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. 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. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Six d.o.g.s

    Monastiraki | Music Clubs

    You can choose to lounge at the bar or squeeze yourself into a bopping crowd to watch a top DJ or alternative electronica band do their thing...Read More

  • 7. The Clumsies

    Psirri | Bars/Pubs

    Located between Syntagma and Psirri, this innovative bar-restaurant is among the best and most popular in Athens. The impressively decorated...Read More

  • 8. 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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