One of Athens’ Newest Bars

One of Athens’ newer bars, Santarosa represents a ‘new breed’ of all-night hangout in Athens. Stylish, alternative, with intriguingly-put-together DJ sets and an artsy, playful approach, it draws a youthful (but not only) and hip crowd. 

Style/ Décor: Moody and atmospheric, gothic lighting, an old mosaic, a wooden ceiling, plants, and Athens’ longest bar (14m), this non-underground dive bar is inspired by the exoticism of the Tangiers. The long bar gives the narrow space a lively buzz that stretches throughout the bar as well as a strip of stools lined along the window across it.

Insights Greece - One of Athens' Newest Bars

What makes it special? Apart from the slightly glamorous yet decidedly edgy ambience, Santarosa has made quite an imp[act via social media for the mystical haiku posts it shares as well as for having its own mixcloud soundtrack channel. Many people return here for not only the very well mixed drinks (Negroni is excellent here) but also the original and varying choice of music played on different nights by sophisticated DJs. You’ll hear everything from German ambient electro of the 1980s to B movie soundtracks and spiritual jazz. The nibbles are nice too: instead of the usual bowl of peanuts, here you can accompany your drink with cold cuts by Arapian store.

When to go: This is a pure-blood bar, not a café by day or an all-day bar. It opens at 18:00, which is probably the ideal hour to arrive if you want to sprawl out at the bar and have a quiet chat.

Tip: Asklipiou has become one of Exarcheia’s coolest streets for bar-hopping. On this street, you’ll find several other places well worth visiting. Among them are popular bars Rinokeros, Tralala, Kokki Café, Ipovrihio, and Blue Fox.

Location: Asklipiou 69, Exarcheia

Syntagma’s European Gastronomic Bar

A “contemporary European gastronomic bar”, this place serves brunch in the mid-morning and a great selection of sexy cocktails at night. With a recently renovated space and cocktail menu, this elegant bar near Syntagma Square especially draws a chic after-work crowd. 

Style / Décor: Like its cocktail menu, the décor leans toward classical elegance. A shiny wooden bar and polished wooden floors, modern versions of classic items like chandeliers and leather stools and gilded gold-framed mirrors create an ambience of old fashioned opulence and contemporary urban charm at once.

What makes it special? This bar prides itself on its cocktails. The ways in which they are mixed, the ingredients they contain, and the way classic recipes are given a unique twist or completely creative drinks are there for hours of tasting, are characteristic elements here. Release the Kraken, with rum, spicy mango chutney and lime or Liza Banana ball with Metaxa 12 stars, roasted coffee, pineapple, banana essence, kaffir lime leaves and peanut butter powder are just two examples of the bar’s original take on drinks. For something almost completely Greek, try Mastiqua with Skinos mastic liqueur, chia seeds, tahini, bergamot, agave syrup with Saffron from Kozani, Greek coffee powder and orange aroma.

Athens’ Top 5 Cafes for a Rainy Day

When it rains, there’s nothing better than finding a spot inside one of Athens’ cosy cafes, sitting back and sipping on a warm cup of herbal tea or coffee of your choice, while opening up a book and enjoying some good old fashion reading. So, we’ve compiled a list of five of our favourite cafes where you can do just that!  

Tree Book Café
A bookshop-café where you can get as flirty as you can get nerdy, this charming Makryianni hangout serves coffee, tea and light snacks with a side of literature. If you want to read undisturbed by chatter it’s probably preferable to sit inside, where it’s a little quieter, but either way, the stylishly bookish atmosphere will inspire you to hold up your book with pride.

A: Kavalotti 2, Makryianni

Insights Greece - Athens' Top 5 Cafes for a Rainy Day

To Tsai

This is Athens’ only real tea room, with a minimalist Japanese -colonial feel and a huge range of teas from around the world, served properly by expert staff. As you may imagine the ambience is tranquil, ideal for tea lovers who enjoy a non-frenetic chat and who like to savour their tea as much as the silence. This is a great place to cozy up with a good read while sipping premium matcha.

A: Alexandrou Soutsou 29, Kolonaki

Bios
Just because this place has such an artsy and intellectual vibe, it’s ideal for doing something as civilized as reading a good book. Apart from the large ground-floor bar-café area, there is also an upstairs lounge where you can discover the solitude – or something closer to it – that you seek on a busier day.

A: Pireos 84, Gazi

The Daily
Perhaps the only real remaining ‘residential’, laid back café in shop- and people-centric Kolonaki, The Daily is a great place – day or night – to enjoy some page-turning solo time. It’s central but not too much so and serves refreshing homemade teas and lemonade as well as quality coffee.

A: Xenokratous 47, Kolonaki

The Underdog

If you like reading while sipping amazing coffee in a naturally-lit, airy space, this is the place for you. Housed in a neoclassical villa and with small tables as well as a long bench, this leafy, high-ceilinged locale was designed for individuals. Since it opened it has received numerous annual barista awards and apart from excellent coffee and a soothing vibe it also serves a delicious brunch menu.

A: Iraklidon 8, Thissio

Retirè Rooftop Bar at Ergon House

Ergon House (Greece’s very first Foodie Hotel) Retirè is the newest addition to the Athenian rooftop scene (it opened in Summer 2019). Want a view of the Acropolis from an iconic rooftop location? Want to sip world-class cocktails designed by the top bartenders in Greece while doing so? If you answered yes to both, then this is your spot.

Type: Rooftop bar

The low down: Proper cocktails and a relaxed summer vibe, in the heart of Athens.

Insights Greece - Retirè Rooftop Bar at Ergon House

Bar menu: The drinks menu at Retirè has something for everyone. Cocktail aficionados will revel in the summertime delight of the Watermelon Mule or the Vodka Basil Collins. There is also an impressive range of Greek wines (try their crisp Malagouzia) and local beers.

Bar food: The bar food menu changes seasonally, from gourmet hot dogs to seriously good burgers (more extensive food options can be found at Ergon House on the Ground Floor of the building). 

Décor/Ambience: Decked out with beach-chic wicker furniture and hues of white and beige, you’ll feel like you’re on a dreamy island escape.

House cocktail: Signature cocktails include the Blue Margarita and Green Negroni, created by the awarded team at The Clumsies, currently listed #6 Best Bar in the world.

Insights Greece - Retirè Rooftop Bar at Ergon House

Cocktail/spirit price range: Cocktails are priced between 8 and 10 €, spirits from 8 – 14 € and a local beer sets you back around 6 €.

Clientele: Small groups of friends, first dates, in-the-know travellers. 

Dress code: Casual, but don’t be afraid to glam it up a little. 

Opening Hours: Open from 5pm, Monday-Sunday

Address: 23 Mitropoleos St, Syntagma