Where to stay in Athens, your guide to the neighborhoods and picking the best one for you.
This is a question that goes along the lines with what you are really expect of the neighborhood that you would want to live in.
Where to stay in Athens is being determined by where would you like to be. You could be either close to the sea which would be the southern suburbs or inside the vibe of the city of Athens which is the center and the areas next to the city. The other option would be either in areas close but not the center or the northern suburbs that are a bit further away from the center but still a different and more relaxed atmosphere.
It also depends on what you want to do and how much you are willing to spend, Great neighborhoods in terms of proximity to attractions and public transportation are Plaka, Monastiraki, Keramikos, and Kolonaki.
If you are looking to stay in Athens close to attractions and a bit closer to historical monuments I would suggest Plaka which is one of the oldest neighborhoods, amazing spot to walk and it is literally in between everything. It is under Acropolis and close to Syntagma and Monastiraki and it is such a great place to be either in Summer or Winter, you can check more about Plaka here.
Is Monastiraki a good area to stay in Athens?
Monastiraki is in the middle of everything, a lot of restaurants, bars and close to all the attractions in the city! You can literally walk everywhere from here, you will not need to get on the metro to get anywhere, only if you go somewhere outside the city! Most people are staying around that area, it is a busy area though so it is not for those who are looking to relax and not hear any noise.
Apart from the bars and restaurants, you can find also a flea market area when a lot of shops are located, you can literally buy everything there from souvenirs to your next athletic shoes so if you are looking to pack, no need to worry about anything! the flea market got you covered!
Gazi or Keramikos is a bit further down from Monastiraki, it is also a place with lots of bars and restaurants and definitely great nightlife! If you are looking for something that is a bit trendy and you would like also to stay pretty close to the center then it is a great choice for you!
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Walking from Keramikos to Syntagma square is about ~30 minutes so just bear in mind that you might have to walk a bit more if you decide to stay in this area.
Gazi is also very close to Thissio area which has lots of attractions to see e.g Stoa of Attalos and sanctuary of Zeus
Kolonaki is the Posh area of Athens, lots of old neoclassical structured buildings, great restaurants and bars. If we compare it with the other neighborhoods, Kolonaki is much quieter for you to stay and also a place that a lot of Athenians are living.
It is much closer from any other location to Lycabettus hill, which is a great location for you to take photos from above. I think it has maybe the best view of Athens so if you are here for a week or so definitely go and check it out(requires a lot of walking so definitely consider taking a car if you are visiting in the Summer)
Long story short Kolonaki is a great area to live in maybe would be a bit more expensive from the other options but always a good pick if you would like to stay somewhere a bit quieter
But Where else you could stay in Athens?
Another area to stay in Athens and be a bit closer to the city center but much cheaper is Koukaki area. It is close to the Sygrou Metro station and pretty close to Acropolis(walking distance). Koukaki is also an area where a lot of Athenians live and it has a lot of spots, bars, and restaurants too. It is a definitely good area to stay if you are on a budget but want also the proximity to attractions and feel the vibe of the city.
Areas that you should avoid staying in Athens are those that are very close to Omonoia square and back between Omonoia and National Archaeological Museum, Pedion Areos and close to the station of Victoria. Those areas aren’t so welcoming at night and would not give you a great picture of the city.
If you are looking to stay out of the city center and closer to the beaches you might want to go a bit further to the south to places like Nea Smyrni which is in the middle or further south like Glyfada, Voula or Vouliagmeni
Glyfada, Voula, and Vouliagmeni are amazing locations in order for you to go and enjoy the Athenian beaches and explore the Summer in Greece. All of those three locations have great accommodations, hotels, and apartments that you can book through Airbnb according to your budget!
So now you are wondering, where you should stay in Athens?
To make it more clear for you I would suggest the following, If you are visiting in the Summer and are looking to spend your trip in Athens but you would like also to see other areas I would suggest to stay in the Southern suburbs.
From another point of view if you are visiting on the summer but your target is to go to the Islands but still want to spend some quality time and see the essentials in Athens, then I would suggest to stay in the city center. Spend 2-3 days there, do the essentials things that you should do and then go and explore the Greek islands.
Lastly, if you are visiting in the Winter and would like to see the history of Greece and must places to go, then I would suggest spending most of your time in Athens and then considering visiting other cities in Greece.