Urban Frame Hotel rubs shoulders with the shops, tavernas and townhouses that line the streets of the Plaka, Athens’ oldest neighbourhood.
Athens International Airport is a 45-minute drive from the hotel. Private transfers can be arranged for around €80 each way.
Most people get by without a car. The hotel’s in the city’s historic heart, which can be seen on foot and has several pedestrian zones.
Worth getting out of bed for
The hotel’s owners wanted guests to be able to make the most of the surrounding area, so there’s not much in the way of distractions. The staff are full of tips and recommendations, too, so be sure to swing by the front desk on your way out the door.
If you’re looking to tick off the city’s famous landmarks, follow the Ancient Promenade, a pedestrian zone connecting the city’s most iconic sights, including the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Acropolis. Built in the shadow of the ancient plateau, the Acropolis Museum houses art and artefacts that once adorned the temples on the plateau, cataloguing the tastes and techniques from the Bronze Age to Byzantine Greece. Design devotees with more modern leanings will get their fix at the Benaki Museum, home to some of Greece’s finest modern and contemporary art. Come evening, walk or take the cable car to the top of Mount Lycabettus, where you’ll find a concentrations of cocktail bars that are perfect for sundowners. Cine Paris, Athen’s best open-air cinema, is an equally special place to spend a summer night. Tickets not only secure you a seat for the film, they also bag you excellent views of the Acropolis, which dominates the view to your left.
Café-bistrot Yiasemi takes its name from the Greek word for Jasmine, and with good reason. This charming eatery is chock full of fragrant greenery, which spills from the charming dining room onto the stone steps on Mnisikleous Street, a stepped lane that climbs towards the Acropolis. Settle in one of the vintage chairs inside, take a pew in the verdant courtyard or perch on the steps in the shade of a green parasol. Tarts, pies and cakes are a particular specialty, and there are plenty of options for vegetarians. Traditional taverna Geros tou Moria has a terrace that’s covered by a canopy of thick vines, making for a shady lunch spot. The menu is full of Greek classics and local specialities, with plenty of grilled fish, salads and succulent meat dishes on offer. A live band often provides the soundtrack at dinner. Greek-Asian fusion restaurant Nolan is much more modern in looks, serving a menu that’s as pared-back as the minimalist interior. Chef Sotiris Kontizas is the man behind the ever-changing menu, splicing Greek cuisine with flavours from Japan, Vietnam, Korea and China. His cooking has garnered the respect of locals and restaurateurs alike, and represents some of the most wallet-friendly fine-dining you’ll find in any European capital.
Not only the most prestigious cocktail bar Athens, hallowed drinking hole The Clumsies is also famous on the international circuit, having secured a top-10 place on the World’s 50 Best Bars list. There are several rooms, each with a different atmosphere and energy level, proving that mixologists Nikos and Vassilis care as much about their drinkers’ desires as they do about the drinks. Astride a rooftop with enviable views of the Acropolis, 360 Degrees is the place for sundowners – arrive early to secure a table. Entering café-cocktail bar Noel feels a bit like going down the rabbit hole – such is the theatricality of the space, stuffed full of oversized clocks, royal regalia, candy canes and faux-fir trees. It’s a local favourite too, probably because you can celebrate every day like it’s Christmas.