Greece competes with New York, which of the two cities has better terms in nightlife. On any summer night there are outdoor concerts from favorite rock stars to classical ballet. There are giant indoor/outdoor discos and night clubs where the most famous Greek singers perform every night to packed houses. In the winter Athens club scene comes alive with shows ranging from blues-rock-jazz to traditional rebetika, laika and of course punk-rap and whatever is happening in the west.

The clubs are located around the city with many of the bars and quieter places in Psirri. In the summer all the big clubs by the sea open up.

The small taverns and restaurants in Plaka are a nice mixture of Greek youth and adventurous foreigners. There are some clubs and restaurants on Mnisikleous Street where you see Rembetika and Laika stars during the winter like the Mostrou Live Club-Restaurant. Whatever you choose for your night out, you will definitely never forget it.

Need to Know :

  • Tiny Boyzouki Instruments: Baglama in Greek; a miniature bouzouki. It was played everywhere by the rebetes (the Greek version of the blues men) used to hang at koutoukia (taverns). It originated at a time when the rebetes were persecuted by the authorities and their music and musical instruments were forbidden. Baglama was made small so the rebetes could easily hide it in case the hash dens they frequented where raided by the police.
  • Rebetica: A fusion of Turkish and Greek music with themes similar to blues that came to life when the Ottoman Greeks were forced out of Turkey in the 1920s. Greeks enjoy dancing and singing about pain as much as about pleasure.
  • Skyladika: Literally meaning “doggish music”. It is the trashy commercial “devolution” of the rebetica, a melodramatic blend of pop-ish Arabic sounds, vulgar wildness mainly referring to a scandalous erotic life.
  • Zeibekiko: A Greek improvisational dramatic solo dance for men. Its name comes from Zeybeks people of Asia Minor. The dancer is surrounded by other people, who kneel and clap to him. It is a renowned dance for “mangas”, the macho archetype in the Greek poetry of masculinity.
  • Tsifteteli: A non-professional form of belly dance that Greeks took up from the Turks, with arm and belly movements. The name is related to the style of music one played: chifte-teli means “double strings” in Turkish.
©2006 Info Editions