Athens - Where to Stay for first time travelers

Where to Stay in Athens for a first time visit? An insider’s guide 2024

Everyone should experience the capital of Greece at least once – use this guide on where to stay in Athens!

Athens, the capital of Greece, is the ancient capital of the world! The city boasts an impressive number of temples and historic sites and ruins, some of which date back thousands of years. Yet, modernity is also ever-present in Athens – this is evident from buzzing streets, lined with hip bars and traditional tavernas, where you’ll find the most outgoing and hospitable people dancing to the tunes of bouzouki with a chilled ouzo in hand.

That said, whether you want a journey through history or to experience one of the world’s best hospitality, this city has it all! But first, let’s answer the lingering question –

We know that different types of people require different advice on travel accommodations. In this guide include the best areas for

  • the first time visitor
  • Families
  • Couples
  • Luxury & Design
  • Solo-Traveler
  • on a budget

Are you more of a visual learner/travel planner?

Lucky for you, we’ve included a map with all of our favorite neighborhoods and handpicked hotels for all of your travel needs.

Check it out below to get a better idea of where you should stay for your first or next visit to the Athens.

This is the extension of our guide to 7 days in Greece.

(This guide is always up to date, the last updated March 2024.)

But, first things first:

Here is the question: Where to stay in Athens for the first time?

The answer is simple: Plaka

Plaka, also known as the Old Town, is the area to stay if you’re a first-time tourist and don’t know where to stay in Athens. This delightful neighbourhood is convenient and full of culture and history. Plaka offers an opportunity for those to delve into the city’s rich past as it sits close to some of Athens’s most popular landmarks, such as:

  • The Acropolis
  • Parthenon
  • Temple of Olympian Zeus

Why do we recommend these areas?

The narrow cobblestone streets of Plaka are filled with boutique stores, cozy tavernas and historical buildings that show you the city’s energy.

You can enjoy a combination of Greek cuisine and find unique souvenirs at the neighbourhood’s shops. It is a sure way to experience both the history and present charm of Athens. Simply put, Plaka is a starting point for a first visit to this historic city because every corner holds its own fascinating story.

Here’s a full map for you to understand the different areas.

Please note: those might not be the exact names of the districts, neither its absolute borders. I just tried to simplify this information.

📍Best Area:Glyfada
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Best for Families:Palmyra Beach Hotel
👩‍❤️‍👨 Best for Couples:Athens Gate Hotel
💎 Best Luxury HotelWyndham Grand Athens
🤩 Best Design Hotel:Perianth Hotel
😎 Best for Groups:360 Degrees
🦸 Best for Solo-Traveller:Coco-Mat Hotel Athens
💃 Best Hotel for Nightlife:DAYS City Suites Athens
🤑 Cheapest Place to stay:Hapimag Apartments Athens
👌 Safest Area: Kolonaki

1. Best areas and handpicked hotels for Athens

Below is a list of the best hotels to stay in Athens, Greece, that will work with whatever traveller you may be!

Continue scrolling or pick your group and travel type on the menu:

1.1 Families
1.2 Couples
1.3 Luxury Traveler
1.4 Design Traveler
1.5 Groups
1.6 Solo-Traveler
1.7 Nightlife-seeking traveler
1.8 Budget Traveler

1.1 Families

Choosing the right place for your family’s trip to Athens can make a huge difference. Glyfada is a great choice for where to stay in Athens if you’re travelling with your family. This charming seaside community, conveniently located near the city centre, offers a great vibe and a wide range of activities for all ages. Additionally, near some of Glyfada’s greatest beaches are charming seafood taverns and restaurants with separate areas for the little ones to play in.

Handpicked accommodations for families

Palmyra Beach Hotel, Glyfada

If you are looking for where to stay in Athens with the entire family, the Palmyra Beach Hotel is an excellent option. With two-bedroom suites that can comfortably take a family of five, this hotel makes sure everyone has tons of space. They also have an awesome pool that kids and adults can enjoy.

Book Palmyra Beach Hotel here

Get comfortable at Palmyra Beach Hotel, Glyfada Private Bedroom

Palmyra Beach Hotel, Glyfada Outdoor Pool

Brasil Suites Boutique Hotel, Glyfada

On the other hand, if you are a family seeking a touch of luxury and personalized service, you should consider the Brasil Suites Boutique Hotel, noted as one of the best places to stay in Athens. They have family rooms designed to cater to both kids’ and parents’ needs.

One amazing feature of this hotel is its babysitting service. In other words, if you want to kick it by the pool and have a day for yourself, rest assured that your little ones will be in safe hands – and properly entertained!

Book Brasil Suites Boutique Hotel here

Make the most of your stay at Brasil Suites Boutique Hotel, Glyfada

Relax and unwind at Brasil Suites Boutique Hotel

 1.2 Couples

Athens is the place for couples who want to see the blend of culture and ancient history that Greece offers. One romantic spot that stands out is located near the Acropolis and Plaka, known for their old town mood and lovely streets. This makes it a popular choice for many couples.

The main retail centre of Athens and its top restaurants are located in Plaka and its surroundings. Syntagma Square, Monastiraki Square, the metro to the port, and the airport are all just a few blocks away. Also, it is the safest place to be.

Handpicked accommodations for couples

The Athens Gate Hotel, Plaka

The Athens Gate Hotel has earned a lot of praise for its ability to provide a stay for couples looking for where to stay in Athens. Its great location near the Acropolis allows guests to enjoy the city’s vibe while taking in incredible views and having easy access to famous landmarks. Guests can also have a romantic dining experience at the rooftop restaurant.

Book The Athens Gate Hotel here

Have a pleasant stay at The Athens Gate Hotel

Single bedroom at The Athens Gate Hotel

Gatsby Athens, Plaka

For couples looking for convenience and modern elegance, Gatsby Athens is a perfect choice. The hotel is located in the centre of the city and is filled with tempting dining options and many refreshing beverages available at their restaurant and bar, so you can enjoy your stay without having to leave the hotel premises. Also, its central location ensures access to all famous attractions.

Book Gatsby Athens here

Make yourself at home at Gatsby Athens

Enjoy your time at Gatsby Athens

1.3 Luxury traveler

If you’re searching for the core of luxury, Kolonaki stands out as a choice for where to stay in Athens for the first time. This neighbourhood is perfect for those who appreciate the things in life that have a dash of elegance and beauty. Sitting in the city’s heart, Kolonaki has a charm with its array of high-end stores, numerous dining possibilities and cultural activities.

Named Kolonaki after a single two-metre column that stood near Dexameni Square, the neighbourhood was created circa 1890. Between 1895 and 1900, Kolonaki Square – originally named Queen Olga Square – was built and made into a square.

Handpicked accommodations for the luxury traveler

Wyndham Grand Athens, Metaxourgeio

The Wyndham Grand Athens is the perfect spot for luxury travellers. Featuring a rooftop pool and views of the Saronic Gulf, Lycabettus Hill and the Acropolis, this modern hotel also has a bar/restaurant where guests can enjoy lovely vistas.

After exploring the city, visitors can unwind at the spa. Stay active at the well-equipped gym before enjoying a drink at the all-day lounge bar. The Wyndham Grand Athens strikes a balance between comfort and luxury. This makes it a great choice for anyone seeking a wonderful retreat.

Book Wyndham Grand Athens here

Have a wonderful stay at Wyndham Grand Athens

Experience comfort at Wyndham Grand Athens

Grand Hyatt Athens, Lofos Sikeilas

Another striking addition to the Athens hotel scene is the Grand Hyatt Athens. Boasting views of the Acropolis, this recent addition features a rooftop bar, an atrium pool and a renovated spa. Designed with luxury travellers in mind, it offers exceptional comfort and relaxation.

Book Grand Hyatt Athens here

Your private room at Grand Hyatt Athens

Grand Hyatt Athens, Lofos Sikeilas Common Area

1.4 Design-lovers

Athens provides a blend of artistic experiences for travellers who appreciate design and have an eye for aesthetics. The best choice for where to stay in Athens would be the Kolonaki neighbourhood. It attracts those who value architectural features, interior design and fashion. Kolonaki is a great spot for designers, with its gallery-filled streets, chic venues and boutiques.

Handpicked accommodations for the design lover

Perianth Hotel, Plaka

For those seeking a retreat that puts them in a world of design, the Perianth Hotel is noted as one of the best places to stay in Athens. With its marble furnishings, velvet fabrics, curved oak fixtures, and terrazzo floors, it has a lovely combination of textures. This boutique hotel is perfect for individuals who appreciate the harmony of aesthetics and the interplay of materials as every corner radiates curated design elements.

Book Perianth Hotel here

Have a great time at Perianth Hotel

Private room at Perianth Hotel

Semiramis, Kifissia

Located in Athens’s luxurious Kifissia neighbourhood, Semiramis illustrates what happens when a visionary designer enjoys freedom. Semiramis’ vibrant and imaginative decor merges elements with quirky furniture pieces and lively colours.

Book Semiramis here

private room at Semiramis

Enjoy your stay at Semiramis

1.5 Groups

Athens offers a thrilling experience for groups who visit the city, and the Monastiraki neighbourhood presents the ideal place to stay in Athens! Popular for its atmosphere, awesome flea market and proximity to landmarks such as the Acropolis and Plaka, Monastiraki is a lively district situated in the heart of Athens.

Handpicked accommodations for groups

360 Degrees, Monastiraki

Convenience is key for group travellers at 360 Degrees as it is located a few steps away from a metro station. This property ticks all the boxes with its superb location, appealing design, comfortable rooms, delightful breakfast offerings, and helpful staff. Larger groups will find it to be a good choice due to its rooms and modern amenities.

Book 360 Degrees here

Your own bedroom at 360 Degrees

Enjoy your stay at 360 Degrees

Athens Center Square Hotel, Monastiraki

The Athens Centre Square Hotel is perfectly positioned within walking distance from all the archaeological monuments. It is a top choice for groups seeking to explore the area’s history. The hotel ensures that your group makes the most of their trip by providing accommodation options and access to Athens’ cultural treasures.

Book Athens Center Square Hotel here

Your personal space at Athens Center Square Hotel

Have a great time at Athens Center Square Hotel

1.6 Solo-travelers

The Koukaki neighbourhood in Athens provides a great experience for solo travellers seeking a unique and inclusive experience that combines safety, culture and authenticity. Sitting under the Acropolis, Koukaki offers a lovely mood, charming streets and quick access to the city’s numerous attractions.

Handpicked accommodations for a solo traveler

Coco-Mat Hotel Athens, Kolonaki

Solo travellers can find comfort in the environment of Coco-Mat Hotel Athens when in need of where to stay in Athens. With the clock security measures in place, guests can feel at ease during their whole stay. After exploring Athens, this eco-friendly hotel provides a retreat with its ambiance and modern services.

Book Coco-Mat Hotel Athens here

Your own bedroom at Coco Mat Hotel Athens

Relax and unwind at Coco Mat Hotel Athens

Great Living Koukaki, Koukaki

Perfect for individuals travelling alone, Wonderful Living Koukaki is an aparthotel that provides peace and serenity. The balconies offer a spot to unwind while enjoying views of the streets. The seating area creates a cozy atmosphere where solo travellers can relax and plan their trips in private.

Book Great Living Koukaki here

Experience comfort at Great Living Koukaki

Have a wonderful stay at Great Living Koukaki

1.7 Nightlife Traveler

If you’re a traveller looking for a thrilling nightlife experience in Athens, the Gazi neighbourhood is the go-to place. It offers a ton of pubs, clubs and live music venues that truly come alive after sunset. This makes it the perfect choice for those who enjoy sipping cocktails and dancing all night long.

With a ton of places to eat, coffee shops, live music, and art galleries, the former city gasworks – now a museum and cultural hub that might be the first of its kind in all of Europe- make up the Gazi, one of the most hip new places to be in Athens.

Handpicked accommodations for nightlife

DAYS City Suites Athens, Gazi

DAYS City Suites Athens is conveniently located at the center of Athens, a short distance away from Gazi, Technopoli. This four-star hotel provides accommodations and simple access to Gazi’s wild nightlife. Travellers seeking to experience Athens’ energetic nightlife will find this hotel a convenient option, offering numerous entertainment venues in its vicinity.

Book DAYS City Suites Athens here

Single bedroom at DAYS City Suites Athens

Have a pleasant stay at DAYS City Suites Athens

Athenian Spirit, Gazi

This accommodation places you in the center of all the excitement as it’s 200 meters away from Gazi. If being close to great nightlife spots is your priority, this lodging is perfect for you. After a night out exploring the city’s offerings, you can quickly return to your hotel while still enjoying the thrill of the nightlife scene.

Book Athenian Spirit here

Have a great time at Athenian Spirit

Make yourself at home at Athenian Spirit

1.8 For the Budget Traveler

If you’re looking to explore Athens without breaking the bank, the Gazi neighbourhood is a good choice. It offers access to transportation, various affordable dining options and a lively mood.

Handpicked accommodations for budget traveler

Hapimag Apartments Athens, Gazi

Consider staying at Hapimag Apartments Athens in the heart of Gaz as the ultimate place to stay in Athens if you’re on a strict budget. These apartments provide reasonably priced accommodation, allowing you to cater for yourself while being conveniently located for city exploration.

Book Hapimag Apartments Athens here

Experience comfort at Hapimag Apartments Athens

Have a wonderful stay at Hapimag Apartments Athens

New Amaryllis Hotel, Gazi

Another option worth considering is the New Amaryllis Hotel in Gazi. This hotel provides travellers on a budget a location without compromising on quality. It’s an affordable place to stay with cozy and neat rooms.

Book New Amaryllis Hotel here

Your private room at New Amaryllis Hotel

Enjoy your stay at New Amaryllis Hotel

2. Best Neighborhood to Stay in Athens

When deciding on where to stay in Athens for the first time, there are options to cater to different traveller interests. Here are a few choices:

Glyfada – This is a destination with a relaxed atmosphere, upscale shopping options and lively nightlife.

Kolonaki – If you enjoy luxury experiences, Kolonaki is perfect for you with its high-end shops, fine dining spots and cultural attractions.

Gazi – For those who love the nightlife scene, Gazi is a choice with lots of clubs, pubs and live music venues.

Koukaki – Known for its safety and authenticity, Koukaki is a neighbourhood for travellers seeking proximity to significant historical landmarks like the Acropolis.

Monastiraki – If you’re interested in history and culture, Monastiraki is a neighbourhood that offers plenty to explore along with its flea market.

FAQs

What is the best neighborhood to stay in Athens?

The best neighborhood to stay in Athens depends on your preferences. For first-time tourists, Plaka is recommended due to its convenience, rich history, and proximity to landmarks like the Acropolis. Other options include Glyfada for a relaxed atmosphere, Kolonaki for luxury experiences, Gazi for vibrant nightlife, Koukaki for safety and authenticity, and Monastiraki for history and culture.

Where should you not stay in Athens?

While Athens has diverse neighborhoods catering to different preferences, some areas might not align with everyone's preferences. It's advised to research specific neighborhoods based on your interests. For instance, if you're not a fan of vibrant nightlife, Gazi may not be the ideal choice.

What should I avoid in Athens?

Athens is generally safe for tourists, but like any city, it's good to be cautious. Avoid poorly lit or isolated areas at night, and be mindful of pickpockets in crowded places. It's recommended to stay informed about your surroundings and follow local advice for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Where should I stay in Athens for the first time?

For first-time visitors to Athens, Plaka is highly recommended. Also known as the Old Town, Plaka offers a convenient and culturally rich experience. Its proximity to landmarks such as the Acropolis, Parthenon, and Temple of Olympian Zeus makes it an excellent starting point to explore the city's history and charm.

Map + All Sights

Navigate the vibrant city of Athens with ease using our detailed map section. Discover the best neighborhoods and accommodations that suit your preferences. Whether you crave the historic charm of Plaka, the trendy vibe of Kolonaki, or the coastal beauty of Glyfada, let our map guide you to the perfect stay in Athens. Your Greek adventure begins here!

Summary where to stay in Athens

Consider your travel preferences when selecting where to stay in Athens. As you can see, there are a ton of options fit for all kinds of travellers, so you’ll be spoiled with choice. Whichever option you choose, know you’re in for an unforgettable trip!

If you want to discover more amazing destinations, whether in Greece or anywhere else in the world, check out the rest of my blogs!

Other European Destinations

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Any Questions?

There you have it. I hope you have no questions and found your home in my home town.

However, please remember: I am not perfect, and it is likely I missed a few things to point out.

Therefore: Do you have questions? Is anything not clear?

Please please please drop me a comment below with your email! I will reply to you ASAP via email and here in the comments.

In fact, your questions help me to make this article better. So I help you to help me.

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