Where to Stay in Athens: Best Neighborhoods & Hotels

Martina Rosado
Written by
Last update:

Athens’s top neighborhoods

To stay in are called Central Athens and New Acropolis.

This is because these are some of the best places to stay in Athens. These neighborhoods are in the center of Athens and right next to the Acropolis, which is the modern name for the ancient site of the Acropolis or citadel of Athens. Central Athens is one of the oldest and most densely populated neighborhoods in Athens.

Why is this the best place to stay in Athens? Perhaps because it is so centrally located. It is very easy to get around from most directions, so you can easily walk around Athens, even if you aren’t in a great tourist area.

The top standard hotels in Athens, which are the places that are most suitable for who to stay or relax in, are the Radisson SAS Royal, the Hotel Odysseus, and the Hotel Royal Olympias.

All of these hotels are very close to Georgia Square, a shopping mall the offers the experience of a local Athenian neighborhood at night. If you like, you could visit Athens for the day and return to these hotels to feel like you are in Athens as well.

At night, be sure to visit Gazi, Plaka, Georgiou A, Omonia, Syntagma, and Kypseli. These areas also offer great places to stay or go for great shopping.

Plaka

The Plaka neighborhood is at the base of the Acropolis, and you have probably already visited seeing as how the city is one of the world’s most touristy. The Plaka is known for its houses, where you can go inside and look around.

Many of these houses were home to the city’s wealthy merchants, and they’re still standing as they were hundreds of years ago. There are also a variety of coffee shops sprinkled around the streets, as well as traditional restaurants that offer delicious home made Greek food.

The Plaka is also one of the largest restored areas of Athens, and the neighborhood has changed very little since the 1700’s. It’s perfect for anyone who likes to walk around and people watch.

One of the most prominent landmarks in the Plaka is the Greek Orthodox Church of Panaghia, commonly known as “The Virgin Mary” church. It’s a beautiful building, which was built in the 19th century. The church is made up of red brick and has a dome that’s loaded with gold detailing and an ornate blue facing.

Best Places to Stay in Plaka

Plaka is the historic tourist area on the oldest hill in Athens. The area is filled with numerous hotels, restaurants, and attractions. Close to the Acropolis and many of the sights you’ve seen in all your pictures, Plaka is a popular destination for tourists.

It is also a popular place for classic Greek dishes like gyros and souvlaki. It’s easy to grab a bite to eat in the restaurants along the Plaka and enjoy some delicious food or cocktails.

The History

Plaka is the name for the city’s oldest and most traditional neighborhood. Plaka is 200 years old and is located just uphill from the central city of Athens. It takes its name from Nikodamos Palaiologos, who was the Grand Dragoman under emperor Napoleon’s rule in 1797.

While Nikodamos was known for his great administrative skills, his most well known act was leaving the city after the 3rd of September in 1822. He reasoned that it was immoral to stay in a city that was lacking in resources following the Gerogian War. Nikodamos ordered that the residents of Plaka should either pray and fast or leave the city. This decision wasn’t well recieved by the people of Plaka.

Monastiraki & Psiri

Located just a stone’s throw from the Acropolis, Monastiraki and Psiri are two of the most popular and densely populated neighborhoods of Athens.

Monastiraki is most famous for being the land of the Monastiraki flea market, which can be found along the street of that name and is open daily. Not only is it a shopping destination, but the modern shops are filled with unique souvenirs and memorabilia.

Monastiraki is the city center of the Acropolis, so it’s only natural that it was the first neighborhood to be developed during ancient times.

The Hondon Street

Monastiraki’s central square literally means –market street,” thanks to its famous public market that sets it apart. The market has been operating since the Byzantine era, and more than a thousand vendors sell household items and clothing at the huge open-air market. The vendors are set up along Hondon Street, which attracts tourists and locals alike.

The most interesting things to buy are leather products, jewelry, hand-painted tiles, paintings, and paintings—many of which are from Greece or make reference to Greece’s history and current events.

Best Places to Stay in Monastiraki & Psiri

Best hidden gem in Athens. Monastiraki and Psiri are two of the many charming neighborhoods in Athens. There you will find numerous restaurants, cafes, a handful of bars and some of the best tavernas in the city, all within walking distance from the popular districts of Kolonaki and Plaka.

If you are looking to immerse yourself in the local Athenian culture, both neighborhods are the place to be.

While Psiri is full of beautiful decaying mansions that people have turned into charming guest houses and boutiques, Monastiraki is also full of restored and newly renovated buildings housing good shops and restaurants.

Monastiraki used to be the center of the Orthodox community in Athens, so in the area there are numerous churches and monasteries like those in Platon and Metochiou.

Plaka

Best slightly hidden gem in Athens. Plaka is the most popular destination among travelers because of its beauty, and that’s not wrong. Plaka is full of ancient buildings that have been restored and converted into museums and shop for tourists. Most of the churches are closed until the end of the week and that’s a shame because there’s no better way to enjoy the beauties of this neighborhood than from inside a church.

Kolonaki

Best Places to Stay in Kolonaki

Get ready to renovate your travel wishlist. Kolonaki is a filled with luxury hotels and high end boutiques. This is the best place to stay in Athens.

So if you are looking for a place to stay in Athens, I recommend checking out Kolonaki. The neighborhood is located very close to Athens city center and it’s an easy commute from the airport. If you want to explore the city, a hotel in Kolonaki will be in a perfect location to walk around Athens.

After staying in Athens for a few weeks, I rented an apartment in Kolonaki. It was much more affordable to stay in the area and I enjoyed living in myself. It made a nice change from the three star hotel I’d been staying in.

Since moving to a Kolonaki hotel, I’ve had an easier time meeting other travelers. I recommend staying in one of the hotels in Kolonaki. It’s easy to meet other travelers that have similar interests and you’ll be close to some great restaurants.

The neighborhood of Kolonaki consists of sophisticated coffee shops, restaurants, vintage shops and boutiques.

Syntagma

Syntagma Square is the main square in Athens, and is the most popular tourist attraction in the area. This area has a large concentration of hotels that will provide you with an affordable rate. If you are willing to spend a little more, one of the hotels will provide you with more comfortable rooms, a gym and other perks.

This area is also more centrally located to the rest of the city, so you will have access to many attractions within walking distance. The Consulate and other government buildings are all within the area.

Some attractions that are within walking distance include the Acropolis and the National Gardens.

Syntagma station is also nearby, which will provide you with convenient rail access to other parts of the city and outside Greece.

Best Places to Stay in Syntagma

The city of Athens has many great neighborhoods and hotels, each with their own style and charm.

If you have a limited budget for living, hotels may end up being the best option. They usually consist of facilities that surpass hostels; fast internet, a TV or two, a refrigerator, heating, air conditioning, a hair dryer, a hairdryer, and even en suite bathrooms are just some of the amenities that you might find at the best hotels in Athens.

A big advantage of hotels is the separation of your own room from the rest of the other guests. This means that you can enjoy peace and quiet when you want it, which is an important thing for travelers with a busy schedule.

Koukaki

Koukaki is a neighborhood north of the Acropolis. It is nestled between the hill of the Acropolis and Hadrian’s Gate. It is very walking and dining friendly and Charles Plaktopoulos, the owner of the Pension Topal, is super helpful for room tips. If you are looking for a more quiet ring, this is the place to find. Although breakfast is not included in the cost of the room, it is super tasty and a great start to the day. At this point I am no longer surprised, but still impressed by the incredible Greek breakfast.

A trip to the Wound Museum is a must while in Athens. This museum is housed within one of the barracks built for the Greek army during the Punic Wars. Created by a local man who was wounded in some of the conflicts in the room, it is an amazing story of the healing process and an exploration of the many different ways human skin is injured when in war.

Best Places to Stay in Koukaki

There is a plethora of places to stay in Koukaki, with the following offering the best of the best:

  • Nearby
  • Alcove Hotel Athens
  • Perrys Resorts
  • In The City
  • Hotel George
  • In Koukaki
  • Koukaki Hotel
  • Hotel Ai Stazenna
  • Plaza Athina
  • Best Neighborhood in Athens

Koukaki offers a neighborhood experience for guests looking for a more traditional hotel experience, in the heart of Athens.

Exarchia

Exarchia is also known as the Experimental neighborhood or even the “Red Light District” and is near the city center.

It’s a neighborhood that has a sort of historic feel to it with merchants selling newspapers and books and restaurants that offer more tasty smelling food than you can possibly ask for.

In addition to all of the historical feel, this neighborhood also has a very positive vibe. Exarchia is queer friendly, welcoming, and multicultural.

There are many cafes to stop by with a variety of coffee flavors and but also coffee beans to sample.

You can also find many bookstores and art galleries.

Exarchia is a wonderful place to find funky vintage shops and to go out to eat in one of the many rooftop restaurants in the area.

The neighborhood is also home to a modern art museum by the name of MUSEUM OF ARCHITECTURE at the renovated private mansion of the architect Dimitris Pikionis.

Exarchia also has many clubs, bars, and bars with very unique shops, fruit stands and kiosks.

The train station that is in Exarchia is called “Mimaros ” and is located on Xenon Street.

Where to Stay in Exarchia

The home of the original Athens squatters, the students from the Polytechnic Uprising, and the birthplace of the anti-globalization movement, Exarchia is the downtown of Athens.

The neighborhood is one of the most culturally diverse areas of Athens. Many of the squatters still live in the area and you can visit their buildings.

Apart from the university students, there are many migrant workers who live in shelters here. They have no intention of leaving. You can also visit their shelters.

As for hotels, they are fairly cheap to stay in here. The neighborhood is also rather tight and pedestrian focused. If you want to have a car, you will have to walk for 10 minutes to reach the small carpark that is close to the hotels.

The neighborhood has an air of hipster and alternative that you won’t find in the center city. It’s known for its food, especially for the vegetarian comfort food, and its views right above Syntagma Square.

Things to Do in Exarchia

The Patisserie Mythos, Exarchia.

The Patisserie, founded 20 years ago by a couple of university students, is a famous bakery in Exarchia. They are known for their traditional Greek oregano bread and their handmade pies.

Address: On ly 5 minutes from Syntagma Square, outside the football stadium.

Glyfada

Glyfada is a suburb (or village, depending on how you look at it) of Athens, located about 20 km southeast of Athens city center. It is known as the most affluent part of Athens, home to roughly 40,000 people.

It’s part of the wider complex (or agglomeration – see below) of affluent residential areas (such as Neo Faliro, Neo Voutzas, Vouliagmeni, etc.) and has a reputation for being slightly snooty. Care should be taken to not sound too rude when visiting because some lack of common sense and manners can be taken as rude.

Walk along the Cliffs that so Many Well-off Athenians Jump off Every Year

>Admire the riot of modern architecture (Hudson River, Stockwell, etc.) around Kifissia avenue

>Watch the sun set over Glyfada Bay (St. Philopsios beach) and Glyfada Bay outside the suburb

Try the Botanical Garden and the new Glyfada Concert Hall, built in 2014.

>Hike to Namaleos beach, a private beach outside Glyfada.

Best Places to Stay in Glyfada

Glyfada is a popular choice for visitors to Athens and is amongst the closest districts for the Athens International Airport, while still being just a 15-minute bus ride from the centre of Athens.

Although the village is relatively new, there are many charming old houses interspersed with modern hotels in the new urban development. There are also some good-quality guesthouses that are close to the beach.

Part of the appeal of Glyfada is that it is relatively small, and places are within walking distance of each other. You can cover a lot of the historical sites of the city in just a few hours.

One of the biggest draws of Glyfada is the resort-style beach, which is exceptionally clean. The sand is golden and the water is crystal clear. This area is great for families with children, as there are plenty of shallow areas that the children can play in safely, and rock pools that they can play in too.

The Bellavista Apartment Apartments is a modern apartment block which offers modern fully-equipped apartments that are a short walk from the beach. Beach access is available and just 10 minutes by taxi to nearby Glyfada City.

Piraeus

The Antique Port of Athens

Very little sightseeing is required to enjoy the beauty of Piraeus. Relying more on local attractions than on sites for tourists, it is a great destination for just floating.

Besides its ancient aura, Greek society has opened up to the outside and has a great love of life.

Going to a local taverna is mandatory for several reasons that are out of the hands of the tourist who expects a certain set of sights.

Following a long tradition, Greek cuisine has transformed from the subservient role it has always played in the past to one of constructive competition with the rest of the world.

In order to enjoy the best view of Piraeus, you’ll need to rise early. By 6 am the exquisite sunset has faded, and the boats for the day are leaving the port.

As they are in the habit to wear casual clothes, you can find them at the docks hauling their day’s harvest from the nets of the sea. The Greek men have the nickname “fishermen.”

As much as the regular attire sets them apart from the rest of the crowd, the sense of effort and professionalism involved in their job is what keeps them apart. Also, as they are unaccompanied by their wives or female companions, the general bachelor atmosphere of the place is palpable.

Where to Stay in Piraeus

Coastal promenade of Piraeus, with a layover at the ferry port,.

Making for an easy trip between Athens and Mykonos.

History

Travel Town Athens is a diverse, vibrant and fascinating area in Athens. This is an attractive area to visit for:

  • fanatics of history,
  • those wishing to experience the real authentic Greece,
  • those looking for a fascinating challenge, trying to find historical treasures,
  • those who want to attend the many events and festivals, or just
  • anaesthetize themselves in the numerous and famous bars, restaurants

And clubs.

Besides its historical interests, the area has become one of the best.

Secrets of the capital for its nightlife and youth culture.

For travelers, the historic center of Athens will be an excellent choice.

For an area to live in and meet the locals. The area has cheap and cheerful rooms and

Apartment (bedrooms and living rooms with kitchens).

The area has a large selection of shops, society services,.

Restaurants, bars and clubs, bank, and all public services.

Top 10 Tourist Attractions

Monastiraki / Syntagma Metro station