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Athens - fiding an hotel without previous/booking in advance

"to reserve or not to reserve"

My trip to Athens will be middle September.
I've an idea about various places to stay, that on online bookings, use to have available rooms for each current date.
Though, I would prefer to decide once there, and book at the counter on check in date.
Question is: does that use to imply differences in pricing?

Posted by
2416 posts

If you are talking about using this approach to beat down prices, The "walk-up" strategy can work in SOME of the Islands, OFF-Season (May or October).... you walk up and say do you have a room, and the hotelier says yes, and you ask, what does it cost? And the hotelier says, €40, and you say, I can only pay €35 and you start to walk away... then maybe he might say, uh, I do have one room at €35.

I would not think it would work in Athens. At least the price-cutting part of it would NEVER work in September -- because a City like Athens gets MORE busy in september... Greeks are back from holiday, conventions are opening, and all the convention attenders are booking rooms, there are performances and athletic events bringing people to town ... Athens hotels are more full in September than in August. You may find a room (perhaps in a less desirable location) without booking in advance, but less likely to be able to negotiate price.

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you Janet.
It's not (at all) about price bargaining... the reasoning is "maximum spontaneity", as Rick Steves puts it here
https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/sleeping-eating/reserve-accommodations

My concern is about quotations for "walk-ins" being higher than those offered on-line.
I've been looking for availability and prices on a daily basis for check-ins at the same day of each research and so far there's enough availability. Though, for the reasons you mentioned, I understand it may change in the near future.

Posted by
4075 posts

Who wants to spend their precious vacation time dragging suitcases from hotel to hotel looking for a room? Not me.

With the dawn of the internet, no one travels in a spontaneous way any more. At least not a smart traveler.

Posted by
2235 posts

I always book well in advance, but if I wanted maximum “spontaneity”, I would either book through Booking.com a day or two before arriving, or even first thing in the morning of arrival, or locate and choose a hotel through Booking.com, then call the hotel directly. You may end up with a limited choice of lodging and location, and types of rooms, but at least you would avoid taking time and energy lugging your baggage from one hotel, maybe from one neighborhood, to another. I have found Booking.com very reliable.

Posted by
747 posts

I agree . . . why waste time trying to find something so you can save a few euros. Time is precious on holiday . . . if you have a budget in mind then I'm sure you can find something on-line via a third-party site for what you need. If you do find a room on a third-party website see if there is a website for that hotel. You may get a better price dealing directly with them and definitely better customer service.

Posted by
172 posts

Spontaneity is all well and good but there is a time and place. Hotels in Athens in September isn't it, unless of course you're ready to have some very interesting spontaneous experience of the very high, very low or very far lodging options.

Posted by
6210 posts

If you are not too picky about what kind of place you stay, the 'walk up' method is viable.

Posted by
364 posts

I've loaded the apps Booking.com / Airbnb.com / Hotels.com on my phone and use them on-the-fly.
(I use the map feature to know the area I'm going for.)

All the hotels in one area were booked. I had to go a long way for the one I line up w/ Booking.
Otherwise I've had good luck the few times I've done it.