9 Best Areas to Stay in Athens for Tourists

Last Updated on

by Olivia Ellis

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. That means if you click a link and make a purchase, we may make a small commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see our privacy policy.

Figuring out the best area to stay in Athens can seem a bit daunting when you consider the dynamism of the Greek capital. While the city of Athens may not be the ancient city-state that many of us associate it with, Athens today is an incredibly exciting and dynamic city to visit.

Although exciting, it can also be overwhelming when trying to find the best neighborhood to stay in. But don’t let this overwhelm you; Athens is full of accommodation options.

From boutique hotels to luxury hotels, to Airbnb and hostels, the Greek capital is full of different accommodations in unique spots across the city.

Best Places to Stay in Athens

Plaka – Best for a Classic Greek Experience

While Athens may have a very different vibe and atmosphere than the Greek islands, you’ll still manage to find corners of the busy city that feel like you’re in a far-off land on a Greek island. One of those areas is the centrally located Athenian district of Plaka.

Plaka is the oldest district of Athens and once you arrive in the neighborhood, you’ll get a very different feel from the rest of the city. The streets are narrow and steep, neoclassical buildings line the neighborhood and local taverns and cafes are the normal locale, far away from modern cuisine.

Plaka is conveniently situated near three metro stations (Acropoli, Syntagma, Monastiraki) and is likely the most elegant, well-presented, and central area of Athens.

Unfortunately, the classic ambiance and centrality of the Plaka neighborhood does come with a price tag. Although less expensive than the prime spots of many other capital cities, Plaka is one of the most expensive areas and certainly not a good option if you’re trying to visit Athens on a budget.

Where To Stay in Plaka

Acron Athens – This mid-range hotel is a great base and they offer a number of clean and comfortable rooms with plenty of amenities for guests to enjoy.

Electra Metropolis – Those looking for a luxury base while they explore the city will love this luxury hotel in Plaka. Well-located close to everything the neighbourhood has to offer, it offers a panoramic view of the Acropolis and plenty of gorgeous rooms to choose from.

101 Adrianou Apartments – Located in the heart of Athens, this hotel is another great option in the Plaka neighborhood of Athens. They have a range of large, plush suites available.

Athens Backpackers – Budget and solo travelers will love this highly-rated hostel located in the happening Plaka neighborhood. They have a range of both dorms and private rooms to choose from along with great common areas and self-catering facilities. There is also a bar on site.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Plaka!

Plaka in Athens
Plaka in Athens

Psiri – Best for City Buzz & Nightlife

The city center of Athens is dense, but despite the city’s small size, you’ll find unique neighborhoods different from those surrounding them. The perfect example of this is the Psiri neighborhood.

Next to commercial, local, and quiet residential areas of Athens, Psiri is the nightlife hub of the center of the city.

Located just 5 minutes away from the Monastiraki metro station, it’s safe to say that Psiri is the best area to stay in Athens if you’re looking to get the most out of Greek nightlife (which plays quite a large part in Greek culture).

In Psiri you’ll find a mix of people, from tourists and older Greeks, but the area is mainly loved and frequented by young Athenian locals enjoying time out with friends. Psiri is also one of the most central areas of Athens so it’s a great neighborhood to stay in if you’re searching for a vibrant and lively atmosphere.

Plaka and most monuments are located just a short walk away, so Psiri is also one of the best neighborhoods for sightseeing, without the high price of Plaka. 

Where to Stay in Psiri

Asomaton – This lovely hotel in Psiri is an excellent place to stay if you’re looking for luxury in Athens. Along with their incredibly plush rooms, they offer other amenities including an indoor swimming pool, an airport shuttle and a lovely terrace for guests to enjoy.

A.P. Acropolis View Apartments – If you want to pretend you’re a local in Athens, then these apartments are an excellent choice. They have many fully-furnished apartments available with some even boasting hot tubs and Acropolis views.

City Circus Hostel – This highly-rated hostel is an excellent base for budget travellers in Athens. They have both dorms and private rooms available and a great social atmosphere.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Psiri!

Church of Saints Asomatoi in Psiri
Church of Saints Asomatoi in Psiri

Syntagma – Best for First-Time Visitors

You may be visiting Athens for the first time and prefer to be in the heartbeat of the city and near the main sights and major attractions then the Syntagma neighborhood might be for you.

Syntagma Square is the main square of Athens, the home of the Greek government/parliament, and is the best location to stay in Athens if you’re visiting for the first time.

On the Northernmost end of Syntagma behind the Parliament, you’ll find the National Garden of Greece, a perfect oasis to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The Acropolis, Plaka, and many other Ancient sites are also nearby, either by foot or a short bus ride.

While many of the neighborhoods and areas in this guide are chosen for their unique quirks and characteristics, Syntagma is very much a straightforward area that is very practical to stay in if you’re hoping to be central.

Syntagma also has some of the best transportation (Syntagma metro and bus links) close to most areas and attractions that you’ll be spending your time in. 

Where to Stay in Syntagma

Hotel Achilleas – Mid-range visitors to Athens will love this 3-star hotel. Located in the heart of the city, they have bright and comfortable rooms on offer to ensure you have a great stay in the Greek capital.

Elia Ermou Athens Hotel – Those looking for a luxury hotel in Athens will love this plush property in Syntagma. Not only are there countless wonderful rooms to choose from, they have fantastic amenities including an on-site spa/wellness center.

Praxitelous Luxury Suites – These luxe suites in the Syntagma neighborhood are perfect for those who want a fair amount of space while staying in the Athens city center. They have a range of rooms to choose from and some include balconies with jacuzzis!

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Syntagma!

Greek parliament building
Greek parliament building

Monastiraki – Best for Shopping & Food

If you continue following Ermou Street from Syntagma, you’ll wander into the Monastiraki neighborhood.

Monastiraki is sandwiched between Psiri and Syntagma and is quite similar to Psiri in terms of atmosphere and nightlife. Monastiraki lacks the gentrified grit and art of Psiri but makes up for it in its incredible food scene and shopping.

Ermou Street is the prime shopping area and high street of Athens, so if you’re keen on checking out the shopping scene of Athens, Monastiraki is a great choice in Athens.

Some of the best tavernas, street food, and sweet treats in the city can be found in the neighborhood and around Monastiraki Square, making it great if you’re a foodie

Monastiraki is also a convenient area to stay in if you’re hoping to have the most effortless journey to/from the airport. Monastiraki has its metro station, (Monastiraki), connected to Line 3 with direct transportation to the airport in just under half an hour. 

Where to Stay in Monastiraki

Athens Ivy Suites – These suites are an excellent choice with many lovely rooms to choose from, an excellent location, a perfect rooftop terrace with iconic views and a fab breakfast available each morning.

The Zillers Boutique Hotel – This swish boutique hotel is perfect for those looking for a sophisticated stay in the Monastiraki neighborhood. With a perfect location for exploring all Athens has to offer, they have a range of beautiful rooms and countless luxe amenities.

Mosaikon Glostel – If you’re travelling on a budget and want a great place to stay in Monastiraki, then this hostel is a fantastic choice. They have both dorm and private rooms available and even boast a rooftop terrace with incredible Acropolis views.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Monastiraki!

Monastiraki square
Monastiraki square

Piraeus – Best for Travelling by Ferry or Cruise

While the center of the city is where you’ll find most of the neighborhoods on this guide due to their centrality and proximity to the main sights and must-see spots, it may not necessarily be the most ideal area to stay in for those traveling by ferry to/from the Greek islands.

For instance, you may be flying into Athens to spend most of your time in the Greek islands with just a short stopover in the capital city. Many ferries typically have early morning schedules, so staying in the center of the city may be more of an inconvenience than a benefit.

Piraeus, Athen’s port, is the biggest passenger port in Europe and is an interesting and unique neighborhood in itself to base your stay in.

The neighborhood itself is a lot more than just the port; you’ll find luxurious marinas, splendid sunset views, and some of the most loved local restaurants in all of the city.

Piraeus has a metro station (Piraeus) connected to the center of the city (12 miles away), so even if you stay in this part of Athens, it’s still just a quick journey to the center to enjoy everything that the city has to offer. 

Where to Stay in Piraeus

Phidias Piraeus Hotel – This affordable hotel is an excellent choice with a number of lovely rooms to choose from and a great location near the port.

The Port Square Hotel – If you’re looking for a hip and modern place to stay in the Piraeus neighborhood, then this luxe option is one of the best hotels in Athens. They have sleek rooms and there is also an on-site bar for guests to enjoy.

Gallery Suites & Residences – These comfortable suites are ideal for those who want their own self-catering facilities.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Pireaus!

Port Piraeus
Port Piraeus

Kolonaki – Best for a Luxury Stay

One of the most elegant and upscale areas of Athens is the Kolonaki neighborhood, located at the base of Lycabettus Hill, and is one of the greenest areas in the center of Athens.

In Kolonaki you won’t just find some of the swankiest and wealthiest locals, you’ll also find some of the nicest hotels in the city.

Kolonaki is a great area to wander as you’ll find local Greek boutiques, trendy artisan cafes & coffee roasters, as well as the neighboring National Garden of Greece.

If you’re someone that likes to be in the center of the city that you’re visiting and in more of an upscale area with health-conscious restaurants and classy cocktail bars, Kolonaki is the perfect spot.

The area is a lovely blend of cafe culture, pleasant areas to walk around and independent shops that you won’t find in the rest of the city. The neighborhood is also connected to multiple transport options, with bus services and the metro station Evangelismos. 

Another added benefit making Kolonaki one of the best areas to stay in Athens for sightseeing is the proximity to many of the best museums in the capital Greek city.

The Benaki Museum, The Museum of Cycladic Art, and the Athens War Museum are all under just 500 m away from Kolonaki, waiting to take you into many different aspects of the culture and history of Greece.

Where to Stay in Kolonaki

Coco-Mat Hotel Athens – This hotel in high-end Kolonaki is perfect for those looking for a luxe stay in the Greek capital. They have chic rooms to choose from and countless amenities.

Shila Athens – Those looking for an elegant stay in the Kolonaki neighborhood are going to love this classic and eclectic hotel. They have lovely suites available including some with terraces or balconies.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Kolonaki!

Benaki Museum near Kolonaki
Benaki Museum near Kolonaki

Koukaki – Best for a Local Experience

You may be someone that seeks to experience life as a local as much as possible when traveling, and the best neighborhood in Athens for that is the Koukaki neighborhood.

Koukaki is one of the most underrated areas in this guide. It is eclectic, creative, and fun, with everyday Athenian life from every corner, delicious Greek taverns and ouzerias, and the Acropolis just next door.

The area is also very central, with bus transport and metro transport (Syngrou-Fix station) and just about most attractions and sites within walking distance. You’ll also find great nightlife in Koukaki, but different in comparison to Psiri and Monastiraki.

Koukaki has more of an indie/alternative feel to it, with mellow spots to eat and drink in the evening and street art to find.

The area is also a lot more affordable in accommodation costs in comparison to other central neighborhoods, making it all around a great spot to stay during your time in Athens. 

Where to Stay in Koukaki

Hotel @Syngrou Fix – If you’ve determined that Koukaki is the neighborhood to base yourself in when visiting Athens, then this 3-star has lovely rooms to choose from and a perfect location.

The Athens Gate Hotel – This 4-star hotel is an excellent choice for those looking for a plush stay in Koukaki. They have a myriad of great rooms and there is even a rooftop terrace boasting incredible Acropolis views.

11 Enteka Acropolis Suites – These suites are a great choice for a place to stay in Vibrant Koukaki. They have different sizes to choose from to suit all kinds of groups and a perfect location for a unique visit to the city.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Koukaki!

Thissio – Best for a Picturesque View of the Acropolis

Thissio is the neighborhood made for those visiting Athens to stand mesmerised by the Acropolis.

It is the dreamy area sitting under the watch of the Acropolis, making you feel like you’ve wandered into an indie movie while wandering through the orange blossom-scented streets with soft street music.

The area is defined by the long low-lit walkway lined with cosy wine bars, neoclassical buildings, open views of Athens, and the door to some of the best views of the city from the Filopappou and Lycabettus Hills.

If you’re looking to be closer to nature while in the center of the city and near the Acropolis and other important monuments, Thissio is perfect.

While most parts of central Athens are easily accessible by foot from Thissio, the area also has its metro station (Thissio), giving quick and easy transportation to the rest of the city. 

Where to Stay in Thissio

Hotel Thissio – This artsy 3-star hotel in Thissio also boasts a panoramic view of the Acropolis from its rooftop terrace. They have a range of lovely rooms to choose from and it makes for the perfect base for exploring the city.

Be My Guest Athens – If you’re looking for a furnished apartment option in Thissio, then this hotel is a good option. Not only do they have an excellent location and great amenities, but they also have both rooms and apartments to choose from.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Thissio!

View of Acropolis from Filopappou Hill
View of Acropolis from Filopappou Hill

Athenian Riviera – Best for a Beach Getaway

The area most distant from the center of the city is the Athenian Riviera.

The “Athenian Riviera” is more of a term coined to describe the stretch of neighborhoods along the southern coast of Athens, and it’s one of my favourite off-the-beaten-path areas of the city.

A lot of visitors tend to separate Athens and the Greek islands in terms of scenery, imagining Athens is for city visits, and the Greek islands are to spend time at the beach.

This area also shows how beautiful the coast of Athens is, with fewer tourists, more nature, and a great way to experience the turquoise Greek seaside especially if you’re not visiting an island. 

While the areas that make up the Athenian Riviera run all the way south to Cape Sounion, I’m going to focus on the nearest areas to Athens.

Glyfada is one of the biggest areas of the Athenian Riviera and is a great option to stay in during any trip to Athens, as it’s large, connected to the center by tram/bus, and full of trendy restaurants and cafes.

Voula and Vouliagmeni, the area after Glyfada is also a great contender due to delicious and fresh Greek tavern food, clean beaches, and the perfect spot to get away from the busy city.

The Athenian Riviera is on the costlier end of this guide in comparison to other neighborhoods as hotels are usually high-end, but Airbnb is a great option and there’s not a shortage of Airbnb accommodation in the Athenian Riviera.

Where to Stay in Athenian Riviera

Azur Hotel – This 4-star hotel on the Athenian Riviera is an excellent choice for those after a beachy escape in the Greek capital. They have great rooms on offer, a restaurant, bar and room service for guests to enjoy and a beautiful outdoor swimming pool to splash around in.

Somewhere Vouliagmeni – If you’re looking for the height of luxury on the Athenian Riviera, then this hotel is the place for you. They have elegant rooms, incredible sea views to soak in and countless amenities to enjoy.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Athenian Riviera!

Voula on the Athenian Riviera
Voula on the Athenian Riviera

Athens is one of the most unique and interesting capital cities in Europe to visit due to the stark contrast between old and new, and everything in between. The vast number of unique neighborhoods also makes it a great city to stay in as there’s something for everyone and even staying in the center of the city doesn’t have to break the bank.

Are you wondering where to stay in Athens? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

Like It? Pin It!
Avatar photo

Olivia is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from Michigan, USA, she is currently living in Athens, Greece exploring Europe and filmmaking. When she’s not travelling or writing, Olivia can be found cooking delicious new recipes from around the world, reading, and spending time outdoors.


Leave a Comment