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Which neighborhood to reserve an Athens apartment?

I'm be spending 5 nights in Athens this October after visiting Crete and am having trouble choosing between apartments in Thissio and Koukaki. I'll be traveling with my cousin (we're both in our 30s) who is obsessed with Greek history. We're looking to stay in a location with easy access to the main sites but a bit out of the tourist hub that has nice, more local, and affordable restaurants, cafes, stores etc. We'll probably spend 2-3 days in Athens plus a day or 2 doing day trips.

The apartments I've found online are either within a few blocks of the Fix or Thissio metro stops. Both neighborhoods seem meet our requirements but I'm having trouble choosing between the two. From what I've found online, it seems that Thissio may be a bit more picturesque but be more touristy and have fewer restaurants and be a bit more expensive. Koukaki seems to be more recently gentrified but filled with local cafes, stores, etc. Is this accurate?

Any insight/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!

Posted by
24 posts

Koukaki is the best located among Athens' "hot" new neighborhoods, near the Acropolis Museum, but not quite taken over by tourists; excellent and changing restaurant scene, it's true. But if it's not too late, you might consider Exarcheia, which is FABULOUS for anything new in Athens; similar to the East Village and Williamsburg in New York. Don't be put off by what you read in tourist guides (dirty, dangerous, unwelcoming, etc) . Really wonderful places to eat and drink, and crackling. Not as convenient to the metro, though it's relatively close to the Archeological Museum; take taxis everywhere in Athens, which are very cheap. Exarcheia is much better value than the neighborhoods you're looking at, but you can tell it'll change in a few years.

Posted by
1178 posts

Of the two I would go for Koukaki for the reasons you say: less tourists, more of a neighbourhood feel, a good range of restaurants. The area around Fix metro is fine but I would probably come a couple of blocks back from Syngrou. It’s a major 4 lane urban highway which is busy most of the time.

You might also look at Ano Petralona. It’s a very pleasant area with less traffic than Koukaki but is still a short walk to the Acropolis and only a few minutes from the metro. It’s another area with a very lively restaurant scene.

Alan

Posted by
30 posts

Just returned from 4 days in Athens and stayed at the Hotel Plaka which is near Monastiraki square. The square and flea market are insane busy, but you can't beet the location. Never stepped on the metro because we could walk everywhere in a few minutes. It is especially close to all the ancient sites. Walked over to the Thissio, Gazi and Psiri neighborhoods which was dotted with new air b&b's interesting squares and cafe's, and some amazing graffitti artists. Walked around the acropolis multiple times and down to Koukaki for dinner one night and it took 15 minutes so no need to define where you sleep by finding a neighborhood for cheap eats. I personally would probably pick the best lodging option and go from there.

Posted by
1942 posts

We stayed in Hotel Victory Inn near Victory Metro stop. The hotel was not expensive ($65/night, including decent breakfast). Neighborhood is OK, but a little dodgy.

Posted by
51 posts

Both places are perfect. Koukaki is more modern but Thissio is also fine especially for the period you mention. It's calmer than summer

Do not forget to watch an Ancient theater performance if you love ancient Greece... Thats my only advice.