Athens Center Square
15 Aristogitonos St, Athens, Greece, 10552
- Recommended for:
- Backpackers / Students, Foodies, Seasoned travellers, Shopping, Sightseeing
Expert review of Athens Center Square
As colourful as the fruit market in which it is situated, this new addition to downtown Athens is offbeat. Designed by 3SK, Greece’s most prolific hotel architects, it’s part of the Athens Hotels Group, who own the equally cheap but rather less cheerful Plaka and Hermes hotels nearby. It takes chutzpah to open a modern, multi-coloured hotel in the middle of a messy, noisy market and that’s why I rate it.
Refreshingly real – though rough around the edges. Foodies will love browsing the raucous central market for edible souvenirs. The surrounding streets are pretty sleazy, especially after dark when prostitutes cruise the area. You can walk to most of the archaeological sights. Monastiraki Metro station is 300 metres away, with direct connections to both the airport and Piraeus port.
Each floor has a different colour scheme from lime green to lilac, so ask for a specific colour of your preference when booking. Flat-screen TVs, quality mattresses, and brand new bathrooms with power showers are better than you'd expect from a budget hotel. I’d avoid rooms on the lower floors overlooking the market square, which are in direct firing line of the market traders who set up shop at dawn, and eighth floor rooms, which are occasionally exposed to late-night parties on the rooftop bar directly above.
Rooms and corridors are decorated in primary colours and pretty abstract paintings. The simple furniture on the roof terrace lets the 360-degree city views take centre stage. The view is best at night, when the concrete skyline is replaced by twinkling lights and the glowing Parthenon.
There’s not much on offer apart from the generous buffet breakfast, a rather uninviting coffee counter in the lobby, and basic refreshments at the rooftop bar. But you’re round the corner from Diporto, a wonderfully evocative dive that caters to market traders, and the all-night restaurants in the meat market – great for people-watching and pre-empting hangovers. Domino’s will deliver pizza if you arrive late at night and can't face going out.
Can be surly, but overall better than most hotels at the budget end of the market.
A mixed bag - but this hotel is best suited to youthful travellers.
You'll find the lowest rates between November and April. Buffet breakfast is included. There's a rather churlish 5-euro charge for baby cots. WiFi is free if you have your own laptop; otherwise you'll have to pay.
More information on Athens Center Square:
- Price from:
- 15 Aristogitonos St, Athens, Greece, 10552
- Free tags / Keywords:
- city centre, Acropolis views, Cheap and cheerful
- High-Speed Internet