by Katia Mavrikou
Dear Gay Traveler,
there’s lots of things Google CAN tell you about gay travel in general or your holidays in Athens Greece in particular; be it from packing tips, the weather in Athens, Greek tourist attractions and landmarks such as the Acropolis and the Parthenon, to local attractions such as the Monastiraki, Plaka and Thissio neighborhoods (which are all undeniably in your 'Athens must see' list).
But what Google can't give you is the insider's gay guide you've been searching for to allow you to join the Pantheon of the Greek Gods for a divine travel experience. If you are looking for quirky and adventurous things to do, whether you're spending a whole week or 2 days in Athens, or if this is a stopover on your way to the Greek islands (Mykonoooos!) we've got you covered.
Here, we've listed for you the 9 top things to do, from Athens nightlife, to bars, nightclubs, best restaurants, walking tours and beyond; one for each of our favorite male Olympians (plus one mighty female and Eros, who although he wasn't one of the Twelve great Greek Gods, well... he's Eros!)
the best tours of athens you would be crazy to miss
#1 Dionysus: Greek God of Wine, Pleasure and Festivity
First things first: Before you get to the LGBT center (that is Gazi neighborhood) nourish yourself with some of the best Greek food the city has to offer. Food in Athens IS king and you will find gay friendly cafes, bars and restaurants all the way from Syntagma square down to Sarri street in the neighborhood of Psyrri. One of the favorite meetings points of the Greek gay crowd is the area of Platia Agias Eirinis (which we have mentioned extensively in our souvlaki guide, guide for healthy eaters and ice-cream post!). There you can enjoy a wholesome brunch at Mama Roux, sip your coffee, drink or eat at Rooster or Noel (the latter is also one of our favorite romantic spots in Athens). Ready for cocktails? Visit Spinster bar or the alternative hidden bar / nightclub Six D.O.G.S before you move to the next chapter!
join the best food tours today
#2 Apollo: God of Music, Song and Poetry
Once you get in the mood to take it to the next level, clubbing, Gazi is the land of gay opportunity! First stop: the Athenian open-minded nightclub Shamone. That's where you will sip your first (second or third) drink before you get the party started, while you watch a drag show or jaw-dropping pole dancing. Shamone often hosts special events such as theatrical plays and other thematic nights; that's why it's one of the best spots you can start your evening with.
unique things to do in athens for art lovers
#3 Ares: God of War and Courage
200m far from Shamone is your next stop: Apartment Club; and that's where the night is set on fire. Dance like everyone's watching to the progressive, hard core and techno house beats; enjoy the drag and live shows and get naughty sneak-peaks of gorgeous gogo boys relaxing in their private rooms... (don't tell us we didn't warn you!). For the Bears out there, check out bar Big!
#4 Zeus: The King of the Gods, Destiny and Fate
Now that you're already on fire, it's time to meet your destiny at the all time classic gay club Sodade (aka 'twinks central'!), just behind the Apartment Club. Sodade hosts two stages; one with Greek and mainstream music (including Eurovision's top hits for the Eurofans out there!) and another with dance music so you can switch depending on your mood! Sodade (but also Shamone and Apartment Club) are your top choices for fun things to do in Athens if you're looking for entertainment till the early morning hours.
master your dance moves today: join a dance lesson
#5 Hephaestus: God of Fire
One of the best things to do to relax from all the partying and the heat of the evening is this: DETOX! Lucky you, relaxation heaven is within walking distance from your last party spot and that is Alexander Sauna (which by the way is open 24/7!). Another choice is Sauna Flex which is located off the central Athinas street.
be alternative: join a fun walking tour in athens
#6 Hermes: God of Travellers and Hospitality
Here's an interesting fact: In Greek mythology, Hermaphroditus was the androgynous child of Hermes with Aphrodite; having said that, we can't help sharing with you the 'cult' spot Koukles which is probably the best drag and transgender show in Athens. On a different note (and since Hermes is the God of travellers!) if you're feeling adventurous and outdoors-y then you might want to take a walk in the National Garden and Zappeio. We don't mean to give you a tip for Athens' green spaces and things to do and see besides the Acropolis, but we're hinting where you will find the gay cruising area in town... But behave! You're not alone!
read our useful guides to athens' cool neighborhoods
#7 Poseidon: God of the Sea
Holidays in Greece are never complete without a dive in the Greek big blue. We've previously given you tips for day trips and the best beaches in Athens. But today you' ll be happy to hear that Athens' gay-friendly beaches are located by the Athens Riviera, in the Vouliagmeni peninsula and not that far (by car or bus) from central Athens towards Varkiza. Work on your tan on the rocky coves of the 'Limanakia Vouliagmenis' or lie comfortably on the luxurious lounge beds of Astir Beach, gazing worked-out Greek Gods and Goddesses under the Greek sun.
wokr on your body and make the most of beach time in athens
#8 Artemis: The Goddess of Hunting
Last but not least, our gay Athens guide would be incomplete without sharing travel tips for the lady hunters out there. Truth be told, the gay male venues outnumber the lesbian ones but still Gazi and the nearby Kerameikos and Metaxourgeio areas are where you want to hang out. While you're there, check out the cafe/restaurant Myrovolos and the more recent addition Klostirion.
#9 Eros: God of Love
It's hard not to fall in love in/with Athens so we've added the God of love to let you know that if you want to celebrate your love and tie the knot you don't have to do it in Amsterdam or New York, but you can now celebrate this unique time of your life in Athens Greece! It's been almost a year since same-sex unions were legalized in Greece so maybe it's time for you to start day-dreaming (if not planning!) your (small, slim?) Greek wedding! Just a thought.... (wink!)
Did we forget your favorite gay-friendly spot?
We would love to add more fabulous places on our Gay Athens guide, so feel free to send a comment
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travel to greece: Gay Athens on the Map