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ATHENS

Discover our favourite hotels, restaurants, nightlife and things to do in Athens right now.

Updated May 2017

 

This insider's city guide has been a long time in the making. We've eaten in countless Athens restaurants, dined in the best local eateries and visited the latest hotspots. We've also asked the most discerning locals we know to share their favourite hangouts – whether brand new or classic institutions. We bring you our hand-picked selection of our favourite places in Athens right now.

 

HOTELS

|   Athens |

 

Whether you're looking for the ultimate luxury hotel, a cosy boutique hotel, or an ultra-cool design hotel, here is our pick of the best places to stay in Athens.

 

1. Classic Luxury ...

HOTEL GRANDE BRETAGNE

This historic hotel in central Athens has set the bar for luxury living since 1874 ...

Having played host to famous guests such as Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan and Elizabeth over the decades, the illustrious Hotel Grande Bretagne boasts breathtaking views of the mythical Acropolis, Syntagma Square, Lycabettus Hill and the original Olympic Stadium. The hotel’s stately guest rooms feature silk upholstery, rare antiques and wall-to-wall marble baths; its indoor pool is a shimmering aqua oasis, while its outdoor pool is surrounded by Cypress trees and white marble. We love dining at the sophisticated GB Rooftop Garden Restaurant, serving superb modern Mediterranean cuisine accompanied by panoramic city views. At the Winter Garden lounge bar, enjoy a decadent afternoon tea or a glass of champagne to the sultry sounds of a live pianist. €€€

Syntagme Square, Athens 10564
grandebretagne.gr  |  +30 21 0333 0000


2. Boutique Chic ...

COCO-MAT

Coco-Mat Hotel Athens 1200x675px.jpg

Cool and casual, this trendy boutique hotel oozes Nordic elegance ...

Nestled in the eclectic neighbourhood of Kolonaki, Coco-Mat is a stylish modern hideaway with designer interiors and thoughtful, homely touches. There’s a hint of Scandinavian simplicity to Coco-Mat’s modern yet cosy rooms, where pale woods are warmed by an earthy palette of terracotta and teal, and luxurious mattresses have been hand-crafted by the experts – Coco-Mat themselves. Spend your days exploring the city on one of the hotel’s complimentary bicycles, lounge on cosy sofas with a book from the library, or help yourself to juices, coffees and snacks from the honesty bar. Make sure to discover the hotel’s rooftop garden terrace, where you can enjoy market-fresh Mediterranean cuisine accompanied by sweeping views of the Acropolis. €€

6 Pellis Street, Kifissia, Athens, 14561
cocomatathens.com  |  +30 2107230000


3. Modern Design ....

NEW HOTEL

A cutting-edge hotel designed by Brazil’s famous design duo, the Campana brothers ...

Originally built in 1958, the New Hotel owes its eye-popping refurbishment to Brazil's famous design duo, Humberto and Fernando Campana. The hotel’s dramatic interiors blend sculpture and architecture to create a unique and modern living space, where striking furnishings include bespoke pieces crafted by local arts students using recycled materials. The hotel's 79 rooms showcase the Campana brothers’ love of adventurous design, where the duo were inspired by Athenian folklore – expect everything from photograph collages and bamboo floors, to internally-lit marble sinks and sunshine yellow walls. Sip sunset cocktails amidst stunning city views at Art Lounge, the hotel’s 7th-floor rooftop terrace, and feast upon authentic Mediterranean cuisine at New Taste, the hotel’s stylish all-day dining restaurant. €€

16 Filellinon Street, Athens
newhotel.athenshotels.it  |  +30 210 3273000


4. Fun & Funky...

SEMIRAMIS HOTEL

Discover a colourful world of museum-worthy art and fun-loving design ...

Like a glamorous pop-art gallery, the Semiramis Hotel breaks the mould of traditional hotel design to create an eye-popping world of Day-Glo hues, futuristic furnishings and fine art, conceived by celebrated designer Karim Rashid and art collector Dakis Joannou. The hotel’s 51 rooms flaunt funky illuminated wall art, bubblegum pink curvaceous chairs and neon balconies, while the public spaces display a rotating exhibition of Joannou’s modern art collection. Spend an afternoon lounging by the swimming pool, before dining at Nolita – the Semiramis Hotel’s stylish Italian restaurant. €€  

48 Charilaou Trikoupi Street, Athens
semiramis.athenshotels.it  |  +30 210-6284400


5. Peaceful & Intimate ...

THE MARGI HOTEL

Nestled on the Athenian Riviera, this chic and tranquil retreat lies only moments from the beach ...

An exotic mix between a Moorish castle and a Mediterranean seaside retreat, The Margi Hotel is surrounded by groves of sweetly-scented pines which roll down to the cobalt waters of the Aegean Sea. Owner Maria Stavridis has filled The Margi Hotel with artworks collected from the four corners of the world, where the elegant rooms feature beautiful antiques, hushed hues and private balconies that showcase sea or mountain views. Relax by the pool on an elegant daybed which virtually hovers over the turquoise water, as the draped linens of private cabanas billow in the breeze. After sunset, the poolside transforms into a the ideal setting for candlelit cocktails. Elegant fine-dining awaits at Patio, where chef Panagiotis Giakalis gives traditional Mediterranean cuisine a modern twist using ingredients grown on The Margi Hotel’s own farm. €

11 Litous Street, Vouliagmeni, Athens
themargi.gr  |  +30 210-8929000


6. Designer Haven...

ATHENSWAS

A haven of modern design in the heart of Athens ...

A tribute to classic modernism, the 21-room AthensWas Hotel showcases furniture by a leading roster of famous designers, including Le Corbusier, Michael Graves and Ettore Sottsass. You'll also find funky carpets with swirling 1960s motifs, elegant marble bathrooms and a panoramic rooftop restaurant & bar with views of the Parthenon. Make sure to enjoy a wander around the nearby pedestrian shopping district, Dionysiou Areopagitou, which leads all the way to the Acropolis. €€

5 Dionysiou Areopagitou, Athens 11742
athenswas.gr  |  +49 30 884 940 040


7. Urban Retreat...

FRESH HOTEL

A hip hotel with a happening rooftop pool scene ...

The 133-room Fresh Hotel delights the eye with modern-chic interiors, candy coloured décor and captivating cityscape views. Unwind on the pool deck during a relaxing yoga class, enjoy a rejuvenating massage at the spa, or simply chill on the elegant rooftop lounge and appreciate the panoramic views of the Parthenon. An oversized plunge pool and rooftop bar serve as a sunny hang-out spot during the day and a happening lounge bar by night, and the Fresh Hotel’s in-house restaurant serves a Mediterranean menu of farm-fresh ingredients sourced at Athens’ central market. €

26 Sofokleous Street, Athens
freshhotel.gr  |  +30 210-5248511

Average Price of a Double Room:     $ = Around $100 or less;   $$ = Around $200;   $$$ = > $300


RESTAURANTS

|  athens  |

 

Whether you're looking for a fabulous panoramic dining spot, the city's best Greek eatery, or a hidden local gem, here is our pick of the best places to eat in Athens right now.

 

1. WOW Factor! ...

GB ROOF GARDEN

Alfresco dining at its most spectacular ...

Perched on the 8th floor of the historic Hotel Grande Bretagne, the GB Roof Garden restaurant boasts uninterrupted views of the Acropolis from its romantic covered terrace – an unforgettable setting for superb modern Mediterranean dining. Enjoy a candle-lit feast of grilled shrimps with fennel cooked in citrus, succulent beef tenderloin, and risotto with octopus, saffron and roasted eggplant, followed by the intricate creations of award-winning pastry chef, Arnaud Larher. Make sure to enjoy a pre- or post-dinner cocktail beneath the stars at Bar 8, the Grande Bretagne’s sultry rooftop lounge bar. €€€

Hotel Grande Bretagne, Syntagma Square, Athens
gbroofgarden.gr  |  +30 21 03330766


2. Fresh Seafood ...

VAROULKO

Meet the first restaurant in Greece to be awarded one Michelin Star for Greek cuisine ...

Award-winning chef Lefteris Lazarou is the talent behind Varoulko, an elegant waterfront restaurant set within a whitewashed villa in Athens' upscale district of Gazi. Since the restaurant opened in 1987, Lazarou has drawn inspiration from the bountiful sea, bringing innovative yet unmistakably Greek flavours to dishes such as succulent crayfish in seafood broth, squid ink soup with tender fish cheeks, and sea bass carpaccio. Don’t be surprised if you see chef Lazarou mingling with guests throughout the evening. €€€

80 Pireos, Athens
varoulko.gr   |  +30 210 522 8400


3. Refined French Cuisine...

SPONDI

Savour 2 Michelin-starred French cuisine in a beautiful 19th-century townhouse ...

Bringing French fine dining to the heart of Athens, Spondi enjoys a long-standing reputation as one of the top French fine dining experiences in Greece. Savour sophisticated dishes such as crab with acacia honey, tarragon and passionfruit, or the succulent milk-fed lamb with aubergine, oregano juice and black olive tart. Set within a beautiful 19th-century townhouse, Spondi’s elegant interiors feature exposed brick walls, arched ceilings and dimly-lit chandeliers. For an intimate and romantic alfresco dining experience, reserve a table in the leafy interior courtyard. €€€€

Pirronos 5, Athens
spondi.gr  |  +30 210-7564021


4. Elegant Greek Dining...

MILOS

World-class Greek seafood served by the glittering poolside of the Hilton Hotel ...

Having already won the hearts of seafood lovers in New York, Miami, Montreal, Las Vegas and London, restaurateur and chef Costas Spiliadis brings the celebrated Milos dining concept back to its Greek roots at this stylish restaurant in the heart of Athens. Discover Milos’ daily-changing ‘fish market’ specials featuring the freshest Mediterranean catch of the day, or sample one the classic dishes that have made Milos so famous, such as the grilled cuttlefish with ink risotto. In the open kitchen, watch Spiliadis’ team preparing fresh razor clams, langoustines, squid, sea bass and lobster. €€

46 Vas Sofias, Athens
milos.ca/restaurants/athens  |  +30 210 724 4400


5. Great Wine List ...

SCALA VINOTECA

This trendy restaurant-wine bar showcases a wine list of over 130 local and international labels ...

Hip and stylish, Scala Vinoteca is a haven for wine lovers due to its extensive collection of over 130 Greek and international labels, accompanied by a Mediterranean-European menu. Dishes such as grilled calamari with shiitake mushrooms, or Black-Angus ribeye steak with smoked potato purée, make full use of Scala Vinoteca’s Spanish charcoal oven. Enjoy the vibrant buzz in the main dining room, or opt for the intimacy of Scala Vinoteca's chic alfresco terrace. €€

Sina 50, Athens
scalavinoteca.com  |  +30 6974 092 392


6. Creative Cuisine ...

FUNKY GOURMET

Embark on a 2-Michelin-starred adventure into modern Greek cuisine ...

Georgianna Hiliadaki and Nick Roussos are the innovative chef-owners behind Funky Gourmet, whose provocative degustation menus give Greek cuisine a contemporary spin. Designed to engage the senses and evoke past memories, Hiliadaki and Roussos’ beautifully-crafted tasting plates reveal their playful side, where you’ll find unusual dish descriptions such as “Silence of the Lamb”, “Ferrero Rocher?”, and “Cuttlefish Oreo”. For a unique culinary adventure, try the “Private Cheffing” experience, where a bespoke menu will be created just for you. €€

13 Paramithias Street and Salaminos Keramikos, Athens
funkygourmet.com/en  |  +30 210-5242727


7. Alfresco Seafood…

PAPADAKIS

Savour fresh seafood in an elegant mountainside setting ...

Situated in the peaceful district of Kolonaki in the foothills of Mount Lycabettus, Papadakis offers a casual, elegant haven for seafood lovers in Athens. Drawing upon authentic Greek flavours and traditional cooking techniques, celebrated chef Argiro Barbarigou crafts heart-warming dishes such as octopus stewed in sweet wine and honey, or grilled grouper with lemon sauce and celery root. Settle in and immerse yourself in the complete Papadakis experience by opting for the 6-course degustation menu.  €€ 

15 Fokilidou , 47 Voukourestiou, Athens
papadakisrestaurant.com  |  +30 210 360-8621


8. Local Deli...

KARAMANLIDIKA

Enjoy authentic Greek fare at this casual, delicatessen-style eatery ...

Cured meats hang from the ceiling, an array of local cheese awaits discovery, and the central deli-style counter displays a soul-satisfying selection of Greek mezze dishes. Don't miss the soul-satisfying baklava and fresh Greek yoghurt with honey to finish. €€

Sokratous 1, Athina 10552
karamanlidika.gr  |  +30 210 3254 184

9. Casual Greek Kebabs...

THANASIS

An action-packed local eatery famous for its authentic Greek kebabs ...

Thanasis is a local Athens dining institution serving tasty and affordable Greek cuisine. Secure a table on the bustling outdoor terrace and order one of the signature souvlaki grilled kebabs at this quintessential casual dining spot in Athens. €

Mitropoleos 69, Monastiraki
+30 210 324 4705

Average Price of a Main Meal:      = Less than 10;   €€ = Around 20;   €€€ = More than 30


NIGHTLIFE

|   athens   |

 

Whether you're looking for the perfect cocktail, the city's best alfresco bar, or a late-night club, here is our pick of the best nightlife addresses in Athens right now.

 

1. WOW Factor! ...

THE CLUMSIES

It’s always cocktail hour at The Clumsies, Athens’ self-declared “all-day cocktail bar” ...

Pairing award-winning cocktails with a love of good hospitality, Vasilis Kyritsis and Nikos Bakoulis are the crack team behind Athens’ most exciting cocktail concept – The Clumsies. When they’re not experimenting in their on-site cocktail lab, the winners of the World Class Greek Champions of mixology offer a warm welcome at all hours. Sip coffee in their elegant, light-filled cafe by day, and savour world-class cocktails by night – make sure to try The Clumsies’ Old Tom Gin, a specially-crafted blend of lavender, ginger, lemon and mastic. As night falls and DJs take to the decks, make new friends at the long shared tables or in the lofty atrium, or simply lounge in plush velvet armchairs with a seasonal craft cocktail in hand. €€

Praxitelous 30, Athens
theclumsies.gr  |  +30 21 0323 2682


2. Cool Cocktails...

NOEL

This eclectic cocktail bar oozes creative, fun-loving energy ...

Seeking to recreate the festive cheer of Christmas all year round, Noel is one of the friendliest cocktails bars in Athens. Set amidst the bustle of Kolokotroni Street, Noel features a medley of vintage armchairs which sit beneath lofty glass ceilings and lush trailing plants. Noel’s theatrical interiors feature elaborate golden chandeliers, bold red walls and colossal gilt-framed prints of iconic works of art, while its menu offers hearty brunches, crispy pizzas and superb seasonal cocktails served to a soundtrack of gypsy jazz, soul and funk. Make sure to also visit their sister bar, Odori Vermuteria Di Atene – a sophisticated Vermouth bar which pays tribute to the vermouth bars of yesteryear. €€

Kolokotroni 59B, Athens
No Website  |  
+30 21 1215 9534


3. It's All About Rum...

BABA AU RUM

Discover Athens’ “House of Spirits” at this celebrated cocktail haunt ...

You’ll find everything from revitalised 19th-century cocktail classics to avant-garde creations at Baba au Rhum, whose impressive selection of premium spirits has been sourced from around the world. Baba Au Rhum replaces gin with a splash of Guatemalan rum in its signature Buccaneer’s Negroni, hinting at the collection of over 100 rums which awaits your discovery. Otherwise, try the "Sonic Boom", a potent concoction of pineapple, tarragon and chilli-infused agave spirit, served in a Martini glass at precisely -4°C. Baba au Rhum’s interiors feature a fun 1950s influence, where diner-style bar stools line the wood-topped bar and splashes of earthy red and sky blue add a tropical touch. €€

Klitiou 6, Athens
babaaurum.com  |  +30 211 7109140


4. Rooftop Views ...

BAR 8

Enjoy cocktails in style at this panoramic rooftop lounge bar ...

Showcasing sweeping views of Lycabettus Hill, the Parliament and Acropolis, Bar 8 perches on the rooftop of the luxurious Hotel Grande Bretagne and invites its guests to linger over cocktails. Try one of eight expertly-crafted Martinis as the sun sets over Athens, then enjoy dinner at the superb GB Roof Garden Restaurant next door, where chef Asterios Koustodis crafts superb Mediterranean flavours in an elegant indoor-outdoor restaurant with incredible views of the Acropolis. €€

Syntagma Square, Athens
gbroofgarden.gr  |  +302103330766


5. Coffee & Cocktails...

TAILORMADE

Enjoy great coffee by day and excellent cocktails by night ...

Famous for its single origin espressos and creamy flat whites, Tailormade also doubles as one of Athen’s coolest cocktail venues. With its exposed stone walls, cute terrace and laid-back vibes, Tailormade is the perfect place to meet friends over a chic Dry Martini, refreshing Mai Tai or sultry Rosita – a heady mix of Don Julio Anejo, Aged Porto, Italian bitters, Amazo and Rosé. Enjoy the views of the buzzing Agias Eirinis Square from the alfresco terrace, or enjoy your coffee and cocktails inside surrounded by wall art inspired by the local tailors and fabric stores of the surrounding areas. €€

Plateia Agias Eirinis 2, 10560 Athens
tailormade.gr  |  +30 213 0049645


6. Craft Beer...

THE UNDERDOG

Lovers of artisanal beer and coffee will be in their element at this casual hangout ...

The Underdog is a hip hangout which champions smaller, lesser known producers of speciality coffee and small-batch beers. The cafe-bar's stylish industrial interiors feature jet black and honey-toned woods, and its sun-soaked garden patio is surrounded by graffiti-covered walls. Sample beers sourced from around the world, such as the Danish Texas Ranger, a British Brewdog Monk Dog, or opt for a Grecian Kirki. Don't miss their delicious daily brunch menu. €€

Iraklidon 8, Thiseio, Athens, 11851
underdog.gr  |  +30 213 0365393


7. Arty Scene ...

BIOS BAR

Urban cinema, drinking den and trendy arts venue ...

Blending contemporary art with after-hours entertainment, this trendy Gazi hangout is home to exhibitions, film screenings and live music sets. On Bios’ rooftop terrace, beer kegs serve as stools while at its two art-house cinemas, film lovers can enjoy a film projected directly onto the concrete walls. Set within a beautiful Bauhaus building, Bios’ urban-chic aesthetic is the perfect stage for a rolling program of live performances. With DJs spinning everything from electro to the latest hits, Bios’ eclectic ethos can be found in every aspect of this hip arts venue. €€

Peireos 84, 10435 Athens
bios.gr  |  +30 210 342 5335


8. Creative Hangout...

BOOZE COOPERATIVA BAR

BOOZE-Athens-1200x675-3.jpg

A former textile mill is a magnet for the city’s creative crowd ...

Set within a three-story neoclassical building, Booze Cooperativa Bar is a funky labyrinth featuring trendy music venues, airy exhibitions spaces and industrial-chic lounges. A not-for-profit organisation designed to help launch local artists and musicians, this is where you'll find the city’s creative set: a place where like-minded artists can meet, perform, drink, create and unwind. Reclaimed woods and well-worn furniture combine with stunning original period features. Enjoy a laid-back coffee in the afternoon before party-goers arrive for the eclectic set-list, or catch an evening performance in the theatre upstairs. €€

Kolokotroni 57, Athens
boozecooperativa.com  |  +30 211-4053-733

Average Price of a Drink:   $ = Less than $10; $$ = Around $20; $$$ = More than $30


SEE + DO

|   athens   |

Don't miss these incredible Athens museums, cultural landmarks and local experiences.

Major Landmarks...

The ancient Acropolis is one of Athens’ most visited historic sites which is home to the iconic Parthenon, which was originally built in 447 BC. After exploring these spectacular ancient ruins, visit the nearby New Acropolis Museum, where the archaeological finds of the Acropolis site are brought to life. Complete the cultural experience with a visit to the Ancient Agora, formerly the cultural heart of ancient Athens. Superb views of Athens await on the top of Lycabettus Hill. For a scenic walk, follow the Apostolou Walkway for 1 kilometre to the summit of Philopappou Hill (Hill of the Muses), perched 1,000 feet above sea level and boasting sweeping views of Athens. The site of Pericles’ famous speech in honour of ancient Athens’ fallen soldiers, Keramikos Cemetery has been a major landmark in Athens for over a thousand years. A mass of tumbling monuments and ancient statues (some of which have been replaced by protective replicas), the Cemetery Museum displays a vast collection of funerary urns, carved tombstones and jewellery. Located on the southern slope of the Acropolis, the Herod Atticus Theatre is a stunning 2nd-century stone amphitheatre which seats up to 5,000 spectators, making it one of Greece’s most spectacular live venues to this day. The annual summer Athens Festival is held from June to October, where you can see a live music or cultural performance surrounded by the magnificent ruins and sweeping views of this iconic site.

Art Galleries & Museums...

Displaying some of Greece’s most important historic finds in a grand neoclassical setting, the celebrated National Archaeological Museum in central Athens showcases the nation’s rich history and offers a glimpse into the world of the ancient Greeks. The architecturally stunning Museum of Cycladic Art showcases the superb collection of Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris, who began collecting artifacts from the Cyclades Islands in the 1960s. The National Museum of Contemporary Art is currently housed in Athens Conservatory, showcasing both post World War II art and cutting-edge contemporary artists. Visitors can explore works by both Greek and international artists, while the Centre for Contemporary Art supports the international development of contemporary artists, working to introduce Greek art to the international art world. 

The Best Spas...

To unwind and rejuvenate during your time in Athens, the 3,500 metre square Divani Spa and Thalasso Centre is home to a state-of-the-art swimming pool with a wide variety of therapeutic jets. The spa is designed in a Moroccan style and offers a wide range of beauty treatments. 

Further Afield...

A fantastic day trip from Athens, take the scenic coastal drive to Cape Sounion, lying just to the south of Athens. With stunning views overlooking the Aegean Sea, the Temple of Poseidon is perched on the rugged cliffside and is one of the highlights of the area. An idyllic cluster of islands in the Aegean Sea, the Cyclades are made up of over 220 small islands, and offer the chance to explore beautiful beaches, turquoise coves and rugged landscapes. Arguably the most charming, the volcanic island of Santorini boasts rugged cliffs dotted with picturesque villages. Budding historians and avid archaeologists shouldn’t miss the chance to discover Delphi, located 100 kilometres from Athens. This ancient city was the home of Apollo’s oracle, the prophetess Pythia, and the temple of Apollo, the winding Sacred Way, the temple of Athena Pronaia and even a huge training ground for competitors in the famous Pythian Games can still be seen today. Perhaps the most magnificent sight, Delphi’s theatre dates to the 4th century BC and offers incredible views across the valley below. Just three hours’ drive from Athens, Mount Pelion offers an idyllic retreat from the bustle of the city. Dramatic and varied landscapes range from green mountainsides and crystal clear lakes to traditional villages full of picturesque charm.


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