Where to stay in Athens without a car: 8 Best areas

I love to explore places without a car, and on my website, I cover many topics for car-free travelers. In this article, we will visit Athens and help you find the best places to stay in Athens without a car. 

I will share my recommendations for the top areas to stay in Athens without a car, along with a helpful map. I’ll also tell you where I stayed in Athens and suggest the best hotels for all budgets.

Athens is the capital city of Greece and one of the oldest cities in the world. It is located in the southern part of Greece on the Attica Peninsula and is known for its rich history, ancient ruins, and contributions to Western civilization.

The Acropolis of Athens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a symbol of the city. It includes several ancient buildings, the most famous of which is the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena.

The city has a vibrant modern culture and is known for its lively neighborhoods, museums, theaters, and a thriving culinary scene. The Plaka, Monastiraki, and Syntagma Square are popular areas for tourists.

If you are asking “Can you get around Athens without a car?” My answer is, “Yes, it is possible to get around Athens without a car”. In fact, the best way to get around the city is on foot, by using the metro (subway), or taxi/Uber. 

Public transportation system in Athens includes the Metro, buses, trams, and suburban railway (Proastiakos). 

The Metro is an efficient and convenient way to travel within the city. It consists of three lines, the Green Line (Line 1), the Red Line (Line 2), and the Blue Line (Line 3), which connect various parts of the city and provide easy access to many popular attractions.

From Piraeus Port and Athens Airport, you can get to City center by taking the metro Blue Line.  You can also take the bus (x95 airport route) from the arrivals area of the airport to Syntagma Square. From the port, there are metro green line 1 and bus #040 taking you to the city center.

Suburban Railway offers direct connection between Piraeus port and Athens International Airport. It also links Athens to Chalkida in Evia and Kaito and Corinth in the Peloponnese. 

The city also has an extensive network of buses and trolleybuses that cover areas not serviced by the metro. You can use these to reach destinations in the city and its suburbs.

There is also a tram network connecting Athens city center with the coastal suburbs such as Faliro, Voula and Piraeus, providing a scenic way to travel along the Athenian Riviera.

You can also use Uber and Taxis Athens, and they can be a convenient way to get around if you prefer not to use public transportation. Just make sure the taxi has a working meter.

Athens is a walkable city, especially in the central areas where many of the main attractions are clustered. Walking allows you to soak in the city’s atmosphere and discover hidden gems.

Where to stay in Athens without a car?

The best areas to stay in Athens without a car are Plaka, Syntagma, Monastiraki, Koukaki, Metaxourgeio, Psyri, Kolonaki, Gazi. These are the city’s most popular areas for tourists, so you’ll have easy access to attractions and amenities on foot, by using public transportation, or taxi/Uber.

Plaka is one of the most popular area for tourists. It’s known for its charming streets, neoclassical architecture, and proximity to major historical sites like the Acropolis and Ancient Agora. Plaka is a pedestrian-friendly area with many restaurants, shops, and cafes.

Syntagma is home to Syntagma Square, the Greek Parliament, and the National Garden. Monastiraki is famous for its flea market and the Monastiraki Square. Koukaki is known for its relaxed and residential atmosphere, making it a good choice for a quieter stay.

Kolonaki is an upscale area known for its luxury boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. It’s on the slopes of Lycabettus Hill, offering beautiful views of the city. 

Gazi is Athens’ entertainment district, with numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants. It’s a trendy neighborhood with a youthful atmosphere, and it’s served by the Kerameikos metro station.

Psyrri is a lively district with a thriving nightlife close to Monastiraki and Plaka. Metaxourgeio is an up-and-coming neighborhood known for its vibrant art scene. 

During my trip to Athens, I stayed in the city center at the Ergon House. It is a great 4-star hotel, centrally located within walking distance from major sights such as the Monastiraki Square and Syntagma Square. It has a rooftop bar with great views of the Acropolis.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Athens for car-free travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the best areas to stay in Athens without a car
Map of the best areas to stay in Athens without a car

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Athens, especially for travelers without a car. I’ll explain to you how to reach each area and how to get around. I’ll also provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Athens have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

8 Best areas to stay in Athens without a car:

1. Plaka

Plaka is one of the best areas to stay in Athens for first-timers and car-free travelers who want to be in the heart of the historical center, with easy access to the city’s most iconic landmarks and a charming atmosphere.

Plaka is within walking distance of major attractions like the Acropolis, Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, and the Tower of the Winds. You can easily explore these historic sites without the need for a car.

Plaka is known for its narrow cobblestone streets, neoclassical buildings, and traditional Greek architecture. It’s a delightful place to stroll, explore, and enjoy the ambiance.

Plaka offers a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops, where you can savor Greek cuisine, buy souvenirs, and enjoy local culture.

Much of Plaka is pedestrianized, making it a safe and pleasant neighborhood to explore on foot.

Plaka is close to Monastiraki, which is a major transportation hub with easy access to public transportation.

Best places to stay in Athens in Plaka without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Electra Palace Athens, great 5-star hotel, centrally located in the heart of Athens, within walking distance from major sights including the Syntagma Square. It has a beautiful rooftop pool, Fabulous breakfast, and paid airport shuttle services.
  • Mid-range ($$): Ergon House, 4-star accommodation, conveniently located within walking distance from Monastiraki Railway Station, easy access to Acropolis and Plaka.
  • Budget ($): Central Hotel, popular 3-star hotel located in Plaka, a short walk from Syntagma Square. It features a rooftop terrace with views of Acropolis. It has a 24-hour front desk, private parking for those who drive, and Family rooms.

2. Syntagma 

Syntagma is an excellent option for a central and convenient base in Athens. Syntagma Square is at the heart of the city and serves as a major transportation hub.

Syntagma is one of the most central areas in Athens, making it a great starting point for exploring the city. It’s within walking distance of many of Athens’ major attractions and cultural sites.

Ermou Street, one of the city’s main shopping districts, starts at Syntagma Square. You’ll find a wide range of shops, from international brands to local boutiques.

The National Garden of Athens is nearby, providing a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. You can take a relaxing walk in this lush garden.

You can easily reach historical sites such as the Greek Parliament building, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Panathenaic Stadium from Syntagma.

Many hotels in the Syntagma area offer rooftop terraces or balconies with excellent views of the Acropolis and the city.

Best places to stay in Athens in Syntagma without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Athens Capital Center Hotel – MGallery Collection, 5-star hotel, located in the city center, within a short distance from Syntagma Square, University of Athens – Central Building and Museum of Cycladic Art. It has wonderful views from its rooftop terrace.
  • Mid-range ($$): Amalia Hotel Athens, 4-star hotel, conveniently situated in Syntagma Square, right next to the National Gardens. It is also within a few mins walk from the Acropolis, Plaka, and Ermou  commercial district. Easy access to the metro/tram stations and airport express bus.
  • Budget ($): Arethusa Hotel, 3-star hotel, centrally located within a few steps from Syntagma Metro Station. It has an American breakfast buffet and a roof garden with stunning views of the city.

3. Monastiraki

Monastiraki is one of the best places to stay in Athens, especially if you enjoy a lively and bustling atmosphere. Monastiraki is known for its bustling flea market and its proximity to historic sites. 

Monastiraki is within walking distance of the Acropolis, Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, and other historic sites. This makes it an ideal base for exploring Athens on foot.

Monastiraki is famous for its flea market, where you can find all kinds of unique souvenirs, antiques, crafts, and collectibles. It’s a great place for shopping and soaking in the local culture.

The neighborhood is home to a variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars, offering both traditional Greek cuisine and international dining options. In the evening, it becomes a lively area with a vibrant nightlife scene.

Monastiraki has a metro station, making it easy to connect to other parts of the city and the Athens International Airport.

Monastiraki has a somewhat bohemian and artistic vibe, and you’ll find many street artists, musicians, and performers in the vicinity.

Best places to stay in Athens in Monastiraki without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hellenic Vibes Smart Hotel, great 5-star hotel, located in central Athens, a short walk from Monastiraki Square. It features 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, and Fabulous breakfast according to guests’ reviews. 
  • Mid-range ($$): Lotus Inn, great 4-star hotel, located just a few steps from Ermou Street-Shopping Area and Monastiraki Flea Market.
  • Budget ($): Adrian Hotel, 3-star accommodation conveniently situated on Adrianou Street, right under the Acropolis hill, close to all major Athens attractions, including Ancient Agora, Monastiraki flea market, and Monastiraki Metro Station. It has a rooftop terrace with the views of the Parthenon.

4. Koukaki

Koukaki is a great area to book your accommodation if you prefer a quieter and more local atmosphere while still being close to the major historical sites such as the Acropolis.

Koukaki is one of the closest residential neighborhoods to the Acropolis, making it ideal for those who want easy access to this iconic site. 

The neighborhood has a range of local cafes, tavernas, and restaurants where you can savor Greek cuisine and get a taste of authentic local life. You can find restaurants and shops at Koukaki Square, Georgaki Olympiou Street, and Drakou street.

Koukaki offers a more relaxed and less crowded atmosphere compared to popular tourist districts like Plaka and Monastiraki. It’s a great choice for those seeking a tranquil place to stay.

Koukaki is near Filopappou Hill, a beautiful green area with walking paths and excellent views of the city, including the Acropolis.

Best places to stay in Athens in Koukaki without a car:

  • Mid-range ($$): Heritage Hill Hotel, 4-star hotel located close to the Syngrou/Fix Metro Station, Neos Kosmos Metro Station and Acropolis Museum. It is around 15 mins walk from Plaka and Syntagma.
  • Budget ($): Hotel @Syngrou Fix, 3-star hotel, located just steps from the hip bars and restaurants of Koukaki. It is within walking distance from Plake, New Acropolis Museum, Syngrou Fix Metro Station, and Ancient Forum.
  • Luxury ($$$): Athenaeum Intercontinental, an IHG Hotel, great 5-star hotel, located on Syngrou Avenue, easy access to tram station to go to city center. You can also take Uber. It is around 25 mins walk from Acropolis.

5. Metaxourgeio

Metaxourgeio is an up-and-coming neighborhood in Athens that has been undergoing a transformation in recent years. Staying in Metaxourgeio can offer a unique and artsy experience. 

Metaxourgeio is home to numerous art galleries, studios, and street art including the Rebecca Camhi Gallery, the Vamiali Gallery, and Municipal Gallery of Athens.  

Metaxourgeio is close to important cultural sites like the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, a significant archaeological site.

Keep in mind that Metaxourgeio is an area in transition, and while it offers a unique and edgier atmosphere, it may not be as polished or as historically charming as neighborhoods like Plaka or Koukaki.

If you’re interested in exploring Athens’ arts and nightlife scene and prefer a more budget-friendly accommodation, Metaxourgeio can be an excellent choice.  

Best places to stay in Athens in Metaxourgeio without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Wyndham Grand Athens, 5-star hotel located just steps from Metaxourgeio Metro Station, close to Omonia Square and Avdi Square. You can enjoy amazing views from the rooftop bar and pool.
  • Mid-range ($$): Connect Suites, great accommodation located close to Metro Station, within walking distance from National Theatre of Greece and Omonia Square.
  • Budget ($): Connect Studios & Apartments, 3-star accommodation located within a 5-minute walk from Metaxourgeio metro station, and a 10 minutes walk to the Monastiraki square.

6. Psyri

Psiri, also spelled as Psiri or Psiri, is a popular area in central Athens and is known for its nightlife, dining, and cultural attractions. The area was traditionally a hub for artisans and craftsmen, and it has preserved some of its historic architecture.

Psiri is filled with bars, clubs, and music venues that cater to various tastes. It’s a popular destination for both locals and tourists who want to experience Athens’ nightlife.

Just like Metaxourgeio, Psiri is known for its vibrant street art scene, with colorful graffiti and murals adorning many buildings. The street art adds to the neighborhood’s artistic and alternative character.

Psiri is easily accessible, as it’s located near Monastiraki Square, which is a transportation hub in Athens, making it easy to explore the city from this central location.

Best places to stay in Athens in Psiri without a car:

  • Mid-range ($$): The Editor Hotel Athens, 4-star hotel located within walking distance from Anafiotika, Monastiraki Flea Market, Monastiraki Square and Ermou Street.
  • Mid-range ($$): Athenian Living Suites, great central accommodation, short walk from Monastiraki Metro Station, offering a paid airport shuttle service and family rooms.
  • Budget ($): Attalos Hotel, popular 3-star historic accommodation, located in the heart of Athens, in the buzzing Psirri neighborhood, close to archaeological sites, the flea market, a metro to the airport and the port.

7. Kolonaki

Kolonaki is a posh and upscale neighborhood in the heart of Athens. It is known for its elegance, high-end shopping, fine dining, and luxury living. 

The streets of this neighborhood are lined with high-end boutiques, fashion stores, jewelry shops, and designer labels, especially on Voukourestiou and Stadiou streets. It’s a preferred destination for luxury shoppers and fashion enthusiasts.

Lycabettus Hill, one of the highest points in Athens, is located within or near Kolonaki. This hill offers stunning panoramic views of the city and provides a natural escape from the urban hustle and bustle.

On the Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, you can find numerous museums such as the Benaki Museum,  Athens War Museum, the Byzantine & Christian Museum, and Museum of Cycladic Art. 

Best places to stay in Athens in Kolonaki without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): COCO-MAT Athens Jumelle, great 5-star hotel, centrally located in Athens close to Benaki Museum, Museum of Cycladic Art and Syntagma Square.
  • Mid-range ($$): The Modernist Athens, 4-star hotel, situated in Kolonaki, in the former Canadian Embassy, within walking distance from Lycabettus Hill, Athens Music Hall, and Museum of Cycladic Art.  
  • Budget ($): Coco-Mat Hotel Athens, great accommodation, offering paid airport shuttle services, and Free use of bicycles for guests. 

8. Gazi

Gazi is a great area to stay in Athens for a budget traveler. Located northwest of the city center, Gazi is known for its nightlife, entertainment, and cultural scene. 

Gazi was historically an industrial area known for its gasworks, hence the name “Gazi,” which means “gas” in Greek. The old gasworks have been preserved and repurposed into cultural and entertainment spaces, giving the neighborhood a distinctive character.

Gazi is filled with bars, nightclubs, and music venues that come alive in the evenings. The nightlife in Gazi is known for its diversity and caters to a wide range of tastes, from electronic music clubs to more traditional Greek tavernas with live music.

Gazi is easily accessible by public transportation, with its own metro station (Kerameikos) on Line 3 (blue line). It’s also within walking distance of other central areas like Monastiraki and Psiri.

Best places to stay in Athens in Gazi without a car:

  • Mid-range ($$): Athenian Spirit, great accommodation, close to Gazi – Technopoli and Temple of Hephaestus. 2 mins walk to the metro station for direct line to the Athens airport.
  • Mid-range ($$): 47 Luxury Suites, 4-star hotel located in Gazi district, just steps from bars and restaurants, easy access to train, great base for Piraeus.
  • Budget ($): Iconic Athens Hostel, backpacker hostel located in the heart of Gazi cool neighborhood, close to Kerameikos Metro Station and Gazi – Technopoli. Easy access to the metro with links to the Airport.  

In conclusion, Plaka, Syntagma Square, Monastiraki, Koukaki, Metaxourgeio, Psyri, Kolonaki, Gazi are the best places to stay in Athens without a car. These are central and well-connected neighborhoods, so you can easily get around on foot and by using public transportation.

Other interesting articles about Athens and other destinations in Greece:

There you have it, my recommendations for the popular areas that you can stay during your car-free trip to Athens. I hope you found my article helpful and enjoy your holiday!

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality travel guides.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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