0.3 miles from city centre
Plaka’s appeal lies in its village-like atmosphere. Its small lanes are lined with 19th-century houses, enticing cafés – and a fair few tourists. The Acropolis is the area’s showstopper, but spare some time for the smaller spots. The 4th-century Monument of Lysicrates is worth a stop, as is Hadrian's, and an amble through the National Gardens.
Places to stay from £11 per night
7.4 miles from city centre
Welcome to glitzy Glyfada – home of the chic and distinctly international. The area’s shops and restaurants once catered for a now long-gone US military base, but the spoils are great – TGI Fridays and an array of swanky fashion outlets are in the vicinity, as are sizzling nightspots along the beach facing Posidonos Avenue. Get ready to splurge!
Places to stay from £30 per night
0.6 miles from city centre
Psiri is a quiet inner-city suburb with little to do during the day. However, the volume goes from mute to full blast at night. Locals roll in and out of low-lit bars onto the expansive terraces, and live music fills the air. For a bite to eat, try the typically Greek mezes at Mavros Gatos – think octopus, tzatziki, eggplant, cheeses and more.
Places to stay from £12 per night
0.9 miles from city centre
Below the Acropolis, Koukaki's Dionysiou Areopagitou promenade is a welcome escape from the city's rumbling automobile traffic. The area underwent a facelift with the arrival of the ultra-modern Acropolis Museum, but Koukaki retained its unpretentious feel. To this end, try the fresh grilled fish from taverna To Kati Allo right behind the museum.
Places to stay from £6 per night
1.1 miles from city centre
Metaxourgeio is getting Athens hot under the collar. This powerhouse of trendy bars and galleries attracts a young crowd, and is a hipster hang-out par excellence. Wander past its gardens, warehouses and tavernas to get a taste for the area's mish-mash of styles. Bohemian and industrial, it's a tight bundle of all things alternative.
Places to stay from £21 per night
4.8 miles from city centre
Chalandri has developed quite the reputation among the northern suburbs. This modern area is a burgeoning leisure hub, with the new Golden Hall Mall and hip hang-outs, like Theory Bar or Ancho Mexican Grill. Head here for the cluster of shopping streets around Dourou Square, and enjoy the open-air concerts at the Theatro Rematias.
Places to stay from £28 per night
Greece's ancient capital is an open-air museum of history and stunning sights dating back over 2,500 years. Once home to Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, Athens is often referred to as the cradle of Western civilisation.
While the Acropolis towers above to serve as a reminder of Athens’ ancient origins, the modern-day city below offers a huge variety of contemporary comforts. You’ll find a wide range of trendy cocktail bars and nightclubs dotted throughout the centre, as well as the National Museum of Contemporary Art and the unique Technopolis complex.
Other points of interest include the beaches of Attica and the scenic National Garden just behind the Greek Parliament Building. This combination of age-old monuments, enticing cultural landmarks and natural scenery make the city a major hotspot for holidays.
Greeks also take an immense amount of pride in their cuisine, and once you've had a taste of their delicious dishes, it's easy to see why. Take a seat in a traditional taverna and order up some grilled souvlaki and anise-flavoured aperitif Ouzo. The centre is easily reached from the airport by metro, railway or express bus, but you'll also find plenty of taxis outside the terminal.
From £49 per night
From £106 per night
From £48 per night
|Most popular time to visit||October–December|
|Cheapest time to visit||January–March|
|Local currency||€ 10 = £8.66|
|Average weekend price||£121 per night|
|Average weekday price||£119 per night|
|Typical stay||2 nights|
Loved the Acropolis & Change of guards at the parliament. The first olympic stadium was good too. A one day trip on the hop on hop off bus with an explanation was good too. Loved the restaurants. A whole day tour of the Meteora was absolutely amazing and even though it took 5 hours to and fro, i would recommend it to others.
The Acropolis is totally ruined, no pun intended, by over large tour groups moving en-mass. The Benaki museum of Greek Culture was an absolute delight and mercifully free of tour groups. Also had great rooftop cafe/restaurant. The Ancient Agora and museum was fascinating, don’t miss the upper floor of the museum the stairs are not obvious. Best restaurants we found were in quieter side streets away from the tourist hotspots. Avoid the tourist buses, a miserable slow crawl through modern main streets.
If you get in a taxi, make sure the taxi has a meter, ensure it is turned on and on the right tariff. They will switch it to night tariff. Sit in the front seat and make sure you have google maps on and is in full view for the taxi driver. It is not a case of if or when you will get ripped off, it is a case of how much, because these gutter rats WILL! rip you off. If you have an issue with the fare, you can call the taxi police and they are more than happy to handle your issue. Don't leave these pricks a tip.
My second visit (1st 2011) to Athens and it hasn't changed. Only came back to take my wife to the Acropolis whilst enroute to the Greek Islands. The tourist area around the Acropolis precinct is good, with nice restaurants, bars and shopping. The rest is dirty, overcrowded, graffiti covered, overly expensive and traffic choked. Your perfect Athens visit (trust me) Arrive Day 1 , early check in to a hotel close to the Acropolis ( Hotel Hera is perfect), visit the Acropolis that afternoon (guided walking tour is a good way to learn about its history), then go to a nice restaurant buy a few souvenirs, get a good nights sleep. Day 2 , check out of the hotel, taxi to air or sea port and head for the Greek Islands. Athens done !!
The city itself is bustling with people... be prepared for lineups to your favorite spots. Using taxi/uber can be expensive so if you can handle driving there, I'd suggest renting a car but parking can be a nightmare so be prepared for that. Public transport looked ok but the subway closed early so that is limited. Lots of restaurants and places to eat great food, you just have to find the right place for you When you are out and about, there are not alot of public washrooms available and keep in mind they don't want toilet paper flushed but put in the waste bin when you do find one. This takes time getting used to! The significance of the history there tops everything!!
Athens is a brilliant city for those who like history, architecture, food, bars, shopping etc. In other words, it has something for everyone. I was in Athens 4 nights which was a perfect amount of time. For me, I immersed myself in the ancient history, the ruins, the stroies, and photography. I was also lucky enough to secure tickets on 2 seperate nights for the Odeon Herodes Atticus aka the ampitheatre sitting under the Acropolis. First night was a Sophacles play Electra. 2nd night i scored the last ticket at 6.45pm for the 9pm show of the Nordic group Wardruna. What a sound and what an atmopshere in both performances #trulygrateful I didn't care what show I booked a ticket for. I just wanted the nightime experience sitting under and around the ancient ruins of Athens. Definitely buy the multi venue ticket for 30 euros which gives you access to the ancient sites in and around the Acropolis. DO NOT go first thing to the Acropolis as everyone else does, which is horrible if you hate crowds. I would recoomend 5pm prior to sunset. Use the Metro and inter connect to the airport, Piraeus and other stations to access sites. I bought a 5 trip ticket which I used over the 4 days. Most of all use your legs and wander in and out of the many streets and sites especially around the Plaka. Don't buy a ticket for the ancient olympic stadium. You can see all you need to see from the fencing. Do however go the the Acropolis Museum. I was there 3 hours and could have spent more time had the crowds been less. TIP - go late in the day so you can wander with less people around and also grab a sunset wine on the outdoor terrace. Athens impressed me and more. NB. It is an old, tired city compared to more modern cities. It is therefore dirty, dusty and with cracked, broken pavements, so take care when walking, especially at night!
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