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Any experience with Air Bnb in Athens, Plaka?

The hotel choices for Athens are endless, and after exploring all of them recommended by RS, I'm wondering if anyone on this Forum has suggestions for an Air BnB in the area? I'm traveling with my 10 year old daughter and interested in a safe and quiet place for 3 nights the first week of April (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Saturday, April 5 - 8). Thank you.

Posted by
2934 posts

I myself have not stayed in an Airbnb in Athens but have advised many others on which to choose. You can find wonderful places at good prices, even perhaps on Easter Week, because for many Athenians, the tradition is to leave the city to celebrate in a faraway home village. The KEY to a good experience is Location, location, location. You want to be near the Acropolis, because all the major sites are within walking distance there. For a quiet experience I would suggest looking on the SOUTH side of Acropolis, near the lovely pedestrian promenade that runs all along the site there. For each you are considering, USE the google map to locate it exactly. Here's an excellent onlline map as well - http://www.orangesmile.com/destinations/img/athens-map-big.jpg (click to enlarge). It shows where sites are, and the green streets that are no-car lanes.

I trust you are also planning carefully and doing homework on what things are open or closed, so that you won't find yourselves with an empty day. Of course on Easter itself everything closes -- I think not even transit runs! But on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, many sites and museums are closed or have short hours, as well as easter Monday. You'll get most out of Easter in Athens by attending a Holy Saturday service ending at Midnight with candles and fireworks. Unless you luckily have been invited to an Easter Sunday feast with a Greek family, make sure that you have arranged to lunch at a festive restaurant or hotel venue ... otherwise you'll feel like the "Leftout Family" peering thru windows at happy celebrants. Wherever you book, get advice from your landlord on all the above, in advance.

Posted by
19 posts

Thank you for your reply and the map link. AirBnB offers some extremely good deals, but it is difficult to choose since every reviewer considers the place they stayed 5 star. Rarely do you read of a negative AirBnB review and all of them say the place they stayed is in a great location. Your map will help significantly.

I have been doing a great deal of research and both the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum website indicate that they are open Friday, Saturday but closed on Sunday, April 8 only. Naturally, I am concerned we will likely experience reduced hours, but alas, this is how our itinerary is playing out.

Our flight leaves early on the 8th, so we will miss the Easter day festivities, but might catch a midnight mass on Saturday.

Thanks for your help.

Posted by
1326 posts

We stay in Airbnb apartments in Athens two or three times a year, and have had consistently good experiences. We’ve generally found the descriptions to be accurate.

Janet is right that location is the key. There are some apartments in Plaka, the central tourist area, which look fine but I’ve no personal experience of. We tend to stay slightly further out - check Petralona which is only about 15 minutes from the Acropolis or Makryani which is behind the Acropolis Museum.

The metro in Athens is very reliable and, in English terms, cheap. Being near a metro station is handy and for 9 euros you can get a 5 day pass that travels all transport: metro, bus, trolley and tram (but not the airport trip.)

Have a great trip.

Alan

Posted by
2934 posts

I second the recommendation for Makrigianni ... on that online map it's below Plaka, but really is considered part of Plaka, and is just as convenient or more so.... just steps from the South entry to Acropolis and Acropolis museum. I stay in a wonderful little super-budget hotel where rooms all have balcony views either of Acropolis or sunken-plaze Ekaterini Churchyard (#79 on map). Taxis by day from Airport to entire central Athens are €38 flat-fee, no need to book car service ahead ... just go to curbside taxi line.

Posted by
19 posts

Janet, what is the name of the "super-budget friendly hotel" in Makrigianni?

Posted by
2934 posts

Hotel Phaedra -- it's 3 stories tall, only 21 rooms, 24-hour desk, very plain (but clean) lobby and hallways ... but linens are white and crisp, A/C works well, and it has a wonderful rooftop terrace with canopied tables, open to all, no bar/restaurant where you must buy food or drink. I enjoy bringing my breakfast up there, sometimes a sunny lunch-sandwich, or sunset BYO snack & beverage. Not for those who want a mint on their pillow -- but I love this family-owned place ... and more than a dozen travel companions I have brought there in the past have also enjoyed it. In fact, my praises here, on Fodor's forum and Trip Advisor have attracted enough business that it fills up well in advance.

If u are interested, you can check on booking.com for availability and rates, but suggest you contact hotel on its direct website-- that will save them paying the % fee of the online booking site, and when rates are so reasonable, that really matters. I I favor writing to their hotel e-mail rather than filling out a website form.... you can be more informal, say that you're traveling with your daughter, say you've heard such good things about the place etc, mention that you'd love a balcony room with Acropolis view or churchyard view -- you could also mention that Janet of Philadelphia sent you. Also, it's good to know that reservations far in advance are usually quite risk-free in GReece; no advance deposit if you supply a credit-card # to show good faith in making a booking ... and cancellation is without penalty with enough advance notice. Off-season that's as close-to-arrival as 2 weeks, but for Holidays like easter, may be farther.

Posted by
28 posts

Hello! We used a company named Boutique Athens (http://www.boutiqueathens.com/). They offer to arrange car services or will meet you at the Metro station and take you to the hotel. They walk you through the apartment and the neighborhood and are always available by phone to assist. Costas was who we worked with this fall and it was obvious that he loved what he was doing. We even bumped into him in the neighborhood one night while he was walking his dogs. Enjoy!

Posted by
2934 posts

Dawn, when you recommend a service it is helpful to also be specific about its cost. Since the OP requested the name of my favorite Budget hotel, this may be a clue that they are not looking for upscale elite places -- and the service you mention, "boutique," is a clue that services and hotels thru them are rather pricey.

Posted by
201 posts

We stayed at an AirbBnB last July and it was a super location in the Koukaki area. An easy walk to the Akropolis and subway. It was $49 per night and could sleep 2 in a bed and then 2 couches in living room. He also recommended an economical walking tour guide who was fabulous and took us to places we would have never found on our own. It would be good to do that early on and then you could follow up with places of most interest. The Acropolis Museum closed early one day so check their website! Here's the link to our AirBnB and my comments can be found there - I was honest. It wasn't luxurious but met all of our needs, was air conditioned, fit our budget and was a great, safe location. It was just me and my 14 year old daughter. Great grocery stores, restaurants and bakeries in the neighborhood. He has a driver that will pick you up at airport or port or take you there (we had to leave early in the morning so it was 50 euros but during regular time, we used his driver to pick us up from the port and it was less expensive). https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/10945408

Posted by
2934 posts

Now THAT is stunningly helpful, Dana -- thanks for the specifics! I've bookmarked that link ... many others will be helped.

Posted by
186 posts

The apartment in which we stayed in October is taken for your time frame, but the owner has others. While I have not seen his other properties, I would definitely recommend him as a host. This is the only one of his Airbnb listings that is still open for your time. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/11669024

Posted by
106 posts

Hello,

The centre of Athens has plenty of Air BnB choices. In Plaka I stayed at "Next to Acropolis cozy apartment" hosted by Sean. It was a great modern apartment, at an accessible location. You might also like to check out some Hostels for budget accommodation like The Student and Travellers Inn or the Athenstyle. Plaka is the perfect place to stay and you'll be able to walk to all the major attractions around the Acropolis. Safe too. There is a metro close so you can go anywhere you like in no time :)

Posted by
1117 posts

In Plaka I stayed at "Next to Acropolis cozy apartment" hosted by
Sean.

I'm confused. You live in Athens but stay at AirBnB?