Since ancient times people have been writing about the city of Athens. It’s truly one of the oldest cities in the West that has been continuously inhabited since the ancient world and it continues to this day as a hub of culture. The Athenians, Byzantines, and Romans all left their mark on the city adding to its design, culture, and architecture. With almost 4 million residents living in the city center, it is truly the biggest and one of the most important places in the country.
The city landscape is sprawling with even the outer reaches of the city extending far beyond its downtown core. The layout of Athens is bound by three mountains while the interior of the city consists of twelve hills. All of this means that the city layout and landscape are pretty diverse, and hilly, not to mention the relative density of the city streets. Since you’re staying here, you’ll want to find a hotel that works for you, and there are some good options. All of these Athenian hotels offer something unique and great no matter what type of traveling you’re looking to do.
Thanasis Place: If you’re solo traveling through the city, this place should be on the top of your list. Thanasis Place is a great centrally located spot directly opposite Mount Lycabettus. The views are delightful, but the atmosphere is even better. Leaning on the younger clientele, Thanasis Place offers guests group activities every day along with organized walking tours and pub crawls. Stick around for their weekly souvlaki dinner and make some new travel companions by staying in the shared dorms. However, if you’re looking to spend a bit more and want some privacy, they do also offer private rooms with a balcony and living room.
Athens Hawks Hostel: In a city where a lot of things are very old, the Athens Hawks Hostel is a cool and modern spot in the center of the city. Despite having “hostel” in the name, the hotel isn’t exactly what you’d consider a traditional hostel to be and offers plenty of options for private rooms. Options with a double bed, two twins, three twins, one twin, or four twins are available, and they all include air conditioning and free WiFi access. Rooms also include private bathrooms, daily housekeeping, and blackout curtains. If you’re looking to hang out with other guests there is a communal lounge but if you’re heading out to see the sights, Syntagma Square and the Temple of Zeus are a 10-minute walk.
Centrotel: Sitting in a more residential part of town, Centrotel is about a half-hour walk away from the landmarks like the Acropolis. The hotel is an affordable spot in an ideal location and is filled with some pretty great amenities. For guests with a vehicle, underground private parking is available and the 50 guest rooms all offer satellite TV, WiFi access, and a mini fridge. However, where the hotel really shines is the jacuzzi tubs, and quiet courtyard space filled with plants. Grab a snack or a drink in the evening and chill out with other guests while you lounge amongst the local flora. Starting at around 30$ a night. Centrotel is a bargain in Athens.
Victory Inn: For around 25$ a night, the Victory Inn is a great option. The hotel offers single, double, and triple rooms, and is located right across from the Pedion Areos, one of Athens’s biggest public parks. All rooms at the Victory Inn include air-conditioning and TV access as well as WiFi and private bathrooms. Victoria Metro Station is a short walk away from the property so you can easily hop on and get around the city. A bar and daily breakfast are included so eat up before you head out.
Ergon House: Ergon House is one of the more unique places to stay in Athens. For lovers of food and those excited about Greek cuisine, Ergon House is essentially a restaurant, school, and hotel all in one. Immerse yourself in Greece’s culinary traditions and taste some of the most authentic and delicious tastes from around the country, the city, and the Mediterranean. The ground floor of Ergon House is always abuzz with people shopping in the deli, eating freshly roasted meat, and pursuing through the bakery. A hydroponic wall sits on one side while diners and a graffiti mural sit on the other.
Cooking workshops are open to guests who are looking to learn about Greek food and the property hosts its own market. When it comes to staying here, Ergon House has 38 rooms which include curated minibars with snacks and food included. A rooftop bar for hanging out with guests, and an on-site gym so you can work off all those calories you ate while you were here.
Monsieur Didot: After some economic downturn there have been more than a few crumbling old houses in some parts of Athens. A lot of charming turn-of-the-century properties have fallen into disrepair but the team behind Monsieur Didot has taken those charming homes and turned them into something special. Located in Kolonaki, Monsieur Didot is more of a Bed & Breakfast experience rather than your average hotel stay. A lot of love has been put into the property to revive it to its former glory and with just six rooms, staying here feels like staying with a local family. The experience at Monsieur Didot is small with rooms that have unpretentious furniture and modern art that isn’t too esoteric yet still fits the aesthetic.
Royal Olympic Hotel: If you’re looking to knock off all the Athens bucket list landmarks, staying at the Royal Olympic Hotel can certainly help you with that. This five-star hotel sits right in the middle of the city and offers direct views of the Temple of Zeus, the Acropolis, Hadrian’s Gate, and the National Garden. The Royal Olympic Hotel not only offers proximity to some of Athen’s hottest tourist sites but there is also a rooftop garden (offering even more stellar views) and a daily breakfast. If you’re looking to grab a drink, the rooftop bar and lounge makes a perfect hangout after a day of sightseeing.
Herodion Athens: If you’re looking to stay near one of Athen’s most iconic landmarks, then Herodion Athens is for you. The hotel sits right across from the Acropolis and despite being in the heart of ancient Athens the property exudes modernity and class. Check out the nearby National Museum of Contemporary Art or stay in and dine at one of the two on-site restaurants. The Point Bar and Restaurant offers incredible views of the Acropolis from their patio dining area while their menu is filled with fresh Greek dishes and Mediterranean fare. The luxurious rooms offer plush bathrobes and slippers, as well as soothing rain showerheads, and marble fixtures. Enjoy the sights from your private balcony or head up to the rooftop garden and chill out.
Hotel Grande Bretagne: Sometimes only a classic will do. The Hotel Grande Bretagne is one of the most iconic hotels in all of Greece. The stately exterior sits on the corner of Vasileos Georgiou A’ and Panepistimiou Streets in Syntagma Square. The original building was established 12 years after Greek Independence from the Ottoman Empire and then underwent further expansion in 1874. By 1888 electricity was installed and the name was changed to the “Hotel Grande Bretagne”. Early in WWII, it housed the central command of the Greek forces, then during Axis occupation, the hotel served as Nazi headquarters. Finally, when they withdrew from the country, the hotel (ironically) was home to British headquarters. After the war, it went back to being a hotel and over the years saw numerous socialites and celebrities pass through its illustrious and historic doors. In 2003 it underwent further refurbishment.
The space and aesthetic of the Hotel Grande Bretagne remain classy and elegant. Massive chandeliers hang from the ceiling, polished marble gives it a bit of Hellenic personality, and the antique paintings and pieces give it its signature high-end charm. Grab an expertly crafted cocktail in the Alexander Lounge, listen to live lounge music in the gilded Winter Garden, or head to the rooftop bar and restaurant where you can enjoy prime views of the Parthenon. Indoor or outdoor pool options are available to guests but if you’re looking for a more bespoke experience, their spa service is world-class.
Grand Resort Lagonissi: While technically not in Athens proper, the hotel is not far off from the city. A lot of the best Athenian hotels are located centrally, close to where a lot of the landmarks are, but if you’re looking for a beach experience and trekking into the city as opposed to the other way around, Grand Resort Lagonissi is for you.
The Grand Resort Lagonissi sits on a private peninsula on a 300km² plot of land in the south Attica region. The rooms here have picturesque views of the Saronic Gulf so you can be blessed every morning by the sights of the blue waters. The chic beachfront bungalows offer marble-lined bathrooms and elegant seating areas. Enjoy a meal at one of the 10 on-site restaurants offering Greek and international dishes followed by some time at the renowned holistic spa service that Grand Resort Lagonissi offers.
Electra Palace Hotel Athens: Located in the central part of Athens in Plaka, the Electra Palace Hotel Athens is truly one of the best high-end hotels in the city. Directly facing the acropolis, you can enjoy a rooftop outdoor pool and swim while you take in views of the ancient citadel. Start your day with a buffet breakfast or enjoy a meal in one of the hotel’s many restaurants. The rooms here are spacious with large marble-clad bathrooms, big bright windows, and a private balcony. Some of which offer views of the acropolis in the distance. Spend the evening in the on-site bar or relax in the spa and on-site sauna.
Four Seasons Astir Palace: Back in the day the Four Seasons Astir Palace put the Athenian Riviera on the map. It was the go-to spot for 60s socialites and had a who’s who of international guests and celebrities. The hotel was what was exactly needed for an up-and-coming coastal resort and after a well-needed modernization makeover, the Four Seasons Astir Palace continues to be a gorgeous seaside hotel.
Get acquainted with views of the Saronic Gulf and enjoy afternoons and mornings on the beach. Rooms are elegant but not over the top with the grandeur. It’s just enough for you to feel like you paid for a premium experience without feeling ostentatious about it. Dine at the various on-site restaurants complete with an extensive wine and champagne list. Get a thrill in while you ride a jet ski along the shore or relax with a calming spa experience.
Our Final Word
Athens is a great place to start your Greek holiday but finding a place to stay can be difficult. This is an ancient city with many types of accommodations. We have sorted out the best at each price level. After a couple of days in Athens head out to the islands and have a wonderful time.