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Metro Map of Athens | © Duncan Hull/Flickr
Metro Map of Athens | © Duncan Hull/Flickr
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Moving To Athens? Here's Your Neighbourhood Guide

Picture of Ethel Dilouambaka
Updated: 9 February 2017
So you are ready to move to one of the most dynamic and hectic cities of Europe, but you still don’t know where to look for an apartment. Culture Trip is here to help with a guide to the main neighborhoods in Athens. Whether you’re looking for a bachelor pad or a family house, this guide will help you discover the various options at your disposal.

Exarchia

Exarcheia has always been Athens’ ‘alternative’ neighborhood, located right next door to the more posh Kolonaki. This bohemian district has delicious tavernas and lively bars lining its pedestrian streets, and is also home to the city’s rock music venues. Streffi Hill, a green paradise often overlooked, offers magnificent views of the city and the Acropolis.

Location: Center

Rent: Affordable

Accessibility: Trolley, bus. Closest metro stops: Omonia, Panepistimio

Kifissia

Kifissia is a northern residential suburb where 19th-century neoclassical mansions blend with minimalist 21st century houses along tree-lined streets. With great shopping options, peaceful parks, various bars and top hotels, Kifissia offers a wide selection of houses with gardens and sprawling apartments. Accessible by a plethora of buses and the metro line, Kifissia is one of the most expensive and upscale areas of Athens.

Location: North

Rent: Expensive to Premium

Accessibility: Metro (Green Line), Buses

260 Kifissias ave., Kifissia | © Dimitris Kamaras/Flickr
260 Kifissias ave., Kifissia | © Dimitris Kamaras/Flickr

Piraeus

As the main harbor of Athens, Piraeus is a pretty much a city in its own right. Residents pride themselves on being tough and rough. Home of rembetika music, this residential district has a resolutely different vibe from the rest of Athens, spanning various smaller neighborhoods such as picturesque Kastella, Mikrolimano and Zea Marina. As one of the oldest settlements in the city, it boasts many two-story neoclassical houses and traditional neighborhoods. It can be easily accessed with the metro.

Location: South

Rent: Affordable

Accessibility: Metro (Green Line), Buses, Trolleys

The terminal of the Athens-Piraeus Electric Railway (Metro system green line) at Piraeus | © Badseed/WikiCommons
The terminal of the Athens-Piraeus Electric Railway (Metro system green line) at Piraeus | © Badseed/WikiCommons

Omonia

A long time ago, Omonia square was known for its beauty but suffice it to say that today it’s in a terrible state. Lively and diverse during the day, this central, multicultural neighborhood is not a favorite among Athenians, who tend to avoid it after 9 p.m. An essential hub in the center, it can be accessed with buses, trolleys (electric buses) and by metro (2 lines).

Location: Center

Rent: Affordable

Accessibility: Metro (Green and Blue Lines), Buses, Trolleys

Athens - Omonia Square | © Sjaak Kempe/Flickr
Athens – Omonia Square | © Sjaak Kempe/Flickr

Glyfada

Glyfada is one of most chic areas in the southern suburbs, located along the coast. Ten km away from the center of town, it has been developing for the past 20 years and offers a wide array of hotels, bars and cafés. In the summer, it is home to a variety of beach bars and clubs that open for the summer season only.

Location: South

Rent: Moderate to expensive

Accessibility: Tram, Buses. Closest metro station: Elliniko

Syntagma

As the heart of the city, Syntagma Square is the main stage of the city’s political, commercial and social life, where everything from protests to New Year’s celebrations are held. It is served by the majority of public transport, including the tram line connecting the city to the coast. Lined with cafés, hotels, and offices, Syntagma is an excellent location for staying in Athens, though rent can quickly rise due to the central location.

Location: Center

Rent: Moderate to expensive

Accessibility: Metro (Blue and Red Lines), Buses, Trolleys, Tram

Syntagma, Athens | © Everlind/WikiCommons
Syntagma, Athens | © Everlind/WikiCommons

Plaka

Right at the foot of the Acropolis, Plaka is the most tourist-y neighborhood in the city. With its maze of narrow streets twisting around ancient sites, museums, Byzantine churches, and 19th-century Neoclassical villas, it is lined with restaurants and cafes. This highly pedestrian neighborhood boasts a rich history and unique character, including the tiny village Anafiotika, a Cycladic town tucked right in the midst of it, just under the Acropolis hill. Instagram-worthy Plaka is atmospheric and offers a complete living experience in the heart of the city.

Location: Center

Rent: Expensive to premium

Accessibility: Buses. Closest metro stations: Syntagma, Monastiraki, Acropoli

In Plaka, Athens, Greece | © Tilemahos Efthimiadis /Flickr
In Plaka, Athens, Greece | © Tilemahos Efthimiadis /Flickr

Thisseio

Nestled between Monastiraki, Plaka and the residential neighborhood of Petralona, Thisseio (also spelled Thissio) is one of the best spots in town to hang out. With its fair share of all-day cafés and bars, and with a wide offer of traditional and neo-Greek restaurants, it is a tranquil downtown area where you can enjoy all the best the location has to offer, coupled with beautiful architecture and a lively ambience.

Location: Center

Rent: Affordable to expensive

Accessibility: Metro (Green Line), Bus

13 Eptachalkou st. | © Dimitris Kamaras/Flickr
13 Eptachalkou st. | © Dimitris Kamaras/Flickr

Ambelokipi

This residential neighborhood comprises the district of Zografou and Panormou. Even though it may not offer anything special to the tourist, just like any neighborhood in town, Ambelokipi occupies the space between the center and the hidden treasures that deserve to be discovered. Home to the Athens University campus and polytechnic school campus, the Zografou neighborhood is home to a wide population of students, whereas Panormou is mostly populated by families. With a high concentration of embassies, and various green spaces, Ambelokipi is ideal if you refuse to live in the center and still want to enjoy a local experience. Ambelokipi is home to one of Greece’s top teams, Panathinaïkos.

Location: Center

Rent: Affordable

Accessibility: Metro (Blue Line), bus

Psirri

A major destination after dark, Psirri was once a derelict district now filled with restored neoclassical houses, trendy bars and restaurants, and live music clubs, alongside its status as a free open-air street art museum. The neighborhood is home to a few innovative hotels as well, making it a convenient location, with Monastiraki metro station nearby.

Location: Center

Rent: Afforable (may get very noisy)

Accessibility: Metro (Green Line), bus

Portrait of Loukanikos, the riot dog in Psirri|© Dimitris Graffin/Flickr
Portrait of Loukanikos, the riot dog in Psirri | © Dimitris Graffin/Flickr

Kolonaki

Kolonaki is the posh district of Athens, where socialites and wannabes mingle. Packed with designer houses, high-end boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and bars, Kolonaki is a hotspot by day and night, though you may find tranquil back streets the more you climb towards Lycabettus hill.

Location: Center

Rent: Expensive

Accessibility: Metro (Blue Line), Buses

Kolonaki, Main Avenue | © Giorgoos/WikiCommons
Kolonaki, Main Avenue | © Giorgoos/WikiCommons

Kerameikos/Metaxourgeio

Kerameikos, with its main nightlife hub, Gazi, was once a lonely, desolate district in Athens which gained popularity a few decades ago when the gas factories closed down. Now filled with modern lofts housed within old neoclassical mansions, Gazi is the nightlife district in the city. Neighbor Metaxourgeio, located between Gazi and Omonia, is another residential area once snubbed that now attracts many visitors. With a high concentration of exotic restaurants, cool bars and even with its own Carnival parade, Metaxourgeio is slowly converting into an up-and-coming, trendy district.

Location: Center

Rent: Affordable

Accessibility: Metro (Red Line: Metaxourgeio/Blue Line: Kerameikos), Bus

An old house of Metaxourgeio | © Antonis Giakoumakis/WikiCommons
An old house of Metaxourgeio | © Antonis Giakoumakis/WikiCommons

Palaio Faliro

Palaio Faliro is a coastal suburb located 6 km away from the center. Thanks to the 2004 Olympic Games, the district has undergone major development and now includes a promenade, a marina and sports facilities, and is served by the bus and tram networks. This neighborhood is blessed with a relaxed vibe and allows both locals and visitors to take advantage of the pedestrian promenade along the Poseidonos avenue for jogging, cycling and other activities.

Location: South

Rent: Moderate to expensive

Accessibility: Tram, Bus

Chalandri

Chalandri, or Halandri, is a northern suburb located about 10 km from the city center. With a high ratio of green areas per citizen in Athens, it is home to a plethora of bars, restaurants and embassies. Chalandri is also one of the most populated areas, with more than 70,000 residents. Served by the Chalandri metro station, it is home to the American Community Schools.

Location: North

Rent: Moderate to expensive

Accessibility: Metro (Blue Line), Bus, Trolley

Halandri Metro Station, Athens | © κύριαsity from London, UK/WikiCommons
Halandri Metro Station, Athens | © κύριαsity from London, UK/WikiCommons

Pagrati/Mets

Surrounding the Kallimarmaro stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896, Pagrati (Pangrati) and Mets are two residential neighborhoods offering great nightlife and dining options. Mets is filled with neoclassical mansions and offers a taste of old Athens many consider one of the most picturesque areas. Pagranti is a regular residential neighborhood with a great choice of unpretentious restaurants and bars where you can truly experience living in a Greek city. The areas are served mainly by buses and trolleys, which may often run late due to traffic but fortunately, these neighborhoods can be accessed easily by foot.

Location: Center

Rent: Affordable to moderate (Mets can be a bit more on the pricey side)

Accessibility: Bus, trolley

Building in Pagrati, Athens, Greece | © Tilemahos Efthimiadis/Flickr
Building in Pagrati, Athens, Greece | © Tilemahos Efthimiadis/Flickr

Koukaki/Makrigianni

The fruits of a slowly developing gentrification, middle-class Koukaki is becoming one of the most desirable areas in town. Lying at the foot of the Filopappou hill, Koukaki is a pedestrian paradise, with many humble cafés and bars. The rise of Airbnb accommodation in the area just further highlights its convenient location. Makrigianni is located between Syntagma, the Acropolis area and Koukaki and is slightly pricier, given its direct proximity to the major sights.

Location: Center

Rent: Affordable to expensive

Accessibility: Metro (Red Line), tram, trolley, bus.

Agia Paraskevi

Agia Paraskevi is situated near the northern part of bigger Athens, 9 km from the center and located at the foot of Hymettus mountain. The main road is Mesogeion Avenue, which connects the suburb with central Athens. Served by various metro stations and a suburban railway station, Agia Paraskevi, a former farmer’s settlement, is home to the French school and Deree College. Though it doesn’t feature any particular sights or attractions, it has undergone major restructuring since the 1950s while still boasting a few open green areas.

Location: North

Rent: Moderate to expensive

Accessibility: Metro station (Blue Line), Buses

Agia Paraskevi church, Agia Paraskevi | © Dimitris Kamaras/Flickr
Agia Paraskevi church, Agia Paraskevi | © Dimitris Kamaras/Flickr