They may be in the grip of a crushing recession and riven by bitter internal political divisions, but Greeks are always trying to look on the bright side. Despite struggling to overcome the serious economic hit, Greece is still Europe’s southernmost metropolis and one thing is sure: Athens knows how to party. Otherwise, Greek People can’t survive without being positive and thinking of better days…
The Plaka is still the place to drink in gorgeous Acropolis views, but after sunset the cosmopolitan Athenian hordes make a beeline for Gazi.
There are several places to spend the night and party. Artsy mainstay Hoxton, right outside the metro exit (42 Voutadon St), offers boozy fun. Juleps flow at Dirty Ginger (46 Triptolemou St.) and the ouzo just about everywhere else, but at Shamone make yours a Shamone cocktail, a wicked elixir with ginger, sour cherry nectar, and mastic from the island of Chios. Mamacas (41 Persefonis St.) is a sleek indoor/outdoor space with fashionista followers. Everyone likes to hit the dance floor at Socialista (33 Triptolemou); after a couple cheap shots of ouzo you will too.
Athens is a city of serial snackers and most Gazi bars offer food menus too, but for serious nibbling you should also check out Butcher Shop (19 Persefonis St) or Sardelles (15 Persefonis St), the Greek name for sardines. One exception to the cocktails-and-food mix is Kentro Athinon (Piraeus 142 at Petrou Ralli) a glittery hybrid of club and concert hall on the edge of Gazi. If Anna Vissi or another Greek pop star is performing there, by all means get a ticket and be prepared for a party that may or may not involve bouzouki and shots, but is likely to peak about an hour before daybreak. Still thinking of booking your tickets?