Greek traditional things to try while out & about:

1. Greece has a big coffee culture typically enjoyed in the morning and/or in the afternoon. The ‘ellinikos’ Greek coffee is a special kind of thick coffee, brewed to a moreish, velvety consistency to be enjoyed piping hot. If you want to try an iced coffee, ask for a frapé or freddo espresso instead. When ordering any kind of coffee in Greece, they will ask you about how sweet you want it to be, so ‘metrios’ is a medium sweetness, ‘glikos’ for sweet or ‘sketos’ for no sugar. Greek coffee doesn’t take any milk, but you can add it in the iced frapé or opt for a freddo cappuccino instead that is prepared with milk froth on the top.

2. For a quick snack on the go, the Greek koulouri is a type of circular bread with sesame seeds which you will find from street vendors around the most central part of the city. Most koulouri vendors procure their wares from a small bakery in Psyrri, which you can visit and buy directly, although it is open very early in the morning and very late at night.

3. For those with a sweet tooth, a must try are the ‘loukoumades’ which are fried balls of dough drizzled with honey and topped with cinnamon, although you can also find them with chocolate filling or dressing instead.

Quirky neighbourhoods of Athens for experiencing urban vibes:

4. Koukaki is the most central neighbourhood, given it is just below the pedestrian street of Dionysos Areopagitou that leads up to the Acropolis. It is a hip area with a laid back attitude and is packed with quaint cafes, eateries and all-day bars.

5. Gazi or Keramikos metro stop is a popular area, vibrant day and night. It is where diverse Technopolis festival area is situated, that frequently organises cool events pertaining to food and music. Overall Gazi has a plethora of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, while the main square is also a meeting point for younger groups hanging out.

6. Metaxourgeio is an up and coming area of Athens, an interesting mesh between derelict and restored neoclassical buildings and a pulsating arts and community scene. Bars, cafes and restaurants with plenty of outside seating to be enjoyed here.

Loukoumades
Street art in Gazi
ZEUS+DIONE featured in Aegean's Airlines magazine Blue. Shooting took place in Milos island.By Mara Desipris
Brettos in Plaka, the oldest distillery in Athens
Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Inspired Greek fashion designers:

7. Several Greek fashion designers that fully embody elegant simplicity, are proud ambassadors of the Greek ideal. Greece is brimming with mythical heritage, it is steeped in legend and laced with symbolism, and there a few fashion designers who create inspired and inspiring garments. The up and coming Zeus & Dione, characterised by structural lines, focusing on minimal geometry and architectural precision. Angelos Bratis is a consummate draper, creating refined dresses that are all about flow and movement, inspired by mythological fluid silhouettes and made for the modern muse. Celia Dragouni has been designing eye-catching garments for wonderers and dreamers, with a wide range of collections including accessories and bridal and home wear. Celia Kritharioti is probably the best known internationally of all the above mentions, creating bedazzling clothes lines full of pizzaz, even dressing her fair share of celebrities and presenting her collections at Paris Fashion Week.

Things to do in Athens by night for entertainment:

8. Bars & Clubs in Athens are countless. The bar & club scene is one of the most popular things to do in Athens by night, especially for the younger crowds. From dive bars, casual all-day bars and posh bars, there is so much choice. What is a most unique and quintessentially Greek experience, however, is the raki & rakomelo culture in Psyrri. Take your pick from an array of raki places tat offer outdoor seating too, and also serve some bites to accompany the raki drink. Clubs in Athens show a wide variety too. From top notch venues to more underground ones, each will play its own take on electronic house, techno, darkwave, r n b or Greek dance music, depending on the place. There are some LBGT clubs too mostly in Gazi area, as well as smaller venues which arrange parties on some nights of the week.

9. Live music in Greece is widely known as Bouzoukia. Certain locals swear by this type of music and for them, going to the Bouzoukia is one of the top things to do in Athens by night, usually on the weekends. Of course depending on your preferences you can find other types of live music around the city. Rock, Jazz, Swing are also popular but not as the Bouzoukia where a real show is put on. Famous Greek singers appear on stage singing their own hits as well as covers of famous songs, with choreography breaks and light shows between sets. Be prepared to see a lot of flower throwing, which has replaced the dated tradition of plate smashing in the top bouzoukia places. You can also try Rebetika scene, usually in small, cozy venues to enjoy food, drink and live music that has its roots in the Greece of the 1960s. Many are found in the area of Petralona.

10. Cultural evening recommendations for those who seek more refined things to do in Athens. Combining evening leisure with epic views is an easy task in Athens. Acropolis view dinners and cocktail nights under the auspices of the remarkable rock will definitely thrill you, since the nighttime ambiance of the illuminated monument is absolutely intoxicating. Try one of the various fine dining venues that boast Acropolis view rooftops for that Midas touch and revel in the feeling that that moment will be immortalised in your mind forever. One such restaurant is Orizontes located on Lycabettus hill next to the church of St. George, commanding outstanding views that cover the entire Athenian skyline. The recently constructed ultra-modern Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center located at the end of Syngrou Avenue is where the national opera has been relocated, hosting numerous ballet and dance performances among others. During the summer months, you can also enjoy various shows at the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus as part of the Epidaurus festival.

11. There are several notable Art Galleries in Athens which will surely impress art connoisseurs. The impressive collections feature works of art both of Greek and foreign artists. For those seeking an inspirational city-break will be amazed by the wealth of experiences Athens offers. The newly opened Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation in Athens, houses a remarkable collection of masterpieces of some of the world’s most renowned artists. Make sure to check out our list of 6 Art Galleries in Athens worth visiting.

12. The Athenian Riviera is one of the best coastal areas of Europe. The long stretch of coastline is dotted with numerous beaches, some of which have been awarded with the Blue Flag. Just a short drive from downtown Athens, visitors can discover a completely different side of Athens. During the summer months, locals and guests flock to this part of Athens to enjoy the vibrant nightlife, stunning beaches and relaxed vibe. The Athens Riviera is also home to several world class marinas which connect the capital with other parts of Greece.