For a tourist, Athens by night is a very different place to Athens by day. In the daylight hours you might take an Acropolis tour or visit Athens Central Market, the Byzantine Museum or Monastiraki Flea Market. But when night falls, the Greek capital really comes to life.
There’s a distinct urban, arty, underground scene to the nightlife in Athens. Here are our recommendations to help you escape the tourist traps and to discover some of the quirkiest and best bars in Athens.
Exploring the bars in Athens, Greece
Famous for its extensive selection of ouzo liquor, Brettos is the oldest distillery in Athens. Hard to miss when walking through the historic centre of the city, the bar’s walls are decorated with hundreds of coloured bottles and lights. Seating within the bar comes at a premium, but it is well worth a visit for the relaxed atmosphere and historic setting. Brettos also features a good list of local Greek wines for non-ouzo aficionados.
Six Dogs Athens
A hidden Athenian hangout with an unassuming exterior. Six Dogs is well worth exploring. To reach the bar, you have to walk through a short tunnel from street level. You’ll enter a multi-levelled outdoor garden, complete with low tables, lush foliage. There’s a very respectable drinks menu – and a super cool crowd. Six Dogs is best enjoyed after dark when its twinkling fairy lights add a magical aura the garden.
When looking for a themed bar, you would be hard pushed to find one that commits itself as entirely to its mission as Little Kook. Located in Psyri, Athens the bar transforms itself, and the surrounding streets, into the embodiment of its theme. The designs remain there for several months before the bar closes for a period of two weeks and transforms into its next magical theme. Recent decor at Little Kook has included a fantastically decorative Christmas theme (yes, even into February) and the magical world of Mary Poppins.
TAF – The Art Foundation
Whether you’re exploring Athens by night, or by day, TAF is well worth a visit. This is another hidden bar. Located behind an unmarked door in Athens’ vibrant Monastiraki flea market, you may think you are entering a derelict building. Persevere and find the vibrant courtyard. Always buzzing, TAF is perfect for an afternoon aperitif or a chilled evening catching up with friends. A soundtrack of funky global beats in addition to the art and fashion pop-ups in the rooms surrounding the courtyard bar, all add to the atmosphere and bely the bar’s roots as an art foundation.
360 rooftop Bar
Located across the square from the A for Athens hotel, 360 rooftop bar offers the same iconic panoramic views across bustling Monastiraki Square, towards the iconic Acropolis. This outdoor rooftop bar is spacious and pleasantly full of greenery, making for a truly relaxing experience. 360 bar is the ideal place to sip a cocktail whilst watching as the sun sets over Athens, or the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious glass of wine at night whilst marvelling at the Acropolis in all its illuminated glory.
It’s holiday season all year round at Noel Athens. Located in Downtown Athens, Noel exudes quirky charm and warmth. Shying away from the cheesier iterations of festive décor, Noel’s art deco design complete with gold embellishments, green garlands and graceful chandeliers, creates a fairytale atmosphere inside – while a host of outdoor tables make the bar a perfect location for al fresco summer drinks. Noel’s cocktail menu has received international acclaim. A menu of modern European classics is also on offer for those wanting to enjoy a bite to eat.
– By Katie Daniels
Visiting Athens? Here’s what you need to know:
Best time to visit Athens
The best time to visit Athens, Greece is between March and May, or between September and November. The in between months are either too hot, or slightly too cold. However – dependant on your personal preferences – August may be a good month to visit. The weather is hot, but it less tourists as well as less Athenians (most leave during August to visit local islands) so you’ll have less trouble taking public transport and/or visiting key attractions.
Best time to visit Greece
If you’re planning to visit the coastal areas of mainland Greece, or some of the Greek islands, then the best time to visit is between April and November. The months in the middle of this time period will be the hottest. We do not recommend visiting many of the islands outside of these months as it is ‘off season’. For some islands this will involve a total shutdown of tourism facilities and you may struggle to find open attractions, transportation and even accommodation! If you’re visiting Greece for Ski Season, travel between January and March.
Weather in Greece
Located on the Mediterranean, Greece tends to follow a typical Mediterranean weather pattern, too. This means hot summers (April – October) and somewhat rainy winters (Late November – March). The average summer temperature is 32C and the average winter temperature is 13C. As Greece is geographically diverse, the weather will differ slightly, dependant on location.
Getting from Athens to…
Most tourists use Athens as a pitstop before travelling on to one if the many Greek islands. If you want to travel from Athens to the Greek islands you can fly, or take a ferry. Ferries are good value for money and reliable. Find out more about the ferry network and timetable on the Ferryhopper website.
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