One of our favorite ways to spend a day in downtown Athens is to weave in and out of each little neighborhood, taking in their history, architecture, and of course, their traditional eateries and eclectic shops. We have a ritual of sorts where we start with a freddo cappucino and a fresh-made pita at a cafe just off Syntagma square.
With our caffeine and phyllo fuel, we head down to our usual Plaka shopping haunts, followed by lunch in Psiri, then a quiet stroll around Anafoitika before grabbing a cocktail at Taf in Monastiraki. At the end of a day like this we always feel pleasantly exhausted and excited about treasures we've found or new shops and tavernas we've discovered.
You can see so much by foot throughout the day. But picking one place to stay in Athens can be hard. After many days of exploring like we've had, we have determined what we think fits the bill as a great all-around place to stay in Athens. It is somewhere quiet and not too touristy, affordable, with great proximity to see everything, and has such a cute name: Koukaki.
Koukaki is a small residential area next to the Acropolis and includes two pedestrian-only streets, Drakou and Olymbou streets, making it a fantastic destination to wander on foot. These streets are lined with cafes and bars so you can enjoy people-watching while you plan your day of sightseeing. Also, be sure to check out this guide of Koukaki by blogger, "Greece Is."
There are a few hotel options in the area, but rentals with Airbnb go for as low as $35/night! In fact, this year Airbnb listed Koukaki as one of the 16 most popular neighborhoods to visit in the world where visitors are seeking a more authentic experience living like a local in their chosen destination. We would agree!