Neighborhoods by Day and Night in Athens

Monastiraki and Agia Irini Square

Often coined the ‘new heart of Athens’ by Greek press, this picturesque square located in Monastiraki has taken on many faces for more than a century including as a business district, a fabric business area and flower market.  Today, it’s full of traffic thanks to a resurgence of trendy bars, cafés and restaurants as the country reels itself out of an economic crisis. Cafés on Aiolou street have a distant view of the Acropolis, while all of the square’s businesses have a view of the historic St Irene Church, the first Greek Orthodox church built after Greece’s independence.

Places to Go:

Cafes – Lukumades is a dessert café known for its fun, modern take on the traditional poor man’s dessert of fried dough balls called loukoumades.  Go beyond the traditional honey topped versions and try them stuffed with praline, lemon cream or a la mode with a scoop of homemade ice cream. Tailor Made and its neighbor Thorubi gather a young Athenian coffee crowd.  In Monastiraki Square, behold the best up-close views of the Acropolis at Athens 360 and A for Athens rooftop café-bars.

Restaurants- Mana’s Kouzina-Kouzina has a name that means mother’s kitchen and goes beyond the famous Greek favorites of moussaka and Greek salad by offering a revolving lunch and dinner menu of magirefta traditional Greek dishes, slow-cooked recipes hailing from all over Greece. Other great Greek cuisine selections can be enjoyed at Melilotos. The local go-to places for souvlaki include Thanasis, off Monastiraki Square, and Kostas in Agia Irini Square.

Nightlife – A unique Greek theatre bar draws the winter nightlife crowd at Faust.  Osterman, Noel,  S.I.X. Dogs are some top pics for bars in the area.


Plaka is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the world. Its tiny streets are clustered around the rocky slopes of the Acropolis where neoclassical homes stand. Be sure to walk through the Anafiotika neighborhood which is known for its whitewashed Cycladic architecture offering visitors the feel of Greek islands in the heart of a big city.

Places to Go:

Restaurants – O Platanos, H Palia Taverna Tou Psara and Daphne’s are excellent Greek cuisine options.

Cafes and Bars – You can’t go wrong with settling down for a coffee or a drink on Mnisikleous, a picturesque little corner of café/bars lined on a large landing of bougainvillea covered stairs.  Bretto’s located in the middle of the neighborhood offers a taste of Greek spirits in a cozy unique environment.

Rent A Helicopter in Greece


Squeezed between Monastiraki, Plaka and Omonia, Psirri can attract quite a crowd at night. The area hosts an array of venues with Greek food and live music. It is the “go-to” place for groups of Greeks to go out and share Greek spirits like ouzo and rakomelo.

Places to Go:

Cafes – Ta Serbetia Tou Psirri on Aisxylou is famous for the outstanding desserts.   The Art Foundation known as TAF is a unique exhibition space/café all-in-one.

Restaurants –Oinopoleion, Krasopoulio tou Kokkora on Aisopou street are both great for Greek food. Bars – Nightlife is vibrant and bohemian, with hip, friendly bars like Tranzistor and Cantina Social.


Once upon a time, Gazi was a worn-down immigrant quarter with a defunct gasworks factory looming as part of its skyline. Then the metro was built and the potential was seen by artistic minds that rebuilt the area paying homage to its industrial roots. The area is now lined with restaurants, bars and clubs. It is difficult to walk around without bumping into someone in the thick of summer. In the surrounding streets, traditional music stages open late and gather well-heeled crowds who book tables to watch popular local singers.

Places to Go:

Dining – SardellesAthiri and the Butcher Shop are a few popular restaurants to try out.

Rooftop Bars – Along with other bars lining the square, Hipster and Gazarte both boast a great rooftop area where you can enjoy a drink, a good crowd and a view of the Acropolis and Gazi’s landmarks.

Top Things to Do in Athens


Kolonaki is one of the capital’s most upscale neighborhoods. It has its share of authentic tavernas, trendy bars, chic clubs, gourmet restaurants and atmospheric outdoor cafés.

Places to Go:

Coffee – Right off Kolonaki Square, locals love to people watch while nursing their Greek coffees at Alouf and Da Capo. 

Restaurants – Taverna Fillipou, F&W by Olivier Camphana, Stinking Bishop, Malconi’s and Nice n Easy  are a few of the most popular restaurants in Kolonaki. Horizontes on the top of Lycabettus hill offers an amazing view of the entire city.

Nightlife –   During the day, Skoufa street is a great place to have a coffee as well.  After 11 p.m., the same establishments including Cinco and Big Apple are packed with a stylish crowd. Charitos sreet is best at night when several little bars with character attract those looking for a quiet drink on a charming little pedestrian way between Spefsippou and Ploutarchou.   Off Kolonaki Sqaure several bars attract a crowd including Minnie the Moocher. In the winter months, Rock n Roll is one of the top clubs in Athens.


Known as the city’s alternative district, Exarchia attracts artistic, college student and bohemian crowds.  The street art and graffiti riddled buildings house various punk-like bars and clubs, many of which play rock music.

Places to Go:

Coffee – Sit in Exarchia Square where you can have a coffee among the hip, trendy, bohemian and student crowd.

Nightlife – Alexandrino is a charming favorite, a French-style bar with great cocktails.

Restaurants – Oxo Nou, Giantes are some great choices for Greek dining.

Athenian Riviera

The southern suburbs of Athens are just steps away from the sea, which is why summer is the best time to hit the area’s glamorous, open-air clubs. Glyfada, a large, upmarket neighborhood has numerous bars and restaurants that come alive on weekends.
Places to Go:

Restaurants – Vouliagmeni boasts some of the best in Greek cuisine in Athens.  Dine at Lambros and IthakiMatsuhisa is an impressive gourmet venue for Japanese.  In Glyfada, head for seafood at Nikolas and Schinoussas, lobster spaghetti at Delfinia and great Greek cuisine at Ark.  Feeling like Mexican? Head to Amigos. For Moroccan, dine at atmospheric Tagine.

Bars – In Vouliameni sip a cocktail at the MooringsBaku at The Margi, Rumors or Swell.  The Island Club is best experienced in summer when the warm summer nighttime breeze compliments the club’s aesthetic breezy design.  The best crowds gather in Glyfada at Opus, Pere Ubu, Soleto, Su Casa, Mosaiko, Mikro and Holy Spirit.