The Airbnb effect on Athens

September 25, 2023

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The effect that Airbnb has had on Athens over the past years is clearly devastating and is changing our city for good.

Locks for keys to apartments

That is something that I experience firsthand living in the centre, near the area of Koukaki (close to the Acropolis), which happens to be one of the most popular neighbourhoods for tourists.

"In a city made more proper (gentrified)
for hipsters, real estate agents, yappies and tourists,
access to public space and housing
is significantly diminished.
There's not even going to be a bench left for us."

The idea of getting a taste of Athens' 'real life' already seems bygone if you constantly bump into tourists in the grocery store where all the signs are now in english in order to make things easier for... tourists.

Local businesses are closing, such as the shop of a person that repairs shoes or clothes, in favour of course of more restaurants and more cafes, all made to suit the 'multicultural' taste of tourists, who at the end of day clearly have no interest in experiencing anything related to Greece, since they are the ones filling the chinese, indian, vietnamese etc. restaurants, some of which we never had in Athens before the boom of tourism.

And Greece appears more and more willing to offer them exactly that!

"The landlords' profiteering is driving us
out of our homes",
and a "bloody" lock.

All around the centre one can see messages written by the entrances of buildings with Airbnb locks on them. All in vain obviously, since most if not all are in Greek... aimed at whom I wonder... The apartment owners who simply want to make money?

As you can see in the photos that I've taken, the owners put the locks anywhere, even on marble from the 60s and 70s.

Since 2015, when there were roughly 2,000 Airbnb apartments in Athens, their number now has risen to a staggering 12,000!
And even entire apartment buildings have been bought by companies and are rented as if they were hotels.... Entire buildings are not available to the locals anymore.

It's getting harder and harder of course for the locals to find flats to rent in the centre, and if they do, the rents even for old flats are absurd for Greece's minimum wage of 900 euros per month. The rent now could even be 600-700 euros, though it used to be half of that....

Tourists exiting an apartment building near the Acropolis

Airbnb apartments by now account for 40% of tourist accomodation in Athens.

This whole thing is obviously mainly the Greek government's fault.

The other culpable though is in the photo above.

Don't ruin our city just to spend
a couple of nights in Athens...

The choice is yours.

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