Depending on the time of year Athens can be a really cheap or pretty expensive place to stay when looking to invest in Athens property.
Due to the recession combined with the massive increase in tourism to the city itself, hotels are at a premium in Athens. We know of at least ten five star properties in the planning stage but if you want to hit the ground running before the market changes you need to utilise one of Athens pretty good standard Airbnb homes.
Like many other cities Athens council has banned owners from renting their properties for more than 90 days in any tax year.
But Athens is Greek so there’s always q workaround for owners looking to rent them for the year around.
If you’re an investor you can find out how this works here
This means the standard or Airbnb is pretty good and off season you can get some real bargains.
Here’s a photo from the balcony of my Airbnb in January 2019.
Look at that view.
I was paying GBP£17.00 a night for this penthouse flat. But, in July you’d be paying around £120 a night IF you could get a booking.
We have a rule that we follow. In winter we usually stay near to upmarket beach areas like Glyfada and Voula but in the summer that’s not really possible so we move closer into the city and some of the upcoming areas around Pangrati or even a Plateia Amerikis which is becoming trendy these days.
Although Glyfada and Voula are not on the metro lines they do have the benefit of the light rail tram that runs along the beach all the way into the centre at Syntagma Square.
In the city you’re never far from a metro station and the system is unusually well run for Greece. Cheap and clean and easy to navigate.
Here are some resources you can use when booking accommodation and how to get around the city.
Personal transport and getting around the city
You can hire a car if you’re really brave or really dumb. But why do that when taxis are really cheap? You cannot park anywhere, traffic is chaos and if you follow locals who seem to park wherever they like you’ll probably get fined or towed.
Sadly the Greek obsession with restricting free trade means that although Uber once existed in Athens the unions bullied the syriza government into banning it. The Uber app still exists but all it will do is call you a regular taxi.
You can jump into A cab anywhere by hailing them on the street. But when it rains forget it.
We always wait before sognalakinf a cab in the street to see if it’s at least a reasonably new car (that means 20 years old on Athens) otherwise you can find yourself in a thirty year Old death trap with no seat belts and a one hundred year old driver. Why would you do that when the fare is exactly the same?
Also some drivers don’t speak English and even pretend they can’t read Greek or a satnav map. A tip from us os always use your google maps app to follow the blue dot and make sure the driver isn’t taking you the really long way around.
Ask us how we know.
The best alternative is to download the TaxiBeat app for iOS and Android. It’s a local startup that now operates in many countries where Uber doesn’t and it gives you the name of true driver and the plate and the little car on the map to see where your driver is. In our experience it’s worth waiting a few minutes for your taxi beat driver rather than risk getting the dodgy ones.
A word of warning – even though theres an app you have to pay with cash. This is Greece.
If you really want to follow the pro tips you may decide not to go to visit the seller at all until you know there’s a deal on the table.
Here’s our pro tip on how to deal with sellers to make sure you’re not being jerked around.
Coffee shop meetings instruction.