Athens Nightlife: 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.

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 two 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 Zografou to Glyfada and everywhere in between, this list will help ensure that your evenings during your Athens trip are fabulous ones.

Athens Nightlife:
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

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 the 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

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Where: Dinokratous 4, Athens

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

The quaint jazz bar transports visitors back to 1920s New Orleans – with saxophones, jazz memorabilia and black and white photos decorating the walls. Order up a classic cocktail – 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.

The Galaxy Bar at the Hilton, Athens

 

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

Ascend to the 12th floor of the elegant Athens Hilton Hotel for incredible views out across to the acropolis, as its illuminated ruins twinkle beneath a canopy of stars. The Galaxy Bar was voted as being the absolute best rooftop bar in the world and reveling in the views from up here, it’s not difficult to see why.

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

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Where: Klitiou 6, Athina

Awarded the title as being one of the 50 best bars in the world, Baba Au Rum offers a rewarding experience for the well-travelled cocktail drinker. The bar’s menu features an international selection of beverages with the main focus around rum-based concoctions. Everything from Japanese beers to Italian wines is featured inside, thanks to the bar’s globetrotting owner who takes the best recipes from across the globe. 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

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Where: 115 28, Chatzigianni Mexi 7, Athens

An elegant spot on the Athens nightlife scene, CV Distiller specialises in serving up whiskeys, rums, and cocktail blends that feature these spirits. Lined along the walls are over one hundred different types of rum ready for sampling. With luxurious mahogany decor and exposed brick walls, the bar’s interiors are just as chic as the crowd that it attracts.

Tazza All Day Bar

Where: Petraki 5, Athina, 105 63

Quirky. Kooky. Eclectic. All of these synonyms can be used to describe the atmosphere at Athens’ Tazza All Day Bar. The bar is located just off Syntagma square, making it a popular drinking hole for locals and tourists alike. 

Tazza has an ambiance reminiscent of the Mad Hatter’s tea party, and food and beverages are served on fine china. The place is decorated in pastel colours, and lampshades of assorted sizes and colours hang obscurely from the ceilings. 

Reservations are highly recommended during the evenings – especially at weekends and in the summer months. Drinks menu aside, Tazza doubles as a Bistro and serves up a range of sumptuous Greek and Mediterranean cuisine

Vinarte

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Where: Maragkou 18, Glyfada

In Athens stylish Glyfada district, Vinarte is a wine lover’s paradise. Vinarte is a specialty wine bar with a wine list that would rival the Bible in terms of its length and thickness! Wines from around the world have been expertly sourced by Vinarte’s resident sommelier to offer a little something for every taste palette.

From fine Italian wines to local Greek blends, the menu at Vinarte is extensive. 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

Where: Thiseos 16, Athina

A favourite among locals and a happening spot every night of the week, Drunk Sinatra is a quirky cocktail bar that has been lovingly decorated with eccentric and vintage stylings. 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.

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.

Little Kook

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 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

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, which may explain 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. 

Black Duck

 

 
 
 
 
 
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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. Located within a large, unsightly, unsuspecting industrial building in central Athens, the doors of the Black Duck lead 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

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Where: Β58, Vasileos Konstantinou, Glyfada

A unique spot situated in the heart of the upscale Athenian Riviera, Balux is a favourite for locals, especially during the summer months. Owing to its seafront location, the outside section of the bar, complete with its own private beach, is the perfect place for sipping a glass of wine or two as the sun sets over the Aegean sea.

Balux serves snacks, meals, and drinks throughout the day and evenings. Sit outside and look out to the water, or opt to enjoy the ambiance of one of the inside rooms. Designed like a stylish beach house, each room inside Balux has its own distinct theme and personality.

42 Barstronomy

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Where: Kolokotroni 3, Athens

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

 

 
 
 
 
 
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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.

The quirky bar features an indoor garden that transports you to a deserted island paradise – 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 but has a cozy, down-to-earth vibe.

Minnie the Moocher

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Where: Tsakalof 6, Athina

Named after the jazz song of the same name, Minnie the Moocher is a swinging, stylish jazz bar in glamorous Kolonaki. With classy decor that transports visitors back to the 1930s, classic cocktails, and sounds of Ray Charles and Nina Simone that echo throughout the building, Minnie the Moocher offers a journey back to a more elegant time.

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 two and a half years and 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. Yiassou! Melissa xo 

Disclaimer: High Heels and a Backpack is in no way affiliated with any of the businesses shortlisted in this Athens Nightlife Guide. No money exchanged hands for this article. 

This Athens Nightlife article was originally published in November 2018 and was last updated 24.09.2019.


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.

10 thoughts on “Athens Nightlife: 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!

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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!

    Reply

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