Staying on Budget: Athens' AirBnbs and Where to Stay!
Budget travelling. The only way I can afford to travel. Let’s face it - it’s probably the only way most of us can afford to travel. Let’s get real for a second… I have bills to pay, I’m a student, I live in San Francisco. Money. Is. Tight. Since Jared and I travel as a couple, we’re stuck somewhere in between hostels and hotels. Hostels are a great way to save some extra cash, but it doesn’t provide the kind of privacy you need while travelling as a couple. And hotels? Forget about it.
Since Jared and I started travelling together, we’ve used AirBnb to book 90% of our stays. Honestly, it is my preferred way to travel because you get to stay in a residential area, and you get a tiny taste of what life might be like in the city you’re visiting.
Booking your stay and an AirBnb comes with risks. We’ve all heard AirBnb horror stories, and the reality is you’re leasing a privately own property for a couple of days. The standard comforts and security that comes with the price of booking a hotel does not come with an AirBnb. Don’t let that scare you! Jared and I have had amazing experiences with AirBnb.
To make it easier, Jared and I have picked out 3 amazing AirBnbs in Athens that are affordable, safe, comfortable and beyond! And yes… we stayed at all 3 of them in the name of research so fret not!
DISCLAIMER: Please click on the titles of each AirBnb to view the space. Jared and I were particularly lazy this trip and immediately made ourselves comfortable in each apartment we checked into. I didn’t even wait to take photos before settling in. That should just tell you how homey and welcoming each apartment really is!
(CLICK ON THE LINK ABOVE TO VIEW THE SPACE)
Our host, Theodore, was our introduction to Athenian hospitality. Theodore is a superhost. What does this mean and why should you care?
A superhost is sort of like a “verified” account on Instagram or Twitter. Superhosts have to host a minimum of 10 stays per year in order to earn that badge… but that’s not all!
They have to maintain a 90% response rate - meaning they are prompt with getting back to you on any questions you have.
They have to receive a 5-star rating 80% of the time. This is crucial. When booking with an AirBnb, reviews are EVERYTHING. Think about reviewers as AirBnb’s security team.
I also read somewhere that they have to absolutely honour every confirmed booking but maybe I’ll save that for another post… ANYWAYS… It takes a lot of work to reach (not to mention maintain) superhost status!
Theodore reached out to us immediately after we confirmed our booking with him. He caught up with us a week before the trip to give us more specifics about getting to his place. He gave us clear directions of how to get from the airport to the apartment (both by bus and metro), and also offered to arrange a taxi for us. In case you were wondering, we went with the taxi. Our driver was waiting for us at the airport with a sign that had our names on it. Our driver even taught us some essential Greek phrases as well as giving us recommendations on restaurants and places we should check out.
When we arrived at Theodore’s, he greeted us and took the time to show us how everything worked in the apartment. The most helpful part was he sat us down with a map of Athens and showed us where we were located, how we would get to the major sites from the apartment, and the best way to get there (train, cab, on foot…)
He even gave us access to the building’s rooftop to watch the fireworks above the Acropolis on New Year’s Eve (which was where and when Jared proposed)!
But honestly, you don’t need to go up to the rooftop because the view from Theodore’s patio is spectacular! Theodore also has a fully equipped kitchen so travelling on a budget? Hit up the local grocery store and whip yourself up a meal, and enjoy it with an amazing view.
Theodore was also so quick to respond to every message we sent him. He even went out of his way to research some venues and concerts for us because we were looking to experience a little bit of the local music scene!
Unfortunately, I did not take any photos of the interiors of the AirBnb. Honestly I was just so excited to get comfortable and settle in that I didn’t even think about taking photos (am I even qualified to call myself a travel blogger?). But we used Theodore’s patio and rooftop for a mini photoshoot before we left!
ENOUGH CHIT CHAT… LET’S BREAK IT DOWN
Here is what to expect when booking this cute, cosy, colourful Athenian apartment:
$68 per night.
Great hospitality and an amazing host.
Ultimate cosy vibes with a full kitchen for romantic mornings/nights in before you head out to explore.
Quiet residential neighbourhood not too far away from the major attractions.
Easily access to public transportation.
Beautiful views with Athens as the main star. The Acropolis is in the background but here, Athens steals your heart.
Theodore’s apartment is suitable for couples, solo travellers and budget travellers who are looking for a place where they can feel at home.
(CLICK ON THE LINK ABOVE TO VIEW THE SPACE)
Looking to stay at a place with the best views of Athens? Look no further. Georgia (another AirBnb superhost) is such a kind and thoughtful host. We had some delays in checking in with her even though the night before, I had asked to check in early. She was so gracious and even got worried when we did not show up earlier. We were busy packing up to move to Georgia’s AirBnb and it took longer than we expected. She even offered to come and pick us up if we were lost!
Georgia’s apartment is gorgeous. Her large outdoor patio had all around views of Athens and an outdoor grill! Her apartment was spacious and those views don’t stop. The apartment is equipped with a private bath, bedroom, and a kitchenette where you can make coffee or tea. So unlike Theodore’s place, you do not have a full kitchen. However, Georgia lives right below! She was so kind to let us use her kitchen to heat up our left over souvlaki and she even made us breakfast the next morning! She greeted us with fresh baked goodies and a bottle of rosé (say no more)!
Her apartment is located on a steep hill so the views were from high above. Where Theodore’s place gave you a great view that made you feel like one with the city, Georgia’s view was that of an observation deck that you would pay 10 EUROS just to experience.
Although we only stayed at Georgia’s for one day, we spent all day at the apartment after checking in. We just couldn’t pass up on the view! There was also a huge thunder and lightning storm that night so being to watch Athens’ night sky light up when lightning struck from a safe (and beautiful) distance was such an experience.
BREAK DOWN TIME
$43 per night.
Hands on hospitality.
Makes you feel like you’re living in luxury on a budget.
Not sure about the public transportation situation here because you’re on top of a hill, but Ubers are very cheap in Athens (more on that later).
Because you’re on top of a hill, your views are unbeatable.
Georgia’s apartment is suitable for couples, budget and solo travellers, who are looking to spend more time relaxing and enjoying one of the best views of Athens.
(CLICK ON THE LINK ABOVE TO VIEW THE SPACE)
For those of you who love staying in the heart of the city, this is the place for you. This AirBnb is located right in the middle of Athens. Staying in the city center is always great for travellers and tourists - you’re close to all the action, the nightlife is booming (especially in Athens), and you don’t have to worry about public transportation.
But based on experience, I tend to book accommodations a little out of the city center because I love to get a local feel. It’s also pricier to stay in the heart of it all. When booking Dimitrios’ (superhost) place, I was a bit skeptical. I thought “for that price, the location is either too loud or you don’t have great views." and…. I was wrong.
At Dimitrios’, you occupy a private room in his apartment. This is great for anyone who might want to make a new friend in Athens or anyone who is comfortable with the hostel environment. I’m not one for big crowds and I prefer intimate gatherings, so this is how I would love to make friends and meet people! And if you read my last post, you’ll know that getting to know the locals is one of my favourite things to do while travelling.
Unfortunately, Dimitrios wasn’t there during our stay due to heavy snow in Greece (what… it snows in Greece? Post about things I wish I knew about Greece coming soon). So he arranged for a friend to show us the ropes and let us in to the apartment. His friend Angelo was so kind and friendly, he really helped us out with the check in/out process.
The apartment has a private room, dining room, and a full bath and kitchen that is shared. The best part? THE VIEW!
You’re probably thinking but Clare… that’s your favourite part of all these places to stay… YOU’RE RIGHT. Athens is gorgeous and I’m so glad to have stayed in 3 different AirBnbs with very different types of views of the city. I honestly couldn’t pick my favourite one because they’re all just so damn good.
If you’re looking to stare right into the eye of the Parthenon, stay here. You could sit on your private patio and watch every tourist visiting the Acropolis. The patio is huge and spacious making it the ultimate spot for a coffee break. The bed is also situated right by the glass doors to the patio, meaning your view at night? One of the most iconic relics of ancient history. Pretty cool right?
$53 per night.
Acropolis view from your bed and private patio.
Looking to make new friends in a more intimate setting? This is for you.
Close to everything including public transportation.
Great cafes and restaurants right at your doorstep.
Dimitrios’ place is perfect for couples, and budget travellers. All the reviews of Dimitrios’ place are magnificent and through my interactions with him, he seems like a wonderful host and gentleman, you should always exercise caution when travelling solo, especially if you’re booking a private room in someone’s apartment!
I am a huge fan of AirBnb and I highly encourage you all to have a go at it. I will probably write a post about the pros and cons of booking AirBnbs, as well as another post about what I look for in an AirBnb and how I ensure that my experience will be a pleasant one.
If you’re interested in booking with AirBnb, use my referral link to get $40 off a home booking of $75 or more, or $15 off an AirBnb experience of $50 or more.
Till next time!