This page will help you find a hotel in Athens
and give you tips on where to stay and how to book. For more hotels in Athens and descriptions go to My Hotels of Greece Page or to Booking.com's Athens Pages which will give you more detailed information, photos and
reviews on the individual
hotels. The cool thing about Booking.com is that you can book a hotel and with many of them there is no cancellation fee. It is a good way to hang on to a room in a desirable hotel even if you are not completely positive that this is the hotel you want to stay at. And in the summer the best hotels do fill up quickly, especially ones in the choice locations like Syntagma, Plaka, Monastiraki, Makrianni
and Koukaki. By the way, the way I support this website is through the links to the hotel booking pages so if you appreciate my work please save the page of the hotel you found on my site and come back to it and book there rather then on some other site. My info and services are only free because I am able to make a small commission on hotel bookings and for the most part you
won't find them
cheaper by searching elsewhere. Furthermore if you find a hotel you like and it has availability you should probably book it. It may not have availability an hour from now.
Athens Hotel Information
Hotels in Athens come in several categories
with 5-star being the most luxurious. 4-star
corresponds to A-Category, 3-star to
B-Category and so on. But the difference in
categories does not always have to mean that a
hotel is better than another. That is because
there are different degrees within a category.
Not officially but this is how it works. A travel
agency will describe a hotel as
a high C-Category or B-superior. That is because you
can have a C-Category that is a better quality
than a B. (In some of the Greek islands you can find
C-Category hotels that are as good or better
than A). So what are the categories for? I
don't know. I think it has to do with a number
of variables such as size of the lobby,
breakfast room, maybe room size too. Of course
the price depends on the category but you can
find B hotels that are cheaper than the most
expensive C hotel. All this does not matter
really because what you are looking for is
something clean, friendly, centrally located
and with AC should you need it, and you want
the best hotel for the price. The hotels on
this page are the ones that I have stayed at
that I think are the best. You can book on
this page or by following the links to the
hotel or booking through one of the travel
agents. I recommend the agency because chances are you
are going to need to at least speak with an
agency at some point, if not rely on one for
hotels on the islands and ferry schedules. But
if you are a backpacker on a budget and
winging it then book directly with one of the
C-category hotels I list. I strongly suggest
booking your Athens hotel even if you are not
planning to book any hotels until you get to
Greece. Why not book in advance and stay in a
pretty decent economy hotel rather then arrive
in Athens, wander around for a couple hours
and end up in a dump?
Anyway if you are like me, the older you get,
the less you feel like wandering around
looking for a hotel after you have just gotten
off a 10 hour flight. When I get off the plane
I want to know that there is a bed somewhere
with my name on it. Also I have info from
(the hotels and travel agents), that hotels fill up fast in Athens. Even now the Adonis, Attalos and
the Electra Palace are booked full many
nights during periods you might not expect because
there are times when people from the islands and villages or
other cities in Greece, come to Athens to do business, see relatives
or have a holiday themselves. So if you are planning on getting off
the plane and wandering around until you find
something you may want to reconsider,
especially if you are going in July, August
These hotels I list below are the best hotels for the money that are in good locations. You may find better hotels for less but you may not like your surroundings or find that the money you save is being spent on getting to and from the archaeological sites, shopping and dining areas. There is information below about what areas to stay in and what areas to avoid because they are unsafe or too far from the center of Athens. You may find that many of the hotels in the best locations
are full between the months of June and September. If you have searched and searched and not found anything Use this form
and under comments let them know which hotel you are interested
in if there is one in
particular. Sometimes the Greek travel agencies have reserved rooms at hotels and will still have availability even though the hotel booking websites say it is full.
Apartments: The trend seems to be people wanting apartments because if you are coming with your family the cost of rooms can get high. The problem is that many apartments are not within walking distance of the sites. But there are a few and you can find them on my Athens Apartment Pages.
Questions about Hotels in Athens? You can
The Best Economy Hotel in Athens
The Attalos was recently upgraded to a
3-star hotel but even though it went up in category they did not raise their prices and I don't want budget-conscious travelers to think they can't afford it. So I continue to list it with economy hotels because it is the best economy hotel in Athens for location, cleanliness and service.
I can think of several
stay at the Hotel Attalos. OK, so it's not in the Plaka. (It's a
five minute walk). It is next to the
Monastiraki Flea Market and Metro
Station for getting to the boats to
the islands and to and from the airport. It is a fifteen minute walk
to the Acropolis and it is a block
from Psiri, the hippest part of Athens
with great cafes, ouzeries and restaurants at night. You can walk to the National Archaeological Museum in twenty minutes, to Syntagma Square in fifteen, to Ermou Shopping Street in five, to the Central Market in about two minutes. You can even walk to the nightlife of Gazi in fifteen minutes and the Jewish Synagogue and Keramikos in ten. So if you stay here you should never have to take the metro, a bus, taxi or trolley except to get to and from the airport or the ferry. It has a rooftop
cafe with a spectacular view of the Parthenon, and it is a great place to make friends because many people come up for a drink before going out or even order takeout from one of the many nearby restaurants and eat it while watching the Acropolis in all its glory.
Many of the rooms have Acropolis view. All rooms have air-conditioning, fridges, big closets, and the showers are great with good pressure and hot water right away, and cold water that you will find refreshing after marching around Athens all day in the hot sun. The breakfast room serves
decent coffee, as much as you want, as well as toast,
butter, marmalade, yogurt, cereal, cheeses, juices and teas, which will enable you to have the energy to climb the Acropolis and visit the other sites of Athens. The Attalos is a family
owned hotel and is
a bargain recommended by travelers and professional travel writers, being one of the top rated hotels in most of the guides and travel sites like Expedia and Tripadvisor.
Probably the thing that
will impress you most about the
Attalos is the level of
professionalism in the staff. In my
opinion, Kostas Zissis and his crew,
particularly Sakis, Kostas, and Maria could run the Hilton
hotel, the Grande Bretagne or any of
the expensive luxury hotels in Athens.
But here they are at the little old
Attalos. Take advantage of quality
service at a very low price and the
best rooftop bar view in Athens! This
is where I stay when I come to Athens
unless it is full (which it often is,
even in winter, so book early). If you need even more reasons to stay here they have free internet from computers in the lounge and free wireless internet throughout the hotel so you can use your laptop to get your e-mail and if you are booking as you go you can book the rest of your trip from here. There are safes in every room too so you don't have to carry your valuables around.
The Attalos fills up quickly so if you know that this is where you want to stay you should book it. You won't find cheaper rates for this hotel than what they offer on this secure booking page and you get a furthur 10% discount because you booked through my Athens Survival Guide. See
their rates on the Hotel Attalos web page and you can book from there with the same discount.
C-Category (2-star) Athens
If you arrive in Athens and did not book your hotel in advance and
the Attalos is full, a block away the Cecil Hotel occupies a beautifully
renovated neo-classical building in
the heart of old Athens, close to the
Ancient Market and the New City
Market. It is located near the most
central pedestrian street of Athens
and it is 20 minutes from the airport,
and 20 minutes from the Piraeus port.
The Acropolis, the Lycabettus hill,
the Philopappus hill, the Syntagma
square and other monuments, museums
and galleries are some of the
countless sights that are very close
to the Hotel Cecil. The peaceful
picturesque neighborhoods of Plaka and
Psiri are only a short walk. The post
office, the National Telecommunication
Company and the metro station in
Monastiraki are also very close to the
hotel. Furthermore, Cecil Hotel offers
easy walking access to numerous
tavernas, restaurants and many places
like cafes, nightclubs and cinemas,
offering all forms of daytime and
evening entertainment for which Athens
is famous. Very economically
It is a block away from the
Attalos. For more info and booking click here
The Best of the Rest....
As for other 2-star hotels that are in good locations I recommend the Hotel Byron which is right below the Acropolis, in the Plaka, and owned by a Greek-American baseball player.(Really!) Also right in the Plaka are the Hotel Adonis, which occasionally has a room
available and the Hotel
Nefeli where my parents best friends always stay and who will probably get mad that I put the hotel on the site when they show up and it is full. Though I have never stayed at the Acropolis House, like the others it is on a pedestrian street right in the Plaka and is inexpensive for a hotel in a good area of Athens. The Hotel
Tempi is a nice little hotel on Aeolis street, just a block or two from Monastiraki Metro station. The Athenstyle Hotel is a combination hotel/pension that is in Psiri, half a block from Monastiraki Square a couple doors away from The Poet-Sandalmaker. In
fact the 2-star hotels I have listed above are all reasonably priced when you consider that you won't need to use the metro or take taxis home at night after dinner or bar-hopping because they are within walking distance of everything. A is for Athens is a hotel right on Monastiraki Square that is a little more expensive than the rest but gets great reviews and has a cafe on the
roof that has a beautiful view of the square and the Acropolis.
If you are looking for something cheaper than a C-catagory in Athens like a pension or youth hostel for example see my Budget Hotels Section. Most of the really cheap
hotels are cheap because they are in neighborhoods that nobody wants to
either because they are not particularly nice(safe) areas or are too far from the sites.
This is a very nice but not very well
known hotel in downtown Athens.
Formerly the Diomias Hotel it has been
totally renovated and is a modern B category. It is on a very
small street a couple blocks from
Syntagma square and half a block from
the pedestrian shopping street of
Ermou and quite close to the Plaka and
the archaeological sites. A year years ago Andrea and I arrived in Athens from Kea on a humid August night and called George at Fantasy Travel for a hotel. He put us here. I proposed to her in that room while the rest of Athens was watching the World Cup Football match. Thankfully she seems to have forgotten though for how much longer I don't
I suppose eventually something will remind her. In the meantime I
have been steering clear but there is no reason for you to. The views are not spectacular but the rooms are clean and attractive, the location is great and the price is good. For booking and more information click here
One of the best kept secrets in Athens, the Hotel Central is a renovated 3 star hotel in the heart of Athens, close to the shops and tavernas of the Plaka on tiny Apollonos Street, just two blocks from Syntagma Square and a 15 minute walk to the Acropolis. The Hotel Central has a breakfast room, two conference rooms and a roof garden with a bar, jacuzzi and a brilliant
view of the
Acropolis. All eighty-four rooms are modern and easy on the eye with telephone, airconditioning, colour TV, hairdryer and mini bar. There are several categories including rooms with a balcony or Acropolis view. The family rooms, rare in Athens, are great, two separate double rooms with a little connecting corridor and some of these rooms even have a view of the Acropolis. Non-smoking rooms are also available. The hotel has wireless internet and a low-key atmosphere and because it is so close to the Plaka, right
in it actually, it is perfect for families and people who prefer to walk everywhere, because you can walk everywhere from here. For booking and more info click here
The Best of the Rest....
Other recommended 3-star hotels are the Hotel Adrian which is located right in Monastiraki by the square and metro station, and the Best Western Hotel Amazon which is in between Syntagma Square and the Plaka. Also nearby are the Omiros
Hotel and the Hermes Hotel both with good locations on Apollonos Street in the Plaka. The Plaka Hotel is actually closer to Monastiraki but it does not matter because it is a great location. The Athens Center Square is located in my favorite
neighborhood, Psiri, close to the market but within easy walking distance of everything. On the other side of the Acropolis, close to the Acropolis Museum and metro station the Philippos Hotel is very popular as is the Acropolis Select. You can find more hotels on Booking.com's Athens
page but quality and location these are the best in my opinion and also the most likely to fill up.
(4-star) Athens Hotels
The Herodion is one of the most popular hotels in Athens due to its location, one block from the Acropolis Museum and a five minute walk to the Acropolis. Make sure you request a room with Acropolis view and you will be able to fall
asleep every night gazing at the Parthenon as in the photo taken from my room (412). There is
no swimming pool but there are two Jacuzzis on the roof, with Acropolis view as well. There is a nice restaurant with reasonable prices, a large lobby and a very nice bar as well. The rooms are a good size and everything works so what more would you want? Oh yes, large modern bathrooms and a helpful friendly staff. My only complaint is that the wireless is not free but if enough people complain maybe that will change. I think the Jacuzzi should be free too but if it were people would spend all day in them zoning
out on the view. The neighborhood is a good one too, with restaurants and cafes on Makrianni Street and the Plaka is about a two minute walk from there. For more info, photos and booking click here
The newly rennovated Athens Gate Hotel is an A Class hotel operating all year round located in the heart of Athens
just a few blocks from Syntagma Square. With modern rooms that are tastefully decorated the hotel boasts two of the best views in Athens. Guests in the front have a view of the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Mount Lykavettos. Guests on the top several floors of an unimpeded view of the Acropolis. From the rooftop garden you have a view of just about everything. Clean and well managed with helpful and friendly service this is one of the best hotels in the best locations just
a short walk from the Acropolis Metro Station and all the important sites in Athens. For more info, photos and booking click here
This small (38 rooms), family run hotel in Makrianni, just a short walk to the Acropolis and the Plaka is Rick Steves' hotel of choice for his tours even though he stays at the Hotel Attalos (sorry Rick). The Hera hotel re-opened in 2004 after a long, thorough and very expensive renovation that won it a category upgrade. The hotel
features very elegant and fully equipped
private bathroom with bathtub and shower hose, magnifying mirror, hair dryer, tissue box, bathrobes, slippers, and toiletries; satellite and pay TV, music, A/C (self regulated), mini bar, coffee and tea making facilities, laptop size safe deposit box, direct dial phone with data port and Internet access. On each floor of the first four floors there are four rooms facing the street and have a slightly bigger balcony, and four are looking at the back, and do not have a balcony. All rooms on the 5th floor (6 rooms)
are facing the street and are superior rooms as they are larger in size, with a small sitting area (couch and coffee table), a larger balcony and a very nice view of the Acropolis. General facilities: 24-hour reception; small bar in the lobby; a very pleasant breakfast room under a glass dome (with natural light) that also operates as a restaurant (rich American buffet breakfast is served); a beautiful roof garden restaurant & bar with splendid view of the Acropolis; meeting room with business facilities.
Other services: laundry service (on request), room service. For rates and booking information click here
The Best of the Rest....
As for the rest of the 4-star hotels that I recommend by location and quality the newly renovated Hotel Amalia is right on Amalias Avenue across from the National Gardens and a couple blocks from the Plaka and Syntagma Square. The Hotel
Electra on Ermou Street, in Athens main shopping district is between Syntagma Square and the Plaka and has a lot of reasons to recommend it, including the fact that guests have access to the Electra Palace Hotel's swimming pool just 2 blocks away. The Hotel Astor is a block from Syntagma Square and has come a long way since I last stayed there, having
been totally renovated. The New Hotel is actually a new boutique hotel located a on Fillelinon Street between the Plaka and Syntagma Square. The Hotel Fresh in between Psiri and the market is a modern style hotel with the narrowest hotel pool
I have ever seen, on the rooftop which has a great view of the Acropolis. The Hotel Titania is located in between Syntagma and Omonia Squares and has a great rooftop restaurant-bar with a beautiful view of the Acropolis. The recently re-opened (after 100 years) Emporikon Athens
Hotel, in Agia Irini Square, is a 19th century neo-classical building in one of the most lively neighborhoods in the city. You can find more hotels on Booking.com's Athens page but quality and location these are the best in my opinion and also the most likely to fill up.
Luxury (5-star)Hotels in Athens
I don't care what anyone says. The Grande Bretagne is the best hotel in Athens. Best staff, best service, most impressive building, and yes....
I actually stayed at the Grande Bretagne.
Bretagne, for those of you who
don't know is the oldest and most
elegant luxury hotel in Athens and
one of the finest and most
well-known in the world. A room
there will cost you
several hundred bucks a night at least, but
if you have the money it is well worth
it. Even if you don't have the money it is well worth it. I didn't have the money but
because the GB has such an amazing
history, my friend George at Fantasy Travel put me up
there so I could write an article
about it. I don't know if the
staff knew who I was or what I do
but they sure treated us nice. In
fact for the three days we were
there I did not want to leave the
hotel. And then the day we were
supposed to leave we were
wait-listed and our flight was
full so we had to stay another
night. I was very happy.
There are other
luxury hotels but they are new,
modern and can be miles away from
downtown. The Grande Bretagne (and
our room) overlooks Syntagma
Square and you can watch the
changing of the Evzone guards from
your balcony. We had a view of the
Parthenon, tons of channels on the
TV, a fridge full of booze and
snacks and a room service menu
about 8 pages long. Incredible
breakfast buffett. There is a pool on the roof with a snackbar and at night one of the best hotel bars and restaurants with a terrific view of the Acropolis and Syntagma Square. Great food. The Alexander Bar off the main lobby is a classic European John Le Carre kind of hangout. Check out the tapestry of Alexander the Great behind the bar. You never know who will be standing around in the lobby when you come down in the morning. Anyone from the Prime Minister to your
favorite movie star. In the basement is another
swimming pool and a state-of-the-art health spa which is probably better than the one you belong to. I could go on but I
need to save it for the article. If you are luxury minded this is the best. I almost forgot... the staff are terrific. Friendly, helpful, happy and personable, from the doorman to the concierge all the way to the maids and busboys and girls. For
information and to read my
review of the hotel visit my Grande Bretagne Hotel website or Book it through Booking.com before somebody else does.
By the way. The Grande Bretagne
was chosen as one of the 100 Best Hotels in the World
by Conde Naste Traveler. That being said, The GB, the King George and the Plaza are all right on Syntagma square which is the staging area for demonstrations against the government since it is right across the street from Parliament.
The L-Catagory Electra Palace is newly rennovated, double in size and now looks like a smaller version of the Grande Bretagne. There is an indoor pool and another outdoor pool on the roof. Big beautiful lobby, comfortable
rooms with views of the Acropolis, fully air-conditioned and.... what else am I forgetting? Oh yeah. The best location of just about any hotel on this page, right in the Plaka and just 2 blocks from Syntagma Square and the Metro. The hotel has always been popular with businessmen and the reason they doubled the size is because it was so tough for people to find rooms there. Not any more. Plenty of parking too. I
stayed here for a few days during February of 2006 and I loved it and stayed here again a few years later and loved it even more. It is a smaller version of the Grande Bretagne. I never used the downstairs swimming pool, sauna or exercise room, but I meant to and I felt healthier just knowing they were there. See the Electra Palace Hotel
The Athens Hilton
The Athens Hilton is perhaps the most iconic of all the hotels and is the only man-made structure that can actually be seen from outer space.
It has a swimming pool that makes the other pools look like bathtubs and in fact the pool is so nice it costs a days wages just to swim there, unless you are staying at the hotel in which case it is free. Every room in the Hilton has a view of the Acropolis and with it's award winning rooftop restaurant and bars there is no reason to even venture into Athens if you don't feel like it since it is like a self-contained city. However should you decide to be adventurous there are two metro stations nearby, though
if you are staying there you are more likely to go for one of the taxis or limos parked outside. The Hilton has a huge lobby with shops, and employees a large staff of professional hotel people. In the old days it was the only place in Athens you could get a hamburger and going to the restaurant was a big treat. Pools, gyms, spas, hair salons, and just about anything you want. Have I ever stayed at the Hilton? Well, actually no. But if enough of you click
on this booking link one day I maybe be able to afford to.
The Best of the Rest....
The Royal Olympic Hotel is another really nice hotel with a pool. It overlooks the Temple of Olympian Zeus and rooms also have a view of the Acropolis. It is within walking distance of just about everything, has a couple nice bars including one on the roof with a fancy restaurant. Great location too just five minutes from the Plaka and the Acropolis Museum and
a twenty minute walk to the Acropolis. The Hotel
is one building away from the
Grande Bretagne and also right on
Syntagma Square. Highly
recommended if you have the money
or your company is paying the
bill. If the GB is Old World
Elegance then the Plaza is the
modern world. The King George which is between the Grande Bretagne and the Athens Plaza is a good choice too unless there is a noisy demonstration going on in which case you may rather be elsewhere. Anyway there have not been that many demonstrations lately so staying in Syntagma is a great idea if
you want to be in the middle of everything and these three hotels are the best or among the best in Athens. The Saint George Lykabettus is the highest hotel in the city in the upscale neighborhood of Kolonaki where there is great food, great cafes and great views. It is a 20 minute walk to the Plaka but it is all downhill. You can find more hotels on Booking.com's Athens page but quality and location these are the best in my opinion and also the most likely to fill up.
Apartments in Athens
Staying in an apartment in Athens is the latest trend and the fact that many Athenians who are suffering due to the economic conditions happen to own several apartments with nobody to rent to makes things very convenient for travelers, at least at first glance. The problem is that most of the apartments are in
areas that are not exactly ready for tourism (to put it nicely) or are far from the archaeological sites, museums, shops etc and yet they describe themselves as centrally located, downtown, or convenient location. Oh. And many of them are illegal. But these are centrally located, so much that you may have to be lucky to find availability. But it can't hurt to try and you may get lucky. The Kerameion is a beautiful restored house in Psiri, my favorite neighborhood, close to all the cafes and restaurants. The only drawback is a shared kitchen. Live in Athens offers modernly decorated, self-catering one room apartments and studios with free WiFi and is also in Psiri and you have your own kitchen. Located within short
walking distance from Monastiraki Metro Station, Nsplace has fully equipped and tastefully decorated air-conditioned 2 bedroom apartments with kitchens, steam bath and views of the Acropolis. Athens Studios
is 100 metres from the Acropolis Metro Station and Acropolis Museum and offers air-conditioned accommodation with kitchens, free WiFi and has a rooftop area and 2 bars. The Ava Hotel and Suites, shown in the photo, is centrally located in the Plaka. It offers spacious, self-catered accommodations with kitchens, a private balcony or patio.
The Lion Hotel Apartments is located in the upscale neighborhood of Kolonaki and feature spacious rooms with kitchens and views of the Acropolis and Lykavettos. The Plaka Haven Villa is an entire neo-classical home right in
the Plaka with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and a kitchen equipped with a dishwasher, an oven and a microwave, as well as a coffee machine. The Delice Apartments are a little further out but they are in a nice neighborhood near the Hilton Hotel with easy access to the metro and are probably the first self-catering apartments, having been around since the sixties. A few blocks away the Andromeda
Suites offer air-conditioned suites and 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom apartments with kitchens. Also nearby the Art Suites is a boutique hotel with an array of stylish suites furnished with spa bathtubs and free Wi-Fi, fully air-conditioned and include Cocomat mattresses and LCD TVs. You can find more apartments, houses and villas outside of central Athens on
Booking.com's Athens page and using the search options.
Hotels Out of Central Athens (Like at the Beach)
If you want to know about the resort hotels by the sea, there are several very nice ones that are only about a 45 minute taxi journey to Athens. The Astir
in Vouliagmeni is several hotels and it is the kind of place you could spend your whole holiday at and not go to the islands (not that I recommend doing that but you can and people do). The Divani Palace Hotel and Spa is also right on the beach within striking distance of Athens. Further out is the Lagonissi
Grand Resort which is said to be the best hotel in
Greece and supposedly has some suites that cost about twenty thousand euros a night. This is where zillionaires and famous people stay but there are rooms that are comparable in price to the other luxury hotels. For those who want self-catering on the coast the Athens Top Hill Sea View Villa is located in Glyfada and features 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, with a
sitting area and a kitchen complete with a dishwasher, an oven and a microwave.
You don't have to stay downtown if you don't want to. From the Athenian Riviera you can stay at the beach and commute to the Acropolis by bus, taxi or coastal tram. See Coastal Athens: Faliron, Glyfada, Voula, Vouliagmeni, Varkiza where I have hotels listed for each town.
The Northern Suburb of Kifissia is a great place to stay if you don't want to be downtown. There are trees and parks, great restaurants and lots of shops and you can take the metro right to Monastiraki and Thission and walk to the Acropolis, or all the way to the ferry boats in Pireaus. And climate-wise it is cooler than Athens which is why the upper classes have traditional had their summer residences there.
Booking Hotels in
I recommend getting in
touch with Dolphin Hellas Travel
or Fantasy Travel. They can send you a list and do your
bookings for you and make sure everything runs
smoothly. I suggest finding hotels either in
or within walking distance of the Plaka. If
you are staying at a hotel further away, you
can always find a taxi at the front entrance. Some hotels have shuttle service to Syntagma
so ask your travel agent. The prices you get from a Greek travel
should be cheaper then what you will
get directly from the hotels. Because these
agencies send the hotels a high percentage of
their business they get reduced rates which
they can pass on to the customers.
There are other reasons to use an Athens based
travel agency to book your hotels besides the
discount. The first has to do with scheduling.
Because the agency has ferry schedules at
their disposal they can book a room knowing
you will be able to make your connection. You
may do your own bookings for Athens or the
islands and find that because you misread the
schedule or your boat was delayed you are
unable to use the room you have reserved
and paid for, and you need a room for the
night on the island you are delayed on. Unless
you want to deal with all this yourself it is
better to have the agency deal with
This leads to why a Greek agency rather then
your local agent: If you should find yourself
in a situation where you need help, your US
travel agent is not exactly in a position to
assist you. The time difference is an obvious
problem as is the cost of long distance calls.
A Greek travel agent who has a relationship
with the hotels can solve any problems before
they start and should you find yourself
stranded on an island far from the hotel that
has been booked for you, a call to Athens will
get you off the hook and get you a room for
If you are booking hotels on your own and you
just want to book a night or two in Athens in a
cheap hotel you
will be better off booking directly with the
hotel. The reason is that for bookings which
don't total $300, many agencies must add a $50
service charge to pay for their work since
commissions are low. Of course a couple nights
in a high catagory hotel will come to well
over the minimum. But if you want a couple
nights at the Attalos or a c-catagory hotel,
then book directly with the hotel unless you
are using the agency to book your hotels in
the islands as well as ferries and flights. If
you are backpacking on the islands or island
hopping without booking in advance I
definitely recommend booking your Athens hotel
before you get there. If you get to Athens and
realize that you would rather book the rest of
your trip with an agency I suggest contacting
one of the agencies I recommend rather then
putting your faith in a taxi driver, hotel
concierge or some 'friendly guy on the
If you are having trouble finding availability
for the hotels you want try
contacting Fantasy Travel. They buy rooms in advance and when the
hotels and other agents have nothing left they
may still have availabilty.
Use this form
and under comments let them know which hotel you are interested
in if there is one in
Many people find bargains on websites
which book hotels all over the world or through package deals.
The problem is that in many cases the reason there are such
great deals on these hotels is because the hotels are empty
because nobody wants to stay there. Either it is in a bad location
or the hotel is lousy or it has a bad reputation from a previous
owner and has not recovered. Since the hotel mega-sites deals
with thousands of hotels worldwide and the package tour agent
is just trying to get the price as cheap as he can to make the
offer attractive, they may be ignorant or not care about the
quality or location. You have to balance price vs risk. In almost
every case you can get as good a deal from a Greek travel agency
and have them at your service for advice.
For those traveling solo and booking single rooms here's a little tip. The single rooms in many hotels are very small. But chances are if you are traveling in the off season the hotel will not be full and there may be empty double rooms. Many hotels will offer you a free upgrade because it is good business and does not cost them anything since the room was going to stay empty anyway. But if they don't, and you find yourself in a room so small that it causes
you psychological damage, ask for a free up-grade. People who use Greek travel agents often find themselves upgraded because the agency can look at a chart and know the hotel is empty and request the upgrade for their client before you even arrive. You don't have a chart but you can still ask and if they have empty rooms you may find yourself in a nicer one than the one you had.
Hotel Booking Sites
You can find hotels in Athens by location, price, whether or not it has a swimming pool, and see photos and reviews by using this link to Booking.com. Excellent
prices and many hotels you can book and then cancel
with no cancellation fee. For those who want to book without using a travel agency this is the best way to do it.
For those people who still don't want to go through a travel agency to book hotels and relish the thought of making their own ferry arrangements try using Athens Hotel Search where you can find hotels all over Greece, find the price and book it now.
You can also go to my Hotel Booking Assistance Page and I will help you.
Where to Stay in Athens (Is it Safe?)
When in Athens the desirable areas to stay in
are the Plaka, Makrianni, Koukaki, Thission, Syntagma and
Monastiraki. These areas all border
and the archeological park around it.
Everything you need including shops,
restaurants, the metro to the ferries, buses,
taxis and nightlife is within walking
distance and many of the streets are pedestrian only. If you are booking
through a US-based travel agent in
many cases they may know the classification of
the hotel but be totally ignorant of the
location, which is very important. Some of the
nicest American style hotels have lousy
locations and in most cases there is a comparable hotel within walking distance of the Acropolis. If you are booking by price with one of the giant automated hotel booking sites be aware that an A-catagory hotel with C-Category rates may be in an F-Category neighborhood and the money you saved by staying there may end up in the pockets of some criminal, along with your passport, camera and other valuables. (Some of Tripadvisors highest ranked hotels are in terrible areas). If you are wondering about a location
of a hotel, whether it is in an undesirable neighborhood you can e-mail me. I don't want to write on my website not to stay in a hotel in a particular area because it tends to make enemies, just as it would if I wrote on my site not to stay in a particular hotel because it is a bad hotel. But if you are wondering about location I can give you my opinion on whether you may be happier elsewhere. But the rule of thumb for families is to stay in or near
If a hotel says on their website 'centrally located' that does not necessarily mean near Syntagma or the Acropolis. If you are unsure about the location e-mail me.
For those who don't care about location as long as its cheap see Budget Hotels and most of these are between Omonia Square and the train station, not a very desirable area, though there is a metro. I would suggest that if you are a couple, a family, solo or other women travelers you should not stay down there.
If you go to www.hotelsofgreece.com/athens I have separated the hotels that are close to all the sites and those that are in 'less convenient' locations. (or areas I consider unsafe)
Many of the hotels near the beach provide transportation to the sights of the city, but ask just to make sure. The coastal tram runs from Glyfada to Syntagma Square and it
is a fine ride through neighborhoods most travelers never see. But if you are going back and forth several days in a row it can get old because it makes a lot of stops and takes a long time. Still some would say it is a small price for staying on the sea. If you go to my Coastal Athens page I have listed the hotels at the bottom of each section. Also you can go to my Hotels of Greece and click on the link for Athens
Suburbs and Coast.
If you are looking for hotels within walking distance of the ferry boats in the Port of Pireaus see my Pireaus Hotels Page though if you stay in or near the Plaka or near any metro station it should only take you about 15 minutes to get to the port and you will probably have a lot more fun. But if you
are arriving late and catching
an early boat there are some nice hotels of all catagories in the port of Pireaus.
Many people who are just passing through and are looking for a hotel for one night near the airport gasp when they see the prices at the Airport Sofitel. They shouldn't because you can't get any more convenient
since all you have to do is walk out of the terminal and cross a small
and you are in the lobby.
Sure hanging out at ther airport when you could be wandering around the Plaka may seem kind of boring but with restaurants, satelite TV and a nice big IKEA down the street you can find something to do besides sleep between flights.
For those looking for something cheaper and less airport-like there is the Hotel Les Amis in Vari, just 12 kilometers away. But this is not a recommendation, just a fact. For more comfort stay downtown at the Hotel Attalos and splurge on a
taxi in the morning which
may cost you about 10 euros more than a taxi from Vari.
Inn Attika Avenue is a 5 minute taxi ride or a few minutes on the metro and is in the price range of the Sofitel. If you want to book these hotels for a night without going through a travel agency you can use the above links. If you are working with a Greek travel agency you can book through them as well.
The Avra Hotel in Rafina is now advertised as the Avra Airport Hotel and it is closer to the airport than Athens, maybe a 20 minute taxi ride on a good day but a taxi won't be much cheaper than one from central Athens and if you are using a
transfer it will cost more. What makes it convenient
is that you
can stay there overnight and the ferries to many of the Cyclades leave from there.
But don't be fooled into staying here because they include the word 'Airport' in the name of the hotel. They might as well call it the Avra Eiffel Tower Hotel.
The nearest coastal hotel to the airport is the
Sea Sight Boutique Hotel on the beach at Porto Rafti which is a seaside town east of Athens. It will
take you about twenty minutes
to get there and it only has 11 rooms so if you are interested in it you may want to book it now. Getting in and out of Athens will take you about an hour or so by taxi or bus. The Mare Nostrum Hotel Thalasso is a large 4 star resort hotel that is even closer and overlooks the beach in Vravrona Bay. Otherwise if these are beyond your budget the 2-star
Hotel and Villa Orion Hotel in Voula are across Posidonas Ave from the beach and right on the X96 bus line that goes between the airport and the ferry port of Pireaus as are the two non-smoking Parthenis
Hotel and the Plaza Hotel. These hotels are also close to bus stops to Athens
and Glyfada as well as the coastal tram. If you want to really splurge than go to the The Westin Athens Astir Palace Beach Resort and be right on the beach and you may not even feel the need to go to the islands and you will still be within an hour of downtown Athens by bus, though if you can afford to stay here you will probably not mind the price
of a taxi or limo.
If staying close to the airport is important then splurge on the Sofitel which is right at the airport. It is cleaner, better, well-run and you will save at least 100 euros in taxis you would have taken back and forth to the city. To save 10 minutes by staying at the Avra, Ammos
or Les Amis
is the worst option between
the choice of staying at the airport, 'near' the airport, or in downtown Athens.
You can book
any of these hotels through Dolphin
, Aegean Thesaurus Travel or
. You can find hotel descriptions, photos and booking
information at Hotelsofgreece.com and on my Booking.com Athens Hotel Search Page or you can go to my Hotel Booking Assistance Page and I will help you. What
is the best way to book your holiday to Greece? Can you really
save by using auto-booking systems or by booking directly with
the hotels? Are Travel Agencies a thing of the past? Read my
Species about the internet and the disappearance of the
small personalized service travel agency.
Kea, Poros, Aegina or Angistri
Who says you have to stay in
Athens to see Athens? OK.
Cities are not for everyone.
So why not stay on an island
that is one hour from Athens?
You can be on the Acropolis in
and hour and a half!
(Sometimes it takes that long
from the Hilton). The island
of Poros is a sensible option
to city life and it is also a
3-minute boat ride from the
Peloponessos. Base yourself
there and see the sites and be
home in time for a swim before
islands close enough to commute to Athens are Angistri
and Aegina. In
Aegina, the village of Agia Marina is
about a half hour trip on the Flying Dolphins. Another option is the island of Kea (photo). You can take the first ferry to the mainland and the last one back, though you may need to book a taxi to do it unless you have a rental car. Kea is very close to Cape Sounion and the town of Lavrion which are about an hour from Athens. From there it is a one hour ferry ride and you are on an island that feels and looks
very traditional where they still use donkeys to transport goods. It also has beaches as lovely as any you will find in the other Cyclades islands.
Bedbugs and other Horrors!!!!!!!
Though I have seen occasional complaints about bedbugs in hotels in Athens, so far it has not reached the epidemic proportions that it has in the USA. That is not to say they don't exist. Bedbugs can be anywhere and they don't care if the hotel is a 2-star or 5-star. They are spread by travelers and the more you travel, the more possibility there is that you will one day run into them. Many think that the reason there are bed bugs in hotels is because of a lack
of cleanliness, but this is not true. Bedbugs are brought in by guest staying at a hotel, not by any sanitation issue at a hotel. They are not just in beds either. They can live in seat cushions on your flight home or the ferry boat or even in your own bed if you are not careful. Personally I have only experienced them once and that was in a cabin on an old ferry. Hotels spend a lot of money to keep out these nasty little creatures and they do take bedbug sightings very seriously. Because
of the social stigma these little creatures cause when they get loose on the internet travel boards, when they are reported to a hotel, the management's first reaction is to say "We don't have bedbugs." Then they fumigate the room to make sure they don't have bedbugs. So if someone stays in a hotel and says it had bedbugs, that hotel is no more likely to have bedbugs than any other hotel, in fact less likely because the bedbugs that the guest is complaining about are long gone. What you should worry
about is whether you are bringing bedbugs home with you because probably you can't spend the kind of money the hotels do to eradicate them. As a rule you should not keep luggage on the floor or against the wall and on a rack if possible. Pull back the sheets and look for rust colored stains that the bugs leave and check the pillow and headboard too. Unfortunately it is the stuff you can't see that can do the most damage so bringing a bottle of disinfectant that you can use on the phone, the TV and AC remote
and even the faucets and doorknobs reduces the chance of you getting something left behind by the last guest. Of course most hotels do disinfect after each guest and some every day, but why take chances?
Getting to Your Hotel
For most people arriving at the airport who have booked their hotels through a Greek travel agency there will probably be a driver waiting for you at the airport. For those who booked the hotels on your own you have a few options as I mentioned on the airport
page. If you are staying in a higher class hotel you will probably want to take a taxi and there are many waiting at
the airport. For those who want to have a driver waiting for them, who speaks English, knows where you are going, and will take you there without any monkey business I recommend George the Famous Taxi Driver and his sons. He won't cost much more than a street taxi and after midnight will cost about the same.
If your hotel is on the metro line you can get to it as long as you don't arrive after 11pm. If you miss the last metro you can take the X95 bus which runs 24 hours, to Syntagma which is useful if your hotel is within walking distance of there. If not you will have to take a taxi from Syntagma or walk which you probably won't want to do after a long flight. When arriving late beware of overly friendly helpful people on the street near Syntagma helping you with
your luggage or trying to make friends with you. They may be after your wallet.My advice is that if you are not staying on the bus line or the metro then take a taxi from the airport, especially at night. Actually with the number of pickpockets on the metro I would say that taking a taxi from the airport is a good investment.
If you are going to your hotel after arriving in Pireaus from your Greek Island holiday you have the option of taking the metro and also many, many taxis line up there now for passengers. The 040 bus runs from Pireaus to Syntagma and the 049 buse runs from Pireaus to Omonia. The Syntagma bus runs 24 hours. If you are staying on the coast
in Voula, Glyfada or Faliron the X96 airport bus to Pireaus probably passes right by your hotel and runs 24 hours.