Sometimes you get to a place, and think you found your home away from home. Welcome to AthenStyle, perhaps the best hostel I have visited in the past 15 years.
Our arrival at AthenStyle
Picture that. You’re tired, hungry and sore after having spent over 5 hours on a train. You are looking forward to that moment when you’ll get to your room, and you’ll finally be able to relax with some crappy superhero film and perhaps a drink.
You get to your hostel, and they’ve messed up your booking. So what you do? You decide to try another one.
Let’s give AthenStyle a go, we thought – it’s not far, after all. Perhaps they’ll have a bed for us.
As soon as we entered, all the anger, tiredness and bad mood disappeared. The lobby was dimly-lit and tastefully decorated, with sofas and swinging chairs. Lovely Ioanna welcomed us with a smile. Of course. We have two beds for you, she said.
It was one of those ‘aaaaahhhh’ moments. We finally arrived. Everything looked just perfect, around the hostel. By then, it was nearly midnight; the lobby was still full of people chatting, smiling and having fun, but without being loud and obnoxious like many hostel-goers. And when we walked into our room, we went straight to bed and slept really well. Another thing that doesn’t often happen in hostels.
We ended up staying six nights. Six busy days, of day tours and pre-TBEX activities, of conferences and parties. And each night, returning to AthenStyle more and more exhausted, the lovely feeling of that first night stayed with us. We had found our home in Athens.
Where is AthenStyle?
The hostel is around the corner from Monastiraki square, right in the centre of Athens, and one of the main nightlife districts in the city. It’s well connected to the airport and the rest of the city centre with two metro lines, running from 6 am to midnight.
The Acropolis is a ten minute walk from AthenStyle. Melissinos, the famous poet sandalmaker, is right next door. The hostel is located in Psirri, one of the top locations for street art in the city. Athens was one of the best cities we’ve ever visited for street art – and at AthenStyle, you’ll be right in the middle of it.
What kind of hostel is it?
Good question. I would call AthenStyle ‘a hostel for grown ups’. It’s not the place where you’ll find drunken 19-year-olds. There are no all night parties, or ‘pub crawls’ on offer.
As the name suggests, AthenStyle is cool. No detail is left to chance. From the black and white Erechteion on one side of the lobby wall, to the swinging chair and rock wall on the other side, no details are left to chance. Dorms are spacious and comfy, and the private rooms are excellent value for money. All rooms and dorms come with ensuite bathroom.
One thing we really appreciated at AthenStyle was how quiet it was. We always slept really well; a far call from the sleepless nights we spent in party hostels around Europe. The hostel manages to keep ‘the fun side’ separate from the ‘chill out side’ – rooms and dorms are wonderfully quiet, the lobby is the perfect place to chill out but if you fancy a bit of fun, you can always head up to the rooftop bar. But more on that later.
From our very first moment at AthenStyle, we felt as if we were staying with friends. Ioanna went out of her way to find us a bed when we turned up unexpectedly at nearly midnight. Sofia, the formidable owner, greeted me with a big hug and made me feel like a long-lost friend. All staff was incredibly kind and helpful, and it genuinely looked like they loved working there. Now, not many places can boast that, and it certainly added to the fun and laidback atmosphere we experienced.
In terms of guests, forget cash-strapped backpackers who haven’t showered in the past month. Athenstyle guests are a good mix of digital nomads, solo and couple travellers, plus some small groups. People who love the hostelling atmosphere but also value comfort and a good night sleep. Kind of like us.
What we liked at AthenStyle
If you asked what we didn’t like, the answer would be easier. Nothing. We loved the hostel; from the decor to the beds, from the atmosphere to the people, everything was perfect.
The cherry on top was the amazing rooftop bar. When we arrived on the first night, after our misadventures, we headed straight to the rooftop bar. As soon as we stepped out, our jaw dropped.
The bar had a million-dollar view; the Acropolis hill, brightly-lit, and the twinkling light of town extended all around us. It was the view of a 5 star hotel, yet our drink was only 3.50€. We sipped our beer feeling on top of the world; our mood immediately lifted and we started chatting with fellow travellers, including a self-styled Russian ‘aristocrat’.
AthenStyle management had the brilliant idea to concentrate nighttime fun on the rooftop bar. Which meant a great view for night owls, and a quiet night sleep for early risers. Win-win, right?
We would like to thank Sofia, Ioanna and the rest of the AthenStyle staff for making us feel at home during the six nights we spent there. Thank you, we truly hope we’ll be able to visit you again soon.
If you want to learn more about the alternative side of the city, check our fave unusual places in Athens!