City Circus Hostel in Athens, Greece

published in: Travel, Interiors By Lauren Del Vecchio, 30 July 2012

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photo © Olga Tzimou

Two hostels on Yatzer within two weeks of one another? It seems we may be in the midst of a trend. So has the hostel finally shaken its reputation for its gloomy 'musty' atmosphere and institutional design? Once known more for accommodating rowdy, alcohol loving students on holiday, the hostel is stepping up its game and going after an entirely different clientele.
 
It would make sense, one would hope, that given the economy the option would now exist for travel without breaking the bank. There has to be an in between for a more adventurous traveler who still enjoys the basic comforts of hotel living. So, if we have to forego the Tcherassi’s of the world for a few trips, why not check out a hip hostel?  Let’s see what City Circus is all about.

photo © Olga Tzimou

photo © Olga Tzimou

photo © Olga Tzimou
Graphic design & wall art by Nevertheless

photo © Olga Tzimou
Graphic design & wall art by Nevertheless

Inside the pale yellow exterior, the four-story twenty-five room hostel was built in a newly restored and over one hundred year old mansion. Original details were kept where possible; the frescoed ceilings were restored in the lounge and dining areas (and they really are quite stunning), iron balconies peek out onto the streets, and baroque tiles add an aged and wise beauty to the building. Think boutique hotel but pared down to bare bones. Sure, you’re not going to find 400 thread count sheets on these beds but attention has been paid to detail, and it is clear from the thoughtful design and vibrant art work that this is not the hostel of our college years. The small details let you know that your comfort has been considered and this adds to the overall experience; an overall minimalist design, bright green blankets, small baroque framed mirrors in the bathrooms, night lights on either side of a double bed, reclaimed and vintage furniture sprinkled throughout the hostel bring character and depth to the rooms.  Art work sourced from local artists line the walls. There are two bars with similar “mismatched” flea market chairs and décor which definitely works too. The bar experience on the roof is elevated by the sheer proximity to the magical Acropolis which literally stares down at you as you take in the sights and sounds of the neighborhood below.   
 
And an excellent neighborhood it is. Psirri is located in central Athens, Greece and it is the hip place to be.  Lively bars and cafes line the busy streets, the market square by Monastiraki is perfect for people watching, and many local street artists come here to sell their wares.  In fact, there is plenty of local flavor to be shared with people from all over the world. And the setting is down to earth, a nice rest even, from the upscale boutique hotels and white tablecloth brunches one may be accustomed to. Here, you are immersed in culture, YOU are the experience, and it feels as though you are amongst friends. There is an overall youthful energy to Psirri, and come to think of it, to City Circus as well.

photo © Olga Tzimou

City Circus embraces what has come to be known as the 'adventurer', 'explorer' way of life. Inviting the 'Acrobats' of the world (literally translating to a 'person that lives on the edge') to 'dwell in the surreal, to embrace the weird, to explore with freedom'. And to be honest, letting loose and 'getting weird' sounds good right about now. Amidst all of the economic turmoil and the worries that have plagued Greece in recent years, it is refreshing to find a place that does not take itself so seriously. This is a place that offers comfort and shelter to the traveler that chooses their own path, explorers looking for something inside themselves or hidden amidst the ruins of Athens. The energy surrounding City Circus and the ethos at the core of their operation is pure and good, and for this they are doing something wonderful in the ancient city that has gone through too many troubles in recent years.

photo © Olga Tzimou

photo © Olga Tzimou

photo © Olga Tzimou

photo © Olga Tzimou

photo © Olga Tzimou

photo © Olga Tzimou

photo © Olga Tzimou

photo © Olga Tzimou

photo © Olga Tzimou

photo © Olga Tzimou

photo © Olga Tzimou

Graphic design by Nevertheless

Graphic design by Nevertheless

sources:

City Circus, Nevertheless Design Studio

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TAGS: hostel
  • friend
    Gia | 2012-07-30 17:19:54

    Excellent idea and decor!

  • friend
    alan peacock | 2012-07-30 17:22:57

    The hostel looks stunning, what they don't tell you though is that the neighborhood is dangerous for tourists,due to petty crime and prostitution.We stayed there last summer (not this hostel) and my wife and daughter got mugged. This year we are staying in the outskirts of Athens. I would advise people to be very careful when visiting the area as tourists are targeted.Its a pity they chose this location but I guess rent should be cheap.Kind regards Alan

  • friend
    maria | 2012-07-31 00:03:51

    Mr. Peacock, I am so very sorry that you and your family had a negative experience in Athens. But what saddens me further is that this isolated incident is being used as a means to generalize about the safety of an entire neighborhood, thus inflicting injury upon not only this business but dozens of other businesses. Athens remains one of the safest cities in Europe if not the world. Our economy may be in tatters, but a simple statistical check shows that we are far below the crime rate of major cities worldwide. The Psirri neighborhood is not an exception. It is full of small honest businesses and residences for young artists as well as families. Prostitution is not prevalent in this neighborhood (not that prostitution has ever been dangerous to tourists) and Athens is most certainly NOT a destination for sex tourism. nGranted, we do have our share of pickpockets and unethical taxi drivers, but if one avoids the center of Athens, one will miss the most glorious things that this city has to offer. In fact, if any tourist is overly worried of petty crime, they will most likely miss the Acropolis, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and the Empire State Building. True travelers--not tourists--are not looking for a bird's eye view of a city nor a hit and run of the major sites. They are looking for an authentic and, quite often, an urban experience. Sincerely, Maria > Athens Lover

  • friend
    CITY CIRCUS ATHENS | 2012-07-31 02:01:50

    We chose Psirri because we love Psirri! its a neighborhood with character. The buildings are low, the streets winding and narrow and as you stroll about, you can still find artisans making their wares, unique shops, galleries, spectacular graffiti art, theaters and the cafes and bars that Psirri is famous for. We were hoping to find guests who appreciate this atmosphere and feel safe here as well and after a month running, this has proved true ( see our reviews on numerous sites). The hostel is also conveniently located near the metro, train and most tourist sites. They're all a short walk away.But most of all, we chose the location because we fell in love with this neoclassical building with the high fresco ceilings. Believe me, renting a place like this is not cheap!When you do visit Athens and you venture into town for all the good stuff, we'd love to have you by for a coffee and a tour of our lovely street.

  • friend
    dimitris | 2012-07-31 09:58:23

    Athens is not more dangerous than London, Paris or Rome for example. There are areas that tourists should avoid but that's not the case with the area where City Circus is located. Loads of bars and restaurants around there that are open till late and no prostitution in Psyrri. The dodgy areas are closer to Omonoia square. As in any major European city you should be careful and watch out for yourself and your stuff when you are a tourist.Anyway, I think the location is great. What can beat living next to Acropolis?

  • friend
    Nasia | 2012-07-31 16:25:47

    well Mr Peacock I am sorry for your bad experience, but since you came again back to Athens, I suppose your whole trip was a success and wasn't characterized by this incident. don't we all have such experiences abroad???!!!!! ( I do!) Anyway thank you for coming to Greece once more!

  • friend
    Roula Chrysohoou | 2012-08-02 10:41:03

    i don't think that this is a rather accurate information...i don't know where exactly you got mugged but especially in the area that this hostel is located things r pretty safe and nice...try not to spread the panic please and give inaccurate information...thanx in advance...nn

  • friend
    Nasia | 2012-07-30 17:24:22

    astonished! very nice, simple, friendly, homy.... very very pleased to see that we have little diamonds! have a great success to the owners.... thought I think that it will be a fact since they have done a fabulous job in the center of Athens at very good prices! made me very very happy! thank you!

  • friend
    dimitris | 2012-07-31 08:46:11

    pretty interior but as a Greek I would never recommend the area to a friend or tourist because its dangerous.

  • friend
    katerina | 2012-07-31 15:04:53

    Hi, I work as an actress in Athens so I worked often in this area and this street, even across tha street at the Emporikon Theater. Above this theater, Vicky Kaya (top model & TV presenter) opened this year a fashion school. Down the street Lakis Lazopoulos (comedian TV star) owns a theater. There is also the Apothiki, Embros and many many more in this area. This is where I and many Athenians work and I am very happy to welcome City Circus to the neighborhood! Great job!

  • friend
    christine | 2012-08-02 23:34:09

    feels like a very up to dated building..I am a student at Athens school of fine arts at the theory department.Unfortunately,I have to admit that we don't have many interesting new buildings in Athens,concerning modern architecture ..Greek architects should do their best to reconstruct this city because there are the foundings,however the fantasy and the passion are missing.this hostel I have to say that is the beginning! can't wait to visit it...Can someone come just for a coffee or a drink?

  • friend
    CITY CIRCUS ATHENS | 2012-08-27 09:51:20

    Christine thank you for the nice comments. Of course we are open to anyone who like to join the circus. many thanks

  • friend
    goforapiknik | 2012-09-15 22:05:18

    this place is a miracle!!!!although i live in the west and I have family to host me while visiting Athens, next time I visit, I'll make sure to spend a night or two there just for the fun of it. Believe me, I've lived in Athens more than five years, until recently, an hearing from people that the area is dangerous makes me laugh! This is a totally safe area downtown Athens with amazing architecture (something that not many areas in Athens can claim BUT this is changing over these past few years due to inspired young architects and artists that keep pumping out in Greece-not only Athens but also Thessaloniki, Volos even Patras are on the verge of aesthetic changes, not spectacular but considerable and so on).Psirri is full of theaters, bars, cafes, little shops, galleries and even showrooms from Greek upcoming designers. It is close to everything and this is the place you MUST visit while visiting our contradictory but all in all amazing Greek capital!Cheers!

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