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Nightlife in Athens

They say even during the economic crisis the nightlife of Athens rivals that of New York, London and Paris and maybe surpasses those cities. Imagine what it would be like without the crisis. One thing is for certain. You won't find more restaurants, bars, discos and clubs in a smaller area than you will in Athens with the majority of the nightlife being in central areas like Psiri, Plaka, and Thission and everything else being accessable by the metro. This is a listing of some of the different clubs.

Thanks to Dorian Kokas and Michalis Orphanides, two famous musicians and friends who helped compile this list and told me their favorite places. These clubs come and go so call first to make sure they still exist and if they don't, or if you know one that should be listed please let me know. You can also find club info in the Athenorama Magazine which comes out every week. It is in Greek though. Check also Athens version of Time-Out and the Athens News for special events like touring musical groups. Many of these clubs are closed in the summer so call first. See also my page for going out late in Athens

REMBETIKA MUSIC CLUBS

These are my favorite type of clubs. Most serve food and some of the acts are top-notch. Call for programs. For more information on Greek Music go to my Rembetika page

REMBETIKI ISTORIA : 181 Ippokratous Street, Excarchia, Athens - tel: 210 6424937 Authentic rembetika by Pavlos Vasileiou and his band. Closed on Mondays. Mimi Rekkas says this is the best! The photo on the left is taken there.

PERIVOLI  T'  OYRANOU  Lisikratous 19, Plaka. Six  Rembetika singers, cozy atmosphere. Closed  Sunday and Monday. Babis Tsertos has played here in the past. (Click here for info on Babis Tsertos.)( tel. 210 3235517, 210 3222048 )
STOA  ATHANATON    Sofokleos 19 in the Athens Central Meat Market. Old time Rembetika singers including some heroes of the past.  Food & drinks .  Open  3:30  p.m- 7:30 p.m. and at night. Closed Sunday.
DIPLOCHORDON 13 Ag. Lavras & Galatsiou Ano Patissia. Two Rembetika singers, one Rembetist violin in musical scheme. Closed Mon. & Tue. tel.210 2283867.
PONTIKI: 9 Eptanisou and Androu, near Platia Agios Giorgiou in Kypseli has live rembetika and laika and traditional food Thurs-Sun. (Tel 210 8232971 or 210 822 6995)
Taxidi Stin Anatoli: Kypselis 31 and Sporadon in Kypseli has live laika and rembetika Thurs-Sat and a Sunday matinee. (Tel 210 8254779)

ASTROFEGGIA 
  294 Patission, Agios Loukas. Seven singers, traditional violin. Closed Mon. Tue. Wed. Thurs: Tel.210 2210160.
Read Claire Bostock's review of
Rembetiko Club Astrofeggia
MISIKLEOUS
    22 Mnisikleous ,Plaka.  It burned down during the winter of 2005 but is probably up and running again. Open Thu.  through Sun. (210 3225558 ).
STATHMOS  22 Mavromateon, Pedio tou Areos (Green Park)  Four singers. Thu. through Sun. Tel.210 8832393 & 210 8220883.
KAVOURAS   64 Themistoklous, Exarchia. Three member laiko and Rembetoko group. Closed Sun. Tel.210 3810202.

Many places close in Athens when the weather gets warm but Stoa Athanaton in the Central Market of Athens (in the meat section) is one of the best places to hear authentic rembetika. In the daytime go to Kapni Karea Cafe which is between Metropolis and Ermou Streets in this little alley a block down from the small church of Kapni Karea in the middle of Ermou street. There is usually good music going on there in the afternoon.

Giannis Lempesis at Karavani, Kypseli, Athens, GreeceOne gem of a rembetika club that few people know about is in the neighborhood of Kypseli, right off Fokionos Negri, a pedestrianized avenue that is like a long narrow park that starts down by Patission street about a half mile beyond the National Museum. The club is called Karabani and features musicians like Giannis Lempesis and his excellent group or Babis Golis. Lempesis and Golis are old style rembetika singers and bouzouki players, of the same generation as Babis Tsertos, in fact they used to play together, with a dozen or so albums to their credit. Musicians in Athens change clubs from season to season so you never know who is playing where unless you check the weekly Athinorama magazine. The club is open on Friday and Saturday nights with the music beginning around 11pm and they have a Sunday Matinee starting at about 1pm with a special price of 20 euros for food, wine and entertainment. Its easy to find if you walk up Fokionos Negri from Patission, its the street after the old market on the right. Or if you take the 2, 4 or 9 trolley and get off at Platia Kypseli you can walk down it is on the left on the corner of Zakynthou Street. For reservations call 210 8251896 or 210 822-1264. Friendly place and great music. Prices for food are at normal taverna levels so you don't have to go broke eating, drinking and listening to good music.

TAVERNAS WITH LIVE GREEK MUSIC

AMBELOFILO 3 Karagiani & Samothrakis, Kypseli. Light Greek Island music. Traditional Greek food. Call for days and hours. Tel.210 8678862. (recommended by Michaelis)
ELAFOKINIGOS  5 Stavrou  street ,Girokomeio. Specializing in all types of  game
( fowl,deer, etc ) closed  Monday.( tel.210 8252767 ).
Karabani Restaurant (see above too)is next to the old Kypseli Laiki market on the corner of Fokionos Negri and Zakynthos street in a basement where you can eat, drink and listen to rembetika-laika singers and bouzouki players like Giannis Lempesis on Friday-Saturday nights and all day Sunday. Call 210 8251896 or 210 8221264 for reservations, though you can probably just show up and find a table. 

ETHNIC LATIN and Other Clubs

 PALENQUE   41 Farantatou,Goudi.Open every night.Live bands.Latin party  every Sat.Every Sunday live tango with famous Latin bands.Every Monday Cuban Salsa  party.
Tue: live flamingo.Wed: live Cuban ,Latin dancing.Lessons every Sun throughThu.early.
( highly recammended by Michaeli ) TEL: 210 7487548.  
AISOPOU MYTHOS     Aisopou  11,  Psyrri,  Plaka.Wine  bar, live  jazz & ethnic   with
alternating  bands. No music on mondays.(210 3310884 )
KSEXASMENO  PIGADI      Ag. Lauras   87,  ANO  PATISIA.  Rock, Latin, Blues, Jazz, Wednesday- Sunday.  (highly  recommended  by   Michaelis ). TEL:210 22283063
Asante : Damareos 78. Pangrati. Tel. 210 756-2102
Caraho : A Soutsou 15. Kolonaki. Tel.210 363-5031
Folie : Eslin 2. Ambelokipi. Tel. 210 646-9852
Cubanita Havana Club  28 Kariaskaki in Psiri. Live latin band and latin DJ, food and dancing all night long. Just around the corner from Iroon Square. This place can get pretty wild at night and lots of fun. Great band. Tel. 210 331 4605

LIVE ROCK CLUBS

AN  13 Solomou, Exarchia. Well known Greek bands and touring bands from the UK and USA. 10pm.to the wee morning hours. Indoors. (recommended by Dorian and Michaeli) Matt Barrett used to play here. When you go ask when he is playing again. Tel. 210 3305056
CAMEL CLUB   268 Vouliagmenis . Wed. to Sat.,the band "Anikti Thalasa". (recommended by Michaeli)  Tel. 210 9716145
ROCKLAND   2 Frantzi & Sygrou  55.  House band with guest stars every Sat.
STAVROS TOU NOTO  Frantzy & Tharipou 37, Neo Kosmos.  Greek & American rock, changes of bands every day.  Mon. through Fri.  Panos Katsimichas from the famous Katsimichas brothers sings his top 10 Greek folk rock songs. Panos and I (Dorian) started the band "Agapanthos" which brought us notoriety. Needless to say I highly recommend this club.  Tel. 210 9226975, 210 9239031.
Kittaro: This is one of the first and best rock clubs in Athens starting back in the early seventies when it hosted season long shows by both Socrates and Savopoulos among others. Now the shows change nightly with big shows on the weekends. If you look for posters you can see who is playing. They host a Beatles night on Mondays with a solid Beatles tribute band and famous guest performers. Its near Platia Victoria.
RODON: 24 Marni near Platia Vathi. This club is in a class of its own with major artists appearing here like Robert Plant, Peter Green, Yngwie Malmsteen, Uriah Heep, and not to mention almost every touring punk, hardcore and heavy metal band that makes it to Greece. Tel. 210 5247427.
Gagarin Live Music Space: Liosion 205 near the Attikis Metro station. This club is a little out of the way but may be one of the best places in the world to see your favorite bands. Besides the usual touring young acts, last summer brought Vanilla Fudge and Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders to Gagarin. They usually advertise their bands with well designed and beautiful posters that you will see around town and in the record shops and cafes. Tel. 210 8547600.

Also keep your eyes and ears open for concerts by well-known artists in the theater on Mount Lycavettos. Fantastic setting for a show. I have seen James Brown, Roy Harper, the Byrds, Nikos Papazoglou and a few others there. Other acts who have played Lycavettos are Leonard Cohen, Ray Davies, Deep Purple, Motorhead and others. Look for posters around Athens or check the Athens News.

ROCK JAZZ HIP HOP

PARAFONO is a live-music club dedicated to jazz and blues - located near the center of Athens. For almost 25 years it has attracted a devoted following of music lovers that come to hear the most respected names in jazz and blues. Its cabaret setting, superb sound system and lively audience are what make Parafono the ideal venue in which to experience some of the very best JAZZ and BLUES entertainment offered in Greece. Sunday night is Dan & Katey's HOOTENANNY Country, Rock, Acoustic Jam so if you are a musician bring the tools of your trade. Parafono is on 1 S. Kirinis str & 130a Asklipiou str which is on the back side of Lykavettos. You can phone 210 644-6512 for directions or e-mail them at mail@parafono.gr

7-Times Club at 13 Maiouli Street right by the Monastiraki Metro Station in Psiri plays international music, a mix of live and DJ. Their house band plays everything from Elvis to Depeche Mode and you can hear anything from rock and roll, to swing, different varieties of jazz, pop, funk, bozza-nova, sixties and even Irish music on St Patrick's day.

BOSSA NOSTRA  22 Aristophanous, Psyrri. Red decor. Some Latin. Tel. 210 3244891
ALSOS  Pedio tou Areos  (Green Park)  Greek laika and rock alternative. Tel.210 8212271.
GRAFFITI  192 Sygrou, Kallithea.  Wed. classical rock;  Thu. & Sat. trip hop, drums
and bass,  Fri. reggae; Sun. live jazz.  Tel. 210 9597995.
LOOP  3  Ag. Asomatou, Thisio. Alternate bands.  Tel.210 3247666

Euro Jazz Festival Technopolis Athens: Letís getÖ jazz

The 12th edition of the festival will take place from May 23 to 27, 2012 - For twelve consecutive years, the European Jazz Festival in  "Technopolis", Athens welcomes some of the most creative European musicians. Artists of the European Jazz scene and many promising young musicians will perform for the biggest jazz event of Athens. See their website

Jazz on Line, AthensJazz-Online is a Greek site that will tell you everything there is to know about Jazz in Greece including concerts, festivals and the clubs that play jazz. There is also a page that introduces you to Greek jazz musicians, articles, interviews and everything you need to know about jazz in Greece. Of yes, I forgot to mention that it is in English.

60'S  AND  70'S  POP   AND  ROCK

Matt Barrett's favorite hangout is the James Joyce Pub at Astiggos 12 in Monastiraki. With an extensive bar menu, lots of imported beers, great music and lots of energetic X-pats who seem to be mostly Irish and Greek-Irish. They open at noon daily and stay open late. Their bigscreen TVs show sports from all over the world including NFL Football, Major League Baseball and NBA Basketball as well as Cricket, European Football and whatever else happens to be on. In my opinion this is the best bar in Athens and over the Christmas holidays I ended most nights here. But I could easily begin my nights there too because they have great food. Introduce yourself to Diedra and Tom (the tall guy) and settle in for a night of beer and conversation with whoever happens to be sitting next to you since they will most likely speak English. Some nights they have live music. To find it from Monastiraki just walk down Hepheston or Iphestos (next to the old metro station) to the end. Turn right and then left and it is half way down the block across from the big hole the American School of Archaeology left.

Mikes Irish Bar: On Sinopis street in the Athens tower, this college style bar plays live music on most nights, serves great draft beer and has an atmosphere that will make you think you are in Austin Texas, Boston, Mass or Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Go on a night when Johnny Vavoura and his band (photo) are playing and treat yourself to a night of traditional rock and roll. Call 210 7776797. Recommended by Matt Barrett because he happened to go on a night when Vavoura was playing. But keep in mind that if you are over 21 and not into heavy metal and really don't like trying to order a beer while standing 6 people deep at the bar you might want to avoid Saturday nights and probably Friday nights too. Especially if you don't smoke. Don't expect a typical Irish Pub full of interesting working-class Irishmen in animated conversation either. The name is pretty deceptive because generally it can be so loud that you can't hear anybody and know if they are Irish, Greek or from Katmandu.

 SIXTIES Posiedonos Ave. 62,P Faliro.(by the sea).Live sixties band, many alternating guest stars. Perhaps the best sixties music in Greece.(highly recommended by Dorian and Michaelis ) Closed Sunday and Monday Tel. 9819355, 9812741.
TOP STADIUM   Hotel Stadio, Bas. Kostantinou 38.  Alternative singers, Closed Sun. and Mon. Tel. 210 7226054.
MEMORIES  M. Mousourou 1, Mets.  4 singers alternate; warm, cozy, full menu. Open Wed., Fri., Sat. Tel. 210 9225712, 210 9226672. (recommended)
WILD ROSE  10 Panepistimiou, Center of Athens. Pop, sixties, rock party on tuesdays, blue gray decor.  Open every day.  Tel. 210 3642160.
FOLIE FOLIE  2 Elsin, Ambelokipi.  Mon. reggae, Tue.Latin, Wed.Samba, Thu.hip hop, Fri.funk, Sat.mix, Sun. sixties.  Open 'till late. (recommended)  Tel. 210 6469852.

The legendary Greek rock group Socrates is playing in our around Athens so check the Athenorama weekly events magazine.

Peter Abanoudis is the owner and host at the legendary Red Lion Pub which opened in Athens as the first authentic English Pub in 1972 and has been a popular meeting place for members of the foreign community and travelers. For those who are looking for a little familiarity or can't afford to visit both Greece and the UK on one holiday the Red Lion is a great place to meet people. You can sit at the bar and order from his selection of imported and Greek beers in bottles and on tap. English is spoken widely in this pub and in fact you can even forget you are in Greece. They have dart tournaments and a DJ who plays Rock & Roll tunes from the 60s, 70s and 80s. To get to the Red Lion just find the Hilton and the Caravelle Hotels and it is in the small park between them at 16 Nidiron. It's a 15 minute walk from Syntagma or you can take the Blue Line of the Metro towards Ethniki Amyna and get off at the stop called Evangelismos. Recommended highly by Tom Mazarakis.
Open Mondays through Saturdays (Sundays it is closed)
Hours of Operation: 8:00 PM until the last customer leaves.. . . . . .
JAZZ BLUES FUNK

Cafe Boheme at 36 Omirou Street in Kolonaki is a bistro-style restaurant (maybe the best in Athens) with a great little bar, interesting patrons and a DJ with terrific taste in music. Listen to cool traditional jazz and blues as well as stuff like Frank Sinatra, big band and music that your parents might have listened to if you don't. Cassandra Wagstaffe is the owner and host and is the daughter of the drummer of Wishbone Ash. Wonderful ambience and attentive and beautiful bartenders make this a place to go anytime. If you are looking for a small, intimate bar to make your home this is it. Walk up Omirou from Stadiou street across from Kolokotronis Statue and it is just past Akadamias Street. Tel. 210 3608018.

BE BOP Orminou 4, Hilton Hotel. Live Greek rock, plus jazz, funk, soul. Open all evenings. (recommended by Michaeli)  Tel. 210 7221708.
BLUES  20 Panormou, Ambelokipi. Only blues in old neo-classical house. Open all evenings.  Not live. Tel. 210 6433372.
EMPLEON  20 Laskaratou, Ano Patissia.  Funk, soul, rock. Every Thu. Latin and Caribian fiesta
HALF NOTE    17 Tribonianou, Mets. Opens at 11 pm.  Live jazz, blues, R&B, American and International name acts.     (recommended by Michaeli)
KIBUBU   9 Galatsiou, Patissia.  The owner is  a very good friend of ours. Mexican, Latin decor. Caters to all age groups. Indoors and out. (recommended by Dorian and Michaeli) .
Action Folie: Akti Dilaveri 9-11. Mikrolimano. Tel. 210 417-4325
Astrolavos : M. Antipa 62-66. N Iraklia. Tel. 210 271-8205
Blues People: Kelsou 5-7 and Bouliagmenis 63. Tel.210 924-6978
Poikili Stoa at 14 Agiou Filippou Street is an ouzeri-mezedopoulion-snack bar with a spectacular view of the Acropolis and ancient Athens, and an owner and staff who love American Blues and Jazz and are eager to play it and talk about it. Tel: 210 321-0431.
Allotivo is for those who like to listen to sophisticated jazz in a small classy bar while drinking fine scotch and whiskies, high-end tequila and hard to find imported beers on tap. A hangout for the actors and actresses who live in Kypseli, its an intimate place, hard to find but once you do you will probably come back. Its at Eptanisou 16 in Platia Georgiou, Kypseli. If you walk down Patission past the Archaeology museum and turn right on Tinou you will come to it. Tel 210 8215331.

GAY CLUBS

Athens gay scene is becoming as popular as Mykonos, not surprising since the fun in Athens lasts all year and not just a few summer months. Here are some of the more popular clubs in Gazi:

Mayo, 33 Persefonis, Gazi (tel. 210/342-3066)
Sodade,
10 Triptopolemou, Gazi (tel. 210/346-8657
S'Cape,
Iera Odos and 139 Meg. Alexandrou, Gazi (tel. 210/345-2751
Blue Train, 84 Konstantinoupoleos, Gazi (tel. 210/346-0677
Eyeland,
24 Ikarion, Gazi - Lesbian
Moe, 1-5 Keleou, Gazi

Alternative

Bar Code: 34 Syntagmatos Pezikou 6. Tel. 210 422-2829
Berlin : Herakleidon 8: Tel. 341-0239
Decadence : Boularotounou 69. Lofos Strefi. Tel.210 882-3544
MAD : 14 Syngrou. Makriyanni. Tel. 210 922-6694
Mo Better: Themotokleos and Koletti. Tel. 210 381-2981
Plan B: Lempesi 19. Arches Syngrou. Tel. 210 942-2737
Xorostasio : Skouleniou 2. Klathmonos Square. Tel. 210 331-4330

Free-Style

122 : Doukisis Plakentias 122 and Panormou. Ambelokipi.
Animal : Kerameikou 51. Tel. 210 522-7870
Astron : Taki 3. Psiri. Tel. 0977 469-356
Cafe Folie: 156 Kiffisias. N Psihico. Tel.210 674-0264
Delight : Ermou 116. Tel. 210 323-5330
Fidelio : Ogigou 2 and Nauarachou Apostoli. Psiri. Tel. 210 321-2977
Groovin : Pratinou 80. Pangrati. Tel. 210 725-1738
Light Love Life: Boutsadon 50. Gazi. Tel.210 342-4779
Loop : Ag Asomaton Square. Thission. Tel. 210 324-6446
Muller : Benaki 62. Exarchia. Tel. 210 383-0550
Nipiagogio : Elasidon and Kleanthos 8. Gazi. Tel. 210 345-8534
Whisper : Sina 19 and Skoufa. Tel. 210 364-1130
Zoo : Michalokopoulou and Sebastias. Illissia. Tel. 210 778-6672

House Techno

Block : Pigis 3 and Akadamias. Tel. 210 384-0205
Bossa Nostra: Aristophanous 22, Platia Iroon. Psiri. Tel. 0977 126417
City Grove: Bourbaki and Korizi 4. Makrianni. Tel. 210 924-0740
Garage : Sygrou 115a. Fix. Tel. 210 924-8211
Macamba : 22 Vouliagmenis. Tel. 210 924-9430
+Soda : 161 Ermou. Thission. Tel. 210 345-6187
Playroom : Akadamias 43. Tel. 210 364-5027
Venue( The Uptown): Kiffisias and Sina 7. Marousi. Tel. 210 610-6869
U-Matic (Future Club): Vouliagmenis 268. Tel. 210 971-6145

Mainstream Clubs

Bareladiko Next Generation : Tefthidos 7. Peristeri. Tel. 210 578-2222
Camel Club: Iraklidon 74 and Peraios. Thissio. Tel. 210 347-6847
EXO : Marko Mousouri 1. Mets. Tel. 210 923-5818
Hook Planet: Akti kondili 40. Ag Dinoysious. Pireaus. Tel. 210 461-9924
Kalua : Amerikis 6. Syntagma. Tel. 210 360-8304
Loft Loft (Tonight) : 215 Kiffisias. Marousi. Tel. 806-6802
Prime Vision: 22 Vouliagmenis. N. Kosmos. Tel. 210 924-6688
Privilege : Peraios 130 and Alkesonios. Gazi. Tel. 210 347-7311
Sabbia Downtown: Ermou 18. Tel. 210 324-3741
Sex : Gravias 10. Pireaus. Tel. 210 412-6755
Space of Sound: Amerikis 2. Tel. 210 321-0900
Wild Rose: Panepistimiou 10. Tel. 210 364-2160

Questions?
Are you a club that wants to be listed or do you want a link to your website
 Any of these clubs closed? In these difficult times it happens a lot and I would love to keep this page up to date. E-mail me

For Concerts and other performances see Summer Events

See also Alexia Amvrazi's Nightlife Guide to Psiri

Athens Pub CrawlAthens Bar Crawl is a new service for up to date entertainment and fun opportunities in the city sort of an educational meze-platter of bars and entertainment and a great way to visit the best bars of Athens while bringing your own friends along for the ride. The party goes on a daily basis, all year round currently, visiting more than 20 bars and clubs in the city - most of them located in the historical centre of Athens. Every night of the week they cover a different itinerary depending on the clients desires and current events.  Visit unique Bars, authentic Pubs, cosy Coctail Lounges and finish the night in some of Athens most happening clubs (a different one each night!).Your entertaining guides will tell you about Athens nightlife, interesting stories about the History of the place, and much more! For more information see www.athensbarcrawl.com

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