We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Beyond Athens

Which Athens hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Chesterfield...
Level Contributor
603 posts
106 reviews
Save Topic
Beyond Athens

Beginning to plan and needing some advice.

Several years ago, folks said don't stay long in Athens, dirty, crowded, etc., etc. I have recently heard that that is no longer the case. thoughts?

Also, we'd like to spend some time in Athens and then get a villa near good historic sites and stay for a week. We are a family group of 7, ranging from the 67 year old Gma, me, to my 2 and 3 year old granddaughters.

We are planning for June 2013. Where would you direct my searches?

Thanks so much,

nancyM

PS Any bargains to be had these days? One of my daughters lives in Madrid and despite the news, no bargains on lodging there.

Athens, Greece
Destination Expert
for Athens
Level Contributor
13,561 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Beyond Athens

Athens is big, sometimes noisy, yes it's crowded as every big place ( London is hugely more crowded though ). But it also has it's quiet places, a quite extensive historic center with Acropolis in the middle and despite what most people think an archaological park in the middle with much more green spaces than widely believed.

First of all, i 'd focus getting a good central place to stay in. Either an apartment or a small house, while hotels also have very good prices and get brekfast in the price. Dining out is inexpensives, so hotel rooms always work well. Whatever you pick do pick carefully location. You want to be central to walk to the sites / museums and you want a good area. I 'd pick from Plaka, Monastiraki, Syndagma, Acropolis Museum area. Map of central areas here: http://g.co/maps/2vym7 . I d certainly avoid some areas, like Omonoia for example which is plain horrible these days.

Bargains depend. A nice clean room for two people will be anywhere from 60 euros to the sky. Athens Sweet Home is a very good new hotel that has good prices, since this is their start season, Athens Backpackers & Studios has an excellent location and very good prices that may be a good idea to constrain the budget ( two kinds of accomodation: dormitories and small studions / apartments / look their apartments ) while around the Internet you can find many many apartments ( although i 'd be somewhat hesitant about many of them since they are 'under the table', i 'd tend to assume those listed in TA are legitimate bysiness though, offering receipts and getting taxed for what you pay them, not familiar with this really ).

Focus your preliminary research on reading a bit about Athens, and getting to understand a bit the areas of it. It's a huge metropolitan complex but, in a first time visit you 'll hardly explire the very center where the bulk if sites and museums are.

"Beyond" trips may include anything from a short day get-away trip to one of the nearby islands, like Aegina, or Hydra, to an overnight stay somewhere else, or a self drive trip to some nearby place. You really have many options.

Many options or not, i 'd start research from some reading about Athens to orientate a bit.

Map here: http://tinyurl.com/AthensAttractions-English

Here: http://www.breathtakingathens.com/

Athens, Greece
Destination Expert
for Athens
Level Contributor
13,561 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Beyond Athens

More teaser here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znn3LmP-7Bw

London, United...
Level Contributor
16,455 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Beyond Athens

What Nick said - especially the bit about London being even more crowded, which I can vouch for.

The advice not to spend much time in Athens is very bad advice. I think it was bad advice even in the bad old days when it was dirty and the atmosphere badly polluted, and it certainly no longer is those things. With a huge, beautifully pedestrianised area that connects all the historic sites, and some wonderful green spaces (which you might not associate with Athens, but it has them) it is now a very attractive and tourist friendly city. (Well, I think it always was.)

Spend as long as you can in Athens, and you will be amply rewarded for every minute.

nc usa
Level Contributor
1,948 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Beyond Athens

I can't agree more- Athens is my favorite city.

Oslo, Norway
Destination Expert
for Oslo, Naxos, Norway
Level Contributor
21,114 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Beyond Athens

Agree with Alabastron and Mitsa !

Here is to give you some ideas:

Acropolis area

http://tinyurl.com/czdx56

Monastiraki

http://tinyurl.com/qvv6nr

Thission

http://tinyurl.com/24k5jy3

Mitropolis

http://tinyurl.com/86emm8

Flea market

http://tinyurl.com/2bbp5ww

A Plaka walk

http://tinyurl.com/34b2gt3

Syntagma and central Athens

http://tinyurl.com/cxu5fo

Zeus Temple

http://tinyurl.com/d6o8u5

Lycabettus

http://tinyurl.com/cvfshf

http://tinyurl.com/42wgc54

Anafiotika

http://tinyurl.com/6gbmt43

Metro stations

http://tinyurl.com/36xjjb6

Market

http://tinyurl.com/cp59el

Archeological museum

http://tinyurl.com/c2npk4

Kerameikos

http://tinyurl.com/d72ehy

Psirri

http://tinyurl.com/32nbdwg

Olympic area & The Mall

http://tinyurl.com/6y2yrpd

Surrounding areas

Cape Sounion

http://tinyurl.com/8n4xfo

Marathon

http://tinyurl.com/crcqtw

Microlimano Piraeus

http://tinyurl.com/cc6l4j

Vravrona

http://tinyurl.com/a95dw5

Attica Zoo

http://tinyurl.com/dkdzzo

Chesterfield...
Level Contributor
603 posts
106 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Beyond Athens

Thanks so much. We've been to London several times and while I love the city, it is terribly crowded especially after July 1.

I've been to my library and am settling in for some fun travel reading.

nancyM

London, United...
Level Contributor
16,455 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Beyond Athens

I've just come home from struggling with the central London rush hour crowds on my way to teach my class, and thought I'd vouch again for London being the winner by miles in the crowdedness stakes.

Have a good read, Nancy: enjoy your planning, and enjoy Athens. There is so much to see and do there - not only the historic sites, but many wonderful museums. Allow plenty of time.

New Haven...
Level Contributor
40 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Beyond Athens

We recently returned from a 16 day trip to Greece. (came home Oct 6) and 4 of those days were in Athens. I can tell you we still did not see everything we wanted to visit. We wanted more time not less time. We went to cape Sounio on another day and went to many of the coastal towns, a silver mine etc. The temple of Poisidon should not be missed but that is an extra day. Do not let others talk you out of Athens. It was wonderful. One day after the holidays, I hope to find enough time to write a trip report.

London, United...
Level Contributor
16,455 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Beyond Athens

The deciding factor should be whether or not you are interested in Athens's excellent museums. If you are, you need more time than you would need simply to "see the sights/sites". The Acropolis, the Agora, the Kerameikos and so on can all be covered comfortably in three days. But the National Archaeological Museum and the Acropolis Museum can each easily absorb you for a minimum of three hours, and if you are anything like me you'll want to go back to them at least once. Their contents aren't stuff you can just look at and tick off: if you're interested, you'll want to absorb them and reflect on them.The Benaki Museum is equally absorbing: the main museum and its various branches are all excellent. Then there are the Byzantine and Christian Museum, the Folk Art Museum, and the Musical Instruments Museum; and there are good small museums attached to the Agora and the Kerameikos. (Don't miss the Kerameikos, the most peaceful, atmospheric place in Athens.)

And that's just the start. There are others. And there are great walks to be had in the National Gardens and on the hills, up to the Philoppapou Monument and the Pnyx, and of course Lycabettos. And the National Cemetery....

So now you've got your guide books from the library, and you can read about everything there is to be seen and done in Athens, and plan a wonderful visit. Enjoy it!

Chicago
1 post
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: Beyond Athens

I've been to Athens a number of times and each time I have actually upped the length of my stay because there just does not seem to be enough time to see everything on my list. I have to admit that we aren't the typical tourists in that we are very interested in the culture of a place and not just checking off sites from our list. I've been to the Acropolis on all three visits and I am sure on my next visit I will go again, and I will still get tingles up my spine when I see the Parthenon again (planning a return in the late spring - I have Greek Easter on my list!).

Your group sounds like my family (adult children, our last trip we added a baby, now toddler, to the mix) and my advice if you are are interested in culture (this does not apply if you want to lay on the beach, others will need to address that) is to plant yourself in a downtown residential area (I would not want to stay for a week in the Plaka, sorry, but I want to eat where Greeks eat) - look at Kolonaki, Pagrati, Mets, someplace close enough to walk to the sites and the parks (once we started renting apartments we choice Pagrati, greekvacationrentals.com, because we feel like Athenians with the advice and guidance of the owners, Carole and Basil .... ok, full disclosure, we've stayed with them enough to call them "old friends" now!

Anyway, my advice comes from trying to move about with my kids two families is that not everyone was always on the same page - having the centrally located apartment gave everyone freedom - and though dining out is nice with the baby on the last trip I admit we stayed in and BBQes or cooked because it was just easier to put her to sleep and the rest of us didn't have to worry ... I can imagine that this would be even more appealing with two toddlers (ask me in May how it went with one!)