Notorious neighborhoods to avoid in Athens and where to stay

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Athens copyright Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

Athens is a bustling capital that has so much to offer. It has some of the most picturesque views, a lively nightlife, an endless amount of good food, great beaches and ancient monuments.

Even though the city has its beauty, it is still rough around the edges. There are just some neighbourhoods that you need to avoid when you come to Athens, even though it can be easy to get lost as you explore.

In this article, we break down the most dangerous neighbourhoods, mid level dangerous neighbourhoods and the safe neighbourhoods to stay in.

Athens copyright Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

Most dangerous neighbourhoods:

Downtown Kolonos

Kolonos is a huge neighbourhood that starts from a safe and family friendly area called Sepolia. However, the lower side of Kolonos is one of the most dangerous to walk around in. Here, you will witness daily drug uses and overdoses, illegal crime and there are a lot of brothels too. It is highly recommended not to book accommodation and to avoid this neighbourhood all together.

Agio Panteleimomas

What was once known to be a religious neighbourhood with one of the biggest churches to see, is now one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods. In fact, there is serious crime committed here and should highly be avoided to visit.

Athens copyright Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

Mid level dangerous areas:


Metaxourgio is located in central Athens and is within reasonable distance to all the tourists attractions. Accommodation is cheap in this area and it is known to have nice bars dotted across the neighbourhood.

However, it is also known to be very dangerous to walk around at night and in the back streets of Metaxourgio, there are brothels and heavy drug users.

This area has a balance of pros and cons; pros being cheap to stay at and close to all attractions, the cons being that it is actually dangerous to walk around.


Omonia in the day is actually a cool area to hang out at, since it has plenty of markets, shops and restaurants that are worth visiting.

However, at night the atmosphere changes completely, making it unsafe to walk around and hang out at. It is filled with petty crime and drug users, which is not great to be around at all.

Safe neighbourhoods to stay at:

Athens is just like any other city in the world that will always have petty crime. However, there are some neighbourhoods that are safer to stay in than others. Here is a list of neighbourhoods to consider staying in and that is close to central:

  • Thissio
  • Monastiraki
  • Koukaki
  • Siggrou Fix
  • Neos Kosmos
  • Ano Patisia
  • Pagrakti
  • Zografou
  • Megaro Mousikis

In these areas you are still close to public transport, taxi fares are at a good price and these choices are great local areas to explore.

Monastiraki copyright Photographer: Adrianna Anastasiades

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