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Athens is just as lively at night as it is during the day, perhaps even more so. Make the most of the vibrant cultural scene, history and scenic evening views with Culture Trip’s guide to the best things to do in Athens at night.
There’s something magical about taking a stroll from Thissio to Plaka along Polignotou at night. The path starts opposite Thissio Open Air cinema where a gate marks the entrance. You walk in near total darkness with the glowing Acropolis as your guide. Walking through a piece of history in relative quiet, you feel as though you’ve been transported back to ancient Athens.
Thissio’s open air cinema is the ultimate Athenian night-time experience. Watch a film under the eye of the Acropolis and the moonlight. However, the other outdoor cinemas in Athens are just as good. The novelty of sitting in the warmth under a starry sky never ceases to enthrall.
Opposite the Acropolis is a rock called Areopagus Hill, a historical site in its own right which offers great views of the Acropolis. At night ‘the rock’ transforms into a bit of a hippy hang-out, with plenty of guitars and beer drinking. Do as the Greeks do and buy some drinks from a kiosk, head up to the top and enjoy the intimate view.
Although not strictly a nighttime activity, watching the sun set from Mount Lycabettus is a great way to kickstart your evening. If you’re heading to the very top make sure to leave time to check out the small church (and if you choose to walk up, time to make the climb!).
The best kalamakia spot in town is called Elvis and is fittingly dedicated to the American star. Eat pork and chips while taking in the range of paraphernalia dedicated to the Jailhouse Rock heartthrob. There’s an Elvis on both sides of Athens, so you’ll never be too far from the ultimate cheap eat.
The Gazi district is full of lively rebetiko venues which are packed on Fridays and Saturdays. Enjoying live rebetiko (a style of Greek music popular in the 1920s) offers a fantastic opportunity to understand Greece’s cultural history.
Latraac skate bowl and café keeps their bowl open until 10 PM, which makes it the perfect hangout for an activity-filled evening. The crowd is friendly and welcoming to skaters of all abilities. Go earlier to make the most of their all-day brunch menu and stay on for beers and DJ sets.
In a traditional Greek restaurant, of course! Throughout Plaka there are great spots with Bouzouki music and a celebratory approach to Greek feasting. For the ultimate Greek fiesta head to Adrianos where plate smashing is all part of an evening’s experience. Make sure to practice your ‘ooopas!’ before.
Athens’s rooftop bars offer spectacular views across the city, and there are loads to choose from. Whether you just pop up to one for a photo or settle in for an evening, it’s well worth finding a place to see the bright city lights from above.
During the summer months the Panathenaic Stadium becomes extremely hot during the day, so heading to check it out at night is a great alternative – even better as the arena becomes even more dramatic come sundown. During winter the spectacle of the lit-up stadium is equally impressive.
The art scene in Athens is vibrant and lively. On almost any day of the week there’s an art opening in some part of the city. Immerse yourself in the cultural scene by checking out the emerging and established talent in Athens. Websites such as Und Athens have comprehensive listings of what’s on each evening.
Take a nighttime tour of Athens with a local guide and discover the myths and legends in some of the city’s most famous, bustling neighbourhoods. Get insight into the best local spots and enjoy quirky historical stories that you won’t find in the guidebooks.
No evening in Athens is complete without having sampled traditional Greek spirits such as ouzo, tsipouro or raki (we advise against mixing all three in one evening). Head to a traditional Greek restaurant to make the most of the flavours and atmosphere.
Athens certainly got a Hollywood boost when Lindsay Lohan opened her eponymous club in Gazi a few years ago. If you’re looking to go clubbing in Athens this is one of your better (and more extravagant) bets. Inside you’ll find confetti canons, light shows and robot dancers – and perhaps even the lady herself.
The Clumsies in Athens is one of the best bars in the world and heading there to enjoy a signature cocktail is highly recommended. Inside, the atmosphere is always upbeat and it’s easy to spend a few hours people watching and hanging out within the bar’s chic interiors.