Since antiquity, the Greeks have been proud of their ‘philoxenia’, which literally translates as ‘love of strangers’. As a result, you can find many welcoming and hospitable places to stay in Athens. Most of the hotels that you will encounter in the capital were built back in sixties and seventies when tourism was in its prime. Fortunately, many of them have been improved and renovated in the past decade for the Athens 2004 Olympics. Athens has a range of hotels to cater towards every wallet and preference, from no-frills hostels to high-end, boutique hotels. While there are plenty of hotels in Athens, remember to book in advance if you are staying during August as rooms tend to fill up quickly.
For backpackers and travellers on a budget, there are a number of hostels and cheap hotels located throughout the capital. In addition, you may also find that some middle-rank hotels are very reasonably priced as Athens hotels have some of Europe’s lowest average room prices.
Hostels offer no-frills accommodation at a very reasonable price which makes them very popular with backpackers. In addition, you may find yourself getting an additional discount if you are in possession of a Hostelling International card.
Prior to the hotel renovation leading up to the 2004 Olympic Games, Athens budget hotels were little better than dormitories. However, now you will find that most of them have air-conditioning and other improved amenities. However, do note that not all budget hotels have heating, which means you will be quite cold if you are planning on visiting Athens during the chilly winter months.
Cheap hotels and hostels are predominantly situated in popular tourist areas at the heart of the city, such as Omonia Square, Plaka and Symtagma Square. In addition, this accommodation is often conveniently located near Metro stations, making them perfect for those who want to explore all the sights and attractions that the city has to offer.
While historic Plaka is a charming place to stay, in recent years there have been a number of complaints regarding the quality of the accommodation in this area. As the hotels and hostels in this area are often hosted in old buildings, temporal deterioration is to be expected. So if you want to stay in this quaint part of the city, but don’t want your memories of Athens to be marred by leaky plumbing or other accommodation defects: check up on the hotel you plan on staying in by reading reviews and inspect the room before you register.
At the other end of the spectrum, Athens has a number of high-end luxury hotels for those looking for something more upmarket. In Central Athens you will find Hotel Grande Bretagne, a world-class hotel famous for its high-quality service and classiness. If you are staying in Athens for over a week or want to ensure that you get a peaceful night’s sleep, you may want to look for accommodation in the coastal suburbs of Glyfada and Vouliagmeni. Here you can find a number of luxury resort and boutique hotels.