The Plaka neighborhood is definitely the area to stay in if you are visiting Athens as a tourist. Lots of charm, shops, restaurants, things to see and do. My impression is that the northern part is more crowded/urban/busy while the part to the south is somewhat more charming, quiet but still pretty touristy. We stayed far to the south (Airotel Parthenon) which was a lovely area, between the Acropolis Museum and Hadrian's Arch (a couple theatres, lots of restaurants, tavernas, tree-shaded streets, the usual ruins here and there, street musicians, hawkers, etc.). We visited the rest of the Plaka and found it more crowded, noisy and busy, though still quite interesting. Lots of hotels throughout the area, with a range of cost and amenities.
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