Emergency measures in the wake of Covid-19:
Beginning to reopen for tourism this summer Greece opened 515 organised beaches to the public on May 16th, with social distancing of 40 people per 1000 sq meters, and no alcohol, music, sports or games. Some restrictions on shops and restaurants will be lifted June 1st.
As of June 15th the country reopened to tourists from Albania, Australia, Austria, The Chech Republic, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Japan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway Romania, Serbia and South Korea. Nightlife activities, however, will remain restricted. Arrivals from France, the UK, the US and Belgium, among others, face mandatory tests and quarantines.
The cradle of modern Western civilization, Athens is a fascinating place. The recorded history of this city spans around 3,400 years, but the area has been continuously inhabited for at least 7,000 years, and there's much more than just the Parthenon, the temple to Athena high above the city, to enchant you here. This is a city where nearly every time someone digs in the ground, another antiquity is unearthed. Work on new subway lines has often had to be stopped, as ruins and artifacts of ancient civilizations are discovered along the way.
The gay scene here is growing every year. Makrigianni and Kolonaki have been the traditional gay neighborhoods, but Gazi (or Gkazi) has become very trendy lately. It's a good place to start out, with gay-friendly cafes and restaurants along with bars and nightclubs all around, and all within walking distance of one another. Places open, close, or change names quite frequently in Athens, so most international guides are quickly out of date --but in this neighborhood just follow your gaydar and the local flyers, and one place will lead to the next.
See bar and clubs on our maps & listings pages, along with a sampling of restaurants, hotels and the main museums - all with locations and website links. Athens Pride takes place in mid-June each year.
Athens International Airport has great connections to everywhere in the world. The subway, Metro Line 3, is the best way to get into the city, and 24-hour buses and taxis are also available. For other domestic detinations, Aegean Airlines makes the short hops to Heraklion, Thessaloniki, and many of the Aegean Islands.
Trainose, the national rail service, connects Athens with Pelopponese from the south, and from the north with Thessaloniki and other northern Greek cities. From there find connections to Istanbul, or other European cities to the northwest.
Piraeus, the Port of Athens, is just over an hour on the Airport-Piraeus Express bus (X96), and there is Metro rail transport from Monastiraki station in central Athens. From the port several ferry or hydrofoil services travel non-stop to the island of Mykonos, in 3-5 hours, with great views and pretty sunsets en route across the Aegean. Other islands are also served from here. The slower boats have larger decks, and restaurants. See GoFerry for information and bookings.
Metro subway trains are the quickest, easiest way to get around the city and also to the port at Piraeus for ferries to the islands. See GoFerry.gr for information and bookings. One "integrated" ticket allows travel for 90 minutes on any metro or suburban train, tram, trolley or bus - except the airport lines. There are also one, three, or seven-day passes at a discount. Automatic ticket machines at the airport metro station sell them. Taxis are everywhere, but tend to be slow and expensive.
English is widely spoken here, especially in the gay scene, and tourist areas, and signs, menus and websites are often in both languages. German and French are also used in tourist areas.
What to do
You’ll want to set aside plenty of time for visiting the Parthenon and the other attractions near the Acropolis. The New Acropolis Museum holds many original archeological treasures, and has stunning architecture as well.
Currency and Money
Greece is part of the Euro Zone, so the euro is the accepted currency. Check with your home bank before departure for possible ATM savings with local partner banks. Chip/pin credit cards are also handy here, as in most parts of Europe, for machine purchases such as public transport tickets.
The Greek financial crisis and fears of 'Grexit' have abated somewhat since 2015. Tourists in any case should not be affected as ATM withdrawals have no limits for visitors with accounts abroad, and their credit card transactions are unrestricted. See additional advice at the Greek Landscapes website.
Media and resources
Antivirus is a free activist/political gay magazine, in Greek.
Deon Magazine, the erstwhile national gay publication and annual guide, has folded, and GayGreece.gr is now a site for singles to meet other singles, rather than a guide to the country.
This Is Athens is the official city of Athens Greece visitors webpage, and Visit Greece is the Greek National Tourism Organization website, with pages devoted to Athens, as well as elsewhere around the country.
See our maps & listings pages for listings of gay and gay-friendly businesses in Athens.
Attraxx (Iakhou 36, Gazi), men's cruise/playspace, porn videos, maze, dark rooms, cabins, internet access; nightly until 3am.
Bear Garage (Keleou 1, Gazi), bear bar near Kerameikos Metro; garage decor, good sound, DJs music play House/ Disco/ 80s.
Big Bar (Falaisias 12 / Lera Odos 67, Gazi), neighborhood bar for big guys, bears and friends, theme parties, beach and bathhouse excursions.
Bizzar Club (Derigni 20, Center), nightly gay club from 9pm, DJ sets, gogo dancers, darkroom cruising, Saturday shows.
David Bar (Konstantinoupoleos 44), afternoon mixed cafe; evening gay dance club, DJs and go-go dancers.
Del Sol Cafe (Voutadon 44, Gazi), lively gay/mixed Gazi terrace cafe; crepes, salads, sandwiches, deserts, hot beverages, beer, wine and cocktails.
Dyari Cafe (Megalou Alexandrou 124, Gazi), gay/mixed 11am-midnight cafe/ coffeehouse; beer/wine and cocktails.
Enodia Bar (Keleou 1, Gazi), small gay/ bear-friendly Greek music cafe/bar; WiFi, DJ sets, summer garden patio seating.
Koukles Club (Zan Moreas 32, Koukaki), Fridays and Saturday night top-level drag shows, theme nights.
Micraasia Mezebar (Konstantinoupoleos 70, Kerameikos), cosmopolitan cafe/bar cocktail cabaret, global beats, Mediterranean food, live music and theater performances.
Moe Club (Keleou 1-5, Gazi), international and Greek music dance club, Saturday drag shows and after-hours parties.
Noize (Konstantinoupoleos 78, Gazi), gay/mixed nightly dance club, popular with lesbians; late hours, Greek and international music.
Rooster (Plateia Agias Eirinis 4, Monastiraki), open daily 9am-3am, St Eirini Square mixed gay-friendly cafe; coffee, drinks, food.
S-Cape (iakchou 32), popular gay/mixed dance club, karaoke, drag shows, theme parties; open nightly.
Shamone Club (Leoforos Konstantinoupoleos 46, Gazi), diverse mix, drag cabaret shows, live performances, warm-up for later clubs.
Sodade2 (Tritopolemou 10, Gazi), gay /straight-friendly dance club, two areas, DJs, young and mostly male crowd, summer lounge.
Taxidi Bar (Konstantinoupoleos 46, Gazi), stylish theater, art and music bar; gay-friendly ethnic mix, folk, jazz music nights.
Test Me (Pipinou 64), men's bar, hustlers, older/younger international mix.
Trap (Korytsas 15, Gazi), lively, diverse crowd, DJ dance club, free Sunday buffets.
CLOSED: 8th Sin (Megalou Alexander 141, Gazi); The Apartment (Kolonou 76, Metaxourgio); BearCode (Konstantinoupoleos 8, Gazi); Crazy Daisy (Romvis 18); FCUK (Keleou 3, Gazi); Fou Club (Keleou 8, Gazi); Magaze (Aiolou 33); My Bar (Kakaourgiodikou 6); Polihromo Bar (Lembesi 12, Makrigianni).
Saunas & Sex
Alexander Sauna (Megalou Alexandrou 134, Gazi), sauna and steam, Jacuzzi, cabins, porn videos, darkroom, go-go dancers, drag shows, naked parties, bear events,
Flex Sauna/Gym & Men's Spa (Polykleitou 6, Monastiraki), gym, sauna, steam, solarium, Jacuzzis, cabins, videos, roof garden spa, internet, theme parties.
Ira Baths (Zinonos 4), men's sauna/hamam, cruise area, older crowd/bear-friendly.
Lamba Cruising & Video (Lembesi 15), adult retail shop, gay cruise club, porn cinema, dark room, cabins.