ManAboutWorld correspondent Simon Vasiliadis tell us this is a great time to visit his hometown Athens, Greece. Here’s his report.
Here is my look at the self-styled Greek city of sex appeal and what you can expect from your time here. If you enjoy Prides, let Athens take you in for 2017. Held the second Saturday of June in Klafthmonos Square Athens Pride is just a couple of month away. It’s a fun time to see the more typically restrained and closeted Greeks flying their rainbow freak flags.
The classics still stand tall in Athens, but there are modern touches that will make you see the city in a whole new light. There are two places in the city I enjoy the sunset most. The Acropolis site & Acropolis Museum, and the Galaxy Bar & Restaurant at the Hilton Athens.
The best way to see the Acropolis is in tandem with the stunning new Acropolis Museum. The museum is beautifully designed and curated. The footprint of the interior reproduction of the Parthenon mirrors the actual Parthenon which you can see through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
Having stood at the foot of this breath-taking wonder of the world it’s not difficult to see why one could never have enough selfies with the great cradle of Democracy in the background.
Alternatively, the sunset from Galaxy Bar & Restaurant is gobsmacking. You get a 180o degree view of the city skyline, including the Acropolis. This legendary bar lies on the iconic 13th floor of Hilton Athens and serves signature cocktails – Giannis’ favourite is the Galaxy Negroni.
Make it to one of the two for the sunset and you will fall so hard for Athens that I promise you won’t want to leave .
WHERE WE HANG OUT
Before you start pounding the streets of modern Athens, sample the city as it used to be. Stroll through Anafiotika toward Agia Eirini Square where you can enjoy your late-morning iced coffee. Rooster is a popular gay venue on the square with a groove there that you can’t get enough of. Sit out, sip a coffee, enjoy a cocktail, chat with friends, see, be seen and enjoy all of those handsome locals walking by.
Lunch is never just another meal at Cookoovaya. Delicious food prepared with expertise, passion and experience will tease your senses. Cookoovaya doesn’t come with instructions: indulge any way you please from an extensive menu that even the fussiest eater or strictest gym bunny will find enjoyable.
WHERE WE STAY
If you’re looking for a great, openly gay friendly City Centre hotel away from the noise, which has a unique architectural and artistic style, you’ll want the Hilton Athens. Hilton Athens has grown into a city landmark preferred by tourists who like a little bit of a 5-star hotel luxury complete with pool, spa and fitness center, not to mention bragging rights from yet more photos with the Acropolis and classic skyline in the background as you enjoy sunset from your private balcony.
WHERE WE EAT DINNER
Gay Athenians and gay tourists to the city face an age old dilemma at dinner time: head to Gazi, the Athens gay area, or park in Agia Eirinis Sq for a little longer – decisions decisions! Here are a couple of favourites in each area…
High end doesn’t mean high prices in Greece. Prosopa, a modern Mediterranean-cuisine restaurant in the Gazi area, will treat you like a celebrity and, most probably, you’ll come across one too. For those not wedded to Vodka-Soda their wine collection is one of the best in the city with something to tickle every taste pallet.
If you prefer to stay in the city center, the Mama Roux is definitely your best option situated in Agias Eirinis Square. The menu covers all manner of cuisines from Mediterranean to Mexican and noodles, all with a great unique twist. It’s not very difficult to find – just look up for the upside-down rainbow umbrellas. You won’t be disappointed!
WHERE WE PARTY
We all know you’re in town to party. The Gazi area is going to be your Mecca for this trip. The options are plentiful, but here are some handpicked favourites for you.
Start at the bustling Shamone, With awesome DJs, go-go boys, live performances and an electric atmosphere, this is definitely our favourite gay club in Athens. And it’s just a five minute walk from Prosopa restaurant.
But the night is still young. Head to Sodade 2 around 2am to continue your night ‘til dawn. This club is a mainstay of gay Athens, having opened in 1999. It offers two areas and is a really fun on Friday and Saturday nights. Monday is always Greek music night at Sodade if you want to immerse yourself in traditional culture (and meet more locals).
We also recommend S-Cape and Apartment, all in Gazi area and within a walkable distance if you’d like to add a little variety to your trip.
Athens isn’t just offering you a quickie, its hosting for the long haul, think more along the lines of a 3 day Greek-Fix and chill session, with a heady mix of street-life, bars, clubs, festivals, mouth-watering food and – of course – culture. Athens-Real.com is your window into Europe’s new hot gay capital where you’ll find locals’ tips & favourites, party calendar, restaurants, art, nightlife and even a selection of best walks in town. #athensreal
Simon flew with Aegean Airlines. With thanks to HomoEvolution and Marketing Greece.