Bedbox Hostel delivers on its name, offering bunks in cosy, self-contained units, each with a charging socket, reading light and privacy curtain. Four- and six-bed dorms are ideal for groups travelling together, and solo backpackers are accommodated in either male- or female-only dorms. Wherever you sleep however, you’ll have tons of storage space and speedy wifi. Swap stories with fellow guests up on the rooftop terrace or at the bar, where prices are more wallet-friendly than surrounding establishments – perhaps not surprising, given that you’re just five-minute walk from the iconic Monastiraki Square.
Stay at Athens Hawks Hostel and book yourself on the top pub-crawl experience in the city – the legendary Athens Drunk Tour. Kicking off with a welcome shot and an hour’s worth of free beer or sangria, it then takes you on a boozy jaunt to some of the centre’s best drinking dens, with more free shots and discounts thrown in for good measure. The resulting hangover can be dealt with in private, ensuite bedrooms with city views on the top floor, or in mixed or female-only dorms on lower levels. Athens’ Central Market is right opposite and the Acropolis is a 15-minute walk away. Breakfast is available for a small daily fee.
Thanasis Place is an attractive, design-conscious hostel in central Athens, directly opposite the towering Mount Lycabettus, the city’s highest point. It’s a half-hour walk to the top, or a short ride on the funicular railway, where you’ll find a restaurant, a theatre and a 19th-century chapel – and panoramic views over Athens. Groups or families can book an entire two-bedroom apartment with private balcony, and solo travellers can choose either a single or a double bed in the mixed or single-sex dorms. All of central Athens’ attractions are easily reachable on foot and there’s some kind of arranged activity every day.
The Nubian Hostel is situated in Exarchia, a rebellious neighbourhood that’s packed with rock bars, bohemian cafes and record shops, and where you’ll find the Kallidromiou Street farmer’s market every Saturday morning. In the middle of all this, the Nubian is housed in a 1930s building that’s benefited from an inspired renovation and offers shared and private accommodation brought to life with flashes of bold colour and edgy art. Communal spaces comprise kitchenettes on the landing of each level and a tranquil garden out back where you can meet other travellers.
Opened in 2018, Mosaikon is best known for its prime location near Monastiraki Square, along with its next-level comfort and signature aesthetic – think Japanese design meets Aegean colours. With its mixed and single-sex dorms, as well as private rooms, Mosaikon offers the experience of a boutique hotel at the price of a hostel. For a spot of sunbathing or to enjoy some drinks al fresco, guests can step out on to Mosaikon’s rooftop terrace, which has a view of the Acropolis. Located on Kolokotroni Street, which runs from Syntagma to Monastiraki, Mosaikon is on the doorstep of some of the best nightlife in Athens. Choose from indie bars like Booze Cooperativa and cocktails at Noel, the city’s most popular lounge bar.
Bed Station is located northwest of the Acropolis in the Kerameikos neighbourhood – historically the potters’ quarter of the city, the area is conveniently central but away from the tourist crowds. Close to the nightlife hub of Gazi and a few steps away from both the Gazarte concert hall and the Kerameikos Archaeological Museum, this hostel is perfectly situated for those interested in discovering both the ancient and contemporary culture of Athens. Among the hostel’s main draws are its minimalist decor, spacious and serene dorms of just four beds (each with privacy curtains), and rooftop with views towards the Acropolis. Bed Station is particularly popular among digital nomads, who appreciate the zen vibes and the emphasis the hostel places on privacy.
Set in the central Monastiraki district, BedBox is best described as modern and trendy with a chilled-out atmosphere. An attractive option for digital nomads, the rooms offer privacy curtains and each bed has its own charging outlet for electronics. The common area is relaxed yet sociable – ideal for co-working – and doubles as a cafe and smoothie bar. The friendly staff also hang out here and will happily clue you in on what to do and where to go in the city. The rooms are spacious and well organised, with single-sex and mixed dorms available and a variety of single and double beds, too.
Athens Studios is a go-to choice for comfortable and reasonably priced accommodation, offering dorms, shared studios and private apartments. It has a cafe, restaurant and bar, and a range of fun organised activities such as walking tours. If you’re on a tight schedule, the location alone is a strong draw: situated between the Acropolis and the up-and-coming Koukaki neighbourhood, it has tourist must-sees and authentic local haunts right on its doorstep.
Dioskouros is nestled among the narrow streets of Plaka, a hillside neighbourhood in the shadow of the Acropolis with a distinctly village-like feel. A small, modestly priced hostel for those looking for a more intimate setting, Dioskouros offers private rooms with small balconies overlooking the area’s cobbled streets, and a verdant garden for enjoying an al fresco breakfast, which is included in the price of the hostel. Hadrian’s Arch is opposite the hostel, and the quaint Anafiotika neighbourhood with its bars, cafes and tavernas is a short walk away.
Mark Nayler contributed additional reporting to this article.
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