Athens is a much bigger city than many people realize and with Mount Hymettus to the east and the Saronic Gulf to the south, there are plenty of places for views and sightseeing. Within Athens, there's a total of six neighborhoods that are completely walkable. When visiting a new country, this is exactly what first-time travelers want to hear. There's little to no need for public transportation which makes exploring the ancient Greek city of Athens far easier than if visitors were to stay on the outskirts or in a city that's not as easily accessible.
For first-timers and repeat visitors alike, these are the neighborhoods worth staying in, according to the type of trip being planned.
The Best Neighborhoods In Athens
The great thing about booking a vacation in a city like Athens is that there are so many options. From family-friendly stays to those geared toward nightlife and dining, there's something for everyone.
Best Family-Friendly: Plaka & Syntagma
In terms of the best neighborhoods overall that rank high in every category, Plaka and Syntagma are at the top of the list. Both of these neighborhoods are incredibly safe and are the most easily walkable within the city, which bodes well for families (especially those with young kids).
Restaurants and popular attractions are all within walking distance which means that, theoretically, travelers never really need to go far outside of their neighborhood in order to see the best of Athens. Monastiraki is also a great option for families, but it excels in another category.
Best For Nightlife: Psirri
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Psirri. This city is considered to be the nightlife capital of Athens so if a traveler's intentions aren't all history-minded, this is the place to be.
The central square of Psirri is known as Hero's Square and the surrounding area is full of late-night restaurants, cafes, bars, and clubs.
Best For Local Life: Koukaki
One of the best things about visiting a new city is exploring local life. If that's something that interests a traveler then Koukaki is the best place to book a hotel. This neighborhood is far less touristy than the others which will provide travelers with a truly authentic experience, including access to local cafes and restaurants.
Koukaki also features views of the Parthenon, which means it's within easy reach of popular museums and historic attractions.
Best For Shopping: Kolonaki
Kolonaki is unique because it also fits the category of 'local life' but offers much more in the way of boutique shopping.
Many of the markets and shops are high-end and are fun to explore, which makes this somewhat of a hub for those looking to find Athens-specific items and gifts. Something to note is that this neighborhood is hilly which means there are stairs in some parts of it.
Best For Short Trips & Sightseeing: Monastiraki
Monastiraki is another neighborhood that's great all-around - whether it be for families, first-timers, sightseeing, or short trips. However, it's especially perfect for the latter thanks to its proximity to great shopping, dining, and the Acropolis, AKA the heart of Athens.
Travelers will have the best of all worlds when booking here, and it is much more city-like than the other quieter neighborhoods.
Picking Hotels In Athens
Athens is home to many hotel options and it's not always easy to choose one. Hotels range in price but travelers should remember that vacations to the city are not exactly budget-friendly, which is also reflected in the hotel prices, as well. From luxury accommodations to hotels with the best views over the ancient city, here are the top contenders.
Family-Friendly Athens Hotel: Grecotel Pallas Athena
- Cost: Between $102-$114/night
- Nearby Attractions: National Archeological Museum, Acropolis
- Hotel Amenities: Free WiFi, flatscreen TVs, minibars, modern artwork, balconies; suites offer separate sitting rooms, butler service available, on-site upscale restaurant, one-site bar, fitness room
Budget-Friendly Athens Hotel: Hotel Phaedra
- Cost: Between $76-$83/night
- Nearby Attractions: Acropolis, Parthenon, near the Acropoli Metro Station
- Hotel Amenities: Free WiFi, TVs, desks, en suites facilities or private bathrooms, furnished balconies featuring acropolis views
Best Hotel In Athens For Views: AthensWas Hotel
- Cost: $320/night
- Nearby Attractions: In the Acropolis neighborhood, Theatre of Dionysus, Acropoli Metro Station
- Hotel Amenities: Upgraded rooms with free WiFi, flatscreen TVs, safes for valuables, minifridges, Nespresso machines, balconies, marble bathrooms, room service, some rooms feature Acropolis views; the on-site restaurant offers complimentary breakfast, rooftop restaurant on-site, terrace with panoramic views of Athens, and a fitness center