Colorful sun loungers, popsicles in cocktails (long live the papoto!), cutting-edge music, arty crowd. What’s not to like about the classic rooftop bar at Bios? With stunning views of the Acropolis (warning: we’re going to say that a lot in this article) and a fun, cozy atmosphere, this is the spot to cool down after work or after any production at the urban center. When in doubt, order the papoto.
Don’t mean to start any conspiracy theories, but we’re pretty sure someone puts something in the summer breeze that drives us insane for exotic flavors. Do we even have coconuts in Athens? Who cares, we want them. Enter Andaman: a rooftop bar and restaurant in Kato Petralona serving Thai cuisine and aromatic cocktails with Asian influences. With a backdrop of pink walls, lush plants and the never-ending sky, make sure you don’t look down — you’ll break the spell.
Don’t panic. When you get to the sixth floor and you don’t find the Hytra you’ve been expecting, remember it moves to the open-air seventh floor of the Onassis Cultural Center during the summer months. This Michelin-starred restaurant doesn’t only offer a traditionally inspired Greek menu of bistrot and gourmet choices, but it also has views of the Acropolis, Lycebettus Hill and the city skyline. The sights are a dreamy accompaniment to after-show drinks or a dinner that may send you to the moon (or as close as you can get from here). Reservations are recommended; call on 210 3316767.
Art Lounge, New Hotel
Nothing compares to 2,500 years of architectural history. So if you can’t beat the gravitas of the Parthenon and the sprawling city beneath, what do you do? On the seventh floor of the New Hotel, the Campana brothers have designed an elegant refuge from Syntagma. With panoramic views of Lycabettus Hill, Art Lounge is all white wrought-iron tables and wooden beams. With a collection of more than 2,000 art books, the view might have to work extra hard to get your attention.
Modern Rooftop Dining, AthensWas
A breath away from the Acropolis and the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Modern Rooftop Dining (on the top floor of AthensWas Hotel) juxtaposes its historical setting with a modern aesthetic from top to bottom. Subtle colors and simple crockery let a fascinating menu of French cuisine with Mediterranean flavors and Japanese fusion shine, delighting more adventurous palates.
The Zillers Roof Garden, The Zillers Hotel
Every summer has a story. And this year we predict that story will begin and end at The Zillers. The newest addition to rooftop restaurants in the center, The Zillers, atop the hotel of the same name, boasts breathtakingly close vistas of the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Acropolis. At this all-day bar and restaurant, chef Konstantina Faklari serves a creative menu of local flavors. With its 2,000-plant vertical gardens, an abundance of green marble and a killer wine list, The Zillers is effortlessly cool.
And then there’s Couleur Locale, the bona fide hit of summer 2015. Pretty as a postcard, with canteen vibes (and yes, Acropolis views), it will win you over with chillout sounds, a bubbling crowd, and affordable drinks, coffee and food. The laid-back atmosphere translates to the menu, too — it features mini burgers, wraps, pizzas, toasties and a selection of finger food ideal for sharing.
Thea Terrace Bar, Central Athens Hotel
For reasons that will become clear only when you’re sitting at a table at Thea Terrace Bar, you will feel an irresistible urge to sing The Cranberries' uber-'90s hit "Linger." (Do you have to, do you have to?) The answer is yes. This bar in the Central Athens Hotel offers an unobstructed view of the ancient monument in a relaxed and friendly space. Why would you want to leave when you have a gin and tonic in hand and the entire summer ahead of you?