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Experience the Vibrant Nightlife in Athens: Your Ultimate Guide to Athenian Nights

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Those visiting for the first time should know that nightlife in Athens is probably quite different than anything you have experienced in any other major European destination. And we mean that in the best possible way. For those of you returning to Athens, you know very well what we are talking about.

Athens is notorious for having an uproarious nightlife scene with countless music venues, bars, and drinking joints opening their doors at sundown and not letting any steam out until the very first hours of the morning.

The kind of entertainment you can expect to find when exploring Athens at night largely depends upon what area you choose to visit, as every neighborhood in Athens has its own distinct culture and attracts the respective crowds.

And that is probably what makes the nightlife in Athens so unique.

Depending on which neighborhood or area of the city you choose for your night out, you will come across entirely different venues and types of entertainment. And Athens being such a vast city means that you will easily be able to find exactly the type of nightlife you are looking for.

Athens has everything from traditional tavernas and laid-back bars with alfresco seating areas to upscale restaurants and vibrant nightclubs.

The Greek capital offers a lot of nightlife entertainment options.
Courtesy: Couleur Locale

Below, we will try to give you an idea of what going out in Athens is all about by breaking down the most popular nightlife spots in the city and presenting you with a few local tips for each.

So here’s your ultimate guide to nightlife in Athens that will help you decide which nightlife scene suits you best and set you out on the most splendid night out in Athens city.

Nightlife in Thission

Located right next to the Acropolis and the Ancient Agora of Athens, Thission is one of the most popular areas of Athens for locals and tourists alike.

It’s the place you will most likely find yourselves at after a long walk around the city center without even realizing it.

Luckily, the charms of Thission do not fade away after sundown. The neighborhood brims with fancy rooftop restaurants, outdoor cafes, ice cream shops, and inviting traditional tavernas.

This abundance of options makes Thission a perfect choice for travelers of all ages who want to get a first impression of the Athenian nightlife before delving deeper into other, less famous areas.

What better way to end your day than having a refreshing drink along the bustling pedestrian streets of Thission while gazing at the Parthenon from afar? We can’t really think of any.

You can never go wrong by having a drink with the view of the Acropolis in front of you.

What is more, Thission is just a few minutes away from some of the most famous outdoor places in Athens, so it will fit right in your itinerary whatever your plans are.

Nightlife in Plaka

Plaka is undoubtedly the most popular neighborhood of Athens for tourists; there’s a good reason for that.

Experiencing a night out among the labyrinthine cobblestone streets of the area while having Acropolis Hill within your grasp is something you will not forget soon.

Nightlife in Plaka might be considered to be defined by the area’s touristic character, but that’s not entirely true.

If you look further than the well-polished facade and the souvenir shops, you’ll find tiny dimly-lit wine bars and cozy bars filled with locals.

The “neighborhood of the Gods” is an exceptional place for unique liquor tasting with a side of local gastronomy in a setting that is regarded as the most beautiful area of Athens.

Brettos is the cutest little bar in the Plaka area, with their homemade ouzo, brandy, and liquors.
Courtesy: Brettos Plaka

Plaka’s central location most likely guarantees that you will be just a few minutes away from your hotel when the dust settles and the sun comes up.

Nightlife in Monastiraki

Monastiraki is one of those areas in Athens that cannot afford to miss.

In fact, you’ll most likely be passing through Monastiraki Square while you are out sightseeing, whether you have planned it or not. It’s one of the most central locations in downtown Athens.

However, the vast majority of options, apart from its location, make Monastiraki perfect for a night out.

Here you’ll find luxurious rooftop bars with amazing views over Acropolis Hill, chic cocktail bars and cozy pubs as well as several kinds of street food joints that remain open until the first morning hours.

Nightlife in Monastiraki is tailored around visitors of all ages who enjoy mingling with the crowds and socializing while bar-hopping along the beautiful pedestrian streets.

The famous Monastiraki Square is always very crowded

And it gets even better: Monastiraki is home to numerous shopping streets filled with all kinds of shops that are open until late in the evening. Why not combine your night out with some souvenir hunting beforehand?

Nightlife in Exarchia

Exarchia is an amazing neighborhood when it comes to the affairs of cheerful drinking, partying, and spending all night on a dancefloor.

The area is home to virtually hundreds of bars with a unique style, and yet all share the same distinctive off-beat aura.

You’ll be surprised to discover that even the smaller bars and pubs have their own DJs that often cater to specific music tastes. No matter how niche your favorite musical genre is, ask around, and you’ll soon find a place to play it.

Bar in Exarchia, Athens. Courtesy: Alexandrino Cafe Bistrot

Exarchia is an ideal option for younger and older travelers who want to quickly get into the city’s vibe and spark up a conversation with the locals.

Before embarking on your nighttime venture, make sure to visit one of the many restaurants at Exarchia for a typical Greek pre-party warmup of mezedes and wine.

Is your mouth already watering? Why don’t you learn a bit more about the restaurant scene in Athens before you make your way to Exarchia?

Nightlife in Psyrri

Psyrri is perhaps the oldest nightlife hotspot in Athens.

For decades now, it has been accommodating younger local people on their first nighttime escapades and providing a serene refuge for everyone looking to get away from the city’s hustle and bustle and spend some time unwinding.

It’s located right next to Monastiraki and its meandering streets hide all kinds of hidden spots.

Taverns with traditional food and live folk music, funky bars, concert venues, and street food stalls have Psyrri’s alleys filled with people of all ages every day of the week until sunrise.

Here, you’ll get the chance to witness what a traditional Greek-friendly gathering looks like. Enjoy delicious treats under the sound of a swinging bouzouki and then head to one of the hip bars to finish your night with a refreshing cocktail.

Locali Bar is a great place to enjoy a drink in Psyrri. Courtesy:

And that’s not all! Psyrri is actually notorious for being home to some of the most well-hidden gems of Athens. Are you wondering what kind of secrets Athens might be hiding from you? Just take a look right below.

Nightlife in Syntagma

At first glance, visitors might think Syntagma is more of a commuter center and shopping district than a nightlife spot.

Indeed, Syntagma’s charms are well-hidden, and only by walking its streets after nightfall will you start noticing large groups of people disappearing in small alleyways and narrow pedestrian streets.

Syntagma is actually full of pubs and bars of all kinds, but since stores and shops primarily occupy the main street of Ermou, you’ll have to dig around to find the right one for you.

Several small cafes have outdoor seating to start the night with a cool glass of local wine or beer before heading over to the main course.

In Syntagma you’ll find more sophisticated bars that serve top-shelf drinks, many of which specialize in only one specific kind of liquor.

nightlife in Syntagma
In Syntagma you’ll find a lot of sophisticated bars. Courtesy: The Clumsies bar

Fancy whiskey bars, extravagant gin bistros, and elegant rum lounges with expert bartenders and tens of available labels are waiting to be discovered just around the corner.

And the best part? Syntagma is the most central location in downtown Athens, meaning that getting to and from the area will be a breeze especially if you have just spent your whole afternoon strolling and shopping in Athens.

Nightlife in Gazi

Gazi is the newest addition to Athens’s sprightly nightlife scene.

It was once the site of the old gas factory that gave power to streetlights all over the city, a working-class residential area with an infamous backstreet culture.

However, once the need for the gas factory was deemed outdated, the neighborhood started transforming rapidly. While the kilns were still cooling off, a different type of crowd started swarming the streets of Gazi.

Gazi Technopolis

The concerts and events that were being organized on the premises of the old factory were very popular with locals, and soon, many bars and nightclubs started popping up. 

Today, that exact spot is named Technopolis, and it hosts various events and concerts all year round. Gazi is probably the most popular place in Athens for a fun night, filled with pubs and clubs full of locals and tourists.

Most of the smaller bars are around Persefoni Square, while the larger nightclubs are located on Iera Odos, an avenue just a few minutes away.

When in Gazi, enjoy your drink with a great view of the Acropolis. Courtesy: Gazarte

If you’re wondering why you should choose Gazi for your night out in Athens, let’s say that this charming small area has it all.

Here, you can party like there’s no tomorrow, relax at a cozy cafe, or even have the most romantic date night of your whole trip in Athens.

Nightlife in Metaxourgeio

Like Gazi, Metaxourgeio has only recently become one of the trendy neighborhoods of Athens to wine and dine at.

It was only after Gazi’s boom that it saw a significant rise in visitor numbers as well. Yet, Metaxourgeio has developed a totally different character and identity than its neighbor.

Metaxourgeio is an ideal place to head if you want to skip the clubbing and partying crowds in favor of a relaxing night with moderate drinking and lighthearted conversations.

Here you’ll find some hybrid places with taverns and bars with outdoor seating, serving traditional food and drinks at great value for money.

Metaxourgeio is where locals escape when Monastiraki and Gazi get too hectic for live music, socializing, and tasty tidbits.

Α beautiful courtyard in Metaxourgeio to taste ouzo or wine. Courtesy: Κεραμειο BAR

Think about it: wouldn’t you like to experience Athens the way locals do? Why not head for one of the Metaxourgeio taverns locals love and see what the fuss is all about?

Nightlife in Kolonaki

Kolonaki might share a border with Exarchia, but that does not necessarily mean the two neighborhoods share a similar identity.

On the contrary, Kolonaki might be the poshest place in Athens, famous for its affluent crowds, prosperous shopping streets, and plush eateries.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to dress up during your visit to Athens, Kolonaki will provide the perfect excuse.

An array of fancy bars and restaurants around the square make for a busy catwalk through which habitués leisurely move from one place to another with a dazzling see-and-be-seen attitude.

When in Kolonaki try a cocktail at Mai Tai Bar. Courtesy: Mai Tai

Local celebrities and prominent figures frequent Kolonaki, and it offers a great chance for visitors to get in touch with the more luxurious side of Athens where you least expect to find it – hidden in plain sight in the heart of the city center.

Acropolis view from Dexameni Square, Kolonaki

Nevertheless, we have to warn you: Kolonaki is not as easily accessible as the rest of the neighborhoods on this list.

But you’re in luck! We have gathered here all the taxi services that operate in Athens that can take you to and from Kolonaki in comfort at the tap of a button.

Nightlife in Koukaki

Unsurprisingly, Koukaki is one of the top places in Athens for nightlife. After all, who would mind enjoying a refreshing cocktail after a long day of sightseeing without walking for more than five minutes?

Koukaki is conveniently located next to Acropolis Hill, with everything you could ask for an entertaining night.

Considerably more upscale than either Exarchia or Metaxourgeio but still more laid back than Syntagma and Kolonaki, Koukaki offers the best of both worlds.

Cozy bars and mellow taverns filled with local patrons are found across the street from ritzy wine bars and flashy gourmet restaurants.

Lotte cafe-bistro in Koukaki may be tiny, but its details are so unique.
Courtesy: Lotte cafe

In essence, Koukaki is a great place to test the waters of the Athens nightlife scene and get acquainted with how locals spend their nights in Athens city before exploring every other neighborhood.

And the best part? Koukaki is within walking distance of most of the top attractions in Athens!

Tips and Suggestions for Nightlife in Athens

In this short section, we will attempt to help you make the most out of your nights in Athens by providing a few useful tips and answering the most frequently asked questions by our readers regarding nightlife in Athens.

Does Athens have good nightlife?

Without a doubt, Athens boasts splendid nightlife that makes it one of the most exciting destinations in Europe if staying up late and partying after sundown is what you are looking for on your vacation. Apart from all the party places, in Athens, you will also find charming cafes, high-end restaurants, fancy cocktail bars, and even numerous open-air cinemas that will make your night out in the city unforgettable.

Is Athens a party place?

Athens has gained a reputation of being quite the party place and rightfully so. The Greek capital teems with all kinds of bars, pubs, nightclubs, and buzzing tavernas. In addition, in summertime, Athens is full of outdoor concerts, street parties, music festivals, and other events.

Where can I go at night in Athens?

When going out in Athens at night, we recommend staying within the city center where all the action is. Every neighborhood in downtown Athens has its own distinct charm, so you will have no trouble finding the one to suit your preferences. In particular, all the areas near and around Acropolis Hill, like Koukaki, Thission, Monastiraki, and Syntagma, brim with bars, pubs, restaurants, and traditional tavernas.

Where should I stay in Athens for nightlife?

There are quite a few areas in Athens that combine excellent hotel options with great nightlife right outside your door. The most popular choices among them are Plaka, Koukaki, Monastiraki, Thission, and Syntagma.

Is it safe to walk in Athens at night?

Walking around Athens at night is quite safe. Especially in the busy central tourist areas like Syntagma, Monastiraki, Psyrri, and Koukaki, where people usually go out at night, you will have no trouble walking around even very late at night.

What is the safest area to stay in Athens?

All of the touristic areas in downtown Athens are safe to stay at and walk around any time of the day. Especially the neighborhoods that are located around Acropolis, including Syntagma, Monastiraki, Koukaki, Thission, Plaka, and Psyrri.

What should I avoid in Athens?

There are a few areas that you should avoid when going out in Athens at night. We recommend avoiding Omonoia Square and the area around the central station (Larissa Station) at night. Also, avoid drifting off to the suburbs when walking around, as you will not find much to see there and will probably have difficulty returning to the city center on foot.

Is Athens expensive?

Athens is fairly cheap compared to other famous European capitals. Even in the most touristic areas like Plaka and Koukaki, you can have a meal or enjoy a few drinks at moderate prices.

Do they speak English in Greece?

A large part of the population in Athens will have no trouble speaking English on a conversational level. Younger people, especially, tend to be fluent in English and other languages like French and Spanish.

Is Plaka safe?

Plaka is one of the safest areas in Athens. Its central location and proximity to the Acropolis guarantee that people are always around, no matter the time of day.

To sum it all up, nightlife in Athens is an unforgettable experience.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing night out at a cozy bar, all-night partying at an extravagant nightclub, wine tasting at a sophisticated wine bar, or a romantic dinner with a view of the Acropolis, you will not be returning to your hotel room disappointed.

The only thing left for you to do is choose the neighborhood that best fits your tastes. So follow our nightlife in Athens guide, choose wisely, and get ready for an amazing night out in Athens.

A Quick Reminder:

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