The capital of Greece is an ideal destination to travel, rest and get to know in depth its culture and history that goes back thousands of centuries, but it is also a city that never sleeps, with plenty of nightlife to enjoy until late hours. And let me tell you, the views of the Acropolis at night are a unique spectacle.
A trip to Athens has it all. And if you are looking for night plans, keep in mind that you will have all kinds of bars and restaurants, with cocktails and typical food, terraces to enjoy the best night views, Greek music and many tours and fun plans to do. Here is a guide to the best things to see and do in Athens at night.
1. Take a night bike tour of Athens by night
A bike tour of Athens is the perfect plan to tour the city from end to end and what better time to do it than when the sun goes down and the city begins to light up. You will pedal and tour its main points in a much more fun and original way.
For two and a half hours, you will get to know, from another point of view, the busiest neighborhoods of the city such as Plaka, the old town, passing by the Acropolis of Athens, recognized by UNESCO, and the Panathenaic Stadium that at night is illuminated in contrast to the dark night sky in the background.
Undoubtedly, it is a great plan to do something different, while visiting the main points of Athens and know a little of its nightlife in the best neighborhoods of the city.
2. Taste the Athenian gastronomy in a gastronomic tour from sunset
The nightlife of this wonderful city will never cease to amaze you. You will have many plans that you can adapt to what you want to do and, without a doubt, this is one of my favorites. It is a gastronomic tour of Athens in which you will make a total of seven stops, where you can taste more than a dozen dishes.
You will get to know the most peculiar and tasty dishes and products of the Greek culture, such as souvlaki, marinated meat skewers, regional cheeses, Greek yogurt, as well as typical bread, wine and local coffee, in a tour lasting about four hours with a local guide.
You will even visit the Central Market of Athens and learn about all the meat and fish specialties sold there. In addition, you will discover the secrets of Greek gastronomy and its culinary history - don't hesitate, you will be amazed!
3. Enjoy a tasty meal at Hard Rock
And if you prefer to go out of the local gastronomy, you also have the possibility to book a menu at the Hard Rock Cafe in Athens and taste a classic American meal to the rhythm of the most popular rock and roll hits.
You will have the choice between the gold menu, which includes main course, dessert and drink, or the diamond menu, with starter, main course, dessert and drink. Both offer a wide selection of dishes to choose from.
In addition, if you are a lover of rock music, you will dine obnubilated, as you will be surrounded by various musical objects full of history such as a guitar signed by Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay; the bass of the musician Gene Simmons, bassist of Kiss, or Lady Gaga's boots. Are you in?
4. Let yourself be dazzled by a theatrical show
Are you up for a journey back in time more than 2,000 years to Ancient Greece? If so, don't hesitate to book your ticket for Koilon's theatrical show and enjoy this entertaining historical comedy starring Odysseus, Medea, the Cyclops Polyphemus and other characters from Greek mythology.
The show, which takes place in English, is performed on a rooftop at the foot of the Acropolis, while you enjoy a glass of wine- an excellent full-length play that captivates all who see it!
5. Delve into the popular culture with a Greek dance show
And if you want to immerse yourself in Greek culture, I recommend a Greek dance show at the Dora Stratou Theater, located at the top of Filopapo Hill.
This traditional Greek performance, lasting about 1 hour and 30 minutes, features performances by more than seventy professional artists including musicians, singers and dancers.
In addition, your ticket gives you access to a display of more than 2,000 traditional Greek dance costumes.
6. Have a cocktail in the best bars around Syntagma Square
Arguably the best, most diverse and elegant bars in the city are concentrated around Syntagma Square, and the maze of streets near it form the heart of Athens.
In these bars with small outdoor tables, you will be able to live a unique experience. Be particularly aware of those in Kalamiotou, Voulis and Lekka streets, which form a block together with Perikleous, Evripidou and Aiolou and especially in Agia Irini square, which is one of the most popular and most chosen places in the center of Athens.
You will know you are in the right place when you see many Athenians and tourists spending the night and living the nightlife. There you will be able to taste typical dishes, Athenian food is amazing, in this post I leave you everything you need to know about the best gastronomic tours around the city.
7. Enjoy the night illumination of the most emblematic monuments of Athens.
Many of the historical monuments that you can visit during the day are illuminated at night and their facades look totally dazzling. Therefore, a tour of them in the darkness of the city is a great plan that is very worthwhile.
I recommend some sites to include in your walk and take your breath away when you see how radiant they look illuminated, in contrast to the dark sky of the city:
- Cathedral of the Annunciation of St. Mary, also known as the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens, which is located in the Plaka neighborhood.
- Arch of Hadrian.
- Agora, which was the center of political, administrative, commercial and social activity in ancient Athens.
- Temple of Hephaestus.
- Temple ofOlympian Zeus.
- Parthenon: the best night view is from the Anafiotika area, a neighborhood located just above Plaka.
- Propylaea of Athens, which you can also see from Anafiotika.
- The Greek temple Erechtheion, whose best view you will also get from Anafiotika.
- Hadrian's Library, also known as the Library of the Hundred Columns.
8. Stroll the streets of Plaka and take advantage of the night views from its terraces to the Parthenon
Plaka is one of Athens' most historic neighborhoods located on a hill in the shadow of the Acropolis and its ancient temples. Walking through its narrow cobblestone streets at night is a great plan.
Mainly on Lyssiou, Mnisikelous, Kydathineon and Navarhou Nikodimou streets you will find neoclassical houses, picturesque flowered courtyards and many restaurants and bars, some of them with terraces that will give you the best views of the Parthenon.
The nightlife in this area is very good, you will find tables in cul-de-sacs and if you prefer to make a traditional plan, you will find typical taverns where you can enjoy live Greek music shows. But even better, here you can also enjoy the Paris Cinema, an outdoor cinema where you will also have food stalls. Here is a guide to the best things to see and do in Plaka.
9. Live a unique experience in an exclusive dinner in the sky.
Enjoying a dinner under the dark night sky of Athens, is one of the best experiences you can live in your life. Therefore, I recommend that if you have the chance, you should do it.
More than 16,000 people have already lived the experience of dining literally in the sky, in one of the best restaurants in the city, known as Sky of Athens. It is an interesting culinary proposal of six courses, which takes place on a platform located more than 40 meters high, with one of the best views of the city.
This excellent plan lasts about an hour and a half and is very exclusive, as it only admits 22 diners. Therefore, I recommend that you book in advance so you don't run out of seats.
10. End the day aboard a cruise with the best views of the city.
Watching the night fall over the city of Athens from a sailboat on a cruise has no comparison. You will be able to contemplate the city from the water along the Athens Riviera while the sun sets and the last rays illuminate the city until it disappears.
In addition, you will have a relaxed atmosphere with live music and a bar on board to spend the night under the stars on the upper deck or in the ship's interior lounge and sip cocktails while enjoying the moment. Don't forget to take the best pictures from the boat with unparalleled views of the city at night.
Taking a cruise to experience an Athenian night from the water is a different experience and an ideal plan to do in the city. The adventure begins at 7:45 p.m. and lasts approximately 3 hours.
11. Get to know the myths and urban legends of Athens
This is a different plan to get to know Athens at night. You will be able to take a moonlit walking tour of the city and learn about its nighttime traditions from an expert guide, who will also tell you about the oldest myths and urban legends of a city with thousands of years of history.
But that's not all, in this experience you will also taste Greek wines and liquors, such as ouzo, raki and tsipouro and a plate of traditional meze. You will visit three themed bars in unique secret gardens and on rooftops with spectacular views - very exclusive!
After about 3.5 hours, you will arrive at the last stop and enjoy a free vip entrance to a bouzouki venue where you can listen to popular urban music. This is a real experience to live a night to the fullest in the city that never sleeps. If you are one of those who like the night, alcohol and going out dancing, this option is for you.
12. Enjoy the most local Athenian night in the Koukaki neighborhood.
For some years now, the epicenter of the Athenian night has been concentrated in the neighborhood of Koukaki, which is located at the foot of the Acropolis, near Philippi Hill and just after Plaka and Anafiotika.
There the youth of the city gathers and it is a place full of new bars and restaurants, especially on Mouson and Panelotiou streets. I recommend you to visit it if you want to experience a more local and not so touristy night, but still appreciate the beauties of Athens, as it is usually a passing area for workers who go home from the office and have a drink there.
The place is full of neoclassical buildings that represent ancient Athens, and it is worth walking around it for a different experience. Keep in mind that this is a quieter nightlife, so if you're looking for a nightclub, this is not the place for you.
Best time of the year to enjoy Athenian nightlife
Now that you know all the things to see and do in Athens and how you can enjoy the nightlife, I want to tell you what time of the year you can make the most of the nights in the city.
While you can visit the city almost any time of the year, if you are interested in nightlife, I recommend you to travel to Athens in summer. Between June and September, with the high season, the atmosphere is second to none. There is a festive atmosphere in the streets and the heat encourages it even more. The nights get longer and all the bars and restaurants will be open. The only thing you will have to take into account is that the prices will be higher and the city will be full of tourists.
If you want to avoid this, I recommend the autumn and spring seasons. The weather is usually very pleasant to enjoy the evenings outdoors and the prices decrease a bit compared to the summer. In addition, most bars and restaurants are still open at that time.
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If you have fallen in love with Athens by night, you can't miss to combine it with the best activities to do during the day, such as guided visits or tours that will give a perfect complement to your trip.
Of course, my main recommendation is to visit the Acropolis, which is a must-see in Athens. You definitely can't leave Athens without seeing the Acropolis! And if you ask me, another experience you can't miss on your trip is a guided tour of some of the surrounding sites from the city.
Adding these two activities to the Athenian night, your trip will be a real success.
Visit the Acropolis
Among all the things to see and do in the city, the Acropolis of Athens is a must. It is the most representative of the Greek Acropolis, as it is the most recognized and important place in all of Greece.
Its visit is a must and in this post about how to visit the Acropolis you will find everything you need to know to make it a success.
Take a guided tour from Athens
You will have places that you can visit from Athens, such as Delphi and Meteora that concentrate much of the history of the country and are really amazing, declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
In this post you can learn all about the best excursions to Meteora and Delphi from Athens to get a complete experience of your trip in Athens.