Gazi Athens – A Local’s Guide to Athens’ Entertainment District

Gazi Athens is a district that sits just north of Psyri and Thissio in central Athens. It encompasses the Kerameikos metro station and is known for being one of the best areas for clubs and nightlife in the Greek capital.

Gazi (Γκάζι) means gas in Greek. The area takes its name from the old gas power plant that once operated here. 

Over time, of course, some genius eventually realised that the centre of the sprawling city of Athens, home to a population of 3.1 million, was perhaps not the best base for a gas power plant. The facility was closed in 1984. 

However, the outer shell of its structure remains – including its towering metal framework and some of its industrial buildings. You would think that such a place would be an ugly eyesore. 

However, the Gazi powerplant, visible from all northern parts of the city, looks almost like a contemporary art piece. This is one of Athens’ most famous (and unlikely) landmarks. 

By night it is illuminated and it projects beams of light into the air. This, in turn, seems to complement the party vibe of Gazi by night.  

This guide to Gazi Athens has been written by a British Travel Writer that has been based in Athens for almost five years. (Me!) 

It aims to help you experience Gazi, one of Athens’ most underrated areas, like a local.

Things to do in Gazi Athens in 2023

Street art in Gazi
Street art in Gazi

Most tourists and young people that hang out in Gazi come here by night. A couple of years ago, Psyri was the main nightlife hub at the heart of Athens. 

But while there are still a lot of chic cocktail bars, speakeasies, and underground clubs that still exist in Psyri, Gazi has stolen the crown for Athens’ hottest nightlife hub in recent years. There is something for every music taste and every budget. 

That is, whether you just want to have a quiet beer or two in a craft brewery spot with friends, or you want to party the night away until the early morning. A lot of the main spots in the Gazi neighborhood can be found along the streets of Pireos, Persefonis, and Voutadon, as well as the narrow streets that veer off from them. 

Gazi is particularly popular among the younger, student crowd, but various events are hosted here throughout the year, and there are some more laid-back spots here too. In May, the annual Athens Jazz festival is hosted here. 

There are also some interesting things to see in Gazi Athens during the day too. For instance, you can rub shoulders with the locals in quirky coffee shops, see art exhibitions at the old gasworks, and sample Greek and international cuisine at local restaurants. 

Each of Athens’ central districts has its own distinct personality. They are essentially like little towns and villages in themselves.

If you want art galleries and independent stores, you go to Koukaki. For fine dining and high-end shopping, you go to Kolonaki.

For parties and nightlife, you go to Gazi.

Hunt for street art

Gazi is one of the best places to check out street art in Athens. Huge murals by notable European graffiti artists occupy entire storefronts and facades.

Head to Pireos street to observe works by the likes of INO, Borondo, STMTS, and other reputed artists. From Gazi, you can also walk to the nearby Exarchia to observe the more controversial political street art there.

Experience Gazi by night

Gazi street art
Gazi street art

The main reason that people venture into Gazi is to party. Honestly, Gazi by night is like Marmite. It’s somewhere that you either love or hate.

After 10 pm, the streets of Gazi come alive with bass-thumping music. Here, dozens of bars and clubs sit side-by-side and offer a little something for every music taste.

In some ways, Gazi is comparable to the entertainment strips that you would expect to see in Greek resort islands like Crete’s Malia, or parts of Zante. This is not necessarily for everyone.

However, there are some more low-key bars to be found tucked away down Gazi’s side streets. These include excellent rooftop cocktail bars that are slightly more upscale and offer incredible city views.

In general, Gazi tends to attract a younger student crowd. B nightclub, Rio Skybar, and Dirty Blonde loft are the places to go if you are hot, young, and Athenian.

The Greek Film Archive 

The Greek film archive is a museum that sits inside an old movie theatre. This theatre closed its doors at the beginning of the last century and awaits, frozen in time.

The exhibits contained here pay homage to the history of Greek cinema. Everything from old movie reels to costumes worn in notable Greek movies can be found here.

Avdi Square 

Avdi Square and the tree-lined promenades that surround it are popular daytime rendezvous places for Athenians. Ducking into one of Gazi’s many quirky coffee shops is a nice opportunity to people-watch.

Sit and relax with a Freddo espresso as you break up your Athens itinerary. Point 50, CARTONE, and Urban Cafe Bar are favourites among Athenian students and remote workers.

Where to Eat in Gazi Athens

Gazi Athens boasts countless excellent eateries
Gazi Athens boasts countless excellent eateries

It would be unfair to judge Gazi by its raucous nighttime image. By day, the neighbourhood has a hip, bohemian air about it.

Gazi sits at a juxtaposition of old Greek tradition meeting modern, contemporary living. Here, you will find souvlakias and family-run tavernas that sit beside Boho hipster joints that sell avocado toast.

Tavernas in neighbourhoods like Pagrati are more of the kind of establishments where you will see old-timers sipping Ellinikos Kafes and playing games of backgammon. Meanwhile, the tavernas in Gazi are slightly less conventional.

Their menus tend to place a more modern spin on traditional Greek recipes. In general, eateries here are a little more expensive than your average Greek tavern. 

A Little Taste of Home 

Gazi Athens: A Little Taste of Home
Gazi Athens: A Little Taste of Home

Where: Dekeleon 3, Athina 118 54

Since its opening in 2016, A Little Taste of Home has become an Athens institution. The restaurant is owned by Ahmad Alssaleh.

Alssaleh reins from Syria, after relocating to Athens from Palmyra in 2010. If you love Middle Eastern cuisine, or you have an adventurous palette, you should stop by here for dinner. 

A Little Taste of Home’s diverse menu boasts dishes from Syria, Greece, and other countries across the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Consider ordering a plate of kioufta bil karaz for the table.

This is a signature dish from Aleppo that consists of meatballs soaked in cherry sauce. For your main, order a Damascan baba ganoush or a flavourful marinated lamb tagine. 

In just a few short years, A Little Taste of Home has quickly established itself as one of the best restaurants in Athens.

Gazohori 

Gazohori is your typical homely mezedopoleio
Gazohori is your typical homely mezedopoleio

Where: Dekeleon 6, Gazi, Athina, 118 54

For a light lunch in Gazi, and the chance to sample some exquisite Greek cuisine, head to Gazohori. Gazohori is a mezedopoleio.

A mezedopoleio is a restaurant that specialises in serving mezes, aka small dishes. Greek meze is enjoyed in the same way as Spanish tapas.

In other words, lots of little dishes are ordered and shared at your table.

Meze dishes here cost between €3-5. You can find all the classics here.

For instance, fava bean puree, saganaki, Greek salad, etc.

What makes Gazohori special though is that they also serve politiki dishes. These are specialty meze platters from old Constantinople (now Istanbul).

Oinopoleion

Oinopoleion has been an Athens institution since the 1920s
Oinopoleion has been an Athens institution since the 1920s

Where: Eschilou 12a, Athina 105 54

Oinopoleion (ΟΙΝΟΠΩΛΕΙΟΝ) is a beloved Greek taverna. It is technically within the limits of Athens’ Psiri district. However, it sits on the outskirts of Gazi so it’s worth mentioning here.

The word Oinopoleion means “wine shop” which gives a hint to the place’s previous purpose. The family that owned Oinopoleion owned a vineyard in Markopoulo and used this spot to sell and store their wines.

As time went on, Oinopoleion has been renovated into a restaurant. However, the current restaurant retains a lot of its original charm and still offers an extensive wine menu.

This establishment has been satisfying Greeks and tourists since the 1920s. In keeping with the eclectic flair of Gazi eateries, Oinopoleion also puts its own spin on age-old Greek recipes.

For example, Greek salads are prepared with Arabian tabouleh or moussaka with added spice. On certain nights of the week, Oinopoleion plays host to live musicians.

Annual Gazi Jazz Festival 

The Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival is a free event that takes place on the streets of Gazi every year. The festival is usually held in May and sees jazz performers from across the world take to the open-air stages of Gazi.

Technopolis Cultural Centre 

The remnants of the old Gazi Athens powerplant have been transformed into a cultural hub for creatives. Throughout the year, various shows, photography exhibitions, and musical performances are hosted here.

Part of the cultural centre is comprised of the Athens Industrial Gas Museum. Full disclosure: This is far from one of the most exhilarating attractions in Athens.

However, its interactive exhibits tell the story of the more recent history of Athens, and how Gazi gasworks supplied the city with power for 130 years. There is also a small outdoor gym located at the front of the site. The Athens Gazi answer to LA’s Muscle beach, perhaps?

Hotels in Gazi, Athens

Gazi, Athens
Gazi, Athens

If you are trying to figure out where to stay in Athens, and you want to base yourself close to the heart of the action then Gazi is a good choice. This is especially the case if you are a night owl. 

Gazi is less than 10 minutes walk away from Thissio, Plaka, Syntagma, and the main tourist attractions of downtown Athens. You should try and opt for Athens hotels that are a little away from the main strip to avoid the noise of this nocturnal neighbourhood. 

A selection of the best-rated Gazi hotels is detailed below. There is something to suit every budget and travel style. 

The Athenaeum Eridanus Hotel

The Athenaeum Eridanus hotel offers affordable luxury in the heart of downtown Athens. Rooms here start from just $75 a night.

The four-star property boasts plush rooms with stylish modern furnishings, paired with contemporary wall art. Athenaeum Eridanus’ location is perfect for exploring Gazi and beyond.

Countless dining options await just a few minutes walk away from the property. The piece de resistance of the hotel is, of course, the rooftop bar from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Acropolis.

Click here to check rates and availability at The Athenaeum Eridanus Hotel.

The House, Athens

The House is a beautiful blue and white Cycladic-style guesthouse that sits on the outskirts of Gazi. The lovely little rooms are decorated with handmade furnishings, stone floors, and exposed brick walls.

The House is a great choice if you want a little more independence during your Greece itinerary. All rooms are fitted with stoves and cooking facilities.

The property encircles a charming courtyard which makes it the perfect place to start each morning with a coffee.

Click here to check rates and availability at The House, Gazi.

Final thoughts on visiting Gazi Athens

Street Art in Gazi, Athens
Street Art in Gazi, Athens

Athens’ Gazi neighbourhood boasts several interesting attractions. While they do not need to necessarily rank high on your list of things to do in Athens, they may be worth keeping in mind if you stay in Gazi and have a little extra time to spare. 

Do you have any further questions about Gazi Athens, or planning your Athens travel itinerary in general? I’ve spent the last four and a half years living in this wonderful city and I’m happy to assist with any queries you may have about your trip.

Feel free to drop me a comment below and I’ll get back to you ASAP. Safe travels.

Geia sou! Melissa xx


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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.

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