How to have a stylish stay In the heart of Athens

The ancient ruins of the Acropolis in Athens
The ancient ruins of the Acropolis in Athens

Editorial Manager

The ancient city of Athens boasts a myriad of treasures that continue to fascinate visitors from all corners of the world. The domineering ruins of the Acropolis are visible from pretty much everywhere but what will surprise first-time visitors is just how easy it is to get around. With a smooth metro system and clever street layout, if you pick a central hotel you’ll be able to cram a lot into even the briefest stay.

For more adventures in Greece, join one of our trips that take you from the ancient landmarks of Athens to spectacular islands in the Cyclades.

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Destinations Unlocked:

Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip

Looking for an expert's perspective?

Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
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CentralAmerica

GORGEOUS GUATEMALA

Gorgeous Guatemala

5 days . Mini
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1. Guatemala

An express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.

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CentralAmerica

BEACHY BELIZE

Beachy Belize

5 days . Mini
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2. Belize

A quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
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CentralAmerica

COLONIAL MEXICO

Colonial Mexico

5 days . Mini
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3. Mexico

An exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
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SouthAmerica

ADVENTUROUS ECUADOR

Adventurous Ecuador

8 days . Epic
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1. Ecuador

A remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.

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SouthAmerica

ANCIENT PERU

Ancient Peru

9 days . Epic
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2. Peru

An alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
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Europe

SEDUCTIVE SOUTHERN ITALY

Seductive Southern Italy

10 days . Epic
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1. Italy

The ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.

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Europe

EDINBURGH AND THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS BY TRAIN

Edinburgh And The Scottish Highlands By Train

7 days . Culture
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2. Scotland

Embark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
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Europe

COMPLETE PORTUGAL BY TRAIN

Complete Portugal By Train

8 days . Culture
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3. Portugal

A wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
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Asia

SOULFUL SOUTH KOREA

Soulful South Korea

10 days . Epic
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1. South Korea

Discover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.

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Asia

THAILAND, CAMBODIA & VIETNAM

Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam

11 days . Epic
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2. Thailand

From Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
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Asia

SECRETS OF SRI LANKA BY TRAIN

Secrets Of Sri Lanka By Train

10 days . Culture
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3. Sri Lanka

A fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
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Africa

EPIC MOROCCO

Epic Morocco

11 days . Epic
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1. Morocco

An epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!

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Africa

ULTIMATE EGYPT

Ultimate Egypt

9 days . Epic
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2. Egypt

From Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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Africa

IMMERSIVE KENYA

Immersive Kenya

8 days . Epic
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3. Kenya

An immersive blend of culture and wildlife for first time travelers to Africa. Learn about Nairobi, sample local coffee in the Aberdares and finish up with a fantastic safari stay in the Masai Mara.
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Arriving in Athens is a straightforward affair. The main international airport might be on the outskirts of the city but getting to the centre of town is easy. Taxis are reliable and safe, if a little expensive when traveling longer distances so your best bet is to use public transport. Head to the train station, which is clearly signposted, and buy a ticket to get on the metro system. You can buy a variety of tickets from single fares to returns, but the best option for a short trip is the 3-day pass which covers everything including a return to the airport for your journey back. You can also take a bus but as the open ticket only costs €20 you’re better off on the much quicker subway network.

There are only three metro lines in Athens and these crossover in the centre of the city. These three stations are where most people will instantly head to as the majority of attractions and places to stay are situated here.

Where to stay in Athens

Syntagma Square is one stop away from the main Acropolis station and a very short walk from Monastiraki which is probably the busiest shopping district in Athens. A great option if you want to be within easy reach of great restaurants, rooftop bars and world-famous attractions is Gatsby Athens. The hotel only recently opened but has already become a popular destination for both international travelers and Athenians too. All 33 rooms and suites have an art deco design, with signature pastel pink headboards, diamond tiled showers, golden wardrobes, velvet corner sofas, balconies and even a ‘surprise’ button for those who dare to press…

The rooftop of Gatsby Athens

For anyone staying here the cool design, comfortable rooms and excellent service make it a top choice with everyone else able to enjoy the vast bar area long into the night. A vivid combination of indoor and outdoor dining concepts, the space has a cool vibe you’ll pick up on as soon as you arrive.

Famed Greek architects WOA led architectural restoration of the building, employing design intricacies that complement the boundaries of where it is located in the Old Historic and Commercial Center of downtown Athens. Created to convey a sense of timelessness the setting evokes the glamour of mid-1930 Athens, creating a fine balance between old and new. The all-day restaurant is the main social hub of the hotel, and the rooftop garden offers a casual-cool vibe, welcoming hotel residents and guests to dine with stunning panoramic views and a glimpse of the Acropolis.

Things to do on a short break to Athens

Having sung the praises of the 3-day metro pass, you could easily get around Athens without ever using it until you need to head back to the airport! Obviously, you’ll want to visit the Acropolis, but be prepared for the long queues and intense heat in summer. An autumnal trip might be a better option to avoid both, but it will be busy no matter what time of year you visit.

You’ll quickly learn the ‘Acropolis’ actually means edge of town and refers to the hill on which the famous ruins sit. There are some incredible things to explore on your way up so don’t just rush up to the top to get the perfect selfie. Another good option here to save some money and add some structure to your sightseeing is an organised tour which will not only give you a good sense of the city but also come with a ticket to visit other popular attractions like Ancient Agora and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

The Parthenon is the most distinctive ruin on the Acropolis. You can see it from everywhere in Athens and the further away you get, the better the view.

Why not explore the best of Athens with a 5-day speedy tour which will take you to all the best attractions as well as showing you the artistic side to the city?

If you look in the opposite direction to the Acropolis from Gatsby Athens, you’ll spot the unmistakable Mount Lycabettus in the distance. It might look like a long walk to get there, but in reality this is only 30 minutes from the hotel. Well, the base of it anyway, as to get to the top you have a fairly challenging hour hike ahead of you. It’s worth it to get the best views of the city, especially around sunset, just be prepared to work up a sweat. Also, don’t feel obliged to buy anything from the restaurant that sits just off the summit if you’re going along the walking path. It looks like you have to pass through it as you climb one of the staircases, but this is just a sneaky trick as you can simply walk around it and get back to your ascent.

Mount Lycabettus is the highest point on Athens. The hike up isn’t easy, but the views are worth the challenge.

On a good day you can run from the top of the Acropolis to the crest of Mount Lycabettus in about 90 minutes, although this is more of a Herculean challenge beyond mere mortals. A pleasant walk in the morning and a rewarding rooftop drink in the afternoon to take in the views is the way to see it all in comfort.

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Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider

Hanna

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HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?

2 years.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?

It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.

WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?

I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

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Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

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KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

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