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Guide to Athens

By Rachel Howard

This story originally appeared in the November/December 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.

With Mandarin Oriental lined up to acquire the Athens Hilton and Four Seasons tipped to take over the revamped Astir Palace resort in 2018, the Athens hotel scene is looking up. Once a quick stopover to dash around the ruins en route to the Greek islands, Athens is now Europe’s hottest city break. With a pristine coastline, heady cocktail culture and vibrant arts scene that spans the ancient and avant-garde, it’s a wonder Athens has been overlooked for so long. The laidback Mediterranean lifestyle is offset by an edgy, urban vibe: Bauhaus apartment blocks swathed in graffiti, open-air cinemas where everyone smokes and marble piazzas where the bars never seem to close.