The Best Hotels in Athens

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Updated: July 17, 2024
By Santorini Dave

My Favorite Athens Hotels

• 5-star: Grande Bretagne
• 4-star: Electra Palace
• 3-star: PhaedraA for Athens
• For Families: Ava
• For Couples: GatsbyAthensWas
• Best Pool: Four Seasons
• Acropolis View: Electra Palace
• Airport: Sofitel
• Ferry Port: Port Square
• Beach Resort: Four Seasons

Hotel in Athens with view of Acropolis and Parthenon.

The excellent 4-star Electra Palace Hotel has a convenient location in Plaka (surrounded by loads of shops and restaurants) and good views of the Parthenon and Acropolis.

Athens Hotels – Tips & Info

  • Athens is a great city. I love it. You might have heard it’s ugly (and some areas are), but there’s much to see within the walkable central area. It has the Acropolis and my two favorite museums in Greece: the Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum. From April to November, the streets are packed with locals and tourists, lively tavernas and hip bars. Athens can easily fill two full days of quality sightseeing. I recommended staying for at least 2 or 3 full days.
  • Where to Stay in Athens: My favorite neighborhoods (and what I recommend for most first-time visitors) are Plaka, Monastiraki, Syntagma, Psirri, the City Center, and Makriyanni – all are walking distance to dining, shopping, the Acropolis, and other top historical sites. To combine city sights with a dreamy beach, consider a stay on the Athens Riviera.
  • Athens throbs with tourists from May to October, and doubly so during the summer months of July and August. Book hotels early for the best prices.
  • Most ferries to Santorini, Mykonos, and the Greek Islands leave between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. from the Piraeus ferry port. When catching a morning ferry, I like to stay close to the Monastiraki metro station, which has quick, direct trains to the Piraeus Port for just €1.40. If you plan on taking a taxi to the port, it doesn’t matter where you stay in the city. Good hotels close to Monastiraki Station (for easy access to the train to the ferry port): A for AthensPlaka Hotel360 DegreesAdrian Hotel
  • Daytime taxis between the airport and downtown hotels cost €40. Nighttime (midnight to 5am) taxis cost €55. From downtown hotels to the Piraeus ferry port costs about €25.
  • I don’t like staying near Omonia Square or in Piraeus (ferry port). These areas are about as safe as anywhere in the historic center, but they are gritty, somewhat ugly, and farther from attractions. There are better places to stay in Athens.
  • My favorite restaurant in Plaka is Psarras (Fisherman’s Taverna) – a magical location on the steps below the Acropolis with fantastic traditional Greek dishes.
  • My favorite bar in central Athens is Baba Au Rum – a friendly spot for classic and signature cocktails made with high quality spirits, fresh herbs, and homemade sodas.
  • Best Tours in Athens – There are several great tours in central Athens. I particularly like the Original Greek Food Tour.

The 31 Best Hotels in Athens

  • We’ve visited, toured, or stayed at just about every hotel in downtown Athens. If you need help picking a place to stay, email me at

1. Hotel Grande Bretagne – Syntagma Square

Exterior of Hotel Grande Bretagne in Syntagma, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21033 30000
This is one of my favorite hotels in Europe. Situated on Syntagma Square across from the Hellenic Parliament building – in the center of the action and walking distance to nearly all major attractions. This stunning 5-star hotel boasts two heated swimming pools (one on the rooftop and one in the spa), and an array of rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, many with views of the Acropolis or Mt Lycabettus. The Roof Garden Restaurant & Bar is worth a visit even if you’re not a guest, with a fine-dining Mediterannean menu and sumptuous wine selection. A luxury spa, two more restaurants, a cocktail bar, and cigar lounge complete the experience here.

2. Four Seasons Astir Palace – Athens Riviera

On the beach at the Four Seasons Astir Palace in the Athens Riviera
Hotel phone: +30 21089 01000
Stunning resort on a private peninsula on the coast south of Athens. The property boasts three private beaches with golden sand, ten restaurants and bars, a kids club, and three swimming pools (an adults-only pool, a heated all-ages pool, and tranquil pool in the spa). An array of activities for kids, teens, and adults includes water sports, boat excursions, cooking classes, helicopter tours, wine tastings, and much more. All rooms and suites have king-size beds and private balconies or terraces. Set just ten minutes to the shops, restaurants, and nightlife of Glyfada, twenty minutes to the airport, and thirty minutes into central Athens. A free shuttle bus takes you to Glyfada or Lake Vouliagmeni.

3. King George Hotel – Syntagma Square

Exterior of King George Hotel in Syntagma, Athens
Hotel phone:+30 21032 22210
Luxurious hotel with an award-winning Greek restaurant on its rooftop, Syntagma Square at your door, shops all about, and Plaka and Acropolis a short walk away. Rooms and suites feature marble bathrooms, many with bathtubs, and several with private balconies. The Penthouse Suite offers two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a private terrace with Acropolis views, and an outdoor swimming pool. Its signature Tudor Hall restaurant serves seasonal Greek fare in a refined setting with both indoor and outdoor dining tables and expansive views.

4. xenodocheio Milos – City Center

Exterior of xenodocheio Milos hotel in City Center, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21660 03300
Upscale boutique hotel opened in partnership with world-renowned restaurant, estiatorio Milos. Set in a gorgeous neoclassical building, rooms and suites all feature marble bathrooms, dining tables, gourmet minibars, and in-room fine dining menus. Family rooms sleep up to four guests and the largest two-bedroom suite sleeps up to six. Gastronomy is king here, with a branch of estiatorio Milos serving their signature Mediterannean dishes, along with an oyster bar and wine cellar. Their Milos on the Sea yacht dining experience is a must. A rich breakfast is always included. Located on trendy Kolokotroni Street in the City Center, just steps from the Old Parliament building (now the National Historical Museum) and a short walk to Syntagma Square.

5. AthensWas Hotel – Makriyanni

Restaurant terrace with an Acropolis view at Athens Was in Plaka
Hotel phone: +30 21092 49954
Five-star boutique hotel on a pedestrian-only street in Plaka. The hotel offers two outstanding restaurants: Sense (contemporary Mediterannean fare, Greek wines, and cocktails on the rooftop) and Modern (casual, Greek comfort foods; May to October only). Rooms and suite are spacious, stylish, and comfortable, and a great breakfast is always included.

6. Ava Hotel & Suites – Plaka

Exterior view of Ava Hotel and Suites in Plaka, Athe ns
Hotel phone: +30 21032 59000
Family-friendly, all-suite boutique hotel in the Plaka neighborhood near Hadrian’s Arch. Suites are spacious and sleep two to four guests; most have a kitchenette and a balcony or terrace, many with stunning views of the Acropolis, Zeus Temple, or the Arch. Deaily breakfast is included in the room rate.

7. NEW Hotel – Syntagma

The restaurant terrace at New Hotel in Plaka, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21032 73000
Design-forward, five-star hotel with a spa. NEW Hotel features an all-day Greek restaurant and bar on the rooftop, plus a welcoming Mediterranean bistro known for its fabulous weekend brunches. Rooms and suites feature oversized windows, eye-catching art, and pillow menus; all but the junior suites offer private balconies. Just steps from Syntagma Square and the National Garden.

8. Ergon House – Syntagma

The market of Ergon House in Syntagma, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21001 09090
Delightful foodie hotel with a farm-to-table restaurant and rooftop bar, plus a fresh market with a butcher, baker, fishmonger, deli, greengrocer, and wine collection. Their vertical orchard climbs up the atrium walls with fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, and lettuce grown onsite. Each floor of the hotel offers a fully equipped communal kitchen, while their private kitchen hosts weekly cooking classes, daily private cooking lessons, and wine tastings on request. Rooms and suites feature a carefully crafted minibar featuring Ergon’s own line of products, cocktails by The Clumsies, and complimentary breakfast daily. Family Rooms sleep up to four adults plus one child. A fantastic home base less than a five-minute walk to Syntagma Square and Kolokotroni Street and under 10 minutes to the National Historical Museum and the National Garden.

9. iFeel Athens – Psirri

A room at iFeel Athens in Psirri
Hotel Phone: +30 21032 32244
Tiny luxury hotel (just six suites) in the stylish Psirri neighborhood, known for its restaurants and nightlife. Rooms feature eclectic decor and spacious walk-in showers. Elegant and Executive Suites have private terraces and claw-foot bathtubs; the split-level Elegant Suite also boasts a view of the Acropolis. Its open-air cafe serves Greek and international dishes all day with an especially great brunch, inventive cocktails, and an excellent wine list.

10. Electra Metropolis – Syntagma

Rooftop pool with My Lycabettus view at Electra Metropolis, Syntagma
Hotel Phone: +30 21410 06200
Landmark, modernist hotel built in 1959 on top of the 5th-century B.C. ruins of Themistocles’ Wall and around the tiny 16th-century A.D. Church of Agia Dynami. Contemporary luxury creates a wonderful contrast to ancient Acropolis views. Highlights include a rooftop pool, indoor spa pool, wellness center, and excellent dining . A wide variety of rooms and suites feature marble bathrooms with walk-in showers or shower/bathtub combos; many offer private balconies or Acropolis views. Fantastic location just two blocks from Syntagma Square and a short walk to the National Historical Museum and the Plaka and Monastiraki neighborhoods.

11. A77 Suites – Plaka

A suite at A77 in Plaka, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21032 50309
All-suite, luxury, small hotel in the heart of Plaka. Set in a 19th-century neoclassical building, its 12 suites are all tastefully decorated and boast marble bathrooms with double vanities; a free, fully-stocked minibar (replenished daily); and a dream-themed nightly turndown service. Breakfast is included in the rates, and in-room dining is available until 11 pm (drinks until midnight). Fun perks and experiences include cycling to a nearby picnic spot, bespoke walking or driving tours, and an in-room fashion service, with clothing from their curated boutique. Ideal location surrounded by restaurants, shops, and just steps from the northern side of the Acropolis.

12. The Margi – Athens Riviera

Pool and sea view from The Margi hotel in the Athens Riviera
Timelessly chic boutique hotel with a pool and spa just a few steps from the beach. A second, heated pool is tucked away in a zen-like spa. Onsite restaurants and the poolside bar serve Greek and Mediterranean cuisine using ingredients sourced from their own organic farm (tours and activities at the farm are also on offer). All rooms, suites, and the villa include private balconies or terraces and 24-hour room service. Beautifully situated a few meters from Vouliagmeni and Astir Beaches, within a five-minute walk of gourmet and casual restaurants, about a 20-minute walk to the thermal springs at Lake Vouliagmeni.

13. St George Lycabettus – Kolonaki

Exterior of St George Lycabettus hotel in Kolonaki, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21074 16000
Comfortably elegant five-star hotel at the foot of Mt Lycabettus with incredible views over Athens and the Acropolis. If you don’t spring for a view room (you really should), you can enjoy the panorama from the rooftop restaurant and swimming pool. Families may take advantage of the kids’ playroom and cartoon screenings in the hotel’s theater on Saturdays and Sundays.

14. Shila – Akadimia

In the reception of Shila hotel in Akadimia, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21036 37800
Romantic, all-suite boutique hotel with a roof garden and library lounge. Each of its six atmospheric, art-filled suites blends bohemian style with contemporary comforts: Deco-era wooden furnishings, vintage fabrics, and antiques plus iPads, Bluetooth speakers, and smart TVs. Two suites come with private garden patios, while four have private balconies. The spacious balcony suites accommodate up to four guests with lounge areas that can convert into a second bedroom. Breakfast is included and served directly to each suite. Situated one a pedestrian-only street, just a short walk to the Benaki Museum, hiking on Mt Lycabettus, and high-end shopping and dining in Kolonaki.

15. Coco-Mat Hotel – Kolonaki

Exterior of Coco-Mat Hotel in Makriyanni, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21072 30000
A perfect night’s sleep is certain here. Owned by the renowned Greek mattress company, Coco-Mat’s rooms and suites all come with their signature sleep system: two layers of handmade mattresses; two layers of mattress toppers; and natural, sustainably-sourced linens, duvets, and pillows – all customizable to suit each guest’s preferences. Facilities and amenities include a rooftop bar with amazing views, an all-day restaurant, honesty bar, herb garden, and complimentary wooden bicycles. A great value hotel in a classy, cafe-filled neighborhood. Near many restaurants and shops, with major museums, Plaka, and Acropolis all within a 25-minute walk.

16. Mosieur Didot – Akadimia

Exterior of Monsieur Didot hotel in Akadimia, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21036 37625
Infinitely charming boutique hotel with six rooms and suites set in a late neoclassical mansion. Accommodations are individually designed, each with a unique perk: one with a private marble balcony, one with a sunny private veranda, and one with a hidden door inside a bookcase, and more. All feature rainfall showers, a terrace sitting area, and complimentary in-room breakfast, and all but one have king-size beds. Located on a quiet street in Akadimia at the base of Mt Lycabettus, bordering upscale Kolonaki and artsy Exarcheia. Walking distance to all major attractions.

17. Ivis 4 Boutique Hotel – Psirri

Garden patio at Ivis 4 Boutique Hotel in Psirri, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21032 13340
Contemporary boutique hotel with a with an all-day Greek restaurant and bar, a garden patio, and vibrant graffiti murals. All rooms and suites have private balconies with garden or city views and walk-in rain showers, many with sofa beds and space for up to four guests. The smallest room, the Acropolis Terrace Suite, more than makes up for its size with its large private terrace and sweeping views over the city toward the Acropolis and Mt Lycabettus. The restaurant is outstanding, with an especially nice breakfast and brunch service, signature cocktails, and patio seating surrounded by lush greenery. Excellent location in Psirri, near shopping on Ermou Street, the Temple of Hephastus, and the Ancient Agora.

18. The Gem Society Boutique Hotel – City Center

The all-day cafe at the Gem Society Hotel in City Center, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21022 07777
Trendy boutique hotel with a playful vibe, full-service spa, and Mediterranean restaurant. Set in a neoclassical building (formerly a bank) with vault doors, an Art Deco staircase, jewel-tone palette, and brass and marble accents. Accommodations run the gamut from efficiently cozy double rooms to airy suites with soaking tubs, private terraces, and space for six guests. Muse Bistro is a highlight of the hotel, offering complimentary a la carte breakfast, farm-to-fork all-day dining, and signature cocktails. The spa boasts a hammam, jacuzzi, and couples’ treatment room. Excellent City Center location near the Athens Central Market, National Historical Museum, and myriad dining and nightlife spots.

19. Academias Hotel – Akadimia

Exterior of Academias Hotel in Akadimia, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21036 70000
Urban luxury hotel with a wellness center and rooftop gastrobar. Academias features sophisticated design in its rooms and suites, all with marble bathrooms, Illy espresso makers, and king-sized mattresses (Executive Room beds can be split into twin-size beds). Facilities include a 24-hour gym, posh day spa, and an indoor, heated pool. NYX Rooftop serves an Asian-fusion menu with wine and sake cocktails, while Symposium Restaurant offers a Greek and international breakfast spread. Plato Lounge Bar in the lobby offers a casual menu of light fare all day and an emphasis on gin-based drinks. Chic location near the landmark Academy of Athens, the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology, and the Old Parliament.

20. Mona – Psirri

The lobby and glass staircase at Mona hotel in Psirri, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21032 45804
Luxurious yet unrefined, Mona is an art-focused boutique hotel with plenty of character. Set in a 1950s factory and designed with respect to the original artchiteure, rooms and loft suites feature industrial pipes and raw walls with decades of layered paint paired with velvet drapes, sheer cotton curtains, freestanding soaking tubs, and indulgent bedding. Top-tier suites add kitchenettes and private terraces. Room 16 includes an emperor-size bed; others are queen or king-size. Breakfast is complimentary and served daily in the Living Room until 1 pm. Cocktails, wine, and pop-up music parties are held throughout the summer on the Rooftop, while the Underground speakeasy space hosts DJ, art, wine, and food events. Hip location in Psirri next to Bad Tooth bar and music venue and just a few meters to Monastiraki Flea Market and Hadrian’s Library.

21. Gatsby Hotel – City Center

Exterior of Gatsby Hotel in City Center, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21032 16001
Flirty, playful, and provocative, Gatsby is an upscale boutique hotel in a revitalized Art Deco building. Rooms and suites all come with a juliet balcony or terrace, an after-sex room service menu, and a “dare” button which summons a surprise delivery straight to your door. Cool Corner Suites add soaking tubs in the bedrooms, while the Gatsby Party Suite boasts an outdoor jacuzzi and private cinema. Mediterranean comfort food is served all day in their leafy green restaurant; breakfast is always included. A warm, jazz-era-inspired bar serves signature cocktails throughout the day, while the rooftop lounge offers Acropolis views and a fireplace in winter. Great location near the National Historical Museum at the Old Parliament and just a short walk to Syntagma Square.

22. Grand Resort Lagonissi – Athens Riviera

The main beach club at Grand Resort Lagonissi in the Athens Riviera
Lavish resort spread over sixteen sandy beaches with a pool, spa, water sports center, and outdoor cinema. Most rooms include a private garden, outdoor jacuzzi, or heated pool; top-tier rooms add private gyms. Family-friendly perks include babysitting service, kids menus in the restaurants, and a kids’ club for ages four to twelve years old. A rich buffet breakfast is always included in the rate; opt for the “dine around” package to add a set lunch or dinner daily. The resorts seven restaurants offer a range of fine and casual options including Greek, Italian, and Nikkei menus – in house, on the beach, or under the stars.

23. Electra Palace Hotel – Plaka

The rooftop pool at Electra Palace in Plaka, Athens
Hotel Phone: +30 21033 70000
Sophisticated, four-star property with a wellness center, courtyard garden, year-round indoor pool, and seasonal outdoor pool with bar service. The Roof Garden restaurant offers upscale Mediterranean fusion fare, while the lobby bar serves light bites and cocktails. Rooms feature marble bathrooms, many with private patios or balconies, and some with sofabeds to sleep a third guest. Beautiful grounds in a great location with shops and restaurants only steps away.

24. Moon & Stars Boutique Hotel – Thisieo

A suite at Moon and Stars Boutique Hotel in Thisieo, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21141 20329
Polished boutique hotel built in a Deco-era toymaker’s workshop with a private roof terrace with views toward the forested side of the Acropolis and Nymphs Hill. All five rooms and suites include rain showers, coffee and tea facilities, and complimentary breakfast; one has a private balcony and another has direct access to the rooftop. Private tours for two are on offer using the hotel’s vintage Fiat 500. Located on the edge of Thisieo and Psirri, less than five minutes on foot to the Ancient Agora, Temple of Hephaestus, the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art, and the Archaeological Site of Kerameikos.

25. The Foundry Suites – Psirri

Exterior of The Foundry Suites in Psirri, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21118 24604
Hip boutique hotel set in a former type foundry and print shop. Each of the twelve spacious suites and lofts is individually designed in a refined, industrial style with mid-century modern furnishings. All feature Coco-Mat beds, turntables, high ceilings, and hardwood floors – most with full kitchens, one with a private terrace and Acropolis view. What you will not find here is a TV. The Roof Garden offers a casual green space to unwind with Acropolis and city views, plus a seasonal bar serving cocktails and pizza; a wine cellar features small-batch Greek wines and beers from local microbreweries. Situated in vibrant Psirri, near the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art and the Ancient Agora.

26. Athenaeum InterContinental – Koukaki

Lobby of the Athenaeum InterContinental in Koukaki, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21092 06000
Rooms are huge and some have amazing views of the Acropolis. The swimming pool is great. The hotel is located a 20 minute walk from Plaka and a free shuttle bus runs guests to the main tourist spots every 30 minutes. There’s also a tram and metro station nearby to take you to Syntagma Square. If location is of prime importance then this might not be your place, but the hotel itself is a great choice.

27. Grecotel Pallas Athena – Omonia

Exterior of Grecotel Pallas Athena in Omonia Square, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21032 50900
Family-friendly, 4-star hotel with a play area and connecting rooms. Rooms, suites, and lofts all feature bespoke decor, either one-of-a-kind graffiti murals or elegant, minimalist style. Dining is excellent at their Greek-Mediterranean restaurant with an especially wonderful hot and cold breakfast buffet. Located near Kotzia Square, just a 3-minute walk to the Central Market and less than a 10-minute walk to Plaka and shopping at Ermou Street and the Monastiraki Flea Market.

28. The Alex Monte Kastella – Piraeus

View from the rooftop restaurant at The Alex hotel in Piraeus
The best hotel in Piraeus. The Alex is an upscale boutique hotel in the hilltop Kastella neighborhood. The rooftop restaurant, Nest, is a gem, serving a refined version of Greek comfort food with a seasonal menu and their own wine label. Rooms are pet-friendly and all feature a rainfall shower; some add balconies or sofa beds for a third guest. Breakfast is always included in the room rate, as well as unlimited coffee and juice in the Lobby Bar all day. Half-board is optional. Just a short walk to restaurants and cafes at Mikrolimano marina and the basketball stadium, and less than a 10-minute drive to the ferry port.

29. Vincci EverEden – Athens Riviera

The private beach at Vincci EverEden Resort in the Athens Riviera
Luxury hillside resort above a private beach with two outdoor pools, a spa with a heated pool, and a water sports center with scuba diving. All rooms and suites have balconies or terraces, some add private outdoor pools or jacuzzis, and residences add kitchenettes. The resort offers complimentary use of the hammam and sauna in the spa, as well as free fitness classes daily in their 24-hour gym. Kid-centric amenities include a playground, a floating water park in the sea, a kids pool, and lifeguards at all pools and the beach. Choose between the bed and breakfast or half-board packages. The resort sits at the quieter south end of the Athens Riviera. Renting a car will make a stay here more convenient.

30. Perianth Hotel – City Center

The all-day restaurant at Perianth Hotel in City Center, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21032 16660
Luxury boutique hotel with a wellness center and Italian restaurant. This design-forward hotel features an Art Deco exterior and an interior filled with contemporary Greek art. Rooms and suites all have balconies and king-sized beds, some with views of the Acropolis. The Penthouse Suite boasts a private rooftop jacuzzi and pool. Excellent location in the City Center, just a short walk to the train station, several excellent bars and restaurants, and shopping on Ermou Street.

31. O&B Athens Boutique Hotel – Psirri

A room at the O and B Boutique Hotel in Psirri, Athens
Hotel phone: +30 21033 12940
Welcoming boutique hotel with great Acropolis views and an excellent buffet breakfast. Rooms and suites tend toward the cozy side, though the Grand Superior Family Room and the Grand Acropolis View Luxury Suite offer plenty of space for up to four guests. Just a one-minute walk from Thiseio Metro Station, ten minutes from the Acropolis, and two minutes from the Monastiraki Flea Market.

Plaka Hotels

Sellei Street in Plaka, Athens

Almost sunset in front of a Neoclassical building on Sellei Street in Plaka.

My favorite neighborhood in Athens. Yes, it’s very touristy but it also has a lively and friendly vibe. It’s a pedestrian-friendly warren of ancient streets nestled at the base of the Acropolis (the one must-see attraction in Athens). Plaka is filled with restaurants, tourist shops, and hotels. Sites include the Tower of the Winds, Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens, Hadrian’s Arch, the Jewish Museum of Greece, and the Museum of Greek Folk Art.

The Best Hotels in Plaka

Monastiraki Hotels

Panagia Pantanassa church in Monastiraki, Athens

The Church of Panagia Pantanassa is the little monastery that gives the Monastiraki neighborhood its name.

Neighboring Plaka and having a similar feel, Monastiraki is also a great area to stay with many places to eat and shop. The neighborhood is a little less touristy and has more antique, arts, crafts, and clothing shops than Plaka. Sites here include the Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, Stoa of Attalos, Hadrian’s Library, and the Museum of Greek Popular Musical Instruments. It’s also home to a large Flea Market every Sunday morning. The area is served by the Monastiraki station (lines 1 and 3). Line 1 is a direct route to Piraeus Ferry Port and line 3 heads directly to the Athens International Airport, making Monastiraki a good choice if you have an early ferry or plane to catch.

The Best Hotels in Monastiraki

Syntagma Hotels

The Curch of the Holy Trinity Soteira Lykodimou in Syntagma, Athens

The 11th-century Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity Soteira Lykodimou, restored in the mid-19th century, south of Syntagma Square.

The business and tourist hub of Athens. In Syntagma you’ll find 5-star hotels, restaurants, shopping, banks, airline offices, and the Greek Parliament buildings. The National Historical Museum is located in the old Parliament building on Stadiou street and the National Garden offers a cool and shady retreat from the sweltering Athens’ summers.

The Best Hotels in Syntagma

Psirri Hotels

Colorful clothes hanging over a street in Psirri, Athens

Colorful Navarchou Apostoli Street in the quirky Psirri neighborhood.

A diamond in the rough, Psirri is the neighborhood for hip bars, live music, and local authentic dining. This recently revitalized area is popular with locals and travelers alike with its artisan workshops and eclectic style.

The Best Hotels in Psirri

Makriyanni Hotels

View over Makriyanni seen from the Acropolis of Athens

View over Makriyanni toward the sea, as seen from the Acropolis near sunset.

Swanky little neighborhood on the south side of the Acropolis, home to the Acropolis Museum. Neoclassical mansions, artisan shops, rooftop restaurants, and sidewalk cafés abound. The wide pedestrian street, Dionysiou Areopagitou, forms its northern border and runs from Filopappou Hill in the west all the way to Zeus’ Temple in the east.

The Best Hotels in Makriyanni

City Center Hotels

The Old Parliament building in the City Center of Athens

The Old Parliament building is now home to the National Historical Museum.

Energetic and cosmopolitan, the City Center is always abuzz with creative dining, street food, boutiques, galleries, and cocktail bars along Kolokotrini Street and Agia Irini Square. The main attractions here are the Central Market and the National Historical Museum set in the Old Parliament building, now a museum.

The Best Hotels in the City Center

Kolonaki Hotels

View over Kolonaki toward the Acropolis in Athens

View over Kolonaki toward the Acropolis, as seen from Mt Lycabettus.

A residential neighborhood northwest of Syntagma Square that’s filled with upscale shops, restaurants, boutique hotels, and cafes. Sites include the Benaki Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, and National War Museum. It’s walking distance from here to Plaka and the Acropolis.

The Best Hotels in Kolonaki

Thiseio Hotels

Agia Marina Church and the National Observatory on Nymphs Hill in Thiseio, Athens

The National Observatory and Agia Marina Church sit on Nymphs Hill in the Thiseio neighborhood

A green oasis in the city, the Thiseio neighborhood sits on the northern slope of lush Filopappou Hill with views of the Acropolis rising from the foliage below (most other areas show the Acropolis from a rockier angle). Here you’ll find National Observatory of Athens, the oldest research center in Greece (both pictured above). Formerly a working-class neighborhood, now popular spot for weekend brunches, nature walks, and sunset vistas from its numerous hillsides.

The Best Hotels in Thiseio

Koukaki Hotels

The Koukaki neighborhood and the Filopappou Monument in Athens, Greece

The Koukaki neighborhood at the base of Filoppapou Hill.

Like Plaka and Monastiraki, the Koukaki area sits at the base of the Acropolis and looks up at the Parthenon. It’s an easy walk from here to Plaka and Syntagma, but the area has a more local, less touristy feel. There are many restaurants and cafes on the streets and squares around the neighborhood.

The Best Hotels in Koukaki

Akadimia Hotels

Luxury shopping in Voukourestiou Street in Akadimia, Athens

Luxury shopping on the pedestrian-only Voukourestiou Street.

A quiet neighborhood just a short walk to Athens’ most popular attractions. Akadimia is home to the Athenian Trilogy: a complex of three Neoclassical buildings – the Academy of Athens, the University of Athens, and the National Library (AKA Vallianeio Megaron) – commissioned after Greece won its independence. Luxury shopping can be found on stylish Voukourestiou street (above), which continues into the Kolonaki area.

The Best Hotels in Akadimia

Athens Riviera Hotels

Astir Beach on the Athens Riviera

View from the north end of Astir Beach in Vouliagmeni on the Athens Riviera.

Offering the best of both worlds – sunny beach resorts plus reasonable accessibility to the Acropolis – the Athens Riviera is a long stretch of Blue Flag beaches and glitzy marinas south of the city. Attractions here include the natural thermal waters at Lake Vouliagmeni and the ancient Temple of Poseidon perched above Cape Sounio. Beach clubs, nightclubs, shopping, and dining are all on offer here.

The Best Hotels on the Athens Riviera

Piraeus Hotels (Ferry Port)

Hotel near Piraeus ferry port in Athens.

The view of the Piraeus ferry port from a balcony at The Port Square Hotel.

The port city south of Athens where the ferries arrive and depart for the islands. There’s not much here for tourists besides the ferries, but if you need to catch an early ferry staying here is an attractive option (but I would still recommend staying in the city of Athens). In high season there are always tourists milling about the area near the port and the metro station, so you need not fear an early morning departure or a late-night arrival. It’s about 30 minutes by metro (on line 1) from downtown Athens to the port. From the airport to the port, it takes about an hour on the metro (line 3). The Port Square is the best hotel at the ferry port, right across the footbridge to the port and next to the train station with routes to central Athens and the airport. The Alex is the best luxury hotel in Piraeus, set on a hilltop overlooking the natural harbor of Mikrolimano, about two km from the ferries.

Recommended Hotels in Piraeus

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About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Santorini Dave was started in 2011 by a guy who loves Greece and Europe, travel and great hotels. We're now a small team of writers and researchers dedicated to providing the best travel content on the internet. We focus on Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Greece, offering recommendations for top hotels, neighborhoods, and family-friendly hotels worldwide. Dave can be contacted at

  1. Which Hotel?

    Hi Dave, Thank you very much for creating this site – its a treasure trove of great info in preparing a trip to Greece.

    Based upon your recommendations we are staying 5 nights at Astra Suites in Santorini. Hotel is making us change rooms mid-stay and were thinking of changing to a different hotel but everything about the hotel / location seems like it’s going to be great. Thanks for leading us there.

    Then we are ferrying to Mykonos for a 3 night stay, we have booked both Semeli and Belvedere and having a hard time choosing.

    Next we are spending 2 nights and one full day in Athens. AVA Hotel and Xenodocheio Milos booked for one night – don’t know which to choose and then staying at Sofitel the second night to catch a very early morning flight not knowing the traffic situation.

    Which would you choose? We are two adults no kids.

    Thanks again!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      These are all great hotels. You’ve chosen well and can’t go wrong. I like flipping a coin when I can’t decide. You’re about to have a completely different set of experiences based on a coin flip. Have fun!

  2. Athens Grand Hyatt Hotel

    Hi Dave, we are staying at the Grand Hyatt in Athens next year and we are curious about the location. We don’t mind walking at all and plan to go shopping and to the Acropolis. The hotel has great reviews, but looking to get your thoughts on the location? Are the streets to Syntagma square and the Acropolis walking-friendly? Sidewalks? Safe? Thank you!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It’s about a 20-minute walk from the Grand Hyatt to the Acropolis Museum – then a bit more to the Acropolis, Plaka, and Syntagma. There are good-quality sidewalks the entire way but it is a busy road and I wouldn’t call it a pleasant walk. There are few sites and plenty of noise and traffic. After a few blocks it’s best to cut over a block or two to the west and then walk the neighborhood streets to get to the Plaka.

  3. Athens Boutique Hotel

    I had a friend who stayed at the Ergon House and loved it. Any thoughts on it?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Great for foodies. Good central location.

  4. Staying in Central Athens


    I will be staying in Athens the first week of June. Hotels are starting to become limited even now (5 months in advance) but I do have a reservation at the Elia Ermou hotel. Do you have any information or comments on this hotel/area?

    Thank you.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Good value hotel with convenient central location – an easy walk to two metro stations, the Plaka, the Acropolis, and lots of restaurants. Not a “pretty” area but perfectly safe and fine.

  5. Electra Palace Hotel in Athens

    Hi Dave,
    Great site! Some reviews of the Electra Palace Athens hotel indicate that it is tired and worn. Your opinion? Thanks!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I just stayed there in the fall and thought it was still very nice. The location is great. Could it use an update? Yeah, probably – especially the breakfast area. But tired and worn? No, I wouldn’t say that. The Grande Bretagne remains my favorite place to stay in Athens.

  6. Staying at NJV Athens

    Dear Dave

    Thank you for the awesome site…and would like to get your advice on below

    1) I’ll be staying in NJV Athens Plaza in October. What’s your comment on this hotel?
    2) Are there any good restaurants close to NJV that you recommended.
    3) Is it acceptable for ourselves to go & visit all the famous place in Athens instead of joining a Private Athens Tour.
    4) If a private tour is needed, 4hrs is enough?

    FYI), I’ll be staying in Athens for 3 nights, but only have 2 full days. Any suggestions that I must do during those 2 full days. Thank you.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      1. Very nice hotel in good central location.
      2. Yes, many good restaurants close to hotel. Walk to the west on Perikleous or Kolokotroni streets. Lots of good places in that area. Also, the rooftop restaurant at the Grande Bretagne (next door to the NJV) is excellent.
      3. You’ll see and learn more on a private tour.
      4. 4 to 6 hour tours are a good length.

  7. Electra Metropolis, Electra Palace or Athens Gate

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks so much for offering such a good site with wonderful inforamtion.

    My fiance and I will be spending 3 nights in Athens at the end of our honeymoon in early-to-mid September and have narrowed our hotel down to Athens Gate, Electra Palace or Electra Metropolis.

    Which one would you recommend for us? First day when we get there we’ll probably just roam around the shops / walk around Plaka. 2nd day we are actually taking a day trip out to Pavlia to visit where my ancestors were from. 3rd day we will take either a half or full day private tour of Athens (would you recommend full day?).

    1) Athens Gate – least expensive and would have 6th floor room facing Acropolis (good view?) to avoid the noise on the other side.
    2) Electra Palace – has a pool, good location as well, but no room views.
    3) Electra Metropolis – I don’t know as much about this one.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      They’re all nice hotels. Electra Metropolis is very new and fully refurbished which is nice. Athens Gate is a little closer to the Acropolis Museum and the Acropolis but all have good central locations. Electra Palace is on the quietest street. The Metropolis and Palace are an easy walk from the Monastiraki station (and direct trains to the ferry port). Athens Gate is a little farther and maybe too far with luggage.

  8. Itinerary for Athens and Greek Islands

    Hi Dave

    Hi Dave
    Thank you for the recommendations and detailed information provided. My partner and I will be in visiting Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos from 23 August to 1 September and would like your thoughts on the following:
    1. Athens – We booked at the Central Athens Hotel (23-25 August). How is the hotel in terms of location, cleanliness, and safety?
    2. Santorini – We take a ferry from Athens to Santorini. We stay in Santorini for 2 nights at Villa Maria Dimagou. Are two nights sufficient for Santorini? We reach Santorini in the afternoon on 25 August and depart for Mykonos on 27 August.
    3. Mykonos – reach 27 August (not sure of ferry times yet). What would be a good location and hotel to stay at in Mykonos?
    4. Should we stay here for the full 4 nights (27 – 31 August) or stay on another island such as Paros or Crete?
    5. What is the best mode of transport to return to Athens from Mykonos – ferry or plane? If plane which one?
    Thank you in advance for your help.
    Kind regards

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      1. Nice hotel, central location.
      2. No, two nights is not enough.
      3. Mykonos Town is my favorite place to stay, but some people prefer the beaches (Ornos and Platys Gialos are the best).
      4. I would add 2 nights to Santorini and stay 2 nights in Mykonos.
      5. Ferry is easiest, but if you’re flying straight out of Athens then might as well fly from Mykonos.

  9. InnAthens Hotel

    Hey Dave. What are your thoughts on InnAthens hotel? Cheers!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I love the wine bar that is right at the front entrance (and the courtyard). It’s almost reason enough to stay here. It’s a trendy boutique hotel. Great location. The streets immediately around it are busy and not idyllic but the Plaka and National Gardens are a short walk in two different directions.

  10. Met34 Hotel

    Any thoughts on the Met34 hotel in Athens?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Brand new and great location in the Plaka/Syntagma area. I will be visiting it in about a month but haven’t stayed there yet. Looks nice though.

  11. 3 Days in Athens

    Hi Dave.
    What am amazing website. So comprehensive and complete! One of the best and practical sites.
    Need your guidance on the following:
    1) We are staying in Athens (Kiniskas, Athina) from 29th May morning to 1st June morning (we take the early morning blue star ferry to Santorini as per your recommendation on 1st morning). Are we staying too long in Athens?
    2) If yes, do you suggest any specific day trips – as I am assuming we will finish seeing the Acropolis and Plaka area in one day. Even if we explore Monastiraki, it will still give us one and a half days to try something else.
    What do you advise?

    Thank you so much for all your inputs.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Athens has a lot to see if you’re interested in more than the top sights. So it’s certainly easy to fill 3 days in Athens with interesting things to do. That said, you’re right – you can get through the most popular attractions in a day or two. My favorite day trip from Athens is the small charming city of Nafplio in the Peloponnese.

  12. Honeymoon in Athens and Greek Islands

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks so much for all the wonderful information! My fiance and I are planning our honeymoon to Greece August 28 – September 5th. We will be flying in to Mykonos, staying for 3 nights, ferry to Santorini for 4 nights, and then either ferry or flight to Athens for 1 night prior to a flight home at 11:30am on 9/5. A few questions for you

    1. Should I book ferry tickets now for Mykonos-Santorini or should they be available closer to the dates of our trip?
    2. Do you suggest flying from Santorini to Athens or taking a ferry? We will only be in Athens for the day. Is it best to take an early flight or early ferry to have most of the day to tour Athens?
    3. I was looking at A for Athens for accommodations for the night – is this a reasonable hotel to stay in for easy access once we arrive in Athens and easy access to the airport?

    Thank you for your help!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Don’t have to book ferry tickets now (flights and hotel are much more important to get confirmed). Booking ferry tickets 2 to 4 weeks in advance is fine (unless there is one specific ferry that you must be on, the book earlier). Santorini to Athens can be a long ferry ride. I still prefer it over the hassle of flying but if time is precious then flying is best. A For Athens has a great central location for sightseeing, ferry port access (by train), and airport access (by train in opposite direction).

  13. Itinerary for Athens and Greek Islands

    Hi. Dave. Love reading your blog.
    I’m planning to visit Greece in May. I intend to visit the following cities. Appreciates you advise if the following travel plan is possible.
    a. Upon arrival in Athens, city tour. Stay 1 night in Athens. The next day, fly from Athens to Kalambaka on afternoon flight, stay 1 night in Kalambaka
    b. Fly from Kalambaka to Zante on evening flight, stay 2 nights in Zante
    c. Fly from Zante to Athens on morning flight, then
    d. Take an afternoon ferry from Athens to Mykonos, stay 1/2 night (please recommend no of night)
    e. Take an afternoon ferry from Mykonos to Santorini, stay 2 nights
    f. Fly from Santorini to Athens, stay 1 night then fly home.
    Please recommend. Thank you very much.
    Best regards.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Possible? Yes. Recommended? Not really. That time getting to and from Zante would be much better used visiting islands close to Mykonos and Santorini (or just spending more time on Mykonos and Santorini).

  14. Itinerary for Athens and Greece

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you for all the Info you give us..This is so helpful..Me and my husband are travelling to Greece between May 1st to 10th. We are travelling from India and is a 12 hour flight with transits. We should reach Athens by 2pm in the afternoon.

    This how we have roughly planned :
    a) Athens – 1st afternoon – 3rd morning.
    *Post breakfast we are catching our flight to Santorini
    b) Santorini – 3rd – 6th afternoon
    c) Mykonos – 6th evening/night – 10th morning

    Does this itinerary sound right to you?

    Also if we are just in Athens for the 1st evening and the whole of 2nd – where should we stay? We would like to keep within budget in Athens and not splurge much on stay,but do want to opt for a good cosy and neat place. Where would you suggest? Also what is the best way to ensure we get a glimpse of the Athens highlights and get a hold on their specialty local eateries in this time span? How should we chalk out a plan?

    Thank you so much for all your help in advance.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Plaka Hotel and Adrian Hotel are two good moderately priced hotels with central locations in Athens for sightseeing. Otherwise your itinerary looks good.

  15. Electra Palace Hotel and Ava Hotel

    Hi Dave,

    Your blog is wonderful! Thank you for all the hard work you put into it. My boyfriend and I are going to Greece in June to celebrate his birthday. I am having a hard time deciding between Electra Palace Hotel and Ava Hotel in Athens. Both have excellent reviews with great views of the Acropolis. Could you help me choose between the two? I am looking for an elegant and romantic experience. Christina

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Both are wonderful hotels and very central. Electra has the beautiful rooftop pool and is a little closer to the metro station at Syntagma. Ava is on a more charming street (with more foot traffic) and right in the thick of the fun Plaka scene. (The two hotels are a 5 minute walk from each other so the differences in location are subtle.)

  16. Hotel Locations in Athens

    Hi Dave,
    Thank you for the useful information you provide. I wish I knew about this before. Anyways can you please let me know what do you think about 18 Micon street in Athens, location wise. The price is very good and the hotel is new but was not sure if it in a good location? also The Athens Status Suites in Plaka? Thanks a million.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      18 Micon is in a trendy but scruffy area (if that makes any sense). It’s generally safe but doesn’t always look or feel safe. It’s about a 3 minute walk to Monastiraki metro stop where there are lots of tourists (and direct trains to both the ferry port and airport). Athens Status Suites is more in the thick of the touristy area (and a 3 minute walk from the Monastiraki station in the opposite direction).

  17. Hotels in Athens and Santorini

    Hello Dave!
    Thank you so much for all of the wonderful information on your website. My husband and I will be celebrating our 15th anniversary in Athens and Santorini. We are staying at Onar Villas in Oia and in Athens, I am looking at Sweet Home Hotel. What are your thoughts on these two hotels?
    Sherill Mascia

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I just stayed at Onar yesterday (for 3 nights) and loved it. Great place with wonderful views. Very friendly owners. The only thing I might improve is the breakfast – which is fine but not fantastic. Sweet Home Hotel in Athens is very nice with a great central location a short walk to good restaurants and many of the top historical sites (including the Acropolis).

  18. Where to Stay for One Night in Athens before Flight

    We are taking the Blue Star from Santorini to Piraeus and arrive, as you know, late in the evening. We have a flight the next morning to Rome at 6 am. We are traveling with our two children/teenagers. Should we go straight to a hotel at the airport or stay in Piraeus for the night and then go very very early in the morning to the airport? Recommendations for hotels in whichever place you recommend would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I would go straight to the Athens Airport Sofitel and stay there. They have a nice pool too.

  19. Athens and Greek Islands

    Hi Dave,
    Came across your website and found it very interesting and helpful. Would really love to get your feedback on few things.
    1) Any suggestion on Hotel Melia in Athens?
    2) Is it advisable to take a day trip to Paros/Naxos from Mikonos or should we stop at those two islands when we go from Mikonos to Santorini? Our only concern was we are 8 people (2 families) and were concerned about carrying all that luggage from Mikonos to Paros to Naxos to Santorini.
    Dennis M.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hotel Melia is a nice 4 star hotel in a not-great area. It’s near Omonia Square which is rundown and a little seedy. On the good side it’s convenient for the metro, hop on/hop off bus, and an easy 10 minute walk to the Plaka.

      In regards to visiting Paros and Naxos, I would definitely stay the night and not do day trips. Yes, it’s a bit of a pain packing up your bags but not nearly as draining as retracing your steps and wasting precious time on board a ferry.

  20. Emporikon Hotel in Athens

    Hey Santorini Dave!

    How do you feel about Emporikon Athens Hotel? I was wanting to stay somewhere interesting and maybe more historic.

    Love your website, its so amazing! Thank you for all the information!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Nice hotel. The street it’s on is on the ugly side and can seem unsafe, but in reality it’s fine and just a few minutes to the most popular touristy spots.

  21. Connecting Flights in Athens

    The Best website EVER!!!!
    My Air France Flight lands in Athens at 13:50. Assuming the plane in on time, do yo think I can get my luggage and catch a 17:00 Flight to Chania on Aegean Airlines? Assuming the Air France flight is on time that gives me 3 hours to get my luggage and check-in with Aethean Airlines & get through security. Do you believe this is reasonable??


    Steve Famoso

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      That’s plenty of time (as long as your Air France flight is close to on-time).

  22. Getting To Athens Airport from Hotel

    Hi Dave,
    I took your suggestion and booked Myrto Hotel on April 3 however I ended up booking not the one close in Athens city center but one that is located in Mati near to Athens International Airport.

    It’s also good for I have a 7am flight via Ryan air going to Santorini the following day. Just want to ask for clear instructions on how to go to the hotel via bus and if it is doable to take the bus early am going to the airport. Thank you in advance.

    Janet Mariano

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hmmm, that’s why I left the link so that you booked the right hotel. Getting to and from that Myrto Hotel (the one in Mati) is not easy. It’s not really that close to the airport. You’ll need to take a KTEL bus from the airport to Rafina and then from there take a taxi. Same in the opposite direction. The airport to Rafina bus runs about every hour and departs between exits 2 and 3 opposite the Sofitel Hotel. For a 7am flight you’ll need to be up about 3am to be sure you make it. If you reserved your hotel with, which usually allows free cancelation, I would highly recommend canceling this reservation and booking something more convenient (in the Plaka or close to the airport).

  23. Metropolitan Hotel in Athens

    Hello Dave,
    We are 2 adults planning our first visit to Athens in May.
    Travelling light and want to take it easy.
    General sightseeing and want to enjoy the local ambiance!
    Have been recommended the Metropolitan Hotel.
    Can you comment on this hotel?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Located far from the city center and the top sights of Athens. Not much within walking distance. I would not recommend staying here unless you’re in hiding from law enforcement.

  24. Hotel Achilleas

    Hi Dave,

    I hope that it’s ok to ask your thoughts on another hotel?

    I have been looking at Achilleas Hotel on Lekka 21, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the location – we are wanting to see the main sites in Athens, preferably by walking.

    Thank you, Sharon C

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It’s a good cheap hotel. Very central location and an easy walk to the main sites (e.g. Plaka and Acropolis). It’s in the zone between the safe/touristy area and the sketchy-looking but still safe area north of Perikleous street. So, if you were to turn left out of the hotel you’d soon find yourself in an ugly/seedy but ultimately safe area. If you turn right out of the hotel you’ll be in a busy pedestrian area that (besides a few pickpockets) feels very safe. So, I’d say it’s perfectly fine as long as you’re not expecting a charming/romantic street/immediate area.

  25. Family Hotel with Good Location in Athens

    Hello Dave,

    I am really enjoying the information on your blog and your recommendations.

    I would love your thoughts on a few hotels that fit within our budget – Hermes Hotel, Astor Hotel, Crowne Plaza, Best Western Amazon, or the Concierge Athens II. We are a family of 4 (2 adults & children 12 & 10) we are looking for a central, safe location close to the sites or metro access that is in a nicer part of Athens.

    I really appreciate your help, trying to decide and looking at street view maps is confusing me more.

    Thank you kindly, Sharon

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Crowne Plaza is a good distance from the main sightseeing areas – but the other 4 are all very central and an easy walk to the Acropolis and others sights. The Hermes has the best combination of quality and location.

  26. Public Holidays in Athens – What's Open?

    Hi Dave – great website and info thank you – we are booking Electra Palace on your recommendation for the weekend of 25-27 February – the Monday is a public holiday in Greece so do you know if everything wlll be open as usual or do some of the attractions close?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      During a public holiday public transportation will be running though likely at a reduced schedule. Tourist shops, restaurants, and cafes will be open. Banks closed. Most (government-run) historical sites are closed on major holidays. The big holidays are January 1, March 25, April 12, May 1, December 25 and 26. So, you’ll be fine for your February visit.

  27. Hotel near Athens Airport

    Dave – your site has brought me so many great suggestions and I feel so confident about my trip now! I do have a one inquiry though…on my return, we spend one night in Athens…arriving from Santorini in the late evening and heading home from Athens very early the following morning. We are looking for a decent but not overly pricey hotel for just one night that is near the airport. Do you have a suggestion?

    Thank you!
    Kirsten Dahlhauser

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Athens Airport Sofitel is very nice (good pool too) and is just steps from the airport. It’s a 4 star hotel but rates are not that expensive. It’s definitely the best hotel near the Athens airport.

  28. Athens and Santorini in November

    Hello. My husband and I are planning a trip to Athens and Santorini in November, arriving on the 20yh and leaving on the 26th. We will be staying for 2.5 days in Athens first then take the ferry to Santorini to spend another 2.5 days there before flying out from Santorini to Athens then Athens going back home on the same day.

    My questions are:
    1. Is November still a good time to visit Greece?
    2. We are having difficulty booking a hotel in Oia maybe either because a lot of the hotels are closed this season or are just really fully booked. We found though Asteras Villas in Fira and it looks promising. Is this a good choice? We would like a nice hotel with a good view and is quite accessible to restaurants where we could spend my birthday comfortably. We checked out your top hotel suggestions in Oia and all have no availability on our travel dates. Would you have other suggestions?

    Thank you.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Athens and Santorini can be great in November as long as you’re not expecting sunny days at the beach. Weather can be anything from cool to warmish. Skies will most likely be clear but cloudy with some rain is definitely a possibility.

      For Santorini hotels, Asteras is a fine choice. Nice views and great location. If Oia is your preferred location good hotels there that appear to have availability in late November included Delfini Villas, Fanari Villas, and Armeni Luxury Villas.

  29. New Year's Party in Athens

    Hi Dave,

    Thumbs up for this wonderful website full of extremely useful info!

    I’m planning to go to Athens to celebrate New Year’s there along with by 2 friends (we’re 3 girls). The plan is to stay at Electra’s, but we still don’t know where to spend New Year’s Eve. I tried searching for a class A restaurant/bar in Athens, that would be perfect for such an eve, but I still can’t find anything. Any tips? What would you recommend for such a night? thanks a lot for your help.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      For something fun, slightly formal, and festive I’d go with the party at the Grande Bretagne (reservations a must). For something more easy-going (and last minute) I’d wander to the bars and cafes along Adrianou street – very lively and fun. Kuzina is the best restaurant on that strip and has a great rooftop area with wonderful views of the Acropolis (they have heaters if it’s cold out).

  30. Athens to Naxos

    Hi Dave, my husband, daughter and I will be arriving in Athens April 12 at around 1215 pm and will be travelling to other countries in Europe after Greece. I am planning to leave our 2 luggage in the airport upon arrival so we can go to Naxos (2 days) via plane or ferry then ferry to Santorini (3 days) then fly back to Athens for 4 days until we leave for Vienna. What time will the ferry be to Naxos on April 12 (not available on the website)?
    Will we have enough time to leave our luggage in the airport then go to the port to catch the ferry on the same day? or I am also thinking of taking the flight from Athens to Naxos, if available? Or should we stay overnight in Athens and take the ferry to Naxos the following day April 13 which will limit our time in Naxos (overnight only) so not too keen on this.

    When will the tickets for the ferries and planes be available on the website?

    Thank you for your help

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      In mid-April there probably won’t be a later ferry in the day going from Athens to Naxos. The only ferry will be the early morning Blue Star that leaves around 7 or 7:30am. So it’s either fly directly to Naxos from Athens or wait for the next morning’s ferry to Athens. (Or better yet, fly Athens to Santorini, as this is the longest leg, and you’ll save the most time by flying.)

  31. Luxury Hotels in Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini

    Hi Dave,

    I really have to Appreciate all the details that you have given for all the Places, They are the best for those cities/islands.

    I would love to have your Suggestions regarding my Greece trip that i’ve planned in August end with my wife, Pls let me know if the Hotel/Resort choice is right in Mykonos and Santorini.

    In Athens we will be staying for 2 nights in Grande Bretagne.

    In Mykonos we will be staying for 4 nights in Bill and Coo Suites and Lounge.

    In Santorini we will be staying for 3 nights in Cavo Tagoo.

    From Mykonos to Santorini we are going by Ferry, Athens to Mykonos and Santorini. Back to Athens we are taking Flight.

    Would love to hear back from you.

    Puneet Dalmia

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      All those hotels are wonderful. Bill and Coo in Mykonos is a little out of the way so plan on taking a few taxis while there. I just stayed at the Grande Bretagne a few weeks back and it still has a ton a charm that makes it the best hotel in Athens. Cato Tagoo in Santorini is brand new so everything will be new and shiny.

  32. Fly or Ferry from Athens to Santorini

    Hello Dave,

    First, I just want to say Thank you. Your website is first class! It has all the information and I have planned a trip to Athens and Santorini in October ‘16 with my wife and my 2 year old baby. I am planning 3 days in Athens and 4 days at Santorini. I’ve got all details on hotel details, thanks to your blog.

    Due to this short trip, I am not sure if I should take the ferry or flight to Santorini. Also I’ve read about its slow process and waiting times at Santorini airport, do you have any info on this? Specially as I am travelling with a baby.

    Thanks once again and keep blogging.

    Mathew Francis

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I much prefer taking the ferry. Yes it does take longer than flying but the ferries leave early and the fast ferry (the Helenic Seaways) gets you to Santorini in about 5 hours. It’s far more relaxing than dealing with airport security.

  33. Romantic Restaurant with View of Acropolis

    Hi Dave!

    Your website has helped me plan what I think will be an incredible honeymoon in Greece. Question for you. Our last night will be our only one in Athens – we’ll be coming from Paros, arriving via ferry around 3PM. We have a 10AM flight the next day, so really one evening. I’d love to see the Acropolis and have a nice view of the sunset that evening, potentially over dinner. We’re staying at the Intercontinental – do you have any recommendations for a restaurant or location to do this?

    Thank you!

    Chris Saxon

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Strofi has wonderful views of the Parthenon and great food. It’s on the quieter, less touristy side of the Acropolis (close to the Acropolis Museum if you wanted to squeeze that in) and about a 20 minute walk from the Intercontinental. Reservations recommended.

  34. Where To Go (Off the Beaten Track)

    Hello Dave!

    What a fantastic website you have! I have been researching Greece for over two weeks now and have posted on forums etc for advise but have come up with nothing to help me. (lots of insults however) There is a lot of valuable info here so thank you!
    Our plan is to go to Greece in July has gone from exciting to complicated. Where do you go? So much to choose from. Do you do the Cyclades or the off the beaten track? What an incredible country!

    I have two questions for you:

    1) Accommodation in Athens: I am not usually a hotel type of person, we are more adventurous and try to stay in more alternative, quirky places. We use AirBnB a lot and love the lovely apartments and interacting with the owners, reading their guide books, cooking in their kitchen on occasion. (love shopping at local markets) Its more personal and rewarding but I feel Athens might be different (not enough time, rushing, ferries to catch or tours to do) and I will be travelling with my 8 year old son and probably without an internet connection to start with so maybe a hotel will be more practical as they can help, call us taxi’s to the port and so on. Do you know of any quirky, hip, different hotels or boutique guesthouses that aren’t too expensive?

    2) We have no idea where to go and have learned of late that for two weeks its best to choose two islands close together and leave it at that, that anything else is impossible. How does one even begin to choose between say the Cyclades and the Sporades? We do prefer the less crowded and touristy areas (but impossible to find in July I know) and like culture, food, people, pretty towns, ports and beaches over ruins and history although we will spend a day or two visiting some of them as its sacrilege not to. We love nature and authentic experiences although Santorini looks like a must and understandably so. These are the ideas we had:

    1) Peloponnese and perhaps Kythera (do some exploring in this area, perhaps visit Kalmata)
    2) Hydra and Spetses
    3) Sifnos and Santorini
    4) Thessaloniki and Skopelos (5 days in Thessaloniki and a week in Skopelos)

    We have two weeks for the above and my son and I will have an extra 5 days on our own before joining my husband on the 11 th of July which is when the two weeks starts so we could do say Santorini on our own from Athens? Which Itinerary makes the most sense from a practical point of view? Connections, ferries, for us etc plus being worth seeing or do you have any other ideas or must sees/do’s?

    Two adults plus one boy age 8 – well traveled, love adventure. Renting a car is an option but not necessary unless we do mainland over islands.

    Any advise or suggestions would be hugely appreciated!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, July is high season – it usually gets into full gear after the 20th. Accommodation prices also go up accordingly. Still, it is ultimately a buyer’s market and the fixed government rates are usually only adhered to when the demand is close to capacity. That means that if you decide on an itinerary it’s probably wise to slot in some bookings to be on the safe side. Let’s take your own suggestions one by one.

      1) Peloponnese and perhaps Kythera (do some exploring in this area, perhaps visit Kalamata)

      You can tour the Peloponnese in a hire car making a clockwise or anticlockwise circle and easily fill up your two weeks. Places to visit would be the Argolis peninsula with the archaeological sites of Epidaurus and Mycenae and a stay at either cosmopolitan Nafplio (hotel bookings essential) or beachside Tolo. Move south along the coast to take in the third (eastern leg of the Peloponnese) where a visit to mystical Monemvasia would be on everyone’s agenda. You can ferry your car to Kythira from Neapoli for a 2-3 day visit. Known as ‘little Australia’ for its many Greek migrants who went there, Kythira has spirit of place and it grows on you slowly. You might find that you don’t want to leave when it’s time to head back to the mainland. You can ferry it to Gythio – thus saving you some driving – and then you are well placed to tour the austere (for some), but beautiful Mani peninsula. Kalamata is a busy southern Greek town. Is it worth it? Don’t linger … Go to Koroni, Finikounda, and Methoni over on the first (westernmost) leg and linger there. If time allows, take the long road back to Athens via Olympia and Patra, or head back on the fast highway that runs from Kalamata to Athens.

      2) Hydra and Spetses

      Both are popular Greek and international holiday spots. You won’t need a car on either – as there aren’t any, at least not for tourists and private motorists. Of the two, Spetses is for beaches (which you can get to on hired motor scooters) and you can get around town on hired horse and buggies. Hydra is for haute cuisine, fashion, and hobnobbing with yachties. Only one decent beach to speak of and you have to walk a far way to get there. Nice, but not as nice as your next two suggestions …

      3) Sifnos and Santorini

      Not the usual combination – Santorini commonly gets paired with Mykonos, or either Naxos, Paros, or Crete – but a doable one. Both islands share the same Cycladic culture, but Santorini is primus inter pares. It’s flashy, spectacular, busy, international, popular, and generally pricey. Sifnos is prim, proper, pretty ,and not logically connected to Santorini from the point of view of transport. In summer you usually have a couple of fast catamarans per day and the odd conventional ferry. Sifnos is the archetypical chill-out Cycladic island.

      4) Thessaloniki and Skopelos (5 days in Thessaloniki and a week in Skopelos)

      An unusual thought here unless you like big, busy, and hot cities. Most Salonicans choose to leave their city in Summer as it can get quite stuffy. That said, it’s a culturally and gastronomically superb city probably better enjoyed in cooler times, but it’s worth including as an antidote to the ever-frenetic Athens. Hellenic Seaways conveniently run a fast catamaran from Thessaloniki to the Sporades so you can quite easily put this package together. Consider doing 2-3 days in Thessaloniki then split your time across the three main Sporades islands – Skiathos, Skopelos, and Alonnisos. All three islands are well inter-connected. The fourth Sporades island of Skyros is only linked by a once a week ferry.

      The other possibilities are truly endless, but the general trend is for travellers to combine mainland and islands. Travellers generally choose islands based on their groupings: Ionian, Cyclades, Sporades, Argo-Saronics, Dodecanese, and NE-Aegean and it’s wise not to try and mix-and match too broadly. You could do a week covering the northeastern Peloponnese then combine that with either a couple of Cycladic islands or even Spetses Hydra, or go for option 1 or 4 in their entirety.

      As for Athens, and whether to hotel or AirBnb. I would probably spend 3 nights in Athens (two full days are perfect for sightseeing) and stay in a central and efficient hotel. AirBnb is good for longer stays and that’s not needed for Athens (particularly in the July heat).

  35. Hotels in Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini

    Hi Dave! Thanks for creating such a great site – we’ve been using it to plan our entire Greece Itinerary – my boyfriend and I will be traveling there in May. We’re on a budget but are willing to spend a little more for a bit more for a nicer place. We’re having a bit of trouble finding a nice, safe hotel in Athens for the weekend in May. Lots of the nicer hotels are booked or are very expensive given peak travel season and the weekend. We’re deciding between:

    Hotels in Athens
    Athens Ledra Hotel
    Intercontinental Athenaeum
    Divani Palace Acropolis
    Theoxenia Palace Hotel

    What are your thoughts on these?

    Also, can you advice us on Santorini and Mykonos – for the islands, we want to spend a little more on a luxury hotel:

    Hotels in Mykonos – we’d like to be in Mykonos town.
    Hotel Belvedere (we’re getting a good rate, but a little out of our budget – is it worth it?)
    Apanema Resort
    Semeli Hotel
    Tharroe of Mykonos Hotel

    Hotels in Santorini – we’d ideally like to be in Fira w/ Caldera view.
    Mill House Suites (pretty good rate, definitely out of our budget, is it worth it?)
    Aressana Hotel
    Cavo Bianco
    Tamarix Del Mar

    Anything we’re overlooking?

    Also, we might be willing to spend more on the Santorini hotel and save on Mykonos — we expect to be in our hotel more in Santorini (after doing some research). If that was the case, what would you do?

    Thanks in advance for your help.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      In Athens, go with the Divani Palace (great location) or the Intercontinental (a little more of a walk but very nice). The Theoxenia Palace is a long way from central Athens so avoid that unless you have no interest in seeing the sights. The Athens Ledra Hotel is now closed. In Mykonos, the Belvedere is the best choice but Semeli very good as well. Both have great locations for Mykonos Town. Apanema is not as central but still walkable to town. Tharroe is a similar distance from town but not as easy a walk (but closer to good beaches). In Santorini, Aressana is the nicest of those hotels and a super-central location (but no direct caldera views). Mill House has great views but a 10 to 15 minute (beautiful) walk to Fira’s shops and restaurants. Cavo Bianco and Tamarix Del Mar are both nice hotels but located in the beach town of Kamari – a 15 minute drive from the caldera.

  36. Good Destinations on Mainland Greece

    Hi Dave – I am planning to travel to Greece for two weeks at the end of August / beginning of September. The first week is already planned for Santorini and Mykonos. I’m more interested in your opinion on a couple options for the second week. Currently thinking on flying back to Athens on Sunday, renting a car at the airport and then go on a road trip to the Peloponnesian peninsula, returning to Athens on Friday (to spend 2.5 days in Athens). Couple questions for you:

    1) With that time frame – 5 nights – what would the highlights of the drive be? Where would you stay? Other tips/advice?

    2) Any recommendations or advice for renting a car at the Athens airport? Any pain points to be aware of? On the way back, is there another location that we could drop off the car, other than going all the way back to the airport to drop off? As mentioned, we will be staying in Athens at the end.

    3) As we are still looking at options for the post Santorini/Mykonos leg, do you have any recommendations of another 5 or so day itinerary prior to returning to Athens? Whether on the mainland or another island or two?

    Thanks so much, and your blog is such a wealth of helpful, practical knowledge for everyone.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Assuming that you want to do the Peloponnese in order to catch the main archaeological sights, then there’s a fairly logical route to follow and it can all be done (just) in your five allocated days. An anticlockwise route is recommended starting with your first day’s drive to the delightful (and popular with Greeks) town of Nafplio. It’s a 165km drive if you go straight there, but if you take in the wondrous amphitheatre of Epidaurus on the way it will be 198km. That makes for a great busy day’s touring and sightseeing. Be sure to book a hotel in Nafplio in good time as even the end of August and beginning of September can be a busy time for Nafplio.

      Next day you may care to take a stroll around Nafplio – famous for its role as the capital of the fledgling Greek State after the war of Independence – take in the panoramic views from the Bourtzi or fortress that dominates the town. After lunch, head on out and visit the sites of Mycenae and Tiryns which are located 24kms north of Nafplio. Mycenae, in particular, is particularly popular and quite a striking archaeological site. Now the Peoloponnese is pretty large so you may care to return to Nafplio for your second night rather than head-on southwards. If you are game, you could head-on southwards and down the coast for an overnighter on the east coast at the little town of Leonidio. That will take you about an hour and half driving and will make a convenient overnight break for the next suggested loop.

      South of here are two choices: making a loop around the third finger of the Peloponnese while visiting the pretty islet fortress of Monemvasia – it would be a very pleasant night’s stop – or you could attempt to get a taste of the Peloponnese’s ‘Scotland’ and drive across to the the remote Mani Peninsula (the middle finger) with a stop in perhaps Oitylo, with the magical Diros caves to be visited a little further south.

      With only two nights left in your plan you may face a dilemma. Do you head up and westward to take in Olympia which is inconveniently located in the north-west sector of the Peloponnese (almost 200 kms from Oitylo), or opt for a fishing village by the sea experience at the foot of the third leg. Choose from Koroni, Finikounda ar Methoni. It’s still a fair way back to Athens from here (285 kms), but a fast highway run from Kalamata and you’d make good time. If you choose to go to Olympia, you be spending a lot of time on the road driving.

      It’s a good idea to pick up your rental car at the Athens airport as picking it from downtown Athens means you have to negotiate Athen’s characteristically chaotic streets.

      Your last questions begs indulgence! If you’ve been on Santorini Mykonos there is every likelihood you will want more of the island experience. Stick to islands in the same group (the Cyclades) and consider the pairs of Paros and Naxos, or if you like something with more of a traveller twist, consider Sikinos and Folegandros.

      For the mainland, if you want the ultimate road trip, visit the hanging monasteries of Meteora in Thessaly then do go visit Greece’s (almost) hidden gem destination the Zagoria villages of Epirus. September will be a great time to visit them. They are discreet, slate-roofed villages were you can dine on hearty wild boar, scrumptious cheese pies and wash it down with the local firewater called tsipouro. If you feel like walking all that off, then hike along the bottom of one of Europe’s greatest canyons – the Vikos Gorge. It’s a comfortable day’s drive back to Athens from the main centre of the Zagoria villages, Monodendri. Food for thought.

  37. Greece in September

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you for this wonderful and helpful website. I am travelling to Greece in September with my husband. After my research I have selected the following hotels for my stay. Let me know your suggestions on the same.

    Athens: 2 nights in Hotel Areos
    Firostefani: 2 nights in Smaro Studios
    Akrotiri: 2 nights in either Blu rooms or Fishermans House
    Mykonos: 2 nights in Lithos by Spyros and Flora

    Also, I have split my Santorini stay into two so I can experience both the areas. Do you think this looks fine?

    Do let me know if you have better recommendation on hotels in similar budget range.

    Thank you!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Areos is a good budget hotel and super close to the National Archaeological Museum (the best museum in Greece). Lots of restaurants nearby but not the most beautiful area. The Plaka and Acropolis are a 20 minute walk.

      Smaro Studios are great for the price with a good central location. I’d much rather stay here for all 4 days than split my time with Akrotiri (though both hotels you’ve found there are nice).

      In Mykonos, Lithos by Spyros is a great hotel in a quiet area – short walk to a nice (but not fantastic beach). Mykonos Town is a 12 to 15 minute bus ride away. Great choice if you’re looking for something relaxing, not so great if you want nightlife and lots of choice in restaurants.

  38. NJV or Electra Hotel in Athens

    Hi Dave,
    Great site. Ill be traveling to Athens in June. I usually stay at Athens Lycabettus Hotel which is now closed. I will be in Athens for 3 nights before we go off to Kefalonia. Im torn between the NJV Hotel and the Electra hotel on Ermou. We love to walk around while in Athens and visit cafes and restaurants. Which one of the two would you recommend over the other and why? Also price is similar on both. Thanks again, John

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Both nice 4 star hotels. Not a huge difference – both have great central locations (they’re about 3 minutes from each other) near Syntagma Square. Electra is on a pedestrian-only street and a little closer to the Plaka. NJV is perhaps ever so slightly more luxurious.

  39. Best Day Trip from Athens

    HI Dave – for a day trip from Athens, which would be better? Aegina, Angistri, or Hydra?
    Thank you for this great website!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      All fine day-trip destinations in their own right and all quite doable in a day, but what is “better” depends very much on what you want and who you are, so I’ll try to cover all angles. First the obvious: day trips to all these islands start at the Port of Piraeus where the ferry berths are all clustered together in the more central part of the port so it’s an easy walk – not requiring a taxi – to the berth from the metro station. A number of ferry companies and types of ferries from conventional to hydrofoil to open-deck car movers service the three islands, so you’ll not be short of options and departures are almost hourly for Aegina and Angistri, less so for Hydra.

      Aegina is an obvious choice because it is closest (just) of the three. There are also more direct ferries to Aegina and you have the choice of two disembarkation ports: the town of Aegina itself and the smaller port of Souvala on the north coast. Most quick day visitors head for the main port of Aegina, stroll around the busy, animated town, maybe take a horse and cart tour, have a fish lunch in a back street taverna, maybe sit on the town beach for a while then head on home back to Piraeus. That said, Aegina is a large island and is worth hiring a car for the day to explore (if you have the time, interest, and budget). While it is not a common holiday destination for foreign visitors, there is a resort scene of sorts on the eastern side of the islands at Agia Marina and the little southern port of Perdika is worth a drive for a waterside lunch beside a pretty little harbor strewn with fishing boats. If you start early enough, you can comfortably circumnavigate the island in a day. Archaeology fans may care to divert to the rather splendid, yet oft-underlooked set of ruins of the Temple of Aphaia near Agia Marina. Overall, Aegina is a lived-in ‘Greek’ island where many Athenians have holiday homes, or to which many landlocked residents flock on weekends to get a taste of the seaside close to home, so Aegina can get busy – even in Winter. Foreign visitors tend to overlook Aegina and if they do decide to come across, they often do little more than potter around Aegina Town port as I mentioned earlier.

      Angistri is not so obvious, though it inevitably and alluringly tempts first-time visitors to the Argo-Saronics as it is visible, shimmering on the horizon just over the water from Aegina. Ferries to Aegina commonly continue on to Angistri, though you can, if you choose, go directly to Angistri from Piraeus thereby saving you time. This rather small island comes generally as a pleasant surprise to most visitors and garners its fair share of repeat day – or even longer stay – trippers. It’s a compact, cosy, and personable island and one where you immediately sense its intimacy and relaxed space. It’s a place that feels a lot further from Athens than it really is. The port of Skala is the hub of all activity and you could do little more than loll on its flat, sandy beach, sip a frappuccino under the shade of a tamarisk tree next to a re-assuringly blue and white Cycladic-style church and read your Kindle. After Athens, Angistri can feel like paradise. But there’s more. Scooters are easy to hire and a slow (and careful, as the road gets winding in parts) ride to the other side of the island is the obvious add-on excursion. You’ll pass the other (main) settlement of Megalochori on the way, pass a couple of beach opportunities on the west side before passing though the third village Limenaria and descending into the little cove of Aponisos. Here a swim and lunch at the little taverna awaits trippers who made it this close. Angistri is also infamous as the hideout island of the 17th November terrorist group member Dimitris Koufodinas who took refuge in a cave on the east side of the island before finally surrendering to authorities.

      Now Hydra is in a category – nay – class of its own. Long favoured as a weekend retreat and holiday destination for international play-people and yachties, Hydra is unique in that, apart from the street cleaning vehicle and a few unloading utilities, there are no private cars on the island. People get around in horse-drawn buggies. Expensive yachts crowd its proportionately small harbour, boutique stores pepper its undeniably quaint streets, and up-market lodgings offer all that travel-weary punters may seek or desire. Eating out is unquestionably a quality matter and attire is generally urban-nautical chic. So yes, a great spot for a day trip, but is Hydra you? Also, it is farther out than the other two islands, so it does take a bit of extra time getting to it – and in that case opt for the faster hydrofoils or catamarans, or whatever is on offer at the time. You will have to walk a fair way to get a swim on Hydra too, though the coastal walk out to Vlychos beach is pleasant and the beach is about the best it gets.

      So in summary: Aegina and Angistri are better for day-trips because of their proximity and the frequency of supporting ferries. Hydra is better for a weekend trip, because if you turn up on a day trip, you may just regret not staying on a tad longer to savour its unique ambiance.

  40. Luxury Hotel with Pool in Athens

    Hi Dave,

    I would love your advice. I am very confused about what to do I have 3 days in Athens Greece was going to stay at the Hotel Bretagne for one night and then go to the beach resorts in Athens for the other 2 night to relax with the family. I was looking at the Westin the reviews were not very good do you have any other recommendations? Or should I just stay at the hotel Bretagne. The only reason why I picked that hotel because of the reviews and the pool. I almost booked the Ava Hotel love the bigger rooms (traveling with my 13 year old son), no pool traveling in August very hot!! Need help Laura from Colorado.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Grande Bretagne is wonderful. Two nice pools (one inside and one outside) and convenient central location. The Westin is nice too but not nearly as luxurious. Instead you get a huge pool and nice beach. I’d say 2 nights at the GB and 1 at the Westin would be a nice mix. The Westin is closer to the airport so that might work if you’re catching a plane after your stay.

  41. Refugees in Greece


    Thanks very much for this site. My boyfriend and I are visiting Greece in June and are very excited. We are flying into Athens and then heading the next day to Mykonos and Santorini for 3 days each and then back to Athens. Although we are looking forward to the trip we are becoming increasingly concerned about what we have read regarding the escalating refugee/migrant crisis in Greece. I understand, and have been assured by our hotels, that Mykonos and Santorini themselves are very minimally affected. My main concern is Athens in general and specifically the port area where many refugees are channelled through. We will be taking a ferry from Athens to Mykonos and then from Santorini back to Athens. Is it safe to walk around Athens right now with such an influx of refugees? Should we try to avoid the port area and book a flight instead? We will be travelling with all of our luggage and cash on us so I am a bit concerned being around so many people who find themselves in a desparate situation. I do feel for their situation and it makes me glad to know that Greece is helping them – but at the same time we want to be safe while we are travelling, know what to expect, and take neccessary precations. Thanks for your help.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It’s not an issue at all. There’s no reason to think they are any more likely to commit a crime than a local or a fellow traveler. I wouldn’t hang out in Piraeus with or without a refugee problem (plan to arrive an hour before your ferry’s departure) and the refugees tend not to hang around the places that have lots of travelers (and certainly will not be in Mykonos and Santorini).

  42. Hotels in Athens and Santorini

    My travel partner and I are SOOOO excited about the Greece trip! We are traveling to Athens, Santorini, Crete and back to Athens in June. A travel agent has us in Herodion Hotel in Athens and Astro Palace in Santorini. DO you know anything about these hotels and locations? We want nice hotel but also very close to all of the sites. We don’t want to spend the $700 per night for the luxury hotels but want a nice moderatly priced one.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Both are very nice hotels. Herodion has a great location near the Acropolis Museum and Plaka (and below the Acropolis itself). Astro Palace is just outside of Fira and requires a good 10 minute uphill walk to get the caldera’s edge and views of the volcano. The views you see on the website are east towards the open sea and not of the caldera (not a deal breaker but some expect caldera views and are disappointed).

  43. Hotels in Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini

    Hey Dave,

    Awesome site. Incredibly helpful. I almost I feel I KNOW greece.

    I am travelling with a group of friends to a greece between 27th May to 8th June. 5 Couples to be precise.

    Just wanted to get your opinion on the hotels we have booked:

    Hotel Evripides – Athens
    Villa Varnali – Mykonos
    Villa Anto – Santorini

    If you can spare some time, some pros and cons about each of the hotels would be very helpful.

    Vimal Shah

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hotel Evripides in Athens is a great value hotel. Inexpensive yet nice clean rooms. Nothing fancy. The neighborhood is ugly and will appear unsafe when you first arrive but is generally fine. Lots of trendy restaurants and bars are nearby and metro and Plaka are a 5 to 8 minute walk away. I don’t know Varnali but appears to have a good location walking distance to Mykonos Town and bus station (but will involve a walk up a hill to access). Villa Anto is a 10/12 minute walk from Fira. Small family-owned place that’s clean and cheap.

  44. Location of Amalia Hotel in Athens

    Hello Dave.
    Wonderful website and recommendations. I and my husband are planning to visit Athens in the first week of May and staying there for 2 days before we sail to Santorini. I was thinking to book Amalia hotel in Athens is it good? And also I have to take ferry early morning from Piraeus to Santorini. So is it good location to stay. I really want to stay near Plaka area. Thanks, Harshi

    1. Dave The Hotel Expert

      Amalia is a good value hotel with a central location. It’s less than a 5 minute walk to the Plaka. For the train to Piraeus you can choose between a 2 minute walk to Syntagma Station (take the train to Monastiraki and switch to a Piraeus bound train). Or a 12 minute walk to Monastiraki Station and take the train directly to Piraeus. Both are easy, just depends how much you want to walk.

  45. Met 34 Hotel in Athens

    Hi Dave,

    Great site and recommendations! We’re heading to Athens for a few days in May. Have you heard of MET 34 Hotel in Syntagma Square/Plaka? I believe it’s a new hotel and I couldn’t find any reviews. Any information would be much appreciated.

    Jenny Miclat

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I have not heard of it but it looks nice and certainly has a central location.

  46. St. George Lycabettus in Athens

    Hi Dave,

    Amazing and very helpful blog.

    My fiancé and I are thinki about staying at the St. George Lycabettus for a week at the end of March. It kindle ticks all the boxes (rooftop pool, gym, area, peice etc) What are your thoughts?

    We’re looking to have an all-round experience of everything that Athens has to offer, so any further pointers are very much welcomed. Happy to offer the same if you ever come to Edinburgh!

    Stuart McCluskey

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The St George is wonderful with great views of the city. The only caveat is that you won’t be walking out your door and enjoying the Plaka or Acropolis. It’s a good 20 minute walk to the major historical sites and center of the action. And coming back it’s all uphill. It’s a pleasant walk most of the way (err on the side of a more southerly route and you’ll avoid some ugly areas of Athens). That said, I’d expect that you’ll take at least a few taxis. There are some nice restaurants and cafes near the hotel – and there’s a little lane steps from the hotel that fills with locals drinking and eating at a few outdoor restaurants.

  47. Athens for 2 Days

    Hi Dave, nice blog you have there. I will be visitng Athens for 2 days before sailing to Santorini for my honeymoon. What would you recommend me to do within these 2 days? Would it be good idea to take a local tour? Lastly can you please recommmend me a good tour agency website that I should look for? Thanks Dave! You the man!

    Ten Wei Peng

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Among the travel agencies that get good press are Fantasy Travel and Dolphin Hellas Travel, both of which offer a variety of one and two day excursions and longer packages. My pick of these would be the one day Athens tour with Fantasy travel which lets you see the main city sights then enjoy a coastal drive to a very romantic spot – Cape Sounion. This will cost around €120 per person. Dolphin also does 10, 12, or 14 day Honeymoon packages that include islands such as Santorini, Mykonos, Syros, Rhodes and Crete. Though I never recommend people do extended package tours of this sort, it’s there if you’re interested.

      Apart from the tours, ideas include a moonlight dinner on the top of Mt Lycabettus (a rocky hill right in the middle of Athens); a lunch with rustic wine and hearty fare in the middle of Plaka (Athens’ old village quarter); walking up and around the Acropolis at sunset and stopping off for drinks with a view; taking in the culture in one easy hit at the fabulous Acropolis Museum. Or, if you’re really adventurous, make up your own day trip by taking a fast boat from the port of Piraeus to the Saronic Gulf island of Angistri, hire a scooter and ride to the far southern end of the island at Aponisos and have a fish lunch on the beach before taking a swim in the much-improved waters of the Argo Saronic Gulf.

  48. Grande Bretagne in Athens

    Hi Dave,

    I was thinking about staying at the Hotel Grande Bretagne for 1-2 nights for my honeymoon (taking a flight to Mykonos the next morning). I have 2 hesitancies:
    1. I normally like more modern luxury hotels (and this seems to be much more classical, but beautiful).
    2. You said Hotel Grande Bretagne was your favorite hotel, but then Syntagma Square was not even in listed your Top 3 neighborhood choices.

    What would be your suggestion for my fiancé and I given what I listed above?

    Thank you!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      1. You’re right, it is more classical luxury than modern luxury.
      2. Syntagma Square is, like the name suggests, pretty much just a square with restaurants, shops, and hotels surrounding it on three sides (the Greek Parliament is on the fourth side). Walk a few minutes and you’re in the Plaka. A few minutes more and you’re in Monistiraki.

  49. Athens in May


    What would you recommend for a day and a half in Athens in May? We definitely want to see the Acropolis and eat a nice Greek meal. We probably will not take the metro, but do a lot of walking. Lastly, King George or stay in Plaka?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Despite being a big bustling metropolis, Athens is a surprisingly good city to walk around. It is certainly easier than using a car or taxi and all the main sights (except for the National Archaeological Museum in Exarchia) are within reasonable walking distance of each other. The metro is handy for getting from one end of the central city block – say, Omonia to Syntagma or Monastiraki quickly, but the greatest distance from one end of the central city block is no more than 2 KMs, so it’s all quite walkable.

      Get a map of central Athens and familiarise yourself with the key geographical reference points. Syntagma (Constitution) Square with its Metro station is the epicentre; its other counterbalance is Omonia Square (also with a big Metro station) and Monastiraki adjacent to the old Plaka district is the third point of the triangle. The Acropolis and the main archaeological sights lie to the south. This is where you will probably want to focus your stay in Athens and do your walking.

      Get a multi-site archaeological ticket (€20) – basically the cost of the entry ticket to the Acropolis and visit a further six archaeological sites at no further cost. Apart from the obvious and still stunning Acropolis with its Parthenon temple you would probably want to walk around the Ancient Agora, Hadrian’s Library, the Roman Agora, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus to name a few – all within walking distance of each other. The new and magnificent Acropolis Museum (separate ticket) should not be missed.

      At night wander the length and breadth of the Plaka district which roughly runs from Nikis street near Syntagma to the Monastiraki flea market. This essentially pedestrian-only area is chock-a-block full of gift shops, restaurants, cafés and bars and you will find plenty of places to eat. The more obvious eateries are along Kydathineon Street. For the more authentic Greek restaurant walk to the Psyrri district to the west of Athinas street and radiating around Plateia Iroön (Heroes Square). The area can feel a little seedy, so it’s not for everyone, but I don’t consider it unsafe.

      Additional excursions might be to the summit of Mt Lykavittos (take the rack and pinion train if you don’t fancy the steep climb and you can always walk down) and a walk in the cool National Gardens abutting Syntagma Square is a great respite from the bustle of Athens. Close to the gardens are three more excellent museums: the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art, the War Museum, and the Byzantine Museum all located close to each other on Vasilissis Sofias Blvd. All the above will fill your one and a half days very easily.

      As for hotels, the King George is wonderful and very central. The Plaka area is great too – but it’s only a 5 minute walk from the King George so not a huge difference.

      1. Sarah

        THANK YOU!

  50. Athens Hotel after Long Flight

    Arriving to Athens early evening after 14 hours of flying. What can you recommend for hotel to overnight before heading down to Nafplio the following day. Will be back to Athens a few days after to see the sites. That part I have planned out.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Athens Sofitel is an effortless 2 minute walk from the airport and has a nice pool and good restaurants. I’d probably stay there.

  51. Best Beaches near Athens

    What are the beaches like near Athens? We fly from Rome to Athens and then have 10 days in Greece. We are thinking of spending 2 days in Athens before traveling to Naxos and Mykonos. 1 Day seeing the sights and then 1 day at a beach near Athens. Can you tell me what are the best beaches close to Athens? Are they easy to get to from downtown? Does this sound like a good plan?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      To the south and east of Athens lies a string of beaches and beach towns that grow progressively nicer as you get away from the city. The Athens Tram runs all the way along the coast to Voula (where there’s a nice beach). If you’re going farther than that you’ll need to take a bus.

      Most beaches require a fee to enter. In return you get nicely groomed sand, a snack or restaurant, sun chairs and umbrellas, and sometimes access to restrooms, showers, changing rooms, beach gear, and water slides. There are small beach coves that dot the coastline as well. They offer smaller crowds but with few or no amenities. If you’ve rent a car you can drive along the coast and stop where ever you see a patch of sand. It will usually involved scampering down from the road above on a footpath wondering where the heck you’re going.

      • Kalamaki – The closest beach to Athens. Not the best beach but it’s decent. About 45 minutes by tram from Syntagma.
      • Glyfada – Asteras Glyfada is family friendly with a children’s playground and watersports (cost: €7.50). Take the tram to Glyfada and walk along the coast to Asteras.
      • Voula – Voula A beach is very family friendly with snack bar and water slide. Take the tram to the last stop and the beach is right there. (cost: €7).
      • Vouliagmeni – Astir Beach is hip and very nice (cost: €15). Take the tram to Glyfada and then take bus 114 to Astir.
      • Varkiza – One of the best beaches in the area complete with great sand, a water park, volleyball, and tennis (cost: €12.) Take the tram to Glyfada and then bus 116 to Varkiza.

      All that said, since you’re on your way to the islands (where the beaches are wonderful) I wouldn’t waste a day at the Athens’ beaches. They’re good but nothing incredible.

  52. Athens during New Years

    Hey Dave great page lots of useful info.

    I’m planing a trip to Athens from the 31st December to 6th January. Looking for some local information on the festivities that will be taking place (new years eve parties and such). And any other information you think I should know.
    Will most likely be staying in plaka.

    Thank you so much in advance,

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There’s not a lot of official things going on but as far as restaurants and bars there’s plenty to do. People tend to stay home for New Years and then go out to bars after that. Syntagma is the center of anything “official” going on.

  53. Santorini and What European City?

    Hi Dave,
    Love all reading your site for all the tips. I’m planning my honeymoon for early October. Settled on Absolute Bliss we believe in Santorini. Now the debate is whether to stay all nights at Absolute Bliss or divide our stay between two hotels (want infinity pool and private jacuzzi terrace) and also whether to go straight to Santorini or stop in Athens first. I can’t stand the idea of flying all the way to just Santorini without visiting at least one other European city. Should we consider another city possibly in Italy or just do Athens? Or another city that would be a good visit? My husband won’t have patience for the ferry ride so either way our transport to Santorini will be by plane. Thanks!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      If your in Santorini for 2 to 4 days then only stay at Absolute Bliss. If it’s more than that then definitely try a different town and hotel. There are direct flights from Santorini to Rome and that would be my first choice for a second destination in Europe.

  54. Girls Trip to Greece

    I’m in the very early stages of planning a girls’ trip to Greece next April and I just want to say thank you for this website and all your valuable information!

    Leah L

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Glad it’s helpful. Have a great trip.

  55. Metro from Ferry Port to Athens

    Hi Dave – You’ve been so helpful in our trip planning, appreciate it! A few other questions…

    Our ferry arrives from Santorini to Piraeus at 11:30PM, I see the metro runs till midnight so we’ll probably miss it. If we can make it, we take the green line, correct (staying at Phaedra Hotel)? If we miss the metro, would you recommend having our hotel reserve a taxi pick up for us or will there be taxis there that late?

    What about Santorini port to Villa Maria Damigou metro bus?

    Thank you!!!!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There is only one metro line in Piraeus (yes, the green line) and it goes directly to central Athens. Get off the ferry quickly (get down to the car deck early and be at the front of the scrum – which will be large) and go directly to the metro station across the street (follow the crowds, can’t miss it, about a 3 minute walk). Get off at Monastiraki station. Find Adrianou Street (which is a short black away) and walk down it (pedestrian only). It will take you directly to Phaedra Hotel. If you don’t make it to the metro station in time there will be plenty of taxis in Piraeus to take you downtown.

      In Santorini, the main bus station in Fira will post a bus schedule for buses going to the port a day before. Check it and find when the bus for your ferry leaves. If you miss this bus it can be hard to get to the ferry as all taxis are booked up around ferry arrivals and departures and there won’t be a second bus.

  56. Good Hotel near Larissa Train Station

    Hi Dave, thank you for this wonderful website with so much information on Greece! I have a question, my wife and I would be flying from Mykonos to Athens around noon and we are thinking of taking the next day morning train to Meteora. Are there hotels relatively near the Larissa train station you would recommend so it would not be too rush for us? This is also the last leg of our holiday and we would have around 4 days left in Athens, so planning to either visit Meteora first or later. What are your thoughts?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Oscar is the best hotel near the train station (and right across the street). I would do the Meteora first and return to Athens for your final days – but no great difference either way.

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