It’s all about accessibility.
Choosing a place to stay in Athens is all about accessibility. You want to be able to reach Acropolis, while staying close to the city center. Every neighborhood has a different vibe, from charming, to ritzy, to hip. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list of areas below that are filled with tasty tavernas, lively cafes, and cool places to shop.
Reputation: The most touristy.
The 411: Situated right below Acropolis hill, Plaka is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Athens. The combination of Cycladic houses and Neoclassical architecture makes this area extremely picturesque. Plaka welcomes an abundance of tourists so you’ll find many hotels, tavernas, bars, cafes, shops, and even museums here. If you’ll be in Athens for a few days, then Plaka is the best neighborhood to stay in because it’s easy to walk around so you can visit all the important landmarks.
Don’t miss: Ancient Agora, the Tower of the Winds, the Temple of Zeus, the Acropolis and the Herodes Atticus.
Reputation: Local markets & antique shops.
The 411: Tiny alleys, and open air markets make Monastiraki a captivating area for travelers. Especially if you’re a fan of flea markets, the most famous one in Athens is in Monastiraki every Sunday. If you’re a vintage fan or want to buy souvenirs, you can go wild here! Named after a little monastery church, Monastiraki Square is also a fun place to be at any reasonable hour.
Don’t miss: Monastiraki flea market.
Reputation: Focal point of contemporary Athens.
The 411: Where the Greek Parliament is located, Syntagma (Constitution) Square is the largest square in Greece, surrounded by 5-star hotels including Hotel Grande Bretagne. It’s practical here because you’ll encounter travel agencies, money exchange offices, fashion boutiques, and bookstores in Syntagma.
Don’t miss: Syntagma Square, Greek Parliament, Numismatic Museum, and National Gardens.
Reputation: Expensive & luxe.
The 411: Kolonaki is known for elegant boutiques, high-end restaurants, and beautiful cafes. Wealthy Athenians live in this fancy neighborhood since it’s also close to the city center. Kolonaki is next to Lykavittos Hill, where you’ll find the highest part of central Athens offering amazing views of the Acropolis.
Don’t miss: Grab coffee at a posh cafe around Kolonaki Square, catch a summer concert at the wooden amphitheater.
5. Thissio (or Thiseio)
Reputation: A good mix of calm and vibrant.
The 411: People choose to stay in Thissio because of its traditional neighborhood surroundings and it’s also close to Plaka. You’ll find many cool bars and cafes here, highlighted by the perfect view of the Acropolis. During summer nights, you can enjoy an outdoor cinema in Thissio. It’s mostly lively with some calmer places to eat and drink. Thissio is convenient because it has a major metro stop, and features pedestrian-only streets, including Apostolou Pavlou Street. The nearby Makriyanni neighborhood is up-and-coming, it’s another tourist hub located on Makriyanni Street. Naturally.
Don’t miss: Hiking up Filopappou Hill for fantastic panoramic views of the city, and Acropolis Museum in Makriyanni.
Reputation: Young and gentrified.
The 411: Psiri is a run-down neighborhood, now becoming more gentrified with trendy cafes and bars. This area attracts the younger Athenians who adore restaurants with live music, and shops that aren’t too up-market. This is an uber-cool area to hang out on weekends, especially if you prefer to veer away from tourists and stay with hipster locals.
Don’t miss: Grub on restaurants and cafes on Agion Anargiron Street. Keramikos cemetery.
Reputation: Awesome nightlife.
The 411: Gazi’s name comes from a former local gas factory which began to operate in 1862, then closed in 1984. Now, it’s transformed into a Technopolis art complex – a cultural center hosting concerts and events. The industrial vibe in Gazi can still be felt, so if you enjoy living like a local with easy access to some of Athens’ best nightclubs, then Gazi is for you.
Don’t miss: Technopolis art complex.