acropolis and there is also a rooftop bar, which is the perfect place to grab a drink and watch the sunset.
If you’re looking for a more authentic stay, then Monastiraki is one of the best places to stay.
This part of the city is renowned for its many eateries, bars, and its nightlife, so if you’re looking for an evening out on the town – this is the place to be.
Monastiraki is also one of the best areas to stay in Athens if you’re a keen shopper – especially on Sundays!
This is when the Monastiraki Flea Market takes place, and you’ll find an abundance of vendors on the main square. Not only will you get to interact with the locals, but you’ll also find plenty of books, antiques, clothes, and souvenirs.
When it comes to attractions, this neighborhood holds its own with plenty of awesome places to visit. Some of the most popular sites include Hadrian’s Library, the Stoa of Attalos, and the Tzistarakis Mosque.
Not only is Monastiraki one of the best locations to stay in Athens for shoppers and foodies, but it’s also great for budget travelers.
Now, accommodation isn’t the cheapest in the city but it’s far less expensive than in areas like Plaka. You’ll also be very close to the attractions still, making this neighborhood quite the catch.
Pros and cons of staying in Monastiraki
- More affordable than Plaka but still close to many of the attractions
- Great for shopping and authentic eateries
- Fewer accommodation options than in some other areas of the city
- Very busy on Sundays during the flea market
The best places to stay in Monastiraki
MID-RANGE – Emporikon Athens Hotel
The Emporikon Athens Hotel is set in a beautiful 19th-century building, with many rooms offering scenic views of Lycabettus Hill and the Acropolis. There are bicycle and car rental services available at the hotel, and plenty of nearby sites to visit including the Acropolis Museum, and the beautiful Plaka district.
BUDGET – Beautiful City Suites
This stunning B&B is situated just 200 yards (182 meters) from the Temple of Hephaestus and only 350 yards (320 meters) from Monastiraki Square. Each room comes with a TV, a private bathroom, a fridge, and a balcony so you can admire the city. There is also a restaurant on-site, and guests can benefit from free WiFi.
If you’re after a good party and a bit of nightlife, then Psiri is the best neighborhood to stay in Athens!
You’ll find plenty of bars and nightclubs in this area, and they’ll stay open into the night.
There is always something happening around Iroon Square, and if you’re lucky you might even get to see some live performances.
Although you won’t find many attractions in Psiri itself, historic sites like the Acropolis and the Parthenon are within walking distance.
Monastiraki is also the next neighborhood along, and you’ll find plenty of awesome places to visit there.
There are also lesser-known gems in this area such as Athens Central Market, an array of independent shops, and several art galleries.
Although Psirii is a great neighborhood, it’s not the best area to stay in Athens if you’ve got young children.
The bars and clubs here are lively and stay open well into the night. So, if you’re looking for somewhere a bit more peaceful, I’d recommend heading to one of the quieter areas in Athens.
However, you can get great accommodation deals in this area if you’re looking to save some cash.
Pros and cons of staying in Psiri
- Great for nightlife
- Plenty of choices when it comes to cafes and Tavernas
- Bars stay open very late, so may not be great for families
- Not many attractions in this area
The best places to stay in Psiri
LUXURY – O&B Athens Boutique Hotel
O&B Athens Boutique Hotel is just a 3-minute walk from Ancient Agora, and just a 10-minute walk from the Acropolis and the Parthenon. This hotel has plenty to offer guests including a lounge-bar restaurant, free WiFi, and a buffet breakfast to start your day off right.
MID-RANGE – Ivis 4 Boutique Hotel
This hotel is close to lots of popular attractions including the Ancient Agora of Athens and the Temple of Hephaestus. Ivis 4 Boutique Hotel has plenty of facilities including a bar, restaurant, garden area, and a fitness center. However, the best part about this hotel has to be the Acropolis Terrace Suite which has a large private balcony.
BUDGET – Athens Center Square Hotel
If you’re wondering where to stay in Athens on a budget, then this hotel is a great choice. It’s just 550 yards (502 meters) from Plaka and Monastiraki Square and is also close to many of the historic sites. Athens Center Square Hotel also has plenty of awesome facilities including a cafe, free breakfast, and a rooftop bar that offers panoramic views of the city and the Acropolis.
When it comes down to the best locations to stay in Athens, Syntagma is right up there at the top!
It’s in a great central location and is the main transport hub of the city, so you can get to any part of Athens from here.
Aside from convenience, there are also plenty of great attractions to visit.
Some of the most popular sites include the iconic Syntagma Square, the Parliament Building, the National Historic Museum, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
You’ll also find the National Gardens here, which is a great place to escape the constant hustle and bustle of Athens.
Not only that, but there are plenty of great shops, cafes, and tavernas here too.
Some of the most popular places to eat include Tzitzikas kai Mermigas, Athena’s Cook, and To Neoklassiko.This part of the city is also where you’ll generally find fast food such as KFC and restaurants serving international cuisine.
With so much to see and the fact that you’re within walking distance to Athen’s main historic sites, Syntagma is one of the best places to stay in Athens.
The only thing to be mindful of when staying in this neighborhood is the political protests and rallies. This is where they usually take place, and although the majority of them are peaceful – it’s just worth noting.
Pros and cons of staying in Syntagma
- Close to main attractions
- Very central location
- The main square is always crowded
- It’s usually the sight of political protests and rallies
The best places to stay in Syntagma
This hotel sits opposite the Houses of Parliament and Constitution Square, and many of the rooms have balconies so you can watch the daily changing of the guard. Hotel Grand Bretagne also has a variety of incredible facilities including a spa, and a rooftop pool & restaurant. The views from here are truly magical, and you’ll get to see the Acropolis in all its glory.
MID-RANGE – Elia Ermou Athens Hotel
This hotel is located just 900 yards (822 meters) away from the Acropolis, so many of the rooms boast magnificent views. Some of the suites and rooms even come with a private balcony, Hamman, and hydromassage bathtub. You’ll also find a restaurant, wellness club, hair salon, and fitness center on-site.
BUDGET – Amazon Hotel
The Amazon Hotel is located in the heart of Athens and is within walking distance of many of the city’s archeological sites. The rooms here are stylishly designed, and some even offer incredible views of the Acropolis. You’ll also find a cafe, and bar on-site, and guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast during their stay.
Kolonaki is one of the most upscale neighborhoods in Athens, so if you’re traveling on a budget you don’t want to stay here.
It’s known for its fine dining, entertainment, and designer shopping, so is the perfect place to go if you’re looking to spend some money
This area is also great for nightlife but you’ll find more high-end and sophisticated bars here including Minnie the Moocher rather than nightclubs. So if you want a night out on the town with jazz music, and classy dresses – this is the area to be.
Not only is there plenty of entertainment options in Kolonaki, but you’ll also find lots of attractions too.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Athens, and you’re looking to splash some cash then Kolonaki is the place for you.
It’s the best place to stay for luxury accommodation so expect to pay high prices. You’ll also find that there aren’t many budget hotels in the area, instead, you’ll primarily find apartments.
Pros and cons of staying in Kolonaki
- Great for luxury stays
- Plenty of fine-dining and entertainment options
- Expensive accommodation
- Very low choice of budget hotels
The best places to stay in Kolonaki
LUXURY – St George Lycabettus
This hotel has plenty of incredible facilities to offer guests including an on-site restaurant, bar, fitness center, and a rooftop swimming pool. However, the highlight has to be the Panoramic Acropolis View Suite. It has floor-to-ceiling windows that offer incredible views of Athens, the Acropolis, Lycabettus Hill, and the Saronic Sea.
MID-RANGE – Coco-Mat Hotel Athens
Coco-Mat Hotel Athens is close to major tourist attractions and offers elegant and spacious rooms. Each room at the hotel has a private bathroom, flat-screen TV, free WiFi, and some even come with a private balcony. There are also several shops on-site and the hotel allows guests to use bicycles free of charge.
BUDGET – Voula’s Luxury Colored Apartment
If you’re looking for a budget stay in Athens, then this apartment is a great choice. It’s located just 750 yards (685 meters) from Syntagma Square and sleeps up to 5 people. With a fully equipped kitchen, two bedrooms, free WiFi, and a washing machine – this apartment is perfect for families. There is also a terrace available for guests to use.
Koukaki is one of the best areas to stay in Athens if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle.
This neighborhood is known for its charming and relaxed atmosphere and is a great place to watch the locals go about their everyday lives.
You’ll also want to walk up Philopappou Hill, as it offers incredible views of the city.
Koukaki Square is another place to visit and is located in the middle of the neighborhood.
Another bonus to staying in this part of Athens is the cuisine. This part of the city is known for its authentic Greek food, so you’ll have plenty of tavernas and cafes to choose from.
So, if you’re looking for a local experience and want to keep your costs down, then Koukaki is probably the best part of Athens to stay in.
Not only is it close to the Acropolis, and the Acropolis Museum but it’s also much quieter than other touristy neighborhoods nearby.
Pros and cons of staying in Koukaki
- Plenty of delicious authentic Greek food
- Get a chance to experience the ‘everyday life’ of people in Athens
- Close to the Acropolis & museum, but further away from some of the other iconic sites
The best places to stay in Koukaki
LUXURY – Coco-mat Athens BC
This luxury hotel has plenty to offer with ancient Roman mosaic floors, beautiful suites, and lots of facilities. At the hotel, you’ll find a bar, restaurant, fitness center, and a sauna. However, the highlight has to be the rooftop garden and terrace with a pool.
MID-RANGE – Herodion Hotel
Herodion Hotel is just a few steps away from the Acropolis Museum, and only a 15-minute walk from Syntagma Square. The hotel boasts an array of facilities including a rooftop restaurant and terrace, a back garden area, and many of the rooms also have a private balcony. The shining star though is the rooftop garden that has sun loungers and two hot tubs which offer beautiful views of Athens.
BUDGET – Acropolis View Hotel
If you’re wondering where to stay in Athens on a budget, then this is your place. Not only are the rooms affordable, but many of them have a private balcony that offers incredible views of the Acropolis. You’ll also have breakfast included in your stay, and the hotel has a rooftop terrace which is the perfect place to grab a drink.
Metaxourgeio is one of the most underrated areas in the city, and you won’t find it in many ‘where to stay in Athens’ articles.
However, it definitely needs to be included in this guide!
For starters, Metaxourgeio is incredibly central and is in a great location to explore the city. There is also plenty of public transport around, making it easy to reach the other neighborhoods.
This area is also known for its artsy vibe and culture. If you decide to stay here you’ll be surrounded by art galleries, trendy cafes, and theaters. Keep your eye out for vibrant street art too!
You’ll also be close to plenty of awesome attractions including the National Archaeological Museum and Avdi Square.
Avdi Square is the heart of this district and its cultural center. It’s pretty lively in the evening and is the perfect place to people watch and grab a bite to eat.
Metaxourgeio is still described as a ‘transitional neighborhood’, so it doesn’t have the variety of eateries and amenities compared to some of the other areas.
However, the food is still delicious and you’ll find plenty of things to do here.
It may not be to everyone’s taste, but if you’re looking for something different and to cut costs then it’s one of the best places to stay in Athens.
Pros and cons of staying in Metaxourgeio
- Cheap accommodation
- Very central location
- Limited choice of accommodation
- A transitional neighborhood, so doesn’t have the same amount of amenities as other areas
The best places to stay in Metaxourgeio
LUXURY – Wyndham Grand Athens
When it comes to luxury, this hotel takes the top spot. They have an array of awesome facilities on-site including a spa center, fitness center, and a lounge bar. However, the highlight has to be the rooftop restaurant, bar & pool that offers stunning views of Athens, the Acropolis, Lycabettus Hill, and the Saronic Gulf.
MID-RANGE – Athenaeum Eridanus Luxury Hotel
This hotel is in a great location to explore the city, with Plaka, Monastiraki, and Psiri all being close by! The standout suite of this hotel is the Executive Suite Acropolis, which has a private balcony to enjoy the views and plenty of other luxurious amenities. Guests also have access to the bar, fitness center, and steam bath during their stay.
BUDGET – Crystal City Hotel
Crystal City Hotel is situated just 100 yards (91 meters) from a metro station, and only 0.6 miles (1 km) away from Plaka. It offers beautiful and spacious rooms, and some even have a private balcony so you can enjoy views of the Acropolis. There is also a rooftop restaurant and bar on-site that offers panoramic views of Athens.
Planning a trip to Athens?
Then you might want to take a look at all our other travel guides about Athens. I promise, they are just as awesome as this article was!
- Where to Stay in Athens: 7 Best Areas & Hotels
- 27 Best Hotels with Acropolis Views in Athens, Greece
- One Day in Athens: How to See the Best of Athens in a Day
- 3 Days in Athens, Greece: The Perfect Athens Itinerary
- 14 Epic Athens Instagram Spots You Can’t Miss