Why stay in Athens?
Athens is a fantastic mix of old - and we're talking really, really old here - and new. People zip by the remnants of ancient Greek ruins on motor scooters, talking on their cell phones. Of course, some parts of Athens are so overcrowded with both people and gray concrete blocks of buildings that you might be surprised you're in the cradle of Western civilization at all. The good news is that there are still charming parts of this old city, amazing Classical Greek ruins to be found here and a movement to restore more of the city's beautiful buildings.
In addition to visiting the Acropolis and its staggering collection of ancient Greek monuments, what is there to do in Athens? Plenty. For one thing, the areas around the base of the Acropolis are some of the more charming parts of the city, full of cute cafes and shops and lovely Greek Orthodox churches. There are lots of museums and galleries where you can learn more about the city's place in history - the Acropolis Museum, Benaki Museum and National Archaeological Museum of Athens are highlights, but there are many more besides. You can watch the changing of the guard in front of the Greek Parliament building on Syntagma Square, and there are some nice beaches near Athens as well. Save some energy for the evening, though, because the nightlife in Athens is fantastic.
Athens has plenty of budget accommodations to choose from. Keep in mind that "hostels" aren't just for young backpackers anymore - they're just for budget-conscious travelers who want to meet fellow travelers. A few Athens hostels worth mentioning are highlighted here.
Athens Backpackers is near the classical center of the city and offers both dorm-style rooms or private apartments. It's a two-minute walk from the Acropolis, 10 minutes from Syntagma Square and a 20-minute tram ride to the beach. The Students & Travellers Inn comes with recommendations from a few guidebooks and a location at the base of the Acropolis in the Plaka neighborhood.
Dioskouros is also in the Plaka neighborhood on a quiet street where they say noise from the city doesn't reach the guestrooms.Fivos is around the corner from the trendy Psirri neighborhood, which is one of Athens' nightlife hotspots, and it's a short walk to the Plaka and Acropolis.
If none of these properties sounds perfect, that's okay - there are many more Athens hostels listed here. Just browse the descriptions until you find the right one.
If you need anything else for your trip, you're in the right place. You can find international airfare to Athens and read up on what to do and see in our Athens Travel Guide.
Check out more hostels in Athens on EuropeanHostels.