Being in a foreign country can be pretty intimidating. Even if you have come prepared, you can find yourself unsure of what to do next and how to explore the city’s secrets. Especially at night, it can get even more challenging without the welcoming sun leading your way. That is where we come in. In this post, we will show you 5 things to do in Athens at night, in order for you to take back home, along with your overflowing suitcase and fashionable tan, the best of memories.
Stroll around the historical center
Whether you have already visited the historical center under the broad daylight or not, we highly suggest you take a night stroll around there as well. Without the heat of the sun, but with the beautifully illuminated paved pedestrian street, that almost seems to sparkle instead, it is such picturesque scenery that looks like it has been taken straight out of a fairy tale. This can be an ideal activity for couples in Athens, with the place being so atmospheric and romantic; but even for those of you who are single and proud, it is an experience that, in our humble opinion, no one visiting Greece should leave without. Added bonus: while walking around the historical center you might find street vendors selling beautiful handmade jewellery and Greek souvenirs that are far superior from those that can be found in a souvenir shop.
(Acropolis by night - credit:Guillén Pérez)
Visit the oldest distillery in Athens and enjoy the vibe of local bars
Another suggestion we can wholeheartedly make, is to visit the oldest distillery in Athens: Brettos bar. Brettos bar opened its doors for the first time in 1909. Its founder, Michael Brettos, started out by making and serving ouzo, brandy and various kinds of liqueur. The nostalgic smell of wood with wine, the 104-year-old wooden barrels, the relaxing music from the small radio, and the tastefully decorated bar that is bordering on vintage, are more than enough reasons why this bar is one of the oldest and most favorite bars in the center of Athens. There, both tourists and locals come together in order to taste original, delicious liqueurs and have a good time! Another one of the most cool neigborhoods of Athens, ideal for a night drink, is Koukaki. Favored by locals, Koukaki offers a number of bars that serve every alcoholic drink you can possibly think of! From the traditional raki or tsipouro to local wine varieties and the most hipstery of fruity cocktails, with places like Papadalup and Svoura, Koukaki is a definite must-visit! Why not experiece the neighborhood in its full potential with a Koukaki nightlife tour of Athens? We're nothing if not efficient!
(Liqueurs in Brettos Bar - credit: Francesca Giaitzoglou - Watkinson)
Sip your cocktail at a rooftop bar
What's more, if you are in the mood for a cocktail after a long day of wandering, there are various rooftop bars to choose from, which will give you the opportunity to sip your drink while enjoying a breathtaking, panoramic view of Athens, including the historical center and, of course, the Acropolis. A solid choice to make would be Couleur Locale. Located in a narrow street near Monastiraki Square, this rooftop bar may be a bit difficult to find, it is, however, worth the effort. Its famous cocktails consist of both international and Greek spirits, such as ouzo, raki and rakomelo, which guarantee an original and unique tasting experience. Another rooftop bar worth mentioning is A for Athens. An elegant establishment, it offers great cocktails, lounge music, good service and a friendly atmosphere. It can get a bit crowded, but all around it gets an A+ (see what I did there?). If you want to go completely off the beaten path, three minutes away from Monastiraki square, you can find a trendy hostel that has one of the best rooftop views of the city along with reasonably-priced cocktails and drinks, AthenStyle. Unknown to most, -even locals- this hidden jem gathers a multicultural, vibrant crowd, offering a unique experience for visitors. Its only drawback is that, unlike every other bar in Athens, it closes at 1am. Don't let that keep you from visiting though! We promise you that you'll be reaching for the Parthenon as if you could touch it!
(Drinks with a spectacular Acropolis view - credit: Couleur Locale)
Enjoy a meze dinner with Greek wine and music
Everyone knows that Greece is the land of Gods and sunlight. It is, however, also the land of souvlaki and moussaka. Therefore, since you are here, you cannot possibly pass on the chance to try a meze dinner accompanied by Greek wine and local tunes. The perfect place to do so, is in the neighbourhood of Psirri. Psirri is a working-class neighbourhood that can be rightfully described as the artsiest neighbourhood of Athens. Being filled with tasteful little traditional tavernas, offering delicious Greek food, wine and live music; it is an accurate reflection of our country’s culture. Its laid-back vibe makes it ideal for a relaxed evening in town. Avli, Arkodeon and Kafeneio Ivis are our personal favorites, but if you wander around Psirri's streets you'll discover a lot more lucky finds!
(Tavernas in Psirri - credit: Stamatis Manousis)
Watch a film at an open-air cinema
Last but definitely not least, if you are a movie lover, enjoying a film at an open-air cinema will give you a whole new perspective on movie-watching. Providing a wide variety of movies, from the latest offerings to the older, cult classics, open-air cinemas are the perfect opportunity to combine watching a movie with appreciating a scenic urban landscape. If you find yourself in Plaka, make sure to pay a visit to Cine Paris, one of the oldest open-air cinemas in Athens, established in the 1920s. The most emblematic open-air cinema, however, is Thision, being the ultimate summer destination for movie-fanatics since 1935. And if that’s not enough already, the movie theater’s refectory offers homemade sweet and savory treats that can satisfy anyone’s appetite. It is a win-win situation, really!
(Open air cinema in Athens - credit: Lifo)
In our opinion, it is at night when you can get to really know a city and its people. As you mingle with the locals, you get to learn and understand their culture and experience first-hand how they choose to spend their free time after work. So why leave your vacation’s nights untapped when there are plenty of tours in Athens to join? We can help you take advantage of every single minute of your precious nights in Athens with an Athens by night food and wine tasting or, if you're up for a small dose of history an Athens nightlife evening tour with meze dinner. Go on little night crawlers! Don't hestate to explore the city at night!