Athens Gay Travel
Athens gay guide the best hotels, things to do, gay bars, clubs, restaurants & cruising spots.
The Gay Travel Experience: Athens, Greece
Athens has an enormous gay scene, full of both locals, tourists and other visitors from around the Mediterranean. Gay life thrives, it’s easy to meet new people and the gay bars are awesome.
Gay men in Greece tend to be more reserved with their sexual orientation. While the country is relatively gay friendly, gay life is still kept largely private.
It’s rare to find two men or two women kissing, or even holding hands, in public. This goes for Athens as well as the Saronic and Ionian Greek Islands.
But if you’re at one of the gay bars and clubs in Athens, things are definitely a different story! The LGBT community opens up here in these safe spaces, all of which I’ll mention in this guide.
What People Say About Athens
People tend to have strong opinions about Athens, one way or the other. Many people will immediately tell you that Athens is a dirty, unappealing city. Most likely, that’s because they simply haven’t gone to the right areas!
Some parts of Athens are gritty and yes, gross. Especially north of the city center, there are neighborhoods that are much less aesthetically pleasing. Other neighborhoods are stunningly beautiful. Below, I’ll let you know exactly where they are.
Gay Athens: Hotels & Where to Stay
Athens gay travelers tend to choose hotels in a couple different areas.
First are Plaka and Monastiraki, which are a short walk from most major attractions. Most tourists stay in this area because it’s the cute part of Athens and it’s convenient.
Others prefer to stay in the called Gazi, the Athens gay neighborhood. It’s located just to the west of the city center. Gazi is most popular for enjoying dinner and partying in evening.
If you want to be within walking distance to gay bars, clubs and saunas, then I recommend staying in Gazi.
Gay Hotels in Athens
While there are certainly gay friendly hotels in Athens, you’re not going to find many outwardly gay hotels like in other European cities.
I’ve seen many other websites advertise “Athens gay hotels” to their readers, which in reality are hotels that have just marked themselves as LGBT-friendly.
The only exception is Alexander Apartments. This is the only true Athens gay hotel. Alexander Apartments is a 3-room hotel connected to the Alexander Men’s Club gay sauna.
Below, I’ll share some fantastic hotels for LGBT travelers.
Athens Hotels I Recommend
NEW Hotel was by far the best Athens hotel I’ve stayed in. The design is fun and modern, rooms include well-kept terraces, and their air conditioning is strong.
Located on the eastern side of the Plaka neighborhood, it’s easy to walk to the adorable nearby areas for shopping, restaurants and exploring the most beautiful old neighborhoods.
Fresh Hotel is a more affordable option that still comes with a boutique hotel feel. I stayed here for a night and while it’s not the fanciest place in the world, they have an epic rooftop bar.
O&B Athens Boutique Hotel was the last Athens hotel I stayed with. They’re a budget hotel that offers a lot for the price. The rooms are clean, bathrooms are large, and the service was incredibly friendly.
O&B Hotel’s location in the Psyri neighborhood is unbeatable. It’s only a short drive from the Gazi gay neighborhood, too.
Athens Gay Travel Experiences
Below are some more recommendations that you may not have known about!
I definitely recommend a trip to the Panathenaic Stadium, the site of the first modern Olympic games. It’s also the only stadium in the world that is built entirely of Marble.
One of my favorite parts of my Athens adventure was wandering the beautiful mountainside pathways. You can find these gorgeous, restaurant lined paths along the southwestern end of the Plaka neighborhood.
The Plaka Stairs are the most notable spot in this area. You’ll find restaurants perched all along the street, which are most popular for epic sunset views. In my opinion, this area is way better than the rest of Plaka!
Most tourists don’t know about Anafiotika—you absolutely cannot miss this spot! Here you’ll get some of the best views of Athens while navigating some beautiful winding staircases.
I actually found out about Anafiotika from a local Greek guy that offered to take a photo of my on the street in Plaka. Continue walking up the hillside until you reach a lookout point that sits just below the walled mountainside of the Acropolis viewing point.
The Acropolis Museum
The ultra-modern Acropolis Museum is actually pretty well-known, but I still want to mention how amazing it is! About a 15-minute walk from the base of the Acropolis, you can see some of Greece’s most prized artifacts.
If you’re visiting during summer, the Acropolis museum is an amazingly air conditioned, comfortable place to spend a hot afternoon. Their café space has indoor and outdoor seating with a clear view of the Acropolis.
Don’t miss the ancient ruin excavation area underneath the museum! There’s a separate entrance around the side of the building.
Athens Gay Sailing Trips
Greece’s Saronic Islands are easy to get to from Athens. Consider joining a group of Athens gay travelers for an epic gay sailing trip with Pride Sailing Holidays.
I did one of these 7-day trips in August 2021 and had the time of my life. I highly recommend!
If you’re only looking for a sailing day trip, consider one of these 5-hour catamaran tours of Athens Riviera.
Restaurants in Athens
Brunch at the fabulously pink-themed ELLYZ Athens is a neighborhood favorite. Fashionable tourists and local Greeks are both always here.
ELLYZ is an all-day brunch restaurant and cocktail bar through the evening. The restaurant and their food are also incredibly instagrammable!
Don’t miss a sunset dinner at one of the picturesque restaurants along the mountainside steps of Plaka. Elaia is a gorgeous rooftop restaurant with beautiful views. You can also browse a bunch of other restaurants along the cobblestone stairways nearby.
Dialogos (Διάλογος) was a delicious seafood restaurant in the convenient and popular area of Monastiraki. The service was fast and ordering is simple.
Dialogos (as well as the many other nearby restaurants) are quite well-known to tourists, so it’s an easy option for first-timers to Athens that want good food!
I really loved The Place, located in Gazi. The Place is perfect for dinner/drinks before heading to gay bars. I loved their natural, almost tropical-feeling back area.
An Athens gay local showed me The Place, which is one of his favorites. You’ll likely run into other Athens gay travelers or locals here since it’s so close to the gay bars.
Athens Gay Bars
Gay nightlife in Athens is fantastic. LGBT travelers love the energetic bars and clubs, which are located in the Gazi gay area.
In Gazi, you’ll hear clubs blaring music all around and people clamoring in the streets. The center of all nightlife is around the Kerameikos Metro stop.
Here are the best Athens gay bars worth a visit.
Shamone is the absolutely the best gay bar in Athens. If you’re short on time and trying to choose between gay venues, you should pick Shamone. They’re located in the Gazi gay neighborhood.
They have both an indoor and outdoor spaces. Indoors there’s a bunch of dancing, with much more of a club feel. I loved the music, which was a mix of the most popular international hits mixed by a live DJ.
Even during the pandemic, Shamone was pretty packed. The club requires proof of full vaccination, so make sure to have your ID and picture of documentation.
Sodade2 is a smaller gay bar in Athens, also in the Gazi gay area. I’d say it’s the next best choice of gay nightlife spots after Shamone.
They play some pretty loud music and have some space for dancing (although during the pandemic they may switch to tables). I enjoyed the colorful, dim lighting.
The tricky thing about Sodade2 is that it’s difficult to tell how busy the club is from the street. The entrance is a small vestibule with a double door so you can’t easily see inside. It’s best to ask around outside or on your preferred gay dating app.
S-Cape is third among the trio of top Athens gay bars. It’s especially popular among younger guys. It’s a two-level club with a fun pedestal cage in the middle of the dance floor.
Drinks are cheap and the music tends to be more on the European side. Expect to pay a small cover at the door, which should include a free drink.
More Athens Gay Bars
Del Sol Café is primarily a gay friendly café, but in the evening, it definitely has a relaxed gay bar vibe. It’s the perfect place to sit down for cocktails before heading to the other bars.
Through the evening, you’ll hear all the gay-favorite songs playing at Del Sol Café. Lots of guys sit here to people watch since the outdoor patio is directly in front of the Kerameikos Metro stop area.
The go-to Lesbian bar in Athens is called Noiz Club. I didn’t visit, but I’d love to know what you think of it. The interior looks beautiful!
Gay Cruising in Athens
There are two popular Athens gay saunas, both located in the Gazi gay area.
Alexander Sauna is most popular gay cruising spot in Athens. This place is huge, including a full bar, garden lounge, wet and dry saunas, private cabins and a labyrinth area.
They offer all the essentials including towels, lockers, flip flops and showers. Busiest hours are typically from 10 PM to 1 AM, so don’t be too late!
Attraxx is another gay cruising venue. If you’re just looking for a cruising experience instead of a sauna, then check this spot out. Attraxx has a bunch of individual dark rooms and movie areas.
After they open at 12 PM, you can find guys here all afternoon! Attraxx gets steadily busier as the day progresses, and you can even expect a bit of a crowd after 4 PM.
Planning Made Easier with wolfyy.
Add Your Email.
Greet everyone with a “yasas” in the morning, which is the informal way to say hello! You’ll hear this everywhere. Here are a few other useful Greek phrases to use as well.
Need to do some laundry while in Athens? Head to Easywash, a self-service laundromat that’s super cheap.
Don’t use EuroNet ATM machines for cash. They charge absurd fees by offering poor exchange rates and adding a commission markup. Instead, go to an iBank ATM or into the Bank of Greece.
Taxis from Athens Airport
Grabbing an Athens airport taxi is very easy. The rate to go into central Athens is fixed, so you won’t need to stress about overpaying.
Note that the nighttime rate (midnight to 5AM) is decently higher. Make sure to bring Euros as well. Taxis in Athens do not accept credit cards.
Taxis show up constantly at Athens airport too, so even if there’s a long line, it will move quickly. The drive into the city center isn’t quick though. Without traffic it takes roughly 40 minutes.
Uber in Athens
Once you’re in central Athens, you can use your Uber app to request local taxis, a service called Uber Taxi.
To clarify what you made read elsewhere online, Uber is not banned in Athens; instead, Uber drivers must be official taxis.