Where To Stay In Athens – A Guide To The Best Neighborhoods

It has a compact city center with diverse neighborhoods but it can be overwhelming when it comes to choosing where to stay in Athens and what to do.

We’ve partnered with Athens local and created this guide to help make those things easier for you. Below you will find an outline of the 5 most popular areas with suggestions of where to stay, what not to miss as well as plenty of insider tips. 

Whether you are looking for nightlife, shopping, or a convenient location near the sites, we will help find the best place for you.

Where to Stay in Athens

Where-to-stay-in-athens-view

"I have always been consumed with one desire; to touch and see as much as possible of the earth and the sea before I die.”
- Zorba the Greek (Nikos Kazantzakis)

Where-to-stay-in-athens-greece-pin

History and the Mediterranean Sea draw visitors to Athens. I first visited in 2015 for a 5-day visit. I've now lived in Athens for over a year, exploring its nooks and crannies.

I have taken that knowledge and used it to help you get the most out you visit to this magnificent city.

Where-to-stay-in-athens-Caryatids

The Caryatids on a temple of the Acropolis

Even though Athens is a major city, it has a compact center and this guide should take the difficulty out of deciding where to stay.

We're here to help you choose the best neighbourhood to suit your needs and budget and to help you break down some accommodation ideas for you too.

Suggested Athens Neighbourhoods

If you want to skip directly to any of the neighbourhoods in Athens, click on the links below. 

  • Syntagma - In the heart of the action close to the sites
  • Koukaki - Live like a local near the Acropolis
  • Kolonaki - Upscale neighborhood with luxury shopping
  • Metaxourgeio - Artists' hangout in central location
  • Psyri - Alternative locale with vibrant nightlife

Athens Quick Tips

Athens metro is affordable and very easy to use. 

Purchase tickets at all Metro, Tram, and Suburban Railway stations. Many news kiosks will also sell tickets. The same ticket is used for all forms of public transportation.

A for all modes of public transportation only €9.

  • This excludes transfers on bus or metro to the airport: A one way metro ticket to/from the airport is €10. A one way Express Bus ticket to/from the airport is €6.
  • A 3-day tourist pass for all modes of public transportation AND roundtrip airport transport is only €22 
Where to stay in Athens

Plan Your Athens Trip

Athens is on the Euro - $1USD = .85 Euro - For up to date conversions get the

Dress in layers and pack mix and match clothing. Athens can be extremely hot with intense sunshine. Bring sunscreen and a hat to protect your skin.

How to pack for a European vacation - We give our best tips for packing for Europe from what to bring and how to pack it. With video too!

 This all in one adapter is all your need for Athens and other European and world travels.

International Data Roaming - Use KnowRoaming for unlimited data/cellular for $7.99 per day. Easy application sticks to your existing SIM Card. Save 50%

back to top

#1 Syntagma Square

The New City Center

Where-to-stay-in-athens-Syntagma-Square

Syntagma Square and the Parliament building

Day or night, there is always a buzz at Syntagma Square. This is one of the most popular places to stay in Athens for first time visitors because it is easy to get to Syntagma from pretty much anywhere in the city.

If you are looking where to stay in Athens that will keep you central this is the place for you.

Syntagma Square is the most important square in Athens. Many major events in its modern history happened here - political demonstrations, celebrations, and even battles.

Visit the Greek Parliament Building, the tomb of the unknown soldier, and the original marble Olympic Stadium (Panthenaic). Syntagma also offers many great restaurants and trendy bars to keep you entertained all night long.

back to top

Where to Stay in Athens Near Syntagma Square

 

Luxury

Where to stay in Athens Hotel Grand Bretagne

 Hotel Grand Bretagne

Ultra luxury hotel with rooftop restaurant/bar/pool with the best view in Athens. Full-service spa.

Check out Availability & Prices

Trip Advisor / Booking.com

Mid-Range

Where to stay in athens Emporikon Athens Hotel

Emporikon Athens Hotel

Great location. Some rooms offer Acropolis or Lycabettus Hill views. Perfect for exploring.

Check out Prices

Trip Advisor / Hotels Combined

Budget

Where to stay in athens Hotel Adonis

Hotel Adonis

Great location near the Plaka. Roof terrace with outstanding views of Athens and the Acropolis.

Great place for photos of the city.

Check out Availability & Prices

Trip Advisor/ Booking.com

Things to see near Syntagma Square

Parliament building - This building used to be the palace of King Otto after the 19th-century Greek Revolution. Now it is the houses the Greek democracy.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - Elite soldiers of Greece guard this monument in front of the Parliament building. The changing of the guard ceremonies draw tons of spectators (Top of every hour, large ceremony on Sunday at 11AM).

Panathenaic Stadium - The original stadium of the first modern Olympics in 1896. In the 2004 Olympics, it was the venue for the historic marathon finish and archery contests.

where-to-stay-in-athens-Panathanaic -Stadium

Panathanaic Stadium, home of the first modern Olympic Games

National Gardens - Originally the king's palace gardens. This public space is a great place for a walk or to find peace and quiet in the center of Athens. It contains some ruins, such as columns and Corinthian capitals.

Plaka - The neighborhood of "old" Athens. It is a very popular spot with tourists. Catch a classic movie at Cine Paris, located on a rooftop with a view of the Acropolis.

Anafiotika - Want to get an island feel while you’re in the center of Athens? The original inhabitants of this neighborhood were islanders who brought the island vibe to Athens. Look for cats and eye-popping street art tucked in the nooks and crannies.

where-to-stay-in-athens-Anafiotika

Anafiotika, island neighborhood in the shadow of the Acropolis

back to top

Suggested Tours

 - Looking for guides for archeological sites or museums?

Want to know where the locals eat and shop? Or just need help finding tickets for a cultural event? Katerina from Livin' Lovin' knows everything about Athens and will create an affordable custom tour for your interests.

- Take a glimpse into the history of and architecture of modern Athens and discover one of my favorite hidden cafes.

Getting There

Syntagma Square, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - stop at Syntagma station along the Blue or Red line

Panathenaic Stadium - stop at Mets station on trolley #2, 4, or 11

National Garden - stops at Syntagma along Blue or Red line, stop at Mets station on trolley #2, 4, or 11

Plaka/Anafotika - stops at Filellinon on trolley #1, 2, 4, 5, or 11

For more information check out the  for updated costs and schedule. The Moovit app for Android and iOS is a great trip planning tool.

back to top

#2 Koukaki

 

Neighborhood Feel Near the Sights

Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Odeon of Herodes Atticus below the Acropolis

This neighborhood south of the Acropolis has a local neighborhood vibe.

If you are looking for a walkable locale where everyday Athenians live and hang out, Koukaki is the perfect place.

The key points of interest here are the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum.

There are lots of pedestrian zones here. On these paths you can walk almost completely car-free in a 2-mile path around the Acropolis.

The heart of the neighborhood is the pedestrian street Drakou. Here you can sip coffee or grab a bite with the Athenians. Further southwest is Olympiou, another pedestrian street with even more tavernas and ouzeries.

back to top

Where to Stay in Athens Near Koukaki

 

Luxury

Where to stay in athens Divani Palace Acropolis

Divani Palace Acropolis

5-star luxury with rooftop restaurant with one of the best views in Athens.

Great for photography and service.

Check out Availability & Prices

Trip Advisor/ Booking.com

Mid-Range

Where to stay in athens Herodion Hotel

Herodion Hotel

Designer boutique with modern rooftop restaurant/bar.

Outdoor jacuzzis with Acropolis view.

Check out Availability & Prices

Trip Advisor / Booking.com

Budget

Where to stay in athens Athens Studios

Athens

Studios

Affordable accommodation near the Acropolis Museum. Studios or apartments. Convenient location.

Check out Availability & Prices

Trip Advisor / Booking.com

Things to See in Koukaki

 

Acropolis - Athens most famous monument, the Parthenon, is located here. Also on the site are the Temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheum, Dionysos Theatre, and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.

On the west side of the Acropolis is Aeropagus/Mars Hill, where Apostle Paul preached to Athenians.

Acropolis Museum - The new building was constructed in 2007. This is one of the best museums in the world, with the highlight being a to-scale recreation of the frieze that surrounded the Parthenon.

Acropolis Museum-athens

Excavation at the Acropolis Museum

Filopappos Hill - Come  here for great views of Athens, the Aegean Sea and the Acropolis. It is a great place for a walk and is home to indigenous birds, like the Athenian owl and peregrine falcon.

Temple of Olympia Zeus - Remains of the largest temple in ancient Greece built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian.

National Museum of Contemporary Art - Housed in refurbished 1893 Fix Brewery Factory, the museum houses contemporary exhibitions from Greek and international artists.

back to top

Suggested Tours

 - Local volunteers create a custom tour based on your interests. No fee.

 - Get a crash course in Greek mythology while you visit archeological sites like the Acropolis.

Athens Walks - Acropolis and Acropolis Museum Tour - Get a guided experience of Athens' most important monuments

Getting There

All of the sights in Koukaki are close to public transit stops:

By metro - Akropoli (stops at the Museum, not the site) and Sygrou-Fix on the Red line.

By trolley -From Syntagma, take #1, 5 or 15 trolley to either Drakou or Olympiou stops.

For more information check out the  for updated costs and schedule. The Moovit app for Android and iOS is a great trip planning tool.

back to top

#3 Kolonaki

 

Luxury and Shopping

Tsakalof Street-where-to-stay-in-athens

Relax on Tsakalof Street

If you are coming to Athens to shop, this posh area with designer shops and boutiques will be right up your alley.

Kolonaki is located northeast of the Acropolis.

In addition, you’ll find Athens’ world-renowned art museums here. For example, the Benaki Museum contains a vast collection of the highest-quality Greek art from throughout its history. Or shop for high-quality souvenirs in its shop.

where-to-stay-in-athens-greece-ruins

A walk up Lycabettus Hill will give you a great workout and a bird’s eye view of all the streets in Athens. If climbing is too difficult, you can also take a funicular to the top to see the great views.

You'll love the the fantastic energy on Tsakalof Street. Go for a coffee during the day or a cocktail at night. It buzzes at all times of the day. I met my now-husband at a cafe on this street.  

back to top

Suggested Hotels Near Kolonaki

 

Luxury

Saint George Lycabettus Where to stay in athens

Saint George Lycabettus

Luxury hotel with rooftop pool bar and panoramic views. Fitness center and full-service spa. Perfect for some pampering.

Check out Availability & Prices

Trip Advisor / Booking.com

Mid-Range

Where to stay in athens Coco-Mat Hotel

Coco-Mat Hotel

Designer hotel with roof garden/restaurant with a city view, homemade breakfast, and free bicycle rentals.

Check out Availability & Prices

Trip Advisor / Booking.com

Budget

Where to stay in Athens Athinais Hotel

Athinais

Hotel

Comfortable hotel in a neighborhood that has very few options for budget accommodation. Great location.

Check out Availability & Prices

Trip Advisor/ Booking.com

Things to see near Kolonaki

 

Lycabettus Hill - Go for the views all the way to the port of Piraeus and the Aegean Sea. You can hike to the top or take the funicular.

Benaki Museum - Stunning collection of artifacts from ancient, Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern eras. There is also a great gift shop if you are looking for higher quality souvenirs. We buy wedding presents from here!

Museum of Cycladic Art - See the world’s largest collection of Cycladic art. Everything we know about the ancient islanders, we know because of this art. You'll be surprised how the skinny white figures look so modern even though they are thousands of years old!

Byzantine and Christian Museum - View artwork from the period of history when Greek culture dominated the eastern Christian world.

back to top

where-to-stay-in-athens-Byzantine

Byzantine and Christian Museum

back to top

Suggested Tours

 - Discover Greek designers, both high-end and indie, everyday brands.

 - Take a splurge with a unique private tour at the world-class Benaki Museum. Handle museum jewelry treasures. Also, enjoy dinner in the museum's rooftop restaurant. 

A Taste of Athens Food Tour - Spend the day sampling some of Athens' finest food with a delectable 3-hour food tour.

Visit the markets, learn about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, and try many of the best foods Greece has to offer, all with a knowledgeable guide leading you.

Getting to Kolonaki

By metro - Evangelismos on the blue line is a 10-min walk to the center of Kolonaki.

Kolonaki Squre is also a 10-min walk from Syntagma Square.

For more information check out the  for updated costs and schedule. The Moovit app for Android and iOS is a great trip planning tool.

back to top

#4 Metaxourgeio

 

Artsy Neighborhood With Central Location

where-to-stay-in-athens-Metaxourgeio

I fell for Athens after an evening in rough-and-tumble Metaxourgeio.

Historically, Metaxourgeio was a working middle-class neighborhood that started to decline in the 70’s. Today immigrants and artists take advantage of the lower rents here.

With the new tenants came an artsy vibe with many art galleries and trendy restaurants and cafes. There aren’t many sights nearby besides the world-class National Archeological Museum.

The cultural center of Metaxourgeio is Avdi Square. It's most lively in the eventing when the bars and cafes fill up. 

Most of the nicer hotels will be found on Karaiskakis Square, where the metro stop is located. It is a 10-min walk to Avdi Square from Karaiskaki Square.

Spend your time here in art galleries, such as the Municipal Gallery of Athens, Rebecca Camhi Gallery, Breeder Gallery, and the Vamiali Gallery. You will also find a lot of street art around Metaxourgeio.

Stay in Metaxourgeio if you are looking for an alternative locale.

It is still a transition neighborhood and will not be to everyone’s taste.

back to top

Suggested Hotels in Metaxourgio

Luxury

Wyndham Grand Athens

Wyndham Grand Athens

Luxury hotel offers rooftop pool/bar with a full view of Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill. Spa and fitness center.

Check out Availability & Prices

Trip Advisor/ Booking.com

Mid-Range

Novus city hotel

Novus City Hotel

Stylish hotel with rooftop pool and bar with views of the Acropolis. A Great value.

Check out Availability & Prices

Trip Advisor / Booking.com

Budget

hotel-katerina

Hotel

Katerina

Comfortable accommodation with excellent location near the metro.

Check out Availability & Prices

Trip Advisor / Booking.com

Things to See in Metaxourgeio

 

National Archaeological Museum - The world-renowned museum displays artifacts from as early as 7000 B.C. Highlights include rare bronze statues, the Mask of Agamemnon, and Classic-period sculptures.

Avdi Square - Park-like square, especially lively in the evening. Visit some of my favorite  Athens cafe/bars and restaurants that are located on the perimeter.

where-to-stay-in-athens-Avdi- Square

Cafe on Avdi Square

Gazi - A lively, hip nightclub and bar area. A modern conversion of a 19th century gas plant known as the Technopolis is located here. The Technololis hosts cultural events, a weekly artisan market, and a museum. It's staged with red and purple lights at night.

Exarchia - This is an edgy counterculturist neighborhood. It has a long history of clashes with the police and is full of graffiti and street art. Although it is disruptive for police enter this area, it is generally very safe for everyone else.

back to top

Suggested Tours with Get Your Guide

- Capture the spirit of Athens in a photography workshop with the award-winning Greek photojournalist Maro Kouri. 

Street Art Tour - Let a real street artist guide you through the active street art scene of Athens. Decipher the hidden messages behind spectacular examples of urban art on a visit to 3 of the city's neighborhoods, where the immense richness of street art is concentrated.

Getting There

Metaxourgeio - Take the Red metro line to Metaxourgeio.

National Archaeological Museum and Exarchia - Take the #2, 4, 5, or 11 trolley to the Polytechneio stop.

Gazi - Take the Blue metro line to Kerameikos.

For more information check out the  for updated costs and schedule. The Moovit app for Android and iOS is a great trip planning tool.

back to top

#5 Psyri

 

Nightlife Hotspot

where-to-stay-in-athens-Psyri

The streets in Psyri flood with people at night. Yet it is also extremely close to many sights, including the neighborhood of Thissio and Monastiraki Square.

Psyri is the perfect place for you if you want to be close to the center, yet also in the middle of the action at night.

Psyri has an anti-establishment vibe from its history as a home to discontents. Recently, the area has gentrifyied after lots of quirky bars and artisan shops moved in. Yet it still retains its alternative mood.

Nearby are Monastiraki Square and its famous flea market, Athens Central Market, and the neighborhood of Thissio.

back to top

Suggested Hotels Near Psyri

 

Luxury

O&B Boutique Hotel Athens

O&B Boutique Hotel Athens

4 star hotel with hip restaurant/bar. Suites offer private terraces with Acropolis views.

Check out Availability & Prices

Trip Advisor/ Booking.com

Mid-Range

18 Micon Street where to stay in athens

18 Micon Street

A new modern boutique hotel in the center of Psyri. Some rooms have large balconies.

Check out Availability & Prices

Trip Advisor / Booking.com

Budget

athens-evripides-hotel

Evripides Hotel

Comfortable hotel with a breakfast terrace overlooking the Acropolis. A great budget choice.

Check out Availability & Prices

Trip Advisor/ Booking.com

Things to see in Psyiri

 

Monastiraki Square - The city’s other main square. A string of souvlaki joints called Souvlaki Row is here (Note: you will find better souvlaki elsewhere). There is also a 12th century Byzantine church, the Church of the Virgin.

where-to-stay-in-athens-Monastiraki- Square

Monastiraki Square

Monastiraki Flea Market - Shop in the famous flea market. Antiques, books, jewelry, small appliances, artwork. On Sundays this place is packed, although you can browse any day of the week.

Athens Central Market - You can buy produce, fish, and meat here. The meat market is a sensory experience. You will find butchers at work as well as whole animals hanging, including the heads.

Library of Hadrian - 2nd century A.D. Roman-era ruins of a cultural center with a library, lecture halls, and art gallery. Today there are only 4 pillars still standing.

Monastiraki Metro Station - On your way though, check out the excavation inside the station. These ruins were found while while digging the Blue line extension. You will see a cistern and building foundations dating from Roman times.

Roman Agora and Tower of the Winds - When the Romans controlled Athens, they built their own forum. Now it’s mostly ruins, but the Tower of the Winds has remained in tact. It shows the feisty winds they face from Greek weather.

Ancient Agora - Where democracy was born. This is the public meeting place for commerce and politics in Ancient Athens. The Ancient Agora was not excavated until the 1930’s. There are sparse remains, but the Temple of Hephaistos is well-preserved.

Thissio - A neighborhood west of the Ancient Agora with great views of the Acropolis. My favorite outdoor cinema is here. Watch a recent Hollywood flick or an old classic while stealing views of the Acropolis.

back to top

where-to-stay-in-athens-street-art

Psyri is a well-known destination for street art

back to top

Suggested Tours

 Get inside a mecca of the street art world with an guide who is an actual street artist.

 - Souvlaki, meze, sweets and so much more, find out what makes Greek food so famous.

Getting There

Take the Green line to Thissio or Monastiraki stop.

Monastiraki station also connects with the Blue metro line.

For more information check out the  for updated costs and schedule. The Moovit app for Android and iOS is a great trip planning tool.

back to top

So, those are the neighborhoods that we recommend for first-timers in Athens. We hope you find the best place for you! What are your suggestions for places to stay?

Author bio

Marisa Feyen runs the travel blog inspiring people to step outside their comfort zone with one single step at a time. "It doesn't matter how slowyou go as long as you do not stop." ~ Confucius. 

Follow One Single Step on Social: Twitter Facebook: Instagram:

marisa feyen travel guide athens

Fast Facts about Marisa

Will run for gelato.

Speaks basic Greek like a robot.

Also dances like a robot (the malfunctioning kind).

Boasts learning to swim properly at the tender age of 33.

Had an affair with a Kindle, but crawled back to paper books. 


Join the Conversation

3 Responses to "Where To Stay In Athens – A Guide To The Best Neighborhoods"

Join the Conversation