The Best Bars in Nafplio, Greece

Mavros Gatos is a popular cafe bar in Nafplio
Mavros Gatos is a popular cafe bar in Nafplio | © Clairy Moustafellou / Alamy Stock Photo
Anna Kaminski


Local wines from the Peloponnese and all over Greece are served to weekending Athenians at this selection of beach clubs and drinking dens with views of the fortresses in Nafplio.

As the 19th-century capital of post-independence Greece, Nafplio is scenically located on the water of the mainland Peloponnese peninsula, beneath the lofty Palamidi Fortress – one of three fortifications in the seaport town. The grid of centuries-old streets that makes up Nafplio Old Town is lined with handsome neoclassical mansions, upmarket boutiques and Venetian houses. Also a popular weekend destination for Athenians, it lays on a decent nightlife scene, with wine bars, cocktail hangouts and classic tavernas. Pull up with us for a serving of Nafplio’s best.

1. Kontrabasso

Bar, Greek

© Kontrabasso

With terrace furniture hammered out of old crates, a grungy interior and bottles dangling from the rafters, Kontrabasso is a favourite post-climb stop for those who’ve done the precipitous climb to the Palamidi Fortress and back down. Besides the frosty Zeus brews and other regional beers, the non-alcoholic drinks here are as good as the booze, with the fresh-mint-and-ginger lemonade particularly standing out.

2. Alkioni Wine Bar

Bar, Wine

Alkioni Wine Bar
Courtesy of Alkioni Wine Bar /

With rough stone walls and hundreds of wine glasses hanging from the ceiling, this bar looks every inch the wine aficionado’s heaven it is. Perch on a stool at one of the barrel tables, and have the sommelier recommend a variety of Greek wines to try. There are over 150 to choose from, covering all of the main wine regions in Greece. Local cheeses and sharing platters are paired with appropriate tipples, and extensive wine tastings can be arranged.

4. 3Sixty Grill & Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Greek

3Sixty Grill & Bar
© 3Sixty Grill & Bar

A clean aesthetic, contemporary light fixtures, dark leather banquettes and a vast bar, well-stocked with top-shelf spirits, define this upscale grill restaurant that forms part of Nafplio’s boutique hotel of the same name. It doubles as a wine bar, and the menu showcases a respectable range of Greek glasses, as well as some international tipples. Bow-tied waiters are happy to mix you classic cocktails as well. One for a romantic date – until the DJs take over, that is.

5. Allotino Cafe-Bar

Bar, Coffee Shop, Cafe, Coffee

europe, greece, peloponesse, nafplio, city, allotino, cafe, bar
© Clairy Moustafellou / Alamy Stock Photo

Ideally located for people-watching on a pedestrian drag in the Old Town, this is one of those great all-rounder all-day cafe bars that are perpetually busy with a mixed crowd of locals and international visitors. There are only four stools at the bar, mind, so be prepared to stand while sipping your pornstar martini (vanilla vodka, passion-fruit liqueur, lime juice, vanilla syrup and sparkling wine) or a pink and bloody (rose port, blood-orange juice and sugarcane syrup).

6. Blublanc

Bar, Greek

© Blublanc

As the only true beach bar in Nafplio, Blublanc sits on the pebbly Arvanitias Beach, just south of the Old Town. Whether you’re after a lazy, daiquiri-fuelled day beneath the thatched umbrellas or a spot of sunset-watching – peach bellini or cosmopolitan in hand – you’re likely to rub shoulders with weekending Athenians here. Blublanc serves good breakfasts and light bites as well, from sandwiches to salads and grilled fish.

7. Mavros Gatos

Bar, Greek

europe, greece, peloponesse, nafplio, city, mavros gatos, cafe, bar
© Clairy Moustafellou / Alamy Stock Photo

A real-life mavros gatos (black cat) oversees the proceedings at this locally renowned cafe bar in the heart of the Old Town. During the day, join the locals on the small outdoor terrace for a Greek coffee and breakfast, or head inside the traditional stone house, decked out with vintage posters for a Greek craft beer, a cocktail and some live music in the evenings. Performances range from local rock bands to occasional DJ sets.

8. Cavo

Bar, Restaurant, Greek

With its rough-hewn stone walls and whimsical paintings of dogs dressed as dandies and counts, this cheerful cafe/wine bar/bistro is open all day. Owner Giorgos Bounos knows his grapes and gives you the opportunity to sample hand-picked wines from all over the Peloponnese and Northern Greece. There’s a good range of craft beers, too, along with nibbles: mainly regional cheeses and sausages. Tuesday nights are dedicated to Greek contemporary music, while DJs take over on weekends.

For more about Nafplio, check out the best hotels in the area, bookable with Culture Trip. A short distance away lies the capital Athens, so it makes sense to see some of the best attractions in the city, followed by a trip to an authentic Greek restaurant. While you’re there, make sure to visit some historical sites, or book a stay at one of the best boutique hotels in Athens.

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