In pure daylight Athens can become a bit overwhelming: alluring, gorgeous to wander but also huge and dispersed. But at night the vibe changes and the big city becomes smaller and brings out a character we never thought of. Greek crisis?
Well, maybe this is exactly what has steered locals towards developing an extra twist of imagination in place of the lost resources which normally aid creativity.
Our experience shows that Greeks are in a constant search for beauty and the Athenian nights are proof of that as they give new life to abandoned neighborhoods and express pure art in unconventional areas.
The Clumsies and Drunk Sinatra
The first bar we entered, The Clumsies, is considered to be among the best cocktail bars in the world. The classy atmosphere, warm colors and tasty drinks invite visitors to stay for long hours to just relax and have fun. A few steps away, Drunk Sinatra, couldn’t be missed. Alternative music and young people in an electrifying mix. It’s my utter recommendation for a late-night meeting with friends with whom you want to share drinks, small bites and conversation.
Mana’s Kouzina Kouzina
When it comes to food, please don’t just go for gyros! I mean, you can definitely go for it in Greece as a traditional dish that needs to be tasted but, there is plenty more out there! At the Mana’s Kouzina Kouzina in Saint Irini Square you will come across a fantastic display of local ‘mezes’ paired with top-quality Cretan Tsikoudia.
What followed, on the night, was exceptional: a splendid hidden garden called Six Dogs with its mysterious entrance, it transports you into an unexpected oasis; trees, candles, roaming cats and dimmed lights provide a stark contradiction to the immediate urban surroundings and the nearby Athinas avenue. It’s where the sixties meet the nineties.
The next part of our journey brought us to Monastiraki Square. Between the crowded pedestrian pathways lies a secret feature that no one will tell you about unless you speak with the locals: the underground river of Eridanos. It’s mostly covered by glass but it’s truly worth the effort finding it. So inspiring!
The Art Foundation
After that, we turned back into a seemingly dangerous alley with no open bars or any of the usual crowd: only graffiti-covered shop-fronts. But after a few seconds we would find ourselves in one of the most beautifully bizarre places we had ever been to: Taf Monastiraki. What used to be a detention and interrogation center functions now as a cultural multi-space where alcohol takes a back seat. Apart from sitting at the bar sipping drinks, you can walk around the detention cells that are now turned into small areas devoted to interactive forms of art.
We concluded our night like most Athenians do: At a rooftop bar. One of the hottest hostels in the city, Athens Style with its super convenient prices and its superb view to the Acropolis, proved to be the right choice.
Every time we visit Athens, we love it more. It’s your turn!