Supperclub or speakeasy? Hip hotspot or hedonistic clubs where you can dance the night away? To those in the know, Athens is so much more than the Acropolis, the ancient Agora and ouzo. Although on a night out, you can certainly channel your inner Athenian by indulging in the anise-flavoured liqueur (on which note, you might be interested to know that there is no word in the Greek language for ‘hangover’ – Γεια μας!).
You can tick off the old and the new with several bars and restaurants that afford spectacular views of the Acropolis and the Parthenon. But whether you favour the aesthetic and secrecy of a speakeasy or want to get your fix of underground techno, Trust us when we say that you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to Athens nightlife options.
Surprised? You shouldn’t underestimate Athens’ varied nightlife scene. But whatever your preference, expect to not go to bed until the wee hours as the good people of Athens love to party and have fun until the sun rises. And don’t forget there’s an unofficial rule when it comes to Athens nightlife – the bars in Greece do not shut if there are still customers drinking in it. So, if you are enjoying the drinks and the atmosphere in one particular bar in Athens, you could very well end up pulling an unexpected all-nighter! Although, if you do you prefer an earlier finish – why not try a more sedate approach to a cocktail whilst watching the latest blockbuster at Athens’ open-air cinema?
Whilst we are wanting to channel our inner Greek, read ahead for our guide to exploring Athens after dark, so you can plan your ultimate night out before you’ve even boarded the plane.
The best rooftop bars in Athens
One of the best-kept secrets in Athens, is Couleur Locale, a rooftop bar in the lively district of Plaka in the famous Monastiraki square. This pretty area is where Athenians meet and where you can admire the historic architecture, immerse yourself in cafe culture and listen tolocal musicians. Feast your eyes on the awe-inspiring views of the Acropolis and old Monastiraki from the rooftop terrace of Couleur Locale, whilst sipping on some of the best cocktails in the capital.
A for Athens
Feasibly it should be A for Awesome, as this ultra cool rooftop bar in Athens is testament to epicAthens nightlife. Located between Monastiraki and Psyrri, this hotel rooftop serves up the most gorgeous panoramic views of the Acropolis.
Expect casual dining options from a carefully curated menu focused on local ingredients and live music from DJs and local musicians covering a myriad of music genres from funk to jazz. And then there are the cocktails – you simply have to try the ‘Wear Sunscreen’ which combines rum, exotic spices, fresh grapefruit and lime juice with coconut-infused edible sunscreen – yes sunscreen!
The best places for live music in Athens
From dive bars playing the latest rock music to traditional bouzoukia clubs, Athens isn’t exactly quiet and unassuming when it comes to live music. After all, it’s in the DNA of the Athenians who, a matter of centuries ago, were listening to lute players in the Acropolis. You can’t beat live music and, regardless of what your favourite genre is, you are bound to find a club or bar offering it in Athens.
Live music by the sea! Bourbon is one of the hottest nightlife spots in the south of Athens and features some of the city’s own musicians. From blues and funk to rock and indie, no stone is unturned when it comes to the stronghold of live music. Prefer more dance-based music? Bourbon also has some great DJs driving beats that will keep you on your feet.
Underflow Record Store & Art Gallery
Pick up some classic pieces of vinyl and take in some art, all whilst listening to live music covering everything from world and avante garde to niche genres like Bengali folk music. If you’re looking for something alternative, you’re in the right place, but plan ahead as live music only takes place on Friday nights. The decor is effortlessly cool, with its marble floors and high ceilings making this one of the most atmospheric places to enjoy the nightlife in the whole of the city.
The best nightclubs in Athens
When it comes to clubbing in Athens, the nightlife is as much part of the city’s fabric as its historic buildings. Whether you love vintage disco, underground techno or the latest dance tunes, there is most definitely a club for you within the tapestry that makes up the unique offering of Athens nightlife.
If you love to D.I.S.C.O, then Cinderella in Kolonaki will have you reaching for your glitter and bell bottoms. One of the most popular nightclubs in Athens, if yo’re feeling nostalgic for the 70s and early 80s then why not head over to one of Athens’ chicest districts to this popular disco-club? The psychedelic décor (which, of COURSE includes large mirror balls), a relaxed vibe and uplifting music makes for a fantastic night out in Athens. Don’t forget the glow sticks!
Not sure whether to choose from a bar, cafe, gig or nightclub? Congratulations! One of the highlights of the Athens nightlife scene, Six D.O.G.S does it all and then some. Depending on when you go, you might stumble upon a set from a rapper, a rock band or even an electro-punk act. Cool yet refreshingly unpretentious, the name is a play on six degrees of separation and makes a great place to hang out and grab a coffee during the day, too.