The best area to stay in Athens as a tourist
Travelling abroad is a wonderful experience. You visit new places, meet new people, learn about other cultures, and you generally escape from the boundaries of your ordinary life. However, there can be difficult questions to answer when you are planning to visit a place for the first time. “Where should I stay?” is one of them. Well, if Athens is your destination, don’t worry; keep reading and you will certainly find the best area to stay in Athens as a tourist!
It is the centre of Athens, the heart of the city. The Hellenic Parliament is located there, while Syntagma square is the most well-known square in Greece. If you are visiting Athens for the first time, Syntagma is the perfect choice for your accommodation in Athens. It is absolutely safe and it will be very easy for you to move around the city on foot, by subway, by bus or by car. There are a number of hotels to choose from and you will have access to everything you may need during your stay. You can visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front of the Hellenic Parliament with the famous “tsoliades”, the Presidential Guard. Next to the Parliament you will find the beautiful National Garden. You may also want to walk to the Panathenaic Stadium, an ancient stadium that was refurbished with marble for the first Modern Olympic Games in 1896.
Built in the foothills of Acropolis, Plaka is also a great place to stay for first-time visitors. It is a very popular neighbourhood for tourists, as it is safe, picturesque, you’ll find a lot of boutique hotel options and has a clear view of the Acropolis wherever you are. Because it is centrally located, you can find every kind of shop and services you want and you can choose to walk -strongly recommended- or use the subway for your transportation. Keep in mind that the accommodation here is more expensive, but it is worth it. Without a doubt, a visit to the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum is a must-do experience. A walk in the narrow pedestrian streets of Plak with the colourful buildings that alternate with the ancient monuments is something you will always cherish.
Psirri, a lively neighbourhood known for its nightlife and its alternative atmosphere, is only a few minutes away from the center of Athens. It is suitable for those who want to be close to the center and the advantages it offers, but away from the city’s roar. A subway station and numerous buses are at your disposal, while you always have the alternative to walk. Psirri became very famous rather recently and now it is a favourite place for the Athenians, especially at night. Yet it is far from being bustling. Don’t miss the chance to try Greek food and listen to Greek music in one of the many traditional restaurants that are located in the neighborhood. And, if you have a special interest in food, you can visit the Athens Central Market and learn more about Greek products.
Koukaki, like Psirri, is a vibrant district that is both near and far from the city center, making it an excellent choice for those who want to avoid busy places. It retains a local neighborhood vibe and it is an everyday hangout for the Athenians, thus it is suitable for those who want to live like locals. You can walk its numerous pedestrian zones or move by subway or by bus. There are a lot of cafes, restaurants and shops and it is doubtful that you won’t find anything you need. We recommend taking a walk on the Filopappou Hill, which is literally a few steps away, to admire the view of the city. Also in a close distance you will find the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the National Museum of Contemporary Art.
Safety, good transportation, shops and services available, beautiful scenery and interesting things to do. Each of these districts offer these crucial for a traveller assets and has a special character. So, pick the one you think is the best area to stay in Athens as a tourist, book your room and go!