Airbnb Investments Revive Athens’ Historic Neighborhood of Psyrri



A street in the Psyrri district of Athens. Photo by Google maps

Psyrri, a popular downtown neighborhood of Athens at one time, is becoming the center of Airbnb-related business once again, as three more major investments have been announced over the last few weeks.

Psyrri became one of the hotspots of nightlife in Athens in the 1990s and early 2000s, but following Greece’s financial crisis, many bars, taverns, restaurants and other businesses were forced to shut down.

Now, a different kind of business seems to be boosting the historic neighborhood’s economy.

Real estate and tourism companies are now buying entire blocks of buildings in the area to transform them into urban hotels or apartment blocks which will be available via the Airbnb platform.

Three major investments worth millions of euros were recently announced. The three companies which bought abandoned buildings of the neighborhood are based in Greece, Israel and Russia.

One firm intends to create a block of apartments which will be rented via the Airbnb platform, the other plans to create a hotel, and the third will create apartments which will be sold to non-EU citizens who wish to obtain Greece’s ”golden visa.” This controversial program allows anyone to receive a five-year residency permit in Greece and across the EU as long as they buy property worth 250,000 euros.

Until the early 1990s, Psyrri, which is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Athens, had a sketchy reputation. However, the neighborhood gradually became one of the most fashionable and trendy choices in the center of Athens for accommodation, entertainment and gastronomy.