While the ancient city of Athens was home to fewer than 6,000 people living in the historic Plaka neighborhood tucked at the base of the Acropolis, modern Athens is a sprawling metropolis covering more than 150 sq miles and home to more than three million people. Athens is big, and though it’s well connected by an efficient metro system, there’s no need for visitors to waste their precious vacation time crisscrossing the city.
Most of the major sights aren’t too far from the Acropolis, so it makes sense to base yourself in that area. It makes even more sense to make the Hera Hotel your home in Athens.
The Hotel has one of the most convenient locations for sightseeing in Athens. In one direction, it’s less than a five-minute walk to the New Acropolis Museum, the Acropolis metro stop, and the base of the Acropolis itself. In another direction, it’s a short stroll to the heart of the Plaka neighborhood.
Dozens of restaurants line the streets all around the hotel (try the Athenai Bistrot across from the metro for heavenly souvlaki, saganaki and octopus, and charming service) and a busy main street just around the corner makes it easy to hail a cab if you don’t want to take the metro (staff will also arrange transport if you need it). The area is lively during the day but quiets by nightfall, and I felt quite safe even walking around by myself after midnight.
The hotel itself is also a charmer. The dark paneled walls and marble floor of the lobby have a relaxed elegance that continues throughout the hotel’s 38 rooms. Some rooms have a view to the Acropolis while others overlook city streets. Most rooms have private balconies and all have double-glazed, soundproof windows that ensure a quiet atmosphere inside. Every room also has an ensuite bathroom with tub or shower, satellite TV, air conditioning and central heat, minibar, and other standard amenities like hair dryer and safe.
My room was small and simple but very comfortable, with an understated elegance. There was a large built-in closet in the entryway (containing the safe and minibar), a table with TV, sitting chair, small balcony with chairs, and in typical euro-style, two twin beds combined to make a queen.
Wifi and parking are available free of charge and there’s a daily breakfast. There’s also an onsite restaurant that serves traditional Greek dishes with a rooftop view of the Acropolis, so close you could almost touch it. After all, that’s why visitors come to Athens – to see the city’s incredible antiquities and immerse themselves in its many millennia of history – and the Hera Hotel makes the perfect base for that exploration.
Check-in is 2pm; check-out is noon. Room rates start as 84-100 euros per night, depending on the season. Check rates at Priceline and Hotels.com.