With a recorded history of more than 3,000 years, Athens is magical. Here, history teams up with skyline views. There’s the Acropolis (“high city” in Greek) and its most famous temple, the Parthenon, as well as Areopagus (“Ares rock”) where, so the legend goes, the god of war was tried in court for the murder of Poseidon’s son. Both offer an elevated view of the city you can’t get from ground level.
Yet some of the very best views of the city can be found at more modern establishments: rooftop bars. There are rooftop bars all around the city that are perfect perch points to take in the Athens skyline with a drink in hand. Starting with businesses around Monastiraki Square at the heart of Athens center, these are the seven rooftop bars to go to in Athens.
1. A for Athens
A for Athens is just off Monastiraki Square. The cocktail menu has a Greek mythology theme with cocktails like The Sirens (vermouth, mezcal, maraschino, and tsipouro) and The Underworld (rum, Champagne syrup, sherry, kirsch, and a smoked salmon foam). There’s also a 100-plus option wine list featuring Greek and international options (as well as more than 30 wines by the glass). Brunch and dinner are both served as well, both featuring classic Greek dishes using local ingredients.
It’s not just the food and drinks that draw people here, though. At A for Athens, you can enjoy the sunset as the day comes to a close and then turn your attention back to the Acropolis as the ancient hill and its famous temples are lit up.
Where: Miaouli 2, Athens 105 54, Greece
2. 360 Cocktail Bar
Located on a corner of Monastiraki Square, 360 Cocktail Bar is filled with olive trees and an abundance of other greenery. As the name suggests, the bar has a 360-degree view of Athens. Sip on a classic or original cocktail or pick from one of the carefully selected Greek wines. The food menu is organized by regions in Greece, with seafood, lamb, pasta, and other Mediterranean options. 360 is a great place to mingle and gather with a group of friends, and it’s a favorite among Athenians.
Where: Ifestou 2, Athens 105 55, Greece
3. City Zen
Just a few steps from Monastiraki Square, on Aiolou Street, is the quaint entrance to City Zen (it’s conveniently located just off Ermou Street, the main shopping street of central Athens). The modern design and music set the mood for casual drinks that contrast with a clear view of the Acropolis. The cocktail options range from strong tiki classics like the Zombie to all-day aperitivo sippers like a white chocolate and lemon pepper gin and tonic. It’s a great place to check out in the morning for the coffee and brunch menu, which has a long list of sweet and savory options, as well as cocktails.
Where: 11 Aiolou Street, Athens, Greece
Though Anglais is just a couple years old, it’s quickly become a favorite with locals and tourists. Lights drape over the seating area, and the sights to see from said seating area include the Acropolis, Hadrian’s library, and Monastiraki Square below. There are coffee drinks starting at 11:00 AM, and you can stay through the night for aperitivo and cocktails. Anglais is as cozy and comfortable as if you were visiting a friend’s place.
Where: Kirikiou 6, Athens 105 55, Greece
5. Safestay hostel
Just one road down from the famous Little Kook cafe, located a little bit back from the main square, is Safestay hostel. Enter and make your way up to the top floor where you’ll find an epic view and a bar buzzing with young travelers. With beer on draft, cocktails, and a happy hour every evening, this spot is sure to keep the energy up, perfect if you’re a young traveler looking to meet other like-minded people.
Where: 10 Agias Theklas Street, Athens, Greece
6. Couleur Locale
Couleur Locale has an incredible overall setting and vibe, but finding the entrance is like a little treasure hunt. To get there, you go down a quiet alley, head through what seems to be an antique store, and finally go into an elevator with a blue-glass wall. At the top floor, you’ll be greeted with a view of the Acropolis perched above. The bar has a mellow setting with low lighting and a chilled-out atmosphere. There are long tables with benches for a group of friends and secluded tables for a more romantic evening if you wish. The well-balanced signature cocktail list is complimented with good food and snack options.
Where: Normanou 3, Athens 105 55, Greece
7. Thissio View
Thissio View is a hotel with a lovely rooftop bar. It’s located a short walk from Monastiraki Square and flea market, and it takes a walk down Apostolou Pavlou, a market street with handmade jewelry and souvenirs. The restaurant-cafe-bar combo is especially striking at sunset as the colors in the sky shift and the city lights switch on, showing the Acropolis and Parthenon. The food menu skews Mediterranean while the cocktails tend toward classics with slight moderations (think spicy margaritas).
Where: Apostolou Pavlou 25, Athens 118 51, Greece