Athens has a lively nightlife scene that takes place in the hundreds of bars, tavernas and clubs, as well as in the streets. The most ‘happening’ area of town is Gazi, thanks to the opening of Kerameikos metro station, which has made it infinitely more accessible. Closer to the centre, Psirri caters for more mainstream tastes. To rub shoulders with the Athenian elite, try the upmarket area of Kolonaki. Or for a drink under the stars with an Acropolis view, head to the open-air cafés lining Apostolou Pavlou in Thissio and Adrianou near Monastiraki. Other vibrant areas include Exarhia, Syntagma and Thissio. Athens probably has the most long-standing and impressive cultural heritage of any city in Europe. However, this pedigree is not confined to past greatness – a continued enthusiasm for the arts is expressed annually at the Athens Festival.
During the summer, tickets for all performances included within the Athens Festival and the Epidaurus Festival are sold at the Hellenic Festival Box Office, Panepistimiou 39 (tel: 210 327 2000; www.greekfestival.gr). Tickets to other cultural events are available direct from the venue box offices. The Ministry of Culture’s website (www.culture.gr) has full listings for forthcoming cultural events throughout Greece (predominantly in Athens).
Bars in Athens
The most popular bar in Gazi by far is Hoxton, a former warehouse converted into an industrial-chic lounge-bar.
Address Voutadon 42, Athens, Greece
Telephone: 210 341 3395.
Those in search of something colourful should check out Mommy, a glamorous bar-restaurant with 1970s décor and a young, rich, trendy clientele.
Address Delphon 4, Athens, Greece
Telephone: 210 361 9682.
Soul in Psirri tops the league in terms of atmosphere, with a cocktail bar, lounge and restaurant in a stunning courtyard with deep red walls and lush planting, plus a dance floor upstairs.
Address Evripidou 65, Athens, Greece
Telephone: 210 331 0907.
Located in a side street behind Monastiraki metro station, TAF opened in summer 2009 and scored instant success with its contemporary art exhibitions and funky bar set in a courtyard garden.
Tel: 210 323 8757.
Clubs in Athens
During summer, most of the big clubs move out to the beach – names to look out for include Balux in Glyfada.
Address Posidonos 58, Athens, Greece
Telephone: 210 894 1620.
Island in Varkiza is another club by the beach to look out for in summer.
Address Sounio Avenue, Athens, Greece
Telephone: 210 892 5000.
Athens’s clubs change names and venues frequently, but many of the liveliest clubs are located in Gazi – a current favourite is Venue.
Address Pireos 130, Athens, Greece
Telephone: 210 341 1410.
Live Music in Athens
Many of Greece’s top bouzouki stars play at Athinon Arena in Gazi, a large 2,500-seat concert hall.
Address Pireos 166, Athens, Greece
Telephone: 210 347 1111.
Rock music enthusiasts might prefer the more informal Gagarin 205, staging live concerts.
Address Liosion 203-205, Atiki, Athens, Greece
Telephone: 210 854 7601.
Halfnote Jazz Club
For the best jazz in town, visit Halfnote Jazz Club in Mets.
Address Trivonianou 17, Athens, Greece
Telephone: 210 921 3310.
To hear authentic rembétika (blues sung by immigrants from Asia Minor who came to Greece in the 1920s), try the Stoa Athanaton, an atmospheric venue in the arcade inside the Central Market.
Address Sofokleous 19, Athens, Greece
Telephone: 210 321 4362.
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