0.3 miles from city centre
Plaka’s appeal lies in its village-like atmosphere. Its small lanes are lined with 19th-century houses, enticing cafés – and a fair few tourists. The Acropolis is the area’s showstopper, but spare some time for the smaller spots. The 4th-century Monument of Lysicrates is worth a stop, as is Hadrian's, and an amble through the National Gardens.
Places to stay from £11 per night
7.3 miles from city centre
Welcome to glitzy Glyfada – home of the chic and distinctly international. The area’s shops and restaurants once catered for a now long-gone US military base, but the spoils are great – TGI Fridays and an array of swanky fashion outlets are in the vicinity, as are sizzling nightspots along the beach facing Posidonos Avenue. Get ready to splurge!
Places to stay from £23 per night
0.6 miles from city centre
Psiri is a quiet inner-city suburb with little to do during the day. However, the volume goes from mute to full blast at night. Locals roll in and out of low-lit bars onto the expansive terraces, and live music fills the air. For a bite to eat, try the typically Greek mezes at Mavros Gatos – think octopus, tzatziki, eggplant, cheeses and more.
Places to stay from £8 per night
0.9 miles from city centre
Below the Acropolis, Koukaki's Dionysiou Areopagitou promenade is a welcome escape from the city's rumbling automobile traffic. The area underwent a facelift with the arrival of the ultra-modern Acropolis Museum, but Koukaki retained its unpretentious feel. To this end, try the fresh grilled fish from taverna To Kati Allo right behind the museum.
Places to stay from £9 per night
1.1 miles from city centre
Metaxourgeio is getting Athens hot under the collar. This powerhouse of trendy bars and galleries attracts a young crowd, and is a hipster hang-out par excellence. Wander past its gardens, warehouses and tavernas to get a taste for the area's mish-mash of styles. Bohemian and industrial, it's a tight bundle of all things alternative.
Places to stay from £22 per night
4.9 miles from city centre
Chalandri has developed quite the reputation among the northern suburbs. This modern area is a burgeoning leisure hub, with the new Golden Hall Mall and hip hang-outs, like Theory Bar or Ancho Mexican Grill. Head here for the cluster of shopping streets around Dourou Square, and enjoy the open-air concerts at the Theatro Rematias.
Places to stay from £25 per night
Greece's ancient capital is an open-air museum of history and stunning sights dating back over 2,500 years. Once home to Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, Athens is often referred to as the cradle of Western civilisation.
While the Acropolis towers above to serve as a reminder of Athens’ ancient origins, the modern-day city below offers a huge variety of contemporary comforts. You’ll find a wide range of trendy cocktail bars and nightclubs dotted throughout the centre, as well as the National Museum of Contemporary Art and the unique Technopolis complex.
Other points of interest include the beaches of Attica and the scenic National Garden just behind the Greek Parliament Building. This combination of age-old monuments, enticing cultural landmarks and natural scenery make the city a major hotspot for holidays.
Greeks also take an immense amount of pride in their cuisine, and once you've had a taste of their delicious dishes, it's easy to see why. Take a seat in a traditional taverna and order up some grilled souvlaki and anise-flavoured aperitif Ouzo. The centre is easily reached from the airport by metro, railway or express bus, but you'll also find plenty of taxis outside the terminal.
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From £28 per night
|Most popular time to visit||August–October|
|Cheapest time to visit||April–June|
|Local currency||€ 10 = £9.07|
|Average weekend price||£81 per night|
|Average weekday price||£81 per night|
|Typical stay||2 nights|
The city of Athens is an amazing location to visit. Even if you aren't a history buff, you can still be blown away by the sheer amount of ancient monuments dotted around the city. While most are ruined, many of them are intact and well preserved. The acropolis itself is like a small city from Ancient Greece. Temples and ruins are dotted all over this hill. Surrounding the acropolis are other locations such as the Roman forum, the Agora, Hadrian's library and the Temple of Zeus. Exploring these sites can take up at least two days, although they are within walking distance of each other. An additional highlight is Poseidon's temple on the cliffs of Cape Sounion. This was an hour's drive away but came at a reasonable taxi price.
Super lively, with many little original shops, bakeries, cafés and bars. Easy to get around with the metro or bus. I recommend getting a bit out of town for a day or two, go near the sea or take a hike in the surrounding mountains.
Athens surprised me, it was utterly lovely, and not as touristy as places such as Venice or Barcelona. We did go in October 2020 (mid Covid Crisis) so it was probably less busy than normal. I would recommend staying in the Plaka area, all the major attractions are within 10 mins walk, it is very easy to walk around,
Athens is a great city for those who appreciate culture and history. Anywhere you step on you see the ruins of a great civilisation. However, you could always to the sea site, which is less than 10 minutes drive. The Athens Riviera, from Faliro to Sounio (temple of Poseidon) is worth a drive , for its beaches and breath-taking views. This makes Athens a great holiday destination for all tastes. I forgot to mention the food, is always fresh and tastes great. And finally, Athens, is probably the only city that never sleeps (trust me) and puts other cities to shame
Loved the city and being able to walk between most of the ancient architecture and sights via the gorgeous back streets. Lots to see and do over a couple of days but would recommend using it as a start/end point in the trip and using time to visit the nearby islands.
Loved how much history there was in the area. It was so pretty. Everyone seemed very friendly and anyone under 25 can see 7 of the attractions for free! The 3 day tourist ticket made it super easy to get around the city on the metro as much as you like within 72 hours. Although google maps didnt always display the correct information in therms of station names so it took a little while to work out which metros to take. The streets however seemed to be a little dangerous in terms of health and safety. The surfaces were slippery and uneven, we tripped over a few times. The pedestrian crossings didnt seem to make a lot of sense, green man to signal it is safe to cross but cars still often dont stop. Walking around the city requires you to be alert. The restaurants in Athens are all AMAZING. Huge portions perfect quality and less than half the price of eating out in a mediocre restaurant London.
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