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 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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. Kapnikarea Cafe

    Monastiraki | Bars/Pubs

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

  • 4. Minnie the Moocher

    Kolonaki | Bars/Pubs

    Just two minutes walk from Kolonaki Square, on the buzzy Tsakalof street packed with bars, this sleek, Prohibition-era-themed bar is always...Read More

  • 5. O Kyrios

    Ilisia | Bars/Pubs

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

  • 6. Oinoscent

    Syntagma | Wine Bars

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

  • 7. Santaroza

    Exarcheia | Bars/Pubs

    Dark, moody, and very atmospheric, with a long bar lined with leather stools upon which the city's hip and glamorous people sip their cocktails...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Afrikana

    Gazi-Kerameikos | Bars/Pubs

    Get here before 9 pm for a drink and a chat, but after that be prepared for a fun night of bopping along to live jazz, funk, or blues performances...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. Anifori

    Piraeus | 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

  • 12. 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

  • 13. 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

  • 14. 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

  • 15. Bios

    Gazi-Kerameikos | Cafés

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

  • 16. 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

  • 17. Brettos

    Plaka | Bars/Pubs

    With walls adorned with brightly lit bottles in all colors of the spectrum, Brettos is mainly popular among tourists who have seen photos of...Read More

  • 18. 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

  • 19. Cinque Wine Bar

    Psirri | Bars/Pubs

    With wine-obsessed and highly knowledgeable owners, Cinque is a deli/wine bar where you can get to know some of the most unknown and fascinating...Read More

  • 20. Couleur 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

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