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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Root Artspace

    Thissio | Bars/Pubs

    Updated and renamed in February 2015, this bar was once the Royal Stables. Sit in the courtyard or in the brick-wall restaurant for a snack...Read More

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