Staying with a local - an alternative to hotel and hostel accommodation in Athens.
we offer great alternatives to hotels and hostels in Athens
. Why book a hotel when you could combine your Greek adventure with staying with a local in an apartment or villa? Typical Greek apartments are airy, spacious and homely. The walls are more often than not painted white and the décor is sparse but tasteful and comforting. Our Athenian Wimdu Hosts share our passion for travel and new cultures and are happy to help point you in the direction of their favourite parts of Athens, share their tips on navigating the city and give some insight into life in the Greek capital. We have plenty of accommodation to choose from in Athens and you could find yourself waking up in Athens’ trendy Plaka
quarter or seaside district of Glifada
Fun Facts – Athens
Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world with origins dating back to 3000 BC.
There are over 3000 swimming pools located on the roofs of houses in Athens.
3.6 million people live in Athens – 40% of Greece.
Greek workers get one month holiday off a year and many spend it on one of the islands.
It is not unusual for Athenians to sit down for their evening meal at midnight!
Europe’s Oldest City.
What comes to mind when you think of the city of Athens? The birthplace of democracy? Greek Gods? Sun
? Athens is a bubbling capital city with a huge amount to see and do. Athenians are proud of the slightly chaotic nature of their city and they have perfected the laidback Mediterranean lifestyle
. They are proud of their cooking, their close-knit families and their heritage. Athens is full of history and in recent years the city has put a lot of work into developing its tourist attractions and museums. There is so much to see in the city centre that it is well worth giving yourself a few days to take it all in. This is especially important if you plan your visit in the summer where temperatures often reach very high levels. Such heat is tiring and the amount of time you will want to spend exploring will be less than you think.
Top tips for exploring Athens
There are many, many things to see in Athens and we of course recommend you visit the Parthenon
, The Acropolis Museum
and The Museum of Cycladic Art
. A tourist ticket can be purchased that gives you access to all of these attractions and more and is well worth purchasing if you wish to spend a day or two exploring Greece’s rich history.
Perhaps the best place to start your own Greek Odyssey
is a trip to the top of Lycabettus Hill
, a huge rocky outcrop located to the north-east of the centre. You can’t miss it as it’s the only noticeable hill apart from the Acropolis
in the centre and has a church perched on top of it. Make your way through the streets towards the hill and you will come across one of the many paths leading up the hill. The view from the Athen’s highest point is awe-inspiring and on a clear day the sprawling metropolis of Athens stretches for many miles in every direction. You get a stunning view of the Parthenon and in the distance Pireas, Athens’ port. Be sure to apply sun cream before doing this trip as you are very exposed at the top of this rocky crag.
The Benaki Museum
, located close to Lycabettus on Koumbari also comes highly recommended by Wimdu. This museum presents the cultural and historical development of Greece covering areas such as the Roman domination, the fall of Constantinople and the latter day displacement of Greek people. Greece’s history is well presented and the museum building is very beautiful. Another good reason to take a visit there is because it provides respite from Athens’ often muggy climate.
You should make special effort to sample as much Greek food during your stay in Athens as you can. Whether it be street food or restaurant cuisine, Greek food is of a high quality and rich in flavour. For breakfast Wimdu recommends Loukoumades
, big sugary donuts sold by street vendors, washed down with a Greek coffee. For lunch it is essential you try the ubiquitous Gyros
, which are available on almost every street corner. Gyros is the Greek equivalent of fast food and contains pork kebab meat, served in pita break with salad, tzatziki and a few chips. All Greeks have their favourite restaurants and hang-outs so ask your Wimdu Host where they recommend to go for food. For your evening meal Wimdu recommends you try Moussaka
, it’s different wherever you go but always hearty and filling.
Transport in Athens
is located 40 minutes by bus from the city centre. The X93 connects Athens airport directly with the centre and runs 24 hours. In the city centre there are plenty of transport options. The metro is clean, reliable and has links with all major tourist attractions. There are also lots of buses operating in the centre too. Athens city centre is relatively compact and there is much to see on the small back streets, we recommend taking a stroll and seeing what you can find! The port of Pireas
is a 30 minute metro ride from the centre and it is here where you can take a ferry to the Greek islands. Wimdu offer accommodation and villas on the Greek Islands
including on the Cycladic islands, Crete and the Dodecanese. Perhaps you would like to do a bit of island hopping during your stay in Greece?