We arrived in Athens Eleftherios Venizelos Intl Airport and took a direct train to Syntagma station. No hassle (except dragging your luggage to the train station; the alternative is paying for a taxi), buying a train ticket was easy enough though in Greek (remember to validate your tickets at the appropriate timings, otherwise you could get a fine).
Trip to Syntagma was about 43 mins and as in most (if not all of Europe) the trains leave on time. We got off at Syntagma, which serves as a transfer point to the Blue Line (Line 3) with the Red Line (Line 2). It also serves as a connection point to the Athens Tram.
Hotel Amalias was about less than 5 min walk away from the train station. Location-wise, this is about the most ideal, especially if you have heavy luggages to lug around and are not keen on switching trains. Attractions-wise, the National Gardens is directly opposite the Hotel, which our balcony opened to. Somewhere on the left of the Hotel (the other exit of Syntagma train station) is the House of Parliament, with the Tomb of the Unknown Solider where we caught a glimpse of the respect and salutations the two guards gave to their lost counterparts. Amalias is also within walking distance from the old Plaka neighbourhood, where we had some fabulous local dishes. Our first night at Tavernas Plaka saw us wolf down a plate of mousssaka, gyros and the fried calamari (they serve fantastic calamari all over Greece!), washed down with their local Mythos beer. And then, the stunner. Their complimentary chocolate ice-cream. My goodness, how heavenly it tasted. Probably the best chocolate ice-cream I have ever tasted (and looking at my size, I have tasted some good ones before).
Anyway, back to the attractions, and we took a short train ride to the Acropoli station where we begun our tour of the historical ruins. You could choose as well to walk from the Hotel.
Hotel room was decently furnished, modern in design. We were upgraded to a deluxe room on the second floor (one that faces the road and the National Gardens); the rest face inwards or have no windows as I understand it to be. It was not at all noisy for us, the balcony doors were sound-proof. Breakfast is repeated on the two days we were there, but that's not to say it was shabby. Instead, you find a decent spread of the usual continental delights. Nothing great to shout about, but good enough to fill your stomach (and you should) before your walks or trips out to the sights.
Down-bit was really the WI-FI, which was chargeable. Wasn't a huge sum, but really, it's something you would expect in most hotels. If you need your hot water, you would have to get it at the café at level one. No major issues for us both, just a note to those whom these might be deal-breakers.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Commercial 7-story Hotel in the center of the city, facing National Garden, just off Constitution Square. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Amalia Hotel Athens