Athens by night is great. The combination of ancient and historical monuments, the Mediterranean climate, unlimited clubs, bars, and restaurants, make Athens the ultimate destination for anyone appreciating the good nightlife. And it is not only party and drinks that Athens by night has to offer. There are many cultural institutions and a gourmet scene in Athens as well offering a wide range of activities in Athens too.
Athens by night offers activities for everyone’s taste I have listed my top favorite things to do.
Cultural things to do in Athens at night
Herodus Atticus theater
One of the classiest things to do in Athens by night is to watch a summer performance at the Herodus Atticus theater. This ancient Amphitheater is located on the Acropolis Hill thus making it a unique location for theater music and ballet performances. From opera divas to tenors, the world’s best performers have appeared on Athens’ most majestic stage. In ancient times, Odeons were built for musical contests, and this ancient stone theatre has gone on to host some of the world’s best musical performances during the last 60 years since its modern-day re-opening, including Nana Mouskouri, Luciano Pavarotti, and Frank Sinatra to name a few. It is advised to book tickets in advance as the shows are very popular in the summer both by Greeks and tourists.
For one of the most beautiful views over Athens and the Parthenon as well as the best sunset in Athens, the Lycabettus Hill in the middle of the city is the best place. In the beautiful stone Amphitheater on top of this hill, you can watch theater performances in the summer. This venue is also part of the Athens Summer Festival. Check out the website for the Lycabettus theater for all programs and online ticket purchase. You can reach the amphitheater by car, by foot and by cable car; unique experience! Combine your visit with a meal or drink in the restaurant on top of the Lycabettus hill.
Dora Stratou Theatre
If you are looking for Greek folklore performances and traditional Greek dances, the famous Greek Dora Stratou theatre is your best choice. Located in the historic center of Athens this theater cannot be missed during your Athens by night summer venture. The program can be found on the theater’s website. They perform almost every day from May until September, and it is not necessary to make a reservation, the theater host up to 860 people. Combine your visit to the theater with a traditional Greek dinner at the same area.
Athens by night: Head to the bars
If you are not interested in cultural activities, but you prefer a good drink in Athens by night, then the Athenian Riviera is the place to be in summer time. Here you will find the real Mediterranean summer vibes; excellent nightclubs and (beach) bars with international music, cocktails and beautiful people. For some of the large clubs, it’s best to book a table in advance.
Hilton Galaxy Bar
Another not to be missed spot during Athens by night is the famous Hilton Hotel Rooftop Bar Galaxy. Suitable for winter and summer, the Galaxy bar is an international magnet offering fantastic views of the city and the Acropolis and hosting Greek and international DJs on a regular basis. If you want to be sure of a good table or spot at the bar, then a reservation in advance is advised. For romance, there are special seats for couples on the large Galaxy bar balcony. Other places for a cocktail or fancy in Athens by night are Couleur Locale and the A for Athens cocktail bar.
Click here for the best rooftop bars in Athens.
The Greek ‘Bouzoukia’ is a concept by itself. They are unique Greek one of a kind nightclub and entertainment centers offering live performances of Greek singers and dancers often combined with food and lots of booze. If you want to dive into Greek culture and experience the real Greek Athens by night, then a visit to the bouzoukia are not to be missed. You can find them all over the city and they perform all year round every weekend and Friday eve. Bouzoukia is for people watching dancing and drinking whiskey. Some bouzoukia are also opened during weekdays. A table or good spot at the bar requires a reservation. But if you are not so particular about your place then just head over one and enjoy the music.
The ultimate Athens by night dinner experience would be a meal in a traditional taverna in the historic Plaka area. From Greek restaurants with white table-linen and waiters in costume to humble taverns with simple Greek dishes and paper placements, the unique location in between historic and ancient monuments under the Acropolis makes it the best place for trying the Greek cuisine. For good Greek fish taverns and restaurants, head over to the Athens coast and ports such as Piraeus, Mikrolimano, and Marina Zea. For Greek Mezr the area around the Athenian Central Market is the place.
Nightlife areas in Athens
If you are not sure of your mood and you do not want to make any reservation in advance then just hop on a cap and visit one of the many nightlife areas right on the spot. I already mentioned the Athenian Riviera, other hip neighborhoods in Athens by night are Gazi – the former Athenian industrial area-, Thisseio, and Psyrri. Gazi offers a hip crowd with bars and clubs, Thissio has pubs and sports bars and Psyrri displays some oriental bars and cute theme bars as well as traditional Greek bars. If you are looking for underground and alternative places, the neighborhood of Kerameikos would be your choice. For an excellent range of wine bars, I would recommend you to visit the neighborhood of Kolonaki underneath the earlier mentioned Lycabettus Hill.
If you are looking for an inexpensive European destination offering an excellent choice of nightlife, then Athens is the place to be. With a wide range of activities, the Greek capital provides something for everyone. Whether you are looking for culture, dining places or hardcore party venues, Athens by night offers is all.