So let’s pretend you’ve done the hop-on-hop-off tour, you’ve had a big fresh juicy Greek salad for lunch, you’ve visited the Acropolis and the museum that is located right underneath it and you’re done with the sightseeing. At least for today. It’s been a warm day, your water bottle needed a refill, you want to get rid of your hat and walking shoes. You’re just about to leave your hotel again after a well-deserved shower. Do you know what I’d suggest? It’s time to explore some hotspots of the city just like a local.
Vrachakia, in Athens (a.k.a Hill of Areopagus)
Oh wait, did I just spoil it for you by uploading this image? Nah, you’ll be fine. It’s ten times more captivating when you are actually there, especially during sunset. And it’s all about the atmosphere, the breeze, and the sounds of the city. Okay, it isn’t all the way up to the Acropolis but it’s pretty damn close and you can see it from a short distance. You can go there at any time and it’s free of charge – though be aware of the fact it can get quiet during winter in the dark and slippery if you’re planning to climb up the rocks after a rainy day. The entrance is right near the ticket booth for the Parthenon. My personal favorite time of the year to be there is, obviously, summer. I often find myself and other friends grabbing a couple beers and quick snacks, to go and relax at the end of a hot day. So rewarding!
six d.o.g.s, in Monastiraki
Yes! Absolutely one of my all-time favorite places for a couple reasons. I’ll point them out right now: Art. Check! Music. Check! Drinks. Check! Garden. Check! I mean, it’s right in the center and so diverse. It’s an all day to all night space for gigs, art projects and has a bar. If you’re a creative person, this is the place to be, and if you’re not a creative person then this is still a cool place to hang out. For you the honors! Six dogs host a variety of live shows and DJ nights in their big indoor garden. It’s so laid back and therefore amazing for chilled summer nights. You should definitely check their facebook page for upcoming events, hopefully when you’re in the city and pay a visit.
iFeel Cafe Restaurant, in Psirri
I hear someone say – hungry! Fair play, it has been quite a day for you and what would have been a better way than to eat at this fancy place in Psirri to start the night off right. In all honesty, I would also recommend having breakfast here but more on that in a different post… So, you get yourself a table and enjoy the atmosphere and interior design of the place. With highlights, the ropes hanging and separating the room and the tasty rum. Have a look at the menu and be surprised because there are vegetarian, vegan & gluten-free options. That’s rare. I don’t know if you figured it out yet but it’s one of the few places that share this quality. I know, I don’t only look for the best hot-spots but I am a people-pleaser and want to make sure there is something nice for everyone. Do I get extra credits? I sure hope I gain your trust slowly but steady.
MS Roof Garden, Monastiraki
But what if you’re not so hungry? Then we may please you with cocktails, a light salad or some simple bites to share on this rooftop. It’s new, it’s fancy, it’s got the best view to the Acropolis and the staff is great. It’s located central, near Monastiraki Square. You could easily walk here from the Vrachakia, down the Anafiotika neighborhood and land in front of the Monastiraki station. If you stand with your back to the station you will see their logo on one of the buildings ahead. The entrance is on the Athinas street and it looks like a hotel reception – I’ve never seen anybody there so just take the elevator to the 3d floor. There is also a 4th flour but that’s not accessible for wheelchairs. It’s an old building so please don’t blame the owner, it would’ve been impossible to lay different flooring and it’s too narrow.
Sensimilia Cafe Bar, at Panormou
After a couple cocktails, I think I speak for everyone when I say that, we feel like dancing. And the best place for that is Sensi. It’s slightly out of the center but Panormou street has a cool nightlife scene as well that I highly recommend you should try to get there. When all bars start shutting down, Sensi usually keeps rockin’ ’til 5 in the morning. There is an alright variety of midnight snacks to choose from around there. I usually end up with a souvlaki stick, fries or a falafel sandwich.
Is Athens by Night honestly “that” cool?
Duh, what do you think I’m trying to say! In the five years I was away from Greece it was one of the three things I missed the most. The amazing and upbeat nightlife, especially when the weather is good nobody minds being out and about getting from one place to another. And let’s face it, the weather is good more often than not. The Iced coffees, the Greek Frappe, Freddo-Cappuccino & Freddo-Espresso are gold next to an average iced-latte in Northern Europe. And my beloved souvlakia (well, tasty food in general, no offense other countries). Those are the things that made me homesick. From what you can gather, Athens is so much more than it’s rich history and monumental buildings and sights. It’s a vibrant city, that actually never sleeps. I’ve combined affordable but classy hotspots that I’m sure will cover your needs. My opinions in the article above are always honest and my own.