Athens may not be the most beautiful of European capitals on the outside but don’t let your eyes fool you. Sure, it doesn’t have the elegance and architectural appeal of other cites but Athens makes up for it with amazing and historic sites and a vibrant scene found in its bars, clubs, restaurants, and cafes. Athens does actually have a well developed gay scene, but Greece is still a bit closed and not particularly accepting so you’ll need to know where to look.

As of February 2024, Greece became the first Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage and to give gay couples the right to adopt. Despite this momentous achievement a lot of Greeks still live partially in the closet, but Athens is the place where you’ll find the largest and most progressive gay scene year around. Gazi is one of the more popular neighborhoods and you’ll find plenty of gay and gay-friendly venues in this area. Over time, it has become slightly less gay-focused as it’s become gentrified but as a first-time visitor, it’s still the place to start.

You can download the Gay Athens guide for free. Just provide your email address and we’ll email you a PDF.

Photo by Stan Jourdan via Flickr / CC BY
Photo by Stan Jourdan via Flickr / CC BY

Table of Contents

1. Transportation & Airport Transfer
2. Gay Hotels in Athens
3. Sightseeing & Activities in Athens
4. Gay Tours in Athens
5. Athens Gay Beach
6. Restaurants and Cafes
7. Athens Gay Bars
8. Athens Gay Clubs and Parties
9. Athens Gay Saunas & Cruising Bars
10. Gay Events in Athens
11. Day Trips from Athens

Transportation & Airport Transfer

Athens has a well developed public transport system and you can get just about anywhere without a car. It’s still a relatively cheap city and even taxis are not expensive. You can reach the city center from the airport by taking the metro line 3 which costs 10€. Express buses also operate from the airport and drop you in several central locations. There are plenty of direct transfer as well that will take you directly to your hotel or accommodation. The ride will take you about 45 minutes to an hour. You can buy multi-day tickets which include your airport transfer which may be a good option since Athens is a bit spread out and not necessarily a compact, walking city.

Gay Hotels in Athens


King George Hotel – Near the Metro station. Offers lots of extra touches including free wi-fi, hair salon, dry cleaning/laundry, an elevator, pool umbrellas and concierge services.

New Hotel – Gay-friendly and nonsmoking. Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, steam bath, gym, massages, Concierge, luggage storage, bar, food, and more.


A for Athens – Well within walking distance (15 minutes or less) of Flex Sauna, Eagle Bar Cruise Bar, and other gay bars in Gazi. Don't miss the panoramic view of the Acropolis from the rooftop terrace.

Photo via A is for Athens
Photo via A is for Athens

McQueen – Kitchenettes and suites are available. Free breakfast and Internet with bar/lounge on-site. High marks for cleanliness and service.

The Margi – Luxurious yet charming with free breakfast/Internet/parking and a fitness center, pool, bar/restaurant on-site.

Photo via the Margi
Photo via the Margi


Alexander Apartments – located in Gazi, the popular Alexander sauna actually has 3 apartments for rent upstairs. The apartments are modern, clean and spacious and go for about 50€ per night. The apartments are fully air-conditioned with private bathroom, a kitchen and living room.

Savoy – a great value hotel that is close to the port, making it an ideal stopover for those taking a cruise. It has clean spacious rooms, friendly staff working a 24 hour front desk and a traditional looking bar-restaurant serving a breakfast buffet in the mornings.

Apartments - misterb&b

We’ve partnered with misterb&b to help curate the most LGBT+ friendly homestays. misterb&b is not a hotel or chain, but rather a booking platform for rooms, apartments and homes and it allows you to book from gay and gay-friendly hosts around the world. They have hosts in more than 200 countries and territories with more than 1 million total listings. Understanding the gay scene is much more easily done with the help of a local and home-sharing is one of the best ways to meet someone living in the city who knows how things work, where and when are the best nights to go out, and what places to eat at and which to avoid. misterb&b is our top choice if your priority is exploring the local gay scene.

Special Offer! Sign up with misterb&b and you will receive a free $10 credit to use on your first booking!

Sightseeing & Activities in Athens

Acropolis & Parthenon – one of the most visited monument in the world – definitely Greece's most famous. In terms of execution and conception, the Parthenon is the finest monument on the Acropolis. Consider taking a guided tour to get the full story. Book tour →

Acropolis Museum – Ancient Greek artifacts meets modern and cutting-edge design. Well worth the visit. Book tour →

Ancient Agora – an Agora was a gathering place in Ancient Athens, the center of democracy where some of the greatest minds ever known would go about their business. Now it's an amazing collection of ruins, temples and sculptures. Walking through it really gives you an insight into how life was in times long past. Book tour →

Temple of Olympian Zeus – you can see this from just about everywhere, but up close and personal is a must! The temple is the big draw but be sure to visit the gardens north of it. Book tour →

Plaka Neighborhood – Eat and shop… our favorites! Restaurants and shops on every corner with a busy, bustling atmosphere. Book tour →

Pandrossou Street Market – great prices on more food and more. This is a cool area of town with plenty of shops, stands and street performances.

Lycabettus Hill – the highest point in Athens is unsurprisingly the best view of both the city and the Acropolis. The 30 minute walk up the hill is challenging on a hot day, but a funicular offers an alternative. Either way, it is well worth the effort – especially for sunset. Book tour →

Temple of Olympian Zeus
Temple of Olympian Zeus

Gay Tours in Athens

Greece is an interesting destination for LGBT visitors given the queer history that existed during ancient times. Ancient Greek men are well-known for having a history of same-sex relationships including some of the most famous like that of Alexander the Great or even characters from Plato’s Greek Tragedies. You can explore the history on your own at the museums of Athens, but you’ll get a more intimate experience by taking a tour.

Midnight Rainbow Private Gay Tour – Athens is a place with a long history of sexual liberalism and offers a wide range of choices for its LGBT communities to meet, interact and party. Greece is also considered by many the birthplace of gay culture, as homosexual relationships were quite common in ancient Greece. Today, it follows the European standards and is considered a very safe place for gay communities, with a wide pool of gay bars, cafes and restaurants. Book tour →

Athens Gay Beach

Yes, Athens does have a gay beach. It may not be close to the center and it may not have soft sandy beaches, but it exists and it’s a place gay locals and visitors go to cool off in the warmest months of the summer. It’s about 35 minutes outside the city by car or alternatively, you can take the E22 bus there from Syntagma Square. This is both a gay and nude rocky beach (aren’t they always?) with clear waters and some secluded corners for those looking for that sort of adventure. This is a great place to sunbathe, relax and spend some time outside the city.

Restaurants and Cafes

Rooster – refreshing chicken dishes, fast, friendly service, and a cozy garden setting. After dinner, try the Fredo traditional drink with the banoffee pie.

Prosopa – very gay-friendly. Amazing pork, chicken filets, pasta and risottos all priced reasonably. Try these: tenderloin with fig and espresso; a salad with graviera (greek cheese) and pear; or risotto with the pumpkin.

Kuzina – High marks for cuisine and even higher marks for atmosphere. Some favorites: braised rib of beef, chicken with veal; zucchini balls stuffed with cheese; and grilled meatballs with sumac pitta bread spearmint yogurt sauce. If you're really hungry, try the rolls filled with sun-dried tomatoes, eggplant, and lamb as an appetizer.

Little Kook Athens -a whimsical little fairytale inspired café, famous for its garish decorations with themes like Alice in Wonderland – making it one of the most instagrammable locations in Athens. They serve delicious crepes and smoothies. Found on a small street near Monastiraki Metro station, it is a true hidden gem!

Kanella – an interesting mix of clientele shows up here. This modern taverna is moderately priced and a good place to people watch while you eat.

Lithos Restaurant – fast, outgoing service and exquisite house wine. High marks all the way around. Suggestions: the ‘small' kebab; Lithos wine; beef on the bone; slow roasted joint lamb.

The Brunch Factory – a great option for – you guessed it – brunch! The portions will fill you up and the quality doesn’t disappoint.

Kostas – a casual place in a lively area that's an amazing choice for souvlaki.

Aleria – an upscale restaurant experience serving contemporary Mediterranean cuisine. The space has three different dining areas including a beautiful patio that’s open in the summer. 

Myrovolos – lots of girl on girl  action in the happening bar at night, and during the day portrays itself (very convincingly) as a popular pizza restaurant/cafe that opens its doors at 11am.

Photo by Monika via Flickr / CC BY
Photo by Monika via Flickr / CC BY

Athens Gay Bars

It’s important to note that the gay scene in Athens is less public compared to gay hotspots like Mykonos. But equally so, the scene here is much more regular and local as opposed to seasonal and tourist driven like you’ll find in the islands.

Café del Sol – a late night gay bar and all day café. One of the most popular haunts for the local gays in the city.

Kouckles Club – If you love comedy and stage performance, you must stop here for nightly cabaret bar and drag shows.

Moe – Theme nights, DJ's, and drink specials in this cozy, after-nightclub/gay bar in Gazi's happy and gay village.

Beaver – a great lesbian spot in central Athens with good food and drinks.

Noiz – Another lesbian club with upbeat music and a warm décor. It's okay boys… you're welcome here as well. Just bring your own date!

Bequeer – open on weekends and offering up an awesome drag scene of Athens. The host new shows every weekend with a team of Athenian drag queens each Friday and Saturday night. Entrance is just 5 euro, which includes a beer.

Big Bar – The first – and best – bar in Athens for big and hairy types and their admirers. Cheap drinks and a friendly atmosphere make for a winning combination. Perfectly located near the gay district, it's a great place to start a night out in Athens.

Athens Gay Clubs and Parties


Sodade 2 – After 13 years, it is Athen's most famous gay nightclub. DJ's play several types of music for 2 dance floors.

S-cape – In a word: legendary. Admission 5 €, except on “open bar” nights (12 €). Go-go dancers, drag shows, DJ's, special events and theme nights. Step into one of their three cages for a unique experience. Can you S-cape?

Photo via The Apartment
Photo via The Apartment

TAF (The Art Foundation) – not specifically gay, it’s gay-friendly and has a relaxed scene offering art, drinks and a vibrant alternative and hipster crowd that is welcoming to anyone.

Shamone – a super stylish club with nice atmosphere, a outdoor chill space and themed nights every week.

Athens Gay Saunas & Cruising Bars

Alexander Sauna – this is Athens' most popular gay sauna located in the heart of Gazi. You can’t miss the Alexander – it’s one of the tallest buildings in the area with a huge rainbow flag on the side. It’s a clean facility with 4 floors of different spaces. Entrance is 15€ or 7€ if you’re under 30 years old.

Ira Baths – this is one of the oldest saunas in Athens, but it’s still fairly popular among locals. Located in the Omonoia area.

Flex Sauna – this sauna has a variety of facilities including a large steam room, three saunas, jacuzzis, solarium, TV room, dark room, relaxing area and roof garden. Towels and slippers are provided.

8 Downtown Athens – this is a sexy high-end cruising establishment in the center of Athens, which is open to anyone of any sexual persuasion and is especially popular with a LGBTQ+ crowd. They have a huge erotic cinema with 16 screenings playing porn movies – both gay and straight – and private cabins, glory holes, peeps shows and a BDSM dungeon with dark rooms.

Gay Events in Athens

Athens Gay Pride – celebrated now for 10 years and takes place in early June. It’s not the biggest or most progressive pride you’ll find in Europe, but it’s still a fun and interesting event and one worth planning a trip around if you have some flexibility. The parade is the highlight of the weekend which takes place Saturday evening. You’ll also find several morning activities on Saturday followed by a large outdoor show and party after the parade. The number in attendance is about 20,000 and even the mayor of Athens attended in 2014 for the first time, a big milestone for the local Athenian LGBTQ+ community. Dates: June 14 – 16, 2024.

Day Trips from Athens

Marathon – Here's the story behind the run: upon receiving the stunning news of a battle victory, “Phidippides” (an Athenian messenger) ran an astounding 26 miles to spread the happy news to Athens. This is his run. A marathon directory can be found here… very helpful. The original course and a much more compact info/registration site can be found here. Bus: 1 hr. 20 minutes for $3-$4. Book tour →

Temple of Poseidon (@ Cape Sounion) – there are a variety of tour types. The panoramic attributes are nothing short of mystical and magical. If you can plan your tour around a sunset… do it! Bus to Sounio 2 hrs at $11-$12. Book tour →

Vouliagmeni Lake – Swim with the fish (they tickle your… feet) and explore the caves and rocky ledges. Bus: 1 hour and 30 minutes for $22-$25; Train: 2 hour and 15 minutes for $25-$29. Book tour →

Delphi – you seldom see a real, honest to goodness, 5 out of 5-star rating, but here it is! Don't make the mistake of thinking, “oh, it's just another bunch of ruins”. Peaceful yet magnificent. Majestic but humble in its holy reverence. Tours of all types are available for every wallet. You will never forget your visit to Delphi! Bus: 2 hours and 45 min at $12. Book tour →

Photo by Ronny Siegel via Flickr / CC BY
Photo by Ronny Siegel via Flickr / CC BY

Frequently Asked Questions About Athens


Is Athens gay-friendly?

Athens is generally considered very gay-friendly, offering a welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ individuals. While some discrimination and conservative attitudes persist, the city boasts LGBTQ+ events, inclusive venues, and an overall tolerant atmosphere. Gazi is the gay area, but LGBTQ+ travelers – like everyone – should have some caution outside of the main tourist areas. 


When is the best time to visit Athens?

The best time to visit Athens is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) months when the weather is pleasant, and tourist crowds are fewer. Summers can get pretty hot and crowded, while winters are mild but rainy. Consider visiting during shoulder seasons for a more enjoyable experience.


When is Athens Pride Week, and what events can I expect during that time?

Athens Pride Week takes place in mid-June with vibrant festivities, cultural events, and advocacy activities. Its colorful parade is the highlight of the weekend which takes place Saturday evening followed by a big live event in Syntagma Square. Athens’ bars and clubs spring to life. Having legalised gay marriage in 2024, Athens Pride promises to be a landmark celebratrion. 


Are there any LGBTQ+ friendly accommodations in Athens?

Yes, Athens offers a variety of LGBTQ+ friendly accommodations including hotels, guesthouses, and Airbnb options. Many establishments are welcoming and affirming of LGBTQ+ guests, providing safe and inclusive spaces to stay. It's best to stay within the center or Gazi area and advisable to check reviews for recommendations tailored to individual preferences and needs.


What are some must-visit LGBTQ+ landmarks or neighborhoods in the city?

In Athens, the Gazi neighborhood is a hub for LGBTQ+ nightlife, with numerous bars and clubs. Exarchia is known for its alternative scene, including LGBTQ+ friendly cafes and venues. Additionally, the historic Plaka district offers charming streets and cafes where LGBTQ+ travelers can relax and explore the city's rich culture.

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