Updated: Mar 23
Athens is a beautiful, rich, busy city, with great food, sites and history around every corner.
There are plenty of beautiful and convenient accommodations available, depending on what you'd like to see, and how long you plan to stay. Our time in Athens was brief and we planned to visit most sites on foot. Like most European cities, Athens is very walkable and best explored casually walking the streets from one historic site to the next.
TIP: When possible, pre-book an airport pick-up. Arranging in advance allows you to research options, prices and reviews, rather than having to quickly choose from the cabs available when you arrive. This also creates a paper trail for those who are super cautious in a foreign country. No need to be suspicious, but always good to be safe and plan ahead.
We had arranged for a pick-up through Welcome Pick-Ups, a local company. They assigned a person to us before the trip began, and provided us with her details, including her name, photo and contact number on WhatsApp.
While in Athens, we stayed at the Athens Gate Hotel, which boasts a perfectly central location, and one of the best views in the city. The room was tasteful and exactly what we wanted. The shining star, hands down, was the view from the balcony; we had an unobstructed view of the huge Temple of Olympian Zeus, one of the largest temples in the ancient world. It was breathtaking.
The Athens Gate Rooftop Restaurant, with its outdoor terrace and ceiling to floor glass windows had an impressive view of the Acropolis and Parthenon. It is currently voted the fourth best view in the world on TripAdvisor. We took nothing to chance and contacted the restaurant in advance, reserving a specific outdoor table for both nights of our stay.
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Another option for specular views with a central location include The Electra Metropolis, also with stunning views of the Acropolis and rooftop pool. It is a stone's throw from Syntagma Square, The Hellenic Parliament and The Cathedral Church of Athens.
If the Acropolis is your main focus and you prefer the old world charm, the Acropolis Museum Boutique Hotel may be your best option. Recently renovated, the classical building has a limited number of tastefully decorated room and is just steps from the Acropolis and The Plaka district.
Prior to arriving, we mapped out the area and chose a route that would allow us to visit as many historical sites as possible on our walk around the city. We also incorporated the sites included in the combo ticket: The Ancient Agora, Hadrian's Library, The Roman Agora and Aristotle's School (aka the Archeological Site of Lykeion).
Looking for something different, maybe a little off the beaten path? The Grecotel Pallas Athena Boutique Hotel is something to be admired. Close to the Omonia Square and Train Station, the hotel is uniquely decorated with vibrant colours and artistic impressions.
No matter where you decide to stay or what your plans are when in Athens, you're sure to be amazed by the diversity of cultural, historical and gastronomical experiences waiting for you.