Athens has more than18 different cool and vibrant areas to choose from for your night out. A big variety of bars in different style stay open till the morning light, and many hipster spots around and about, just know one thing about Athens:
You don’t know this city unless you explore its nightlife!
Fact number #1:
Half of the population in Greece lives in Athens and this can only mean one thing; there is a lot going on in this city. It is the business, cultural and economic center with new convention facilities, a modern transportation network and hotels with state- of- the-art design. Next to the world famous cultural and archeological attractions you will discover some of the top restaurants in Europe with a booming gastronomic scene that will amaze you. Whether you are a luxury traveler or you search for "more for less", whether you travel with your family or with a group of friends you will be spoiled in Athens all year round. The sun forgets to hide even during the winter and that's a reason to be happy to be here. Nights are young, and the Mediterranean climate it's at its best.
So although you hear on the news that it’s the hot spot for Troika… city breaks at the moment, always remember something very important for Athenians: enjoying everyday life is a must; enjoying every night (life) is a state of mind, no matter how full their bank account is.
There is even a joke that has gone viral and you will definitely hear it around Greece when you pass by the all day and night coffee shops, bars and taverns that are packed almost every day of the week. It goes like this“ European Union believes that because we all Athenians are out, we have money, and they are pushing for more strict austerity measures." Humor is used in every way possible.
Being out and about is a need for Athenians. The fact that it is so safe to walk around even late at night makes it easy for anyone who just wants to grab a beer (1,30 E) and just stroll along the streets.
Athenians feel blessed for their sunny days, their crystal clear sea with the most blue flag beaches in Europe, and their… frappe coffee. The combination of these three get anyone out of many uncomfortable situations.
These are some of the things that you will easily notice from your first day of your visit in Athens. Soon you will understand that you can walk alone, go out alone, and you will have new friends by your side easily. People are friendly and super nice.
Having a local guide with you is a MUST! You will never explore the real Athens if you don’t go to the places that only locals know. The real Athens change so often that no guide map can include the latest updates. It is a city that is so alive and always creative that it makes it almost impossible to know all about what is going on every day. I was so lucky to have with me as a local Athenian guide Andreas Litis from thisisathens.org who actually blogs about Athens on mysecretathens.gr. Andreas is in love with Athens, and this is something you can tell from the first moment he starts talking with you about this city. He is passionate about learning and discovering the hidden gems of the day and night life.
With a smile on our faces and a local beer in our hands, we head to find out what’s hot in Athens at the moment and here are the results.
Stop #1 Metaxourgeio
This artistic neighborhood has some of the coolest restaurants and bars downtown. This is also the informal incubator for some talented graffiti artists in Europe. You will be surprised by the graffiti on the walls of the buildings around. The locals say that the graffiti changes every almost 6 months and that definitely makes this area one of the most interesting open contemporary street museum where colors, humor, and fun designs blend together in order to tell interesting urban stories. Seychelles offer some great taste of Greek cuisine, Ble papagalos facebook.com/BlePapagalos is the hot spot for actors, singers and artists, Mia zoi tin Exoume- I Kali Zoi ikalizoi.gr is the fun and tasty playground that will bring you back to your childhood memories. Stroll along the streets and enjoy the creative vibes of this lovely area. This is where the heart of alternative Athens beats all day and night.
Stop #2 Koukaki
Students love this area as the university is just around the corner. A typical urban neighborhood with a different twist; cool bars serving homemade liqueurs and customized cocktails, modern taverns and street bars with very interesting happenings and DJ’s sets. You will also find some unexpected hidden gems that shine on the wine and food lists of the nearby taverns and snack bars. This area is ideal for those who enjoy feeling at home away from the touristic areas. Acropolis is just a short walk away from here. It is also ideal for those that don't like to be "posh" and they enjoy simplicity and quality in an urban surrounding. Check out belraybar.gr if you love cocktails and if you want to get updates on what's trendy in town as you there are also many events, happenings and music nights that take place here. Pass by the new bar Koinono that just opened and does not have a website yet!
The Metro station Fix is right on the square and the brand new museum of modern arts is right here on Sigrou Avenue.
Stop #3 Agia Irini and around
This is the hub of the night owls. Here you will find a great variety of different style of bars, cocktail bars, alternative and artistic stages, good street food, wine bars and restaurants. Meet some beautiful street bars - people enjoy sitting out with their drink in their hands watching people passing by, rather than being inside even in winters, wonderful microbrewery bars, pubs with fantastic cocktails, street food with flavours from around the world, modern hotels, alternative places with various happenings, interesting food, drinks and music stages... This area has flourished the last 3 years. Great variety all within short walking distance right in the heart of downtown Athens and close by the historic center. Don’t miss Drunk Sinatra facebook.com/drunk.sinatra.bistro, Barley Cargo facebook.com/BarleyCargo for some amazing local Greek beers and perfect food from around the country, 6 dogs sixdogs.gr, Booze boozecooperativa.com, Osterman for some awarded cocktails and Chaplin bar facebook.com/Chaplin-Coffee-Cocktail-Bar-1444733875749527. Last but not least, check out one of the best bars in Europe Baba Au Ram for cocktails, homemade syrups and with one of the biggest collections of rum in Europe. http://babaaurum.com/
Hidden gem: try to find the secret door of the secret bar in town and, ring the bell!
Stop #4 Karitsi Square
The place to be for theater lovers. With more than 300 theater stages in the city, Athens can be proud of keeping in touch with the acting scene since the ancient years. This tiny square with the big Orthodox Church has some tiny bars with big impact on the nightlife scene of the city; you will love it if you enjoy great jazz and quality music, cocktails and wine, international and Mediterranean food and some classy decorations and happenings. Sophisticated, friendly and artistic this area is right in the heart of the busy, business center but it makes you feel like you are right at the heart of a little town both during the day and night. Highly recommended is the bar next to door of Moussouri theatre with the name Comme il Faux that serves great cocktails and shots. The music and its friendly atmosphere are a plus as you will soon feel that you just passed by to see some friends of yours https://www.facebook.com/CommeIlFauxBar/photos
Stop #5 Monastiraki - Thissio
Easy, busy, vibrant, traditional, modern and classic; Monastiraki is the ultimate meeting point. You get here with the Metro or the train. Actually you can get here from anywhere in Athens no matter whether you are staying, north, east, far south etc. This is the best area to discover the city from the top; rooftop bars are a must in the city and a unique way to relax and enjoy the view of Acropolis. Don’ t miss Coleur Locale couleurlocaleathens.com
Within walking distance at Pireos Str., spend at least an evening or night at Bios, a highly recommended bar with a beautiful rooftop. Bios bios.gr is also the hub for live concerts, theatrical plays, events and happenings. If you want to explore more about the urban culture of Athens and beyond, this place is a must. Very interesting events, cocktails mixed with Greek herbs, old recipes and lovely atmosphere! Until the end of October you can enjoy its rooftop with a wonderful view to the Acropolis!
Cantina Social facebook.com/cantinasocial is a fresh, alternative spot at Psirri area with a standard list of wine and drinks in very affordable prices. Alternative but still stylish with some rock vibes and electro vibes.
For more local insight, find the secret tavern Avli that has no website, no sign, not anything fancy, but its real and authentic simplicity has made it one of the most interesting experience you can have downtown. It looks like a movie set up from the 60s and definitely worth a visit! Pass by if you like to blend with the locals and share some time of their way of life. You won't find it in the city guides; just ask a local! Oh! And you can't make a reservation as it is against the owners' policy.
The hot entry of the city’s life style and music scene is the all day coffee bar and restaurant Hard Rock Café hardrock.com/cafes/athens that serves some delicious American style finger food and has the most welcoming stuff around. It also has the Hard Rock café Couture costumes from some famous rock stars that will be in Athens till the end of December .
Don't miss http://www.underdog.gr/ at Irakleidon Str. at Thission near Monastiraki for delicious brunch, coffee and music nights with some good electro music.
To be continued ...
Travel tip shared by Villy Manolia for Traveldudes
For more about Athens and the free local greeters scheme, visit the This is my Athens website. The The City of Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau sponsored this trip and the campaign was developed by the Destination Marketing Agency, Toposophy. I had a great stay at novotel.com/gb/hotel-0866-novotel-athenes
Thanks to the super kind taxi drivers of the innovative taxi app, Taxibeat for transporting us around Athens. Note that the taxis are quite cheap in Athens and with this App you lose no time and you can get anywhere you want super easy and fast!