Athens

Despite demanding working hours, significantly tighter budgets, and family obligations, Athenians simply refuse to stay home, and will always find good reasons to sit out with friends at a bar until the middle of the night. Athens's heady nightlife starts late. Most bars and clubs don't get hopping until midnight and they stay o
Despite demanding working hours, significantly tighter budgets, and family obligations, Athenians simply refuse to stay home, and will always find good reasons to sit out with friends at a bar until the middle of the night. Athens's heady nightlife starts late. Most bar
Despite demanding working hours, significantly tighter budgets, and family obligations, Athenians simply refuse to stay

Despite demanding working hours, significantly tighter budgets, and family obligations, Athenians simply refuse to stay home, and will always find good reasons to sit out with friends at a bar until the middle of the night. Athens's heady nightlife starts late. Most bars and clubs don't get hopping until midnight and they stay open at the very least until 3 am. Drink prices can be rather steep (about €9–€13), but the pours are generous, and in recent years the cocktails have become exciting and sophisticated. Often there is a cover charge on weekends at the most popular clubs, which also have bouncers (aptly called "face-control" by Greeks because they tend to let only the "lookers" in). For a uniquely Greek evening, visit a club featuring rembetika music, a type of blues, or the popular bouzoukia (clubs with live bouzouki, a stringed instrument, music). Few clubs take credit cards for drinks.

Nightclubs in Greece migrate with the seasons. From October through May, they're in vast, throbbing venues in Central Athens and the northern suburbs; from June through September, many relocate to luxurious digs on the south coast for moonlit beach views. The same spaces are used from year to year, but owners and names tend to bounce around. Before heading out, check local listings or talk to your hotel concierge, especially during the summer. One way to avoid both lines and cover charges—since partying doesn't get going until after 1 am—is to make an earlier dinner reservation at one of the many clubs that have restaurants as well.

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  • 1. O Kyrios

    Ilisia | Bars/Pubs

    Unlike Briki next door, where the younger generations go to flirt and down shots, O Kyrios caters to an older, more deeply glamorous crowd seeking...Read More

  • 2. Oinoscent

    Syntagma | Wine Bars–Nightlife

    If you'd like to learn about Greek wine both using your mind and your taste buds, this modern bar with bold-yellow walls and high stools is...Read More

  • 3. 360 Cocktail Bar

    Monastiraki | Bars/Pubs

    With a menu of more than 70 cocktails and an extensive wine list, there is something for everyone at this rooftop bar in the heart of lively...Read More

  • 4. Alexandrino

    Exarcheia | Bars/Pubs

    This elegant Parisian-style bar and café is frequented by fashion personalities, academics, and thespians alike, who come to unwind over a few...Read More

  • 5. Anifori

    Themed Entertainment

    This friendly, popular club is housed in the neighborhood's old primary school and has been proudly hosting both rembetika and dimotika (Greek...Read More

  • 6. Baba Au Rum

    Monastiraki | Bars/Pubs

    Rum is the star at this trendy, popular bar in the heart of Monastiraki. All the liqueurs, syrups, and essences to flavor highly original and...Read More

  • 7. Balthazar

    Ilisia | Bars/Pubs

    Athenians of all ages come to escape the summer heat at this stylish, upscale bar-restaurant in a neoclassical house with a lush garden courtyard...Read More

  • 8. Baraonda

    Ilisia | Bars/Pubs

    Beautiful people, breakneck music, and a slightly gaudy VIP vibe have made this club-restaurant a perennial city favorite all year-round. The...Read More

  • 9. Beertime

    Psirri | Brewpubs/Beer Gardens

    Over the last few years Greece has exploded with microbreweries, with even ordinary supermarkets now selling at least a handful of exceptionally...Read More

  • 10. Bios

    Gazi-Kerameikos | Cafes–Nightlife

    Cool architects and graphic designers, arty students and hipster DJs, revolutionaries and experimental philosophers: they all hang out in the...Read More

  • 11. Booze Cooperativa

    Syntagma | Bars/Pubs

    Laptops, coffee mugs, and chess sets cover the long wooden tables in this Central Athens joint by day. By night, chatty partygoers squeeze—booze...Read More

  • 12. Brettos

    Plaka | Bars/Pubs

    With walls adorned with brightly lighted bottles in all colors of the spectrum, Brettos is a dated choice for most locals and is mainly popular...Read More

  • 13. Briki

    Ilisia | Bars/Pubs

    On hot summer nights, the fountain in Mavili Square, spreads coolness over the tables of café-bars like this one, enjoyed by the most flirtatious...Read More

  • 14. Couleir Locale

    Monastiraki | Bars/Pubs

    This youthful, scenic, and modish bar offers a different kind of local color than the usual walk-in or street-level place, as you'll have to...Read More

  • 15. Fever

    Neos Kosmos | Dance Clubs

    One of Athens's most popular bouzoukia clubs showcases the most popular singers of the day, including Yiannis Parios, Sakis Rouvas, and Stamatis...Read More

  • 16. Half Note Jazz Club

    Pangrati | Music Clubs

    The original and best jazz venue in town is this place for serious music sophisticates. It's a good idea to reserve a table ahead of time, especially...Read More

  • 17. Heteroclito

    Syntagma | Wine Bars–Nightlife

    This small and elegant wine bar focuses exclusively on Greek wines, and has knowledgeable owners who will help you navigate their extensive...Read More

  • 18. Hotel Chelsea

    Pangrati | Bars/Pubs

    Not a hotel as its name suggests but instead a bar where the crowds spill out colorfully onto the sidewalk tables every night of the week. Its...Read More

  • 19. Iera Odos

    Gazi-Kerameikos | Music Clubs

    Local pop and bouzouki stars regularly appear at this popular nightspot delivering all the joyous frenzy expected of a Greek-style night out...Read More

  • 20. Kapnikarea Cafe

    Monastiraki | Bars/Pubs

    The ideal refreshing lunchtime spot to relax at after shopping on busy Ermou Street, Kapnikarea is named after the sunken Byzantine church that...Read More

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