Top travel writers weigh in on the best budget friendly properties in Athens.
Athens is one of the world's great cities and you'll want to make the most of your time here. Finding the right accommodations is a big part of that. You'll want a comfortable, clean, centrally located property where you can enjoy a good rest - and maybe even a great view. And you'll probably want to get a great deal too!
We were thrilled with the property we stayed at, the Athinais Hotel, and would highly recommend it to others. But we wanted to include plenty of options in this post, so no matter your travel style or budget, you can find accommodations that are perfect for you. Thank you to the talented travel writers who weighed in with their opinions! I think you'll enjoy their reviews as much we did.
Before booking any room, here's some general tips to help you get the most of your stay.
Our Favourite: Athinais Hotel
If you're in Athens for a conference, chances are you'll be spending some time at the Megaron, Athens' concert hall and conference center. If so, I can't recommending staying at the nearby Athinais Hotel enough. In fact, even if you won't be going anywhere near the Megaron, I still think the Athinais is a great choice! Here's why.
The hotel is perfectly situated on bus and subway routes and is a 4 minute walk to two subways stations, including Megaro Mousikis. This puts you just a few stops away from the city's main attractions - or you could always walk there in about 30 minutes.
The Megaro station is also conveniently on the direct line to the airport. Having done the airport-to-hotel trip more than a few times, I think the Athinais hotel would be perfect for anyone who has an early morning flight.
We stayed at a different property on our final night in the city and we were cursing our choice the next morning, as we lugged our gear to a far off metro station, then had to change lines, and then had an extra long commute. We could have slept an extra 30 minutes and had a lot less hassle! Lesson learned...
The Athinais hotel rooms are value personified. There's nothing fancy or luxurious about them, and quarters are a bit on the tight side, but there were two single beds, a mini fridge, a small desk and chair, a coffee table, and a small dresser whose top doubled as as suitcase platform. The bathroom was new and modern and well laid out (though the shower stall was tight). The Wi-Fi never let us down.
Everything was clean and comfortable and, having stayed there for a week, I can honestly say it felt like home for us. Not too bad for less than $100 Canadian a night! (Check out my admittedly shaky video here to get a virtual tour)
There were some extra touches that made this hotel a standout for us. We had asked in advance for a room on the top floor and we were rewarded with a great view of the city and, on a clear day, we could even catch a glimpse of the ocean from our balcony. (Did I mention the balconies? Awesome!). There's a huge breakfast included in the price and we looked forward to it every day. (Not to be missed: The yogurt, honey, and 'spoon fruit'.)
Even more fantastic was the in-house restaurant, called "8 am to 11 pm". The prices were incredibly reasonable and the food was simple, fresh, and filling. Their feta cheese wrapped in phyllo pastry, deep fried, and covered in honey and sesame was the best dish I had in all of Athens.
Chic and Savvy: A For Athens Hotel
During my research for my last trip to Athens I decided the Monastiraki neighbourhood was the perfect place to stay. Great public transport connections, plenty of food options, and nestled in the base of the Acropolis I was hooked. A fellow travel blogger recommended the A for Athens Hotel, right on Monastiraki Square. It wasn’t in my guide book, but it looked so lovely and was in such a great location that it was definitely THE ONE. It even had rooms with views of the Acropolis at a reasonable price……..
But I didn’t book an Acropolis view room – even though it was within my budget. Sometimes I think it is not worth spending the money on a room with a view. I was going to be out all day at a conference. Then out with friends most evenings. Spending the extra money on a room with a view was not something I wanted to do. Yes, I could afford it. Yes, they had a room. But I didn’t book it…….
Every morning I sat by the window in the breakfast room enjoying the view over the square and the Acropolis while I ate my breakfast. I drank wine with friends in the evening on the rooftop terrace, and watched the ever changing mood of the Parthenon as the sun and light played games with it.
I didn’t need to pay extra for a view of the Acropolis. Mine was free. And it was priceless…………..
Jo Karnaghan is Chief Frugalista at http://frugalfirstclasstravel.com. Jo loves showing savvy Frugalistas everywhere how to travel better, travel more and spend less
Editor's note: Jo isn't kidding! We did a few mock bookings and you can save an average of $75 (Canadian) a night by choosing a room without an Acropolis view. Save your money for nighttime drinks at their incredible roof top bar!
Budget Basics With A Bar: Athenstyle Hostel
I had the chance to visit Athens last summer while I was doing a two months backpacking tour through Europe. Athens is a city with many points of interests – it has a rich history, but also lots of tasty food and an amazing nightlife. If you’re planning on staying in Athens for a few nights, here is my review of a hostel called Athenstyle.
The hostel is perfect for everyone who has a budget but doesn’t want to sleep in the last corner of the city. Athenstyle is only a few steps away from the Monastiraki Flea Market, one of the famous attractions in Athens. This means it’s also easily accessible if you arrive by plane or other public transportation (exit Monastiraki metro station).
The hostel itself is not super luxurious or anything but it covers all the things a backpacker needs – common kitchen and common room, clean rooms and they also offer a free walking tour, which I love to do everywhere I go. What I didn’t like was that the wifi was only working in the reception / common room area. However, if you’re in Athens you don’t need to spend much time online anyway.
Another big plus of the hostel was the free breakfast they offered. It’s very basic (toast, jam, tea, milk, fruits) but free. It was served on the hostel’s own rooftop bar! You had a fantastic view over the city from there. They also serve alcoholic drinks in the evenings.
Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at the hostel and would recommend it for everyone who wants to explore Athens on a budget and wants to mix with a crowd of other young backpackers and travellers.
Kathrin is a traveller from Germany, currently living in England enjoying the wonders of the United Kingdom. Her blog The Ambitious Bee focuses on studying and working abroad and how your career can benefit from this experience.
Editor's note: Yep, some of the dorm rooms look TIGHT. But this property has a lot of different room options, including studio rooms, private hostel rooms, and a variety of dorms.
Cushy, Comfortable, and Clean: City Circus Hostel
The City Circus Hostel in Athens is a great example of what I’d always want to find when booking a dorm bed somewhere in the world. There were six beds in my room and it cost me €18, including breakfast. Although not the cheapest place in Athens, it’s a great deal when compared with rates in other European cities. However, this is not the only reason I would recommend City Circus Athens!
Its facilities and services are modern and pleasant and have been well maintained. The best part is its location in the Psirri neighborhood in walking distance of all attractions and just beside a subway station for easy access from the airport. When arriving, you won’t have to worry about steps to the 3rd floor with your bags, there’s an elevator, woooot!
Now to the room where all the beds are equipped with thick and fluffy mattresses, which is rare in my experience. Each client has a locker large enough for a backpack where belongings can be safely stored. A small balcony overlooking the main street offers street art views and great fresh air, although the room has air conditioning (very useful in the Greek heat). Access to the room is possible only with a magnetic card, which prevents people entering your room if they aren’t staying in it, and most important: Wi-Fi works great. Too bad there were no electrical outlets for each bed…
The bathrooms are modern and covered in ceramic from floor to ceiling. They are well kept and cleaned frequently; several showers with hooks to hang clothes and toiletry kits are available on each floor.
On the top floor, a lovely terrace with views of the Acropolis is rather nice when the sun sets. While the shared lounge is not huge, it’s cozy with a large square table and dozens of books and games to help socialize. Every evening, employees organize thematic activities for those who wish to participate and they are sometimes even free, such as wine and cheese tastings!
You’ll definitely enjoy the Greek breakfast as well! Have a great stay in colourful and vibrant Athens!
Jennifer Doré Dallas is a corporate dropout turned travel blogger at Moi, mes souliers, foodie and paparazzi who has travelled to 40+ countries. She admits to a Ziploc bag addiction and hates umbrellas with a passion.
Editor's Note: If you're visiting Athens in the summer, air conditioning is an absolute must and an elevator is a very nice touch. This city can be HOT.
Central and Social: Athens Backpackers' Hostel
Kae Lani says...
My stay at the Athens Backpackers Hostel was the moment I realized I may have grown too old for hostels. Don’t get me wrong! It provided me with what I would expect from a hostel — a lovely breakfast, pub crawls with fellow hostel guests, immersive tours and experiences, a great social space, and an excellent crew of travelers. But after years on the road, sleeping in a room with 10 strangers (3 of which stumble in loudly at odd hours of the night), sharing a shower with an entire floor, and sleeping on a mattress of lumpy mystery stuffing, gets a little old. From now on it’s hotels and private rooms for me!
But the Backpackers Hostel of Athens has a lot of added perks. It's right next to Plaka, where there are lots of cafes and shops, and it's walking distance to Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. The Acropolis Metro station is less than a block away and it's only a few stops from Syntagma Square, and one transfer from Monastiraki.
Kae Lani Kennedy is a Philadelphia-based travel journalist, photographer, and the Social Media Manager for Matador Network, an independent travel publication and media company specializing in capturing "human stories".
Editor's Note: I'm with Kae Lani. Shared showers and so-so sleeps don't hold much charm for me either. But this hostel has an amazing location and long list of amenities and might be perfect for a night owl.
Athens is the cat's meow....
Athens is one of our favourite cities and we can't wait for the chance to make a return visit. And when we do, you can be sure we'll be staying at one of these spots!
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