Were There Hotels in Ancient Greece?

When it comes to travel and accommodation, we often think of modern amenities like hotels, motels, and resorts. But what about ancient times

Did people in ancient Greece have hotels or something similar Let’s explore this question further.

Accommodation in Ancient Greece

In ancient Greece, travelers could find accommodations in various forms such as boarding houses called xenodochia, temples, and private homes. These places offered a roof over the traveler’s head but did not provide the luxuries that modern hotels offer.

Xenodochia were establishments that provided lodging and meals to travelers for a fee. They were run by private individuals or the state and were usually located near harbors or marketplaces. These establishments were often basic, with shared rooms and communal bathrooms.

Temples also served as accommodations for travelers in ancient Greece. Temples were viewed as sanctuaries where people could seek refuge from danger or rest during their travels. Travelers could sleep on the floors of the temples or use them as a place to store their belongings while they explored the local area.

Private homes of wealthy citizens were also an option for travelers who sought comfortable lodging. Wealthy Greeks would open their homes to travelers for a fee, providing them with a room to sleep in and meals to eat.

The Lack of Hotels

So why didn’t ancient Greece have hotels like we do today The answer lies in the way people traveled back then.

Travel was not seen as a leisure activity but rather a necessity for trade, diplomacy, and religious pilgrimages. As such, people did not travel for pleasure or extended periods; they only needed basic accommodations to rest before continuing on their journey.

Another reason is that ancient Greeks had different expectations when it came to hospitality. The concept of xenia (guest-friendship) was highly valued in Greek society.

It was believed that showing hospitality towards strangers was a sacred duty and a way to honor the gods. As such, locals were expected to offer travelers basic accommodations, meals, and protection during their stay.


In conclusion, while there were no hotels in ancient Greece as we know them today, travelers had several options for accommodations. Xenodochia, temples, and private homes offered basic lodging for those on the move.

The lack of hotels can be attributed to the different expectations of hospitality in ancient Greece and the nature of travel during that time. Nevertheless, ancient Greek accommodations offer a fascinating insight into the customs and traditions of the time.