This was a real find just around the corner from the James Joyce pub. The small entrance on Agiou Filippou Street leads onto a rooftop terrace with a great view of the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora and the Temple of Hephestus.
Beers available from €2 and also serves food.
Decent Irish pub in central Athens. As you'd expect it was not particularly cheap but shows all the UK sporting events and has live music as well.
The other three Irish pubs are all located a wee bit out from the centre.
Should you ever travel in Greece, there is one thing you definitely must do: taste the “frappé”. It is a mixture of instant water coffee and sugar shaken and served in long glasses accompanied by a straw. It is iced and a thick foam layer covers its top. Some people add milk in it and some others add a scoop of ice cream, dependent on one’s preferences. I have also tasted it with Bailey's and I got excited!
To cut a long story short, Frappé is a cultural issue in that country. Vivian Constantinopoulos and Daniel Young have written a very interesting book entitled “Frappé nation” where they analyze every aspect of the Frappé as a cultural item. They call it “The Modern Greek Elixir” and I totally agree with them. I have experienced the Frappé ritual several times as I visit Greece every summer. I have a lot of friends there who are fond of the Frappé and so am I. It is a long drink that helps Greeks to wake up in the morning, provides them with energy, thanks to caffeine, during the day at work, and relaxes them in the evening, at a café with fellows. Many of them, who travel abroad for a long stay, carry in their luggage the Frappé equipment because they can’t stand missing it.
According to the writers of the “Frappé nation”, Frappé should be considered as the Greek coffee instead of the small hot coffee that has come from eastern countries and is also known as Turkish. In my opinion, it is a reasonable point of view and Greeks should take it seriously into account. Moreover, I have read a thought expressed by a Greek film actor in that book that attracted my attention. He says that ancient Greeks would have been perfect Frappé drinkers had it arrived in their country earlier than it finally did. They had plenty of free time and lots of issues to discuss, so Frappé was ideal for their daily life as it reinforces brain activation and is a perfect drink within a brain storming company!
Frappé is a Greek trademark that reflects the easy going way of living of this country, a way that dates back Greek ancestry, as Constantinopoulos and Young mention appositely, where “the thirst for conversation began” among the “pioneers of the culture of dialogue”.
I've not been to its namesake on top of the Hilton but I imagine they couldn't be more different. Located in a shopping arcade (!) the Galaxy is an old-school bar that doesn't feel like it's changed since the 60s. Pictures of Kerouac, Balzac, Jack London and Beethoven behind the bar. Dapper barman serving seasoned drinkers.
Stadiou 10 (in shopping arcade)
210 322 7733
Nearest metro: Syntagma
Listen to the traditional sounds of the underground music scene in Greece (a strangely likable blend of blues and bouzouki) at this little club away from the tourist crowds of Plaka. Rembetiki Stoa Athanaton is a popular place with a fun crowd just north of the Monastiraki flea market. As with much of Athens, things didn’t start warming up until midnight.
The most beautiful old, low-lit bar, which actually makes its own ouzo and liqueurs on the premises. Even if you don't want to have a drink, pop your head in the door and have a look - stunning. And with an outdoor rooftop cinema, The Cine Paris, just over the (pedestrianised) street, perfect for having a few drinks and waiting for the sun to go down before going to see a film.
41 Kydatheneon St, The Plaka, Athens
Tel: 210 323 2110
This is a pedestrian street lined with lots of bars, along from the Old Mosque in Monasteraki. On a spring bank holiday afternoon all the cafes were packed with Greeks drinking and chatting away - the volume of people talking without any background music is amazing in itself. There were also loads of people selling cheap handbags and sunglasses so you can get the kit to pose like the locals.
Arguably the ultimate place for people watching, both in the winter and summer. This is where everybody walks past before settling in one of the numerous bars/clubs in Psiri, or stops for a first drink (traditionally cheap to cater for the students), and forgets what the plan is for the rest of the evening. A major mid-week attraction for Athenians that never go to sleep. Amongst the old favourites, are Discokafeneio and Rebeka.
Miaouli Street, Psiri.
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