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Athens by Ben Cooper
Athens is the beating heart
of Greece, a bustling, vibrant center of commerce and culture. Many travelers,
however, come to the city, expecting to use it as a gateway to the Greek
islands. But visitors can't fail to be enthralled by the stunning spectacle
of the Parthenon, dominating the skyline as its sits high up on the Acropolis.
Perhaps the most important
monument of Western civilization, the atmospheric ruins of the temple to
the goddess Athena have crowned the city since the 5th century. Stunning
as they may be, though, they only represent a small fraction of what the
city has to offer.
Athens, Greece Photographic Print
Bars and cafés dot
the streets, and on warm summer evenings (as is the case throughout much
of the Mediterranean) the streets are filled with the sound of happy diners
and drinkers. Add this to the warmth and hospitality of the people, and
it's easy to see why travelers almost always end up staying on a little
longer than planned.
But no less of a draw to
the many backpackers and budget travelers is the excellent accommodation
in the city. After all this is what makes a stay, isn't it? No matter how
great a place is, if you have to come back to some overpriced fleapit,
it tends to take some of the fun out it.
Academy, Athens, Greece Photographic Print
Athens hostels - cheap
And Athens hostels are increasingly
becoming well-known for their quality. Year after year, Athens Backpackers
seems to pick up accolades as one of the world's best hostels. The famously
lively staff entertain guests with barbecues, parties and a generally friendly
and helpful attitude. Even a quick glance at the comments and feedback
generated shows that they're giving people what they want.
|But if it's the benchmark,
then the others are not far behind. The Student and Travellers Inn, keeps
cropping up in the guidebooks. With its unbeatable location in the Plaka,
a thriving quarter of the Old Town, guests have some of the best of the
city's nightlife right on their doorstep.
And as is the case in many
other places, the apartment concept is catching on in Athens, too. Athens
Studios - just a short stroll from the Acropolis - has become an increasingly
popular choice for visitors to the city. Its strikingly clean, modern interiors
tend to appeal more to groups and families than the solo traveler.
Ultimately, Athens is a city
full of simple pleasures. Warm sunshine, great food, some of the most amazing
views of any city in the world, and a bed for the night that doesn't cost
the earth... For the traveler on a budget, it's a dream come true.
|About the Author - Ben Cooper
is a copywriter for HostelBookers.com. On his travels around the world,
he's stayed in a number of Athens
for more hotels on the Athens Coast - Hotels
in the Athens Area
ATHENS HOTELS - GREECE
browsing hotels on the Athens Coast - Hotels
in the Athens Area
The modern, five-storey
Airotel Parthenon hotel is in the historic district of Plaka in Athens,
Greece, 300 metres from the Acropolis and 400 metres from the city centre.
The hotel is within one-and- a-half kilometres of the Parthenon, National
Gallery and Central Market. The Airotel Parthenon hotel's contemporary
lobby is designed with light colours, wood furnishings and potted plants.
Complimentary buffet breakfast and Greek specialities are served in the
Airotel Parthenon hotel's Acropolis restaurant, decorated in lime green
and sunny yellow. The lounge-bar is flooded with natural light and in summer,
guests can sit with drinks beneath a canopy of greenery on the inner courtyard.
The Hotel Aristoteles is
a modern hotel in a terraced building in the centre of Athens, 200 metres
from the Omonia Square underground station and 500 metres from the National
Archaeological Museum. The hotel's Aristoteles bar and restaurant is open
throughout the day, serving Greek food in a typical Greek setting. The
hotel is centrally located for Athens' many sites of interest. The Archaeological
Museum is 500 metres from here, and the atmospheric Keramikos cemetery
600 metres, while the Plaka district and Lycabettus Hill are within one
kilometre. The Parthenon is 1.5 kilometres away.
Gate Hotel Athens
The Athens Gate Hotel is
located in Athens, Greece, directly opposite the Majestic Temple of Olympian
Zeus, 500 metres from the Acropolis, and six kilometres from beaches. It
is 100 metres from the Acropolis Museum and 150 metres from the Acropolis
metro station. A modern building situated in the historic district
of Athens, The Athens Gate Hotel has views over the ancient city. The Athens
Gate roof garden restaurant has spectacular views of Athens and serves
an à la carte menu and complimentary buffet breakfast. The Athens
Gate Restaurant serves Greek specialities and international dishes, and
drinks, snacks and sweets can be enjoyed in the hotel's lobby bar.
This modern hotel presents
an imposing façade set in the historical centre of Athens, halfway
between Omonia square and the old city of Plaka. Its 237 guestrooms are
contemporary and stylish, with understated furnishings and designer fabrics.
Asia Fresh Restaurant serves a Japanese menu that includes sushi, crunchy
duck and traditional sake. The Hippy Chic Lounge bar offers drinks and
light snacks daily. The bar is lit-up by the glass roof of the seven storey
atrium, and dominated by a large suspended tree sculpture. The Island 12:00
Rooftop bar is set beside the seasonal pool, also serving drinks and snacks,
it has impressive views towards the Acropolis. Enjoy a cooling dip in the
seasonal rooftop swimming pool, or work out in the health club with gym,
sauna and massage rooms
The Electra Hotel is located
in Athens, Greece just 100 meters from Syntagma Square and 800 meters from
the Acropolis. The Parthenon, Zappeion Hall, National Gallery, Museum of
Greek Folk Art and Temple of Athena Nike all within one kilometer of the
hotel. The clean, modernistic lines of the Electra Hotel extend into the
hotel's lobby. The Mezzanine Restaurant offers American-style buffet breakfasts
or a Mediterranean menu for a la carte lunches and dinners menu. Drinks,
cocktails and snacks are also served in an informal setting in the hotel's
Lobby Bar. A naturally lit conference room is available on the mezzanine
level of the hotel. A few hundred meters from the Acropolis, the partially
reconstructed Theatre of Herodes Atticus is used every summer for modern
productions of classic Greek plays.
Palace Hotel Athens
Located in the Plaka district
of Athens, Greece, the Electra Palace Hotel in on a quiet street 3 blocks
from the National Gardens. Syntagma Square and Parliament are 500 meters
away. The Acropolis and the historic theater, Herodus Atticus, are 1 kilometer
from the hotel. Less than 2 kilometers away is Kalimarmaro, the old Olympic
stadium. Complimentary buffet breakfasts are served each morning.
Looking out onto a small garden and terrace, Motivo Restaurant prepares
Mediterranean dishes accompanied by Greek wines. The garden terrace is
open during the summer. The Duck Tail Bar serves drinks and sandwiches.
The hotel offers a fitness center and a spa with an indoor pool, a jetted
tub, a sauna and a steam room. Select rooms feature furnished balconies
and upper-level rooms offer views of the Acropolis.
Herodion Hotel overlooks
the Acropolis and is situated 200 metres from many of the city's ancient
sites, such as the amphitheatre and temple. Plaka, the old quarter with
its shops, bars and restaurants, is also 200 metres away. Herodion
Hotel features an impressive roof garden with two outdoor spa tubs and
sun loungers overlooking the olive trees and Acropolis. Herodion
Hotel Restaurant serves Greek and Mediterranean dishes, and the Atrium
Bar and Restaurant is an elegant lounge bar with seating extending to a
conservatory shaded by pistachio trees. Monastiráki is the old Turkish
district, 200 metres from the hotel. The bazaar, main mosques and administrative
buildings were all located here, and the area retains a strong atmosphere
of the city under the Ottoman rule.
The modernist Hilton Athens
hotel is located opposite the National Art Gallery in Athens, Greece. Attractions
including Lycabettus Hill and the Athens Concert Hall are just 500 metres
away. The Byzantine Restaurant at the Hilton Athens hotel serves Mediterranean
cuisine from a display kitchen with wood-burning oven. DJs play records
in the rooftop Galaxy Bar and BBQ, which offers views of the Acropolis
and light meals, such as grilled fish and steaks are on offer at the smart
Aethrion Lounge and Bar. The hotel has a fitness room, aerobics studio
and personal trainers. There are two pools, one indoor and one outdoor,
with a poolside bar and grill. The Asian Centre spa offers acupuncture
and massage and there's a jetted tub, sauna and steam room.
The Novotel Athens is a
contemporary, seven-storey hotel constructed in glass and concrete, and
is located three kilometres from the Acropolis and the old town. The hotel
offers an outdoor swimming pool, complete with a poolside bar serving a
wide range of drinks and snacks, and a children's playground is provided
for younger guests. Those with laptops can get online via wireless Internet
access, available in the hotel's air-conditioned public areas. Restaurant
Cote Jardin serves Greek and Mediterranean dishes in a contemporary setting
with views across the gardens, and Claire de Lune is a rooftop restaurant
serving Greek specialities and international fare, open for dinner only
during the summer season.
The Sofitel Athens Airport
Hotel is a modern, eight- floor property with a white exterior, situated
within 50 metres of Athens International Airport and 35 kilometres from
the centre of Athens. Guests can work out in the fitness centre and enjoy
a swim in the indoor pool while taking in panoramic views from the floor-to-ceiling
windows. For relaxation, guests can head to the wellness centre for a sauna
and massage, and then indulge in some pampering in the beauty salon. Dining
options include a 24-hour restaurant serving Mediterranean and Greek dishes,
and a French restaurant offering show-cooking and panoramic views of Athens
Airport and the Mesoghaia Valley. Open around the clock, the Artemis Bar
is a relaxed library lounge with live piano music, serving drinks, snacks
and light meals.