3 Tips for Visiting Athens, Greece
Athens often becomes a short stop-over on the way to Greece’s fantastic islands or as a home base for day trips to Delphi, Meteora and elsewhere. But spending at least a couple of full days in Athens is well worth your while. These three tips will make your stay even more pleasant.
Tip #1: Choose an AirBnB or similar service instead of staying in a hotel
This tip (not sponsored!) probably applies to most tourist destinations in Europe. Hotel rooms tend to be small even in the upper price ranges. You’re almost guaranteed to get a much better bang for your buck with an AirBnB or other vacation home rental service, even if you’re renting an entire apartment. Because my boyfriend was a bit nervous about abandoning the hotel experience and I wanted us to have a good time, I chose an AirBnB Plus property in Athens. This designation is reserved for only the highest quality homes with hosts known for great reviews and attention to detail. We stayed in this loft apartment for 3 nights and couldn’t have been happier. Blackout curtains and air-conditioning made our stay extra comfortable. 3 nights cost us what we would have paid for just 1 night at an upper-tier hotel.
Tip #2 Location, location, location
This tip also applies everywhere, probably. Do not try to save money by choosing a location farther away from the city center! I’ve had friends do this in Brussels and Athens and it almost ruined their entire trips. Staying in the city center will be more convenient and safe, albeit you may have to sacrifice some quiet. Just bring ear plugs! In Athens, I recommend staying near Syntagma square or the Acropolis. Syntagma square is especially convenient because the X95 bus from the airport drops off there.
Tip #3: Get a guide or download the Rick Steves Audio Europe App
Athens is steeped in ancient history. However, without some context, the Acropolis and the ancient Agora may look like just a bunch of rocks. Brochures and maps to take with you may not be as readily available, so it’s easy to find yourself disappointed without more info. I’ve used this app in a handful of countries starting in 2015 and it’s been such a great companion! You can download your tours ahead of time so you don’t need a data connection on the go.
Let me know how your visit turns out or, if you’ve been to Athens and have tips of your own, drop them in the comments!