How fantastic to be back in Athens again albeit for one brief night. We had an afternoon flight from Manchester which meant that we arrived at the hotel in the early evening.
We usually try to stay at Hotel Attalos – a great recommendation by Matt Barrett’s Travel Guide. If you want to stay here it is important to book early as his promotion of this budget hotel has brought it to fame – luckily I booked this one night stay in advance! The rooms at the Attalos are simple and some of them are a little dated but immaculately clean. However, the highlight of the stay is the rooftop bar which offers a wonderful view of the Acropolis that is spectacular by night.
For the first time visitor the first impressions of some parts of Athens city may be that the place is dirty, that the graffiti is out of control and some streets are unsafe at night. Athens has it’s battle scars since the economic collapse for sure, but this city has character. Stay here for a month and you will still need to dig deep to uncover all of it’s hidden treasures. I have heard people say that they don’t feel safe in areas such as Psiri, which is next to Monastiraki and where the Attalos Hotel is located. I have always felt safe here and you need to look beyond the graffiti and the sometimes dirty streets because it is here you will find some of the coolest bars and music scene. Be as cautious as you would be in any other European city and you will be OK.
After a cocktail on the roof terrace all we have time for is a brief stroll around Monastiraki and a bite to eat from a takeaway. It has been a long day and we will be heading off to the Peloponnese first thing in the morning.
Getting to Athens centre is very easy by metro from the airport. Once you have cleared luggage reclaim and security follow the signs for the metro. This will take you outside of Arrivals and up a set of escalators. You will see a counter that sells tickets – the one on the left for the Suburban Railway and the one on the right for the metro. Metro tickets are cheap and you will get a slight discount for a second person. As of April 2017 the tickets to Monastiraki cost for one person is 10 euros and 18 euros for two.
After you have purchased your tickets walk to the left, validate your tickets in the machine and walk down to the metro. The metro leaves every 30 minutes and it will take about 40 minutes until you arrive in downtown Athens. You will catch the blue metro line number 3 – that heads in the direction of Agia Marina.
The Attalos Hotel is on Athinas Street. When you arrive at Monastiraki metro station – look for the signs for Athinas Street so that you take the exit from the metro that is nearest to the hotel. Don’t worry if you miss this exit – we usually end up coming out of the other exit which brings you out into Monastiraki Square where you will see street entertainers and lots of activity. Watch your wallets.
You can view my Tripadvisor review of the Attalos Hotel with photographs here: