Athens Nightlife: Where do locals go?
I was born in Athens and I swear that this city has a very rich variety when it come to going out spots. Avoid the tourist traps and try out places a little further from the usual path. The city has 3 metro lines, a tram line going down the coastline and a suburban railway. Taxis are also cheaper compared to other European cities. So use your maps and there you go:
Under the Acropolis hill, Thissio is one of the classic places to go for a relaxing walk and enjoy a nice coffee with the great view of Parthenon. Even though it is quite popular to tourists, a lot of locals choose this place too for their coffee breaks. Get out of the ‘Thissio’ train station and walk through the pedestrian zone of Ag. Asomaton – Apostolou Pavlou, check the goodies of the local street market and reach the cafes of Iraklidon & Nileos street.
Ag. Eirini Square (Πλατεία Αγ. Ειρήνης)
One of the new, most hip places of the town lies next to Monastiraki square, and it’s full of cafes, bars and nightclubs. Every weekend all Athenians meets up in this little square, with the most elegant cocktail bars and award-wining spots. Take the metro (blue line) to the Monastiraki metro station and take a short 2-minte walk to Ag. Eirini church. Walk through Skouze, Karaoili and Kalamiotou and just choose from the unlimited choices of the area.
Kolokotroni str (Κολοκοτρώνη)
One of the most lively corner of the city, located right next to Syntagma square has a number of the most elegant, high-end bars of the town. Though this is a relatively new spot, it is crowded till late at night. The decoration and atmosphere of the street will give you many reasons to visit it again and again. Take the metro (blue and red line) to Syntagma metro station and walk to Kolokotroni street which is only a couple of hundred meters from the metro exit. Wander around the small alleys around the street too, there are a lot of hidden gems here.
Gazi is one of the most popular destinations for clubbing and socializing. Right next to Technopolis, a major cultural venue of the city, it offers a huge variety of cafes, bars, clubs and live music venues. Gazi is the most LGBT-friendly spot of the city and it has some of the most impressive rooftops in Athens. In the summertime a lot of festivals and events are held in the area, an absolute must-see for those who want to feel the real Athenian heartbeat! Just take the metro till the Keramikos metro station and you are right in the middle of it. Walk around the numerous streets and alleys around (eg. Voutadon, Tritopolemou, Evmolpidon) and you will surely find a place of your taste.
One of the oldest spots in town, preserves its atmosphere and offers some of the best food and drink choices in town. Here you will find traditional restaurants serving absolutely delicious treats of the Mediterranean cuisine, a number of gorgeous terraces where you can enjoy some traditional Greek spirits (eg raki, ouzo etc), and even some hip dance venues. Surprisingly you will find very few tourists, while the old-style little alleys are flowded by locals enjoying every single bit of this special district. Take the metro (blue and green line) till the Monastiraki metro station and walk towards Iroon square. Wander around the nearby streets (eg. Miaouli, Karaiskaki, Taki) and follow the smells and sounds of the area’s nightlife.
The so-called anarchist’s district of Athens can offer a whole different atmosphere of the city. Having a political character, here you can find bookstores, record stores and an intellectual audience. Be aware that conflicts with the police are not rare for the district so check the news before visiting. However don’t be afraid to do so, the spot is very popular to the academic community and nicely chill-out. Also some of the oldest and most famous traditional restaurants can be found here, so you better be hungry. Take the metro to Omonoia and walk up the Emmanouil Mpenaki or Zoodochou Pigis street towards the square of Exarcheia. Walk around the pedestrian street you will find and just get a glimpse of the cafes and bars.
This is the nightlife heart of the Eastern districts of the city. Chalandri is elegant, hip and it offers unlimited options for drinking, partying or just relaxing. This is a locals’ choice ad you can hardly find any tourists there. Don’t be afraid to try it though, people here are super warm and welcoming. Take the metro (blue line) to the station of Agia Paraskevi and walk through Agias Paraskeuis street towards Chalandri. Wander around the streets of Irakliou, Thoukididou, Platonos.
Glifada and the coast (Γλυφάδα)
In the south part of the town you can find a more summerish version of the city with a number of big clubs and live music halls right on the beach. Glifada is the biggest district there with some of the most luxurious bars and cafes. You can get there using the tram line and get out at the Plateia Esperidwn stop. From Syntagma this should be about 1 hour so expect it to be a long one. You can also take a taxi and ask for the taxi meter to start, it should be 20 mins on a price of 10-12 eu. Walk around the area of the square or choose one of the clubs by the beach. The choices here are unlimited.
If you need to get some island-ish atmosphere and escape from the buzz of the city this is the right place for you. Mikrolimano is a district at the south east of Piraeus, the biggest harbor of the city, and is packed with numerous restaurants, cafes and bars right next to the water. Enjoy a walk by the harbor, wander around the boats and walk towards the hill of Kastella where you can enjoy the wonderful view to the Saronic gulf. Take the metro (green line) till Faliro station and then take a taxi to Akti Koumoundourou or simply ask for Mikrolimano, the change shouldn’t be more than 5 eu.