Socializing is a favorite pastime in Athens.

Visitors will not only feel welcomed but are bound to be a little spoiled, too, by all the nightlife options here. Bear in mind that like in every other southern European destination, the nights in the Greek capital start late and don’t wind down till the morning hours. Here are our picks for the best restaurants, bars and clubs in Athens.

Aerial view people walking around Monastiraki Square and Acropolis of Athens, Greece
Athens is the perfect city to explore at night © cge2010/Shutterstock

Best wine bars

Greek wines are gradually asserting their place on the world stage. There are plenty of well-stocked bars to enjoy them.

Heteroclito: An unassuming central spot with a lovely bar and tables serving local and international, carefully selected wines. The list changes regularly but its patrons are very loyal.
By the glass: Housed in a beautiful old arcade on a side street near Syntagma Square. Patrons come for its well-curated wine list and classy ambience.
Oinoscent: One of the oldest and most popular wine spots in the capital. Relaxed atmosphere but very serious about the choice of the wines served.

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Ground-floor bar of Bios entertainment centre in Athens
Bios is a multi-purpose space that celebrates Athens culture © Vangelis Koronakis / Lonely Planet

Best casual bars

Grabbing a few drinks doesn’t have to be a well-planned event in Athens.

Bios: Housed in a charming Bauhaus building and decorated with beautiful vintage airline insignia this multi-purpose space explores modern urban culture featuring an in-house theatre and a terrace to boot.
Chelsea Hotel: An all day and night reference point for the fashionable crowds in the hip Pangrati neighbourhood.
Lotos: Popular with students and younger crowds, it’s one of the few bars in the city packed every weeknight both indoors and outdoors.

A large chandelier is covered in fake snow flakes that also hang from the ceilings at Noel Bar in Athens
Christmas is a year-long theme at Noel Bar © Aerial-motion / Shutterstock

Best cocktail bars

The art of mixing to perfection is always on display at these popular spots. 

Clumsies: Ranking consistently among the world’s top bars, it’s one of your first stops for impeccable cocktails, uplifting music and people watching.
Baba au rum: Specializes in rums directly imported from the Caribbean and mixed into delicious classic and novel cocktails.
Noel: It’s Christmas all-year-round at this fascinating cocktail bar which is, contrary to what one might expect, tastefully decorated. Fine drinks and spins by the top local DJs.

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The interior of Fouar restaurant in Athens
Enjoy a well-crafted cocktail at Fouar restaurant © Vangelis Koronakis / Lonely Planet

Best bar-restaurants

Enjoy drinks, dinner and dance under the same roof.

Balthasar: Housed in a magnificent neoclassical villa with a beautiful garden, Balthasar has been an essential nightlife destination for Athens' elegant crowds for years.
Fouar: Cosmopolitan atmosphere, signature cocktails, a menu inspired by Asian flavours and trendy crowds make Fouar a top central pick for a versatile night out.
Rock n’ Roll: A legendary club-restaurant in the posh neighbourhood of Kolonaki. Party vibes and fun guaranteed if you’re a fan of mainstream tunes in a flirty atmosphere.

View of Galaxy rooftop restaurant and bar at night
Enjoy spectacular views of Athens from the Galaxy's rooftop bar © Karyn Noble / Lonely Planet

Best roof-top bars

Perfect weather for most of the year means al fresco cocktails are always an option.

A for Athens: You’ll feel like you can touch the Acropolis while enjoying your drink at this rooftop bar with a great view of the Monastiraki Square and Plaka.
Galaxy Bar: Located atop of Hilton Athens, you can enjoy posh cocktails and finger food accompanied by chill-out tunes and a truly splendid view of the city.
Athens 360: Another top choice if you’re after the best view Athens has to offer: the sacred rock of the Acropolis. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner and post photos guaranteed to make your friends envious.

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A bartender makes a drink at the dimly lit Jazz in Jazz vintage bar
If old-school jazz is your thing, a visit to Jazz in Jazz in Athens is a must © Vangelis Koronakis / Lonely Planet

Best vintage bars

Drink in places where time has seemingly stopped.  

Au Revoir: Designed in 1958 by one of the country’s most prominent architects of the mid-20th century (Aristomenis Provelegios), Au Revoir is the oldest bar in the city and is a perfect combination of stylish drinking and time travel.
Galaxy: Operating untouched for nearly a half-century, this is a bar for lovers of old-fashioned drinks and meaningful conversation.
Jazz in Jazz: A virtual jazz museum that doubles as an atmospheric bar serving hundreds of different whisky labels and the best old school jazz in town.

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Best clubs

Dance the night away the Mediterranean way.

Island: The jewel in the crown of the Athenian summer clubbing scene. It requires a short journey down the coast but worth the effort as it feels like a night out on a Cycladic island.
Crust: Athens’ best kept clubbing secret, hosts the best underground parties, quite literary, as it is hidden in the basement of a pizza restaurant.
Sodade2: The best gay club in the city for limitless nightly fun among young and beautiful crowds.

Interior of Seven Jokers wooden bar and checkered tile in the Syntagma neighbourhood
Seven Jokers really comes alive in the early hours © Vangelis Koronakis / Lonely Planet

Best after-hours bars

When the nights feel too short, the Greek capital has the right answers.

Seven Jokers: Open all day for coffees and drinks but it really comes alive in the early hours when all the other bars in the city lose their vibe.
MG: A place popular with bar staff finishing their shifts and night owls in search of a few last drops before they call it a night. 
Batman: Enjoy Greek retro music in this small watering hole that for the past 30 years, gets packed every night after midnight and stays so until the morning hours.

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Best live clubs

Whether you’re looking for international names or pure local fun, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Gazarte: A multi-stage club with a grand veranda with a view of the nightlife hotspot Gazi, Gazarte hosts international and local bands and artists as well as parties and other musical events.
Half Note: One of the oldest jazz clubs in Athens, it has recently expanded its range of genres without lowering the standards that have placed it among the top live venues in the city. 
Bouzoukia: Among the top experiences for any visitor to the Greek capital are the night clubs where Greek popular singers entertain the masses. Performances last for a few weeks and artists rotate among different venues, so check out local listings for what’s hot when in Athens.

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Beyond the Acropolis: a guide to Athens’ neighborhoods
A perfect day in Athens' port: a guide to Piraeus
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This article was first published April 2020 and updated February 2022

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