What are you doing on your first night in Athens? How about an Athenian Nightlife tour hosted by a local guide? I think it’s the perfect thing to do to get acquainted with a city that many find intimidating at first.
The Twilight Tour, set up by Athens Urban Adventures, is a pretty sweet deal! While you are learning about Athens nightlife and the culture surrounding it, you will actually be visiting some of the hippest bars in Athens, trying local spirits and snacking on local delicacies.
This is not a pub crawl. There are alcoholic beverages involved, but it’s really so much more than a pub crawl. It’s a cultural tour with modern day insight on what is really going on in Athens.
The tour lasts 3.5 hours and it is jammed packed of information and sights. I’m going to give you a brief outline of my experience, but not going to spoil all of the surprises for you.
Ready, set, go!
We met up with out tour guide, Thodoris, near the fountain in Syntagma square. When the clock hit 8:30pm, we were off! There were 2 girls along with us who had just arrived in Athens that afternoon and it was their first time in the city. As a tourism nerd, I was excited to see their reactions and impressions of the city.
There is something about twilight in a big city that I just love! The natural lighting, the sigh of relief that the work day is over, the anticipation of what the evening will bring… I just really enjoy being out and about at this time of day.
We walked through areas I had never been before and listened to our guide talk about Athenian city life and how things have changed over the years. Of course the financial crisis was brought up a few times, but Thodoris was optimistic about the future and kept a light tone while discussing the topic.
Our first stop of the evening was at Bartesera on Kolokotroni and the tour members were each given a shot of vermouth. I’m not going to go off on a tangent, but I never knew you could just drink vermouth straight!
With each different area we went through, Thodoris had an interesting piece of information to share with us. One would think that this tour was very well thought-out and planned precisely. In reality, he plans it as he goes based on the group. No two tours are the same!
Time to Eat
We grabbed at a table at Manas Kouzina Kouzina on trendy Aiolou St and Thodoris arranged for some mezedes (starters) for us to sample while we sipped on Raki.
Our next stop was Lukumades for loukoumades! These little fried dough nuggets are a MUST when in in Greece. I suggest the traditional topping of honey sprinkled with cinnamon. As many places now offer more topping options, our group decided on a split of honey and chocolate just to sample the traditional and the modern twist on the Greek donuts.
Although we already had our dessert, our next stop was off Monastiraki square for a pita gyro on the famous Mitropoleos St. This street is known for kebabs, souvlaki and gyro.
After Dinner Drinks
We walked through the flea market (which was closed by this time of night) and turned down the seemingly deserted street and wandered into TAF. We checked out the local art on display and each had a Mastika.
The tour continued through Psirri and we ended our walk on the rooftop of AthenStyle where we enjoyed a glass of Greek wine.
Our Fabulous Guide
I was introduced to this tour through Travel Bloggers Greece as a chance to see another side of Athens. After the tour, I asked Thodoris a couple of questions about his involvement in the tours and how he decides what to do with each group.
I always loved to narrate stories, especially on topics I like very much like history and mythology. This combined with the curiosity I’ve always had about other cultures and habits, has shown me the way to involve in tours. Every tour is a different story. Is the different composition of the people making each tour special! I never feel bored in this job.
Athens is a strange city. While not the typically beautiful European capital is interesting. On the other while it has a huge variety in everything and can satisfy even the most demanding visitor it is often difficult to discover its secrets. What I am trying to do is to make a route that includes points of the city that the visitor could not find and at the same time places different from one another as to satisfy all the tastes of our guests.
My advice to visitors of Athens is to dare stay longer than they usually advise them to stay in Athens and explore the modern city they usually know little about it. It may seem a little difficult but worth it.
Who is this tour for?
Although I am a local, I really enjoyed this tour and my Greek husband did as well! When you live in a city, you have your routine and sometimes miss major components of what is going on in the city. Not to mention, because we live in Glyfada which has its own nightlife, the center of Athens is a totally different world for us.
Obviously this is a great tour for someone just arriving in Athens and looking to get a real taste of local life. We covered all of the ‘hot spots’ in the central area of Syntagma/Monastiraki/Psirri.
Most visitors spend a short time in Athens before taking off to an island. Why not see it all in one night!?!
If you are staying for a few nights, it is a great way to scope out where you want to go for your remaining time in the city.
Whether you are here to study, for temporary work or to stay for good, this tour is a great way to sample all that Athens has to offer. A great chance to really get the lay of the land with a local expert. I would have loved to have done something like this when I first came to Athens years ago.
The Twilight Tour is perfect for anyone who is interested in nightlife and seeing how the Athenians unwind.
Athens Urban Adventures
698 067 9166