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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Lohan

    Gazi-Kerameikos | Dance Clubs

    Created by a Greek businessman in cooperation with the celebrity (Lindsay) that it's named after, this is the city's biggest and most popular...Read More

  • 5. Maze

    Gazi-Kerameikos | Dance Clubs

    On hot summer nights, clubbers can groove under the stars in this open-air dance club right in the center of industrial Athens. Maze is located...Read More

  • 6. W Night Club

    Gkazi-Kerameikos | Dance Clubs

    A change in the name for Venue, this landmark Athenian club reopened its doors in 2009 with a stunning three-stage space decorated with silver...Read More

  • 7. Sea n' City

    Dance Clubs

    A up-and-coming seaside club, Sea n' City opened its doors in 2010 on the site of ex-Bo El Pecado. The around-the-clock and around-the-year...Read More

  • 8. Venti

    Psirri | Dance Clubs

    This successful Psirri club-restaurant is also now open in summer, one of the few in the city center to do so. Its open-air style (due to a...Read More

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