Athens, Greece is a massive city. I never knew how truly large it is until I was standing on the Acropolis overlooking the city in the hot, humid sun. There are white buildings for miles from mountains to sea. Finding a hostel in Athens isn’t hard, but finding the right one in the right part of town can be hard. Thankfully Athens has a nice public transportation system and I found navigating the city to be easy and cheap.
My two requirements for a hostel in Athens were 1) in a safe neighborhood of the city and 2) near the Acropolis. Athens Backpackers Hostel met both those requirements and then some. Athens Backpackers has won numerous awards from Hostelbookers, HostelWorld, Tripadvisor, and Lonely Planet. Once you set foot in the hostel you’ll know why. Sure, it’s a bit more expensive than some of the other Athens hostels, but you can’t beat the atmosphere and the views!
Athens Backpackers Hostel is literally a hop, skip, and a jump away from the entrance to the Acropolis and the Acropolis museum. The neighborhood is quiet, quaint, and very safe. There are plenty of small restaurants and shops nearby and a large grocery store is about 10 minutes away by foot. The hostel is located just down a side street from the Acropoli metro exit on the red line on Makri Street.
The reception area of the hostel is open and manned 24 hours of the day with an English speaking receptionist. I found the hostel staff to be very friendly, spoke excellent English, and very helpful in giving me tips and directions to shops and historical sites. The hostel has four floors with various size rooms. If you’re looking for a little exercise I recommend walking up the tight spiraling staircase, but there is always a small elevator too.
I stayed in a 6 bed female dorm room with an en suite bathroom. The room was large and clean. I was surprised to see that one wall had floor to ceiling sliding doors leading to a tiny balcony overlooking the streets of Athens. During the day it was nice to open the doors and let in a light breeze and the hum of city life. During the nights we could close the doors and pull the dark curtains and sleep comfortably. The bunk beds were pretty solid and the mattresses were comfortable. I was on the top bunk for the two nights that I stayed in the hostel. Sheets, pillows and a light blanket were included.
The room had large wooden lockers to store your stuff; however, you would not be able to fit a suitcase or backpack in them. During the days I would lock up my valuable and leave my backpack next to my bunk. The bathroom was simple and clean. In Greece you’re not supposed to flush the toilet paper so you’ll see a trashcan next to the toilet for paper. The shower had good water pressure and hot water. The downfall of the shower is that you’ll probably get water all over the floor. The hostel provides you with a squeegee to push some of the water down the drain. There was another bathroom in the hallway too.
The hostel offers a free breakfast every morning from 7:30a to 9:30a in the kitchen and common room area. Breakfast consisted of tea or coffee, juice, hard-boiled eggs, toast or rolls with cream cheese and jam. It was quite good for a hostel breakfast in my opinion. There is free internet, which for the most part was good. However, at peak times of the day like breakfast and nighttime the internet became slower due to more people using it in the hostel. If you need to get some work done online I would recommend trying midday for the best connection speed.
The best feature of the hostel is the rooftop bar that offers stunning views of the Acropolis, especially at night. The metal stairs to the bar are a wee bit scary. Try doing it in a maxi dress after a few beers! Happy hour with discounted drink prices is from 7pm to 8pm, but the bar stays open to about 11pm. On the first night I met a bunch of new friends, including someone my own age from my hometown! Our Greek bartender even taught us a traditional Greek dance. And you can’t beat the view! Seriously, it’s awesome.
Athens Backpackers also has studio apartments, a laundromat, and sports bar just down the street. Once the rooftop bar closed we all migrated to the sports bar, called Fish N’ Chips, for a pint. Athens Backpackers Hostel is one of the most popular hostels in Athens so I would recommend booking online ahead of time. They do take walk-ins if space is available, but you might have to move rooms if you plan on staying multiple nights. Athens Backpackers is perfect for solo travelers. Three of the girls staying in my room were solo and we became great friends so meeting people is not hard. Additionally, you can meet fellow travelers on their daily Athens walking tour for only €5.
Hostel Quick Facts:
- Cost: From $25 USD/night for a dorm bed to $150 USD for 4-person apartment
- Location: Makri 12. Hostel is located just around the corner of the Acropoli Metro exit on the red line.
- Nearby Attractions: The Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum are within walking distance.
- Languages Spoken: Greek and English.
- Payment: Cash or Credit card.
- Pros: Location, free wifi, rooftop bar, awesome for meeting people, the views of the Acropolis
- Cons: Wifi was spotty at times, lack of floor mat in the bathroom