Athens Nightlife 2021: The Best Bars in Athens According to a Local

Exploring the Athens nightlife scene and discovering the best bars in Athens is just as deserved of being a part of your Athens itinerary as visiting the city’s archaeological sites and ruins. Not to mention, experiencing Athens by night allows you to experience another side of the Greek capital, away from the history and archeological sites.

Athens Nightlife:
The Best Bars in Athens

At first glance, Athens seems like just a gritty, edgy city. However, once you know where to look, you will uncover a world of elegant cocktail bars, jazz lounges and quirky speakeasies that are tucked away from the prying eyes of tourists.

Athens Nightlife
Athens Nightlife: Jazz in Jazz, Kolonaki

I’ve lived in Athens for three and a half years now. In that time, I’ve sampled the mixes of all the best bars in Athens (in the name of research, not alcoholism!). From Psiri to Glyfada and everywhere in between, this list will help ensure that your evenings during your Athens trip are fabulous ones.

Athens Nightlife: 20 of the Best Bars in Athens

The Athens nightlife suggestions are scattered across all neighborhoods in the city. As such, you don’t have to venture far for an evening tipple or 75 at one of the best bars in Athens.

Couleur Locale

Athens Nightlife: Couleur Locale
Athens Nightlife: Couleur Locale

Where: Normanou 3, Athina 105 55

The first time a local friend took me to Couleur Locale, I couldn’t help but wonder where on earth she was leading me. From Monastiraki station, walk down Ermou street until you approach the alley of Normanou.

Turn left into the alley and you will see a second-hand furniture store on your left where old, unloved armoires and pine tables are stacked on top of each other in a haphazard fashion. This marks the entrance to Couleur Locale.

Upon first impression, this seems like an area that you would want to avoid but step inside the old-fashioned elevator, press the button for the rooftop, and wait as the doors roll back and you are greeted with one of the most incredible hidden rooftop bars in the Greek capital.

By the Glass

Where: Souri 3, Athina 105 57

Athens’ centrally located “By the Glass” is an upscale wine bar that exudes elegance and sophistication. At weekends, it’s hard to get a table here without a prior reservation.

Despite attracting a well-heeled crowd, By the Glass boasts an incredibly friendly and attentive table-service and no air of pretension. The main draw of coming here is the bar’s extensive wine menu.

Exquisite wines sourced from across the world can be enjoyed by the bottle or by the glass, as the name suggests. The seasonal lists are updated regularly and the in-house sommeliers can aid you in choosing a tipple that best suits your palate. 

Wine choices are plentiful, and the wine list itself could be compared to a bible on account of its thickness and extensive nature! One of the highlights of By the Glass is the numerous wines that are sourced from local vineyards, and which are presently uniquely sold within Greece.

By the Glass is consistently named as being one of the best bars in Athens by numerous magazines and media sources. After you visit, you will note that it isn’t difficult to see why.

Jazz in Jazz

Where: Dinokratous 4, Athens

Jazz in Jazz is without a doubt one of Athens’ most charming places to spend an evening. It awaits on the corner of an unsuspecting residential street in upscale Kolonaki,

The quaint jazz bar transports visitors back to 1920s New Orleans. Here you will find saxophones, jazz memorabilia, and black and white photos decorating the walls. Order up a classic cocktail – perhaps a negroni, or an old fashioned, for the most elegant of journeys back in time.

The bar itself is tiny. With just a handful of tables, it feels more like sitting in someone’s living room than a buzzing Athens nightlife spot.

Jazz in Jazz attracts a sophisticated crowd of all ages. This is one of the best bars in Athens for a local experience away from tourists.

Six D.O.G.S 

Where: Avramiotou 6-8, Athina 105 51

Six D.O.G.S is a fun place to hang out in Athens at a weekend, particularly if you like live music. The popular haunt is open all day and all night – meaning you can stop by for a relaxed coffee in the afternoon, or a few beers at night. 

Six D.O.G.S hosts live music, DJs, and live cultural events and exhibitions. In recent years, a lot of techno musicians have performed here, although the hangout has something for every taste. 

If you want to experience somewhere truly Athenian when you sample the Athens nightlife scene, Six D.O.G.S should be it. Everyone knows this place and holds fond memories of it – whether they are from Peristeri, or Kifissia

The Margi Pool Bar at the Margi Hotel 

Where: The Margi Hotel 11 Litous Street, Vouliagmeni

The Margi Hotel is one of the most exclusive boutique hotels in all of Greece. Its founder, Dr Yiangos Stavridis is recognised as being one of the handful of Entrepreneurs that founded the concept of the Athens Riviera.

Staying here is the ultimate indulgent experience. However, even if you are not spending the night, you can stop by the Margi Pool Bar. 

The Margi pool area is decorated with private cabanas, beautiful bougainvillea flowers, and gorgeous olive trees. This is the place to see and be seen in Southern Greece.

Lounge on one of the sunbeds here after the sun goes down while you enjoy an expertly blended cocktail or an ice-cold beer. World chill out music plays over the speakers, and the bar is open until the early hours of the morning.

The Galaxy Lounge at the Hilton Hotel, Athens

Where: The Hilton Hotel, Leof. Vasilissis Sofias 46, Athens

The Galaxy Bar atop the Hilton Athens was voted as being the absolute best rooftop bar in the world. Reveling in the views from up here, it’s not difficult to see why.

Enter the elevator in the hotel lobby and ascend to the 12th floor of the elegant Athens Hilton Hotel. Up here you can enjoy incredible views out across to the Acropolis, as its illuminated ruins twinkle beneath a canopy of stars.

Whether travelling in summer or winter, sipping cocktails beneath private cabanas on the hotel rooftop becomes a memorable Athens experience. The inside section of the bar enjoys lavish interiors.

Plush furnishings, decadent chandeliers, and marble floorings combine for the ultimate evening of glitz and glamour. Beers start from 8 euros and cocktails from 18. It’s pricey, sure, but you are paying for the experience. This is one of the best bars in Athens for city views.

Baba Au Rum

Where: Klitiou 6, Athina

Baba Au Rum is a bustling Athens nightlife spot that was awarded the title of being one of the 50 best bars in the world. It offers a rewarding experience for the well-travelled cocktail drinker.

The bar’s menu features an international selection of beverages with the main focus being on rum-based concoctions. Everything from Japanese beers to Italian wines is featured inside.

The bar’s globetrotting owner takes the best recipes that he finds on his travels across the globe and brings them right back to Greece. Baba Au Rum attracts a hip, sophisticated crowd. It’s central Athens location means it is a happening spot every day of the week.  

CV Distiller
Where: Maragkou 18, Glyfada

In Athens's stylish Glyfada district, Vinarte is a wine lover’s paradise. Vinarte is a specialty wine bar with a vast wine list!

Wines from around the world have been expertly sourced by Vinarte’s resident sommelier to offer a little something for every taste palette. The menu at Vinarte is extensive. You can find everything from fine Italian wines to local Greek blends.

Italian dishes are also served here, making for the perfect pairing with your bottle of red. Those interesting in sampling new flavours and discovering new favourites will be pleased to discover that it is possible to organise a tasting here also.

Drunk Sinatra

Athens Nightlife: Drunk Sinatra, Athens
Athens Nightlife: Drunk Sinatra, Athens

Where: Thiseos 16, Athina

Drunk Sinatra is a quirky cocktail bar that has been lovingly decorated with eccentric and vintage stylings. It is a favourite hangout spot among Athenians.

Photos of the namesake rat pack singer beam from the walls, and a blend of jazz, soul, and bossa nova songs echo through the bar. Expect the bar to be jampacked whatever day of the week you stop by.

Drunk Sinatra serves up a diverse cocktail menu. Everything from classic cosmopolitans, to the bar’s own unique recipes, can be found here. The bar is so popular that its patrons often spill out onto the streets.

Kain 

Where: Anapafseos 22, Athina 116 36

Kain is a tiny bar that is no bigger than the size of someone’s living room. It is set a little ways out of the centre - in the leafy Mets district of Athens that few tourists even know exists.

This is arguably one of the most beautiful all day bars in Athens. For many people, Kain is their local.

This is a place where people meet their friends for after-work beers every Friday, or spend their afternoons typing away on their laptops. It is home to a friendly, welcoming crowd and is something of a home-away-from-home for many Athenians.

The interiors of Kain are cosy and charming - think eccentric wall murals paired with vintage, shabby-chic decor. Meanwhile, enjoying al-fresco style drinks outside is just as pleasant. Kain occupies the corner of tree-lined Anapafseos street - a perfect spot for people-watching, whatever time you stop by. 

Point A Cocktail Bar 

Where: Rovertou Galli 4a ·

There are plenty of bars in Athens that boast views over the Acropolis. However not all of them are created equal. A for Athens and Athens 360 have their charm, sure. However, their central Monastiraki location means that it’s mostly tourists that stop by here, rather than Athenians. 

Point A (also sometimes referred to as “Acropolis Point'' is one of the best bars in Athens. It is a rooftop cocktail bar with a twist.
Free tapas is served with every cocktail that you order. For instance, order a mastiha-infused Greek cocktail, get some handmade loukoumades. Order an espresso martini, receive a plate of tiny pies and spanakopitas.

Come for the view. Stay for the tapas. Seeing what treats you will be presented with next is all part of the fun.  

Little Kook

Little Kook, Athens
Little Kook, Athens

Where: Karaiskaki 17, Athina 105 54

Little Kook is an adorable themed bar in the heart of Athens’ Psiri district. By day, the Little Kook is a popular spot for people of all ages - its menu sells an array of Greek coffees, hot chocolates, and sweet treats such as cakes and crepes. By night, the establishment transforms into an eccentric cocktail bar. 

The themed bar changes according to the season. At Christmas, hundreds of vibrantly-coloured garlands hang from the ceiling. The menu boasts festive beverages like hot toddies, and giant nutcrackers stand guard at the doorways in place of security.

Around Halloween, the little rooms are covered in cobwebs, the servers are dressed in sinister clothing, and the menu is written in a creepy witches' font. Little Kook is one of the best bars in Athens for the novelty factor. 

King’s Theater Wine Bar

Athens Nightlife: King's Theater Wine Bar
Athens Nightlife Scene: King's Theater Wine Bar

Where: Karaiskaki 26, Athina 105 54

Stepping inside the King’s Theater Wine Bar is reminiscent to stepping into a palace in Versaille. The grandiose interiors feature decadent chandeliers, ancient busts, statues, and suits of armor, and old-fashioned furnishings that wouldn’t look out of place in Queen Elizabeth’s summer home.

King’s Theater is the latest brainchild of the founders of Little Kook. This explains the bar’s magical atmosphere. 

Servers dressed in suits and elegant attire provide table service that makes patrons feel like a royal for the day. As is the case in many Athenian bars, an order of wine or cocktails is paired with a complementary selection of nibbles - cheese, crackers, olives, and other delights.

The comprehensive menu provides a wide selection of innovative cocktails, and wines sourced from across Greece and Crete. The King's Theater is a great starting point for a night out in Central Athens.

Black Duck

Best bars in Athens: Black Duck
Best bars in Athens: Black Duck

Where: loannou Paparrigopoulou 5, Athens

Unless someone specifically told you about Black Duck, you wouldn’t even know it existed. Therein lies a part of the bar’s charm.

Black Duck is located within a large, unsightly, unsuspecting industrial building in central Athens. Its doors open out into a stunning “Alice in Wonderland-esque” interior garden.

The hangout extends over three floors and attracts an artsy crowd. Art exhibits and other cultural events are often hosted here.

The Black Duck is open throughout the day for brunch, lunch, and coffee also. Technically it is more of a daytime place. However, its extensive bar menu makes it a pleasant spot to grab an evening drink, particularly if leaving from a show at one of the nearby theatres.

BALUX Cafe - The House Project

Best bars in Athens: Balux Cafe, House Project
Best bars in Athens: Balux Cafe, House Project

Where: Β58, Vasileos Konstantinou, Glyfada

Balux is a favourite for locals, especially during the summer months. This unique spot can be found in the heart of the upscale Athenian Riviera.

Owing to its seafront location, Balux is the perfect place for sipping a glass of wine or two as the sun sets over the Aegean sea. The premises also boasts its own private beach.

Balux serves snacks, meals, and drinks throughout the day and evenings. Sit outside and look out across the water to the Saronic islands.

Alternatively, opt to enjoy the ambiance of one of the inside rooms. Balux is designed like a stylish beach house. Each room inside has its own distinct theme and personality.

42 Barstronomy

42 Barstronomy, Athens
42 Barstronomy, Athens

Where: Kolokotroni 3, Athens

42 Barstronomy is a stylish spot to enjoy a cocktail after a long day of sightseeing. It is located in Syntagma square, the beating heart of central Athens.

With contemporary decor and stylish furnishings, 42 Barstronomy attracts a trendy crowd. Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the bar is its cocktail menu which changes every passing season. Live DJs and events often perform here on Friday and Saturday nights to set the weekend mood.

TAF (The Art Foundation)

Where: Normanou 5, Athens

A stone’s throw away from crowded Monastiraki, TAF is another hidden gem in an unsightly place that is just waiting to be discovered. Turn left down the unwelcoming alleyway (seriously) and you will be faced with a warehouse-style building that looks practically abandoned.

Inside though, you will find the heart of Athens art and culture scene. Few tourists know about this place. As such, TAF offers an authentic Athens nightlife experience.

The quirky bar features an indoor garden that transports you to a deserted island paradise. It is complete with a wooden tiki-style bar section, palm trees, and hammock chairs.

On the upper floors, overlooking the garden, free art exhibits and shows are often hosted. TAF is often packed at weekends. However, the busyness is offset by its cosy down-to-earth vibe.

Minnie the Moocher

Where: Tsakalof 6, Athina

Minnie the Moocher is a swinging, stylish jazz bar in glamorous Kolonaki. The establishment was named after the jazz song of the same name.

Minnie the Moocher's classy decor transports visitors back to the 1930s; the bartenders prepare classic cocktails, and the smooth rhythms of Ray Charles and Nina Simone echo throughout the building. Minnie the Moocher offers a journey back to a more elegant time.

Best Bars in Athens: Final Thoughts

Have any further questions about Athens nightlife, or about planning a trip to Greece in general? Feel free to drop me a comment below.

I have lived here for the last three and a half years. I would be happy to assist with any questions or queries that you may have.

Conversely, if you have any alternative suggestions for the best bars in Athens, feel free to share them! Safe travels. Geia sou! Melissa xo 

Disclaimer: High Heels and a Backpack is in no way affiliated with any of the businesses shortlisted in this Athens Nightlife Guide.


Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.

14 thoughts on “Athens Nightlife 2021: The Best Bars in Athens According to a Local”

  1. Such a comprehensive guide! I love all the different options for nightlife, sometimes it’s just nice to go for a quiet night out, and sometimes it’s nice to party!

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  2. We would for sure enjoy the jazz bar. Bar with the best rooftop view in the world… Sign us up. Always up to relax and enjoy a great view. I know we would for sure enjoy Baloux as we are suckers for an ocean view. This is a great list of great bars with an amazing selection of spirits to choose from.

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  3. Jazz in Jazz looks like a pretty nifty bar to go and have a few drinks at. I had no idea that Athens had such a buzzing nightlife.

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  4. Athens seems to have great nightlife options. All these places look super cool and chic. And its good that most of them are away from the crowd. First you have to find it out and then have a good time. I really liked the look of TAF.

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  5. I haven’t been to Greece yet. Always wanted to. When I visit Athens, I will definitely check out some of these bars! Minnie the Moucher looks so pretty!

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  6. Its really calmful place and night life in Athens is just amazing.. thanks for shearing your experience with us I really love it because its away from crowded places and its really beautiful to imagine it..

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  7. its really an informative post for all visitors to spend a peaceful night stay at athens its really lovely post and i enjoy its reading.. sometimes it is very interesting to spend night life so calmly but sometime its difficult to and get bored to stay alone otherwise its really useful information for couple who was looking for a peaceful place like that

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