Athens for Couples
Athens is a city that inspires romance. Romance, culture, shopping, fine dining, rest and relaxation can all be arranged to best suit you and your partner’s taste. A little bit of touring, a little or a lot of pampering, some fine wine tasting, perhaps a little pool luxury. Here are some fabulous ideas to maximize your couple-time in our romantic city.
- Out-of-this-World Rooftop Romance
- Year-Round: Its-so-Easy Romantic Strolls Along the Beach
- Editor's Pick on Hotpots to Pop the Question
- Lingerie to Tuxedoes, Sexy Shopping in Athens
Out-of-this world rooftop romance The architectural landscape of Athens – less skyscraper and hi-res building, and more neoclassical, lo-rise structures with balconies and verandas– translates into many homes and business establishments offering wonderfully-designed roof gardens with views onto the city. In fact, enjoying the day’s sunlight and spectacular blue sky and the night’s stars and moon – is one of the great things about living in Athens. Here are some ways to enjoy what we may take for granted: choices for moonlight-filled evenings under the stars and light of the Acropolis.
Dinner and drinks with a view of the Acropolis: Some of the cities’ hotel hotspots (listings are alphabetical, please call for opening times and dinner reservations)
Air Lounge at the Fresh Hotel Drinks, salads, pasta, finger food, pool side are offered in this urban designer hotel in the summer. (www.freshotel.gr; +30 210-524 8511).
Atrium Bar & Lounge at the Novus City Hotel (www.novushotel.gr; +30 211-105 3000) Recently refurbished this newcomer hotel in the up-and-coming urban district of Metaxourgeio, offers a hip pop-art décor design to enjoy a summer or winter cocktail.
Electra Roof Garden at the Electra Palace Hotel (www.electrahotels.gr +30 210-337 0096) At the edge of Plaka, the hotel’s restaurant has received high marks for its cuisine.
Galaxy restaurant and bar at the Hilton Hotel (www1.hilton.com; +30 210- 728 1000). For sexy evenings with beats to match, choose the popular Galaxy bar and restaurant. For finger-food service, and dinner, reserve in advance.
Grande Bretagne Roof Garden at the Hotel Grande Bretagne (www.grandebretagne.gr; +30 210-333 0000.) One of the chicest places to Lycabbettus Hill. For a little more luxury, add a dinner reservation, and enjoy its Mediterranean menu.
Le Grand Balcon at the St George Lycabettus Hotel -- (www.sglycabettus.gr +30 210-729 0711) Atop Lycabbetus Hill in the chic neighborhood of Kolonaki, is this winning rooftop bar and restaurant that hosts special D-J music events.
Olive Garden at the Titania Hotel (www.titania.gr; +30 210-383 8511). This well-known chain restaurant at the centre’s Titiania Hotel, takes on a different flair in Athens and not just because of its special olive tree garden, live piano music and gourmet cuisine.
Panorama Pool Bar at the Ledra Marriot Hotel (www.marriott.com +30 210-930 0000).– Strategically located between the center of Athens and the first coastal town of Paleo Faliro, the Marriott’s summer dining venue provides guests with views of the Saronic Gulf and Pireaus.
Premier bar at the Athenaeum InterContinental Hotel (www.ichotelsgroup.com +30 210-920 6000) The summer lounge bar/grill with views is a great place to stop and enjoy a meal after visiting the nearby Eugenides Planetarium.
Socrates bar at the Divani Palace Acropolis Hotel – (www.divani-palaceacropolis.com ;+30 210-928 0100). Live music and Greek and international cuisine are offered to visitors in the summer months.
Tudor Hall at King George II Palace Hotel (www.classicalhotels.com 210-322 2210) Located at Syntagma Square, the hotel’s 7th floor bar and restaurant offers fusion of Greek gourmet and nouvelle cuisine.
There are many, many venues that offer spectacular views onto the Acropolis. Too many to list here.
Some additional spots noted for their romance are:
The House of Mr Pil-Poul (www.pilpoul.gr +30 210-342 3665) is an elegant French restaurant in Thiseio.
Varoulko Restaurant (www.varoulko.gr; +30 210-522 8400) The fish and seafood dishes of this award-winning restaurant is what all the fuss is about. The view is a bonus treat!
Filistron (www.filistron.com +30 210-346 7554, 342 2897) Also in Thiseio with an emphasis on classic Greek appetizers and dishes is this winner. Roof top terrace has views to Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill.
Edodi in Koukaki (www.edodi.gr; +30 210 9213013), with under ten tables, is for the soft spoken and romantic with adventurous palates.
Year-Round: Its-so-Easy Romantic Strolls Along the Beach One of the most intimate things to do is take a walk along the beach. In Athens, this is easy for two main reasons: Firstly, because the beaches are close to the centre and easy to get to by tram and, secondly, because the access to the actual sea and sand is easy. No fuss beach access. Get on the tram. Get off the tram. And in less than five minutes, it’s as if you were reliving your first summer love (no matter what time of year). Start/or end your romantic stroll at Flisvos Marina (tram stop: Trocadero). There is no beach here per say (it’s a few stops further down) but the mega-yachts and dining venues here make it the ideal place to begin or end your romantic journey. The easy access beaches close by can be reached at the following tram stops:
And if the beach is not your thing: romantic strolls can also be had up or down Lycabettus Hill, at the base of the Acropolis, and in Plaka.
Top-10 Romantic Spots in Athens We asked a group of thirty-something Athenians to divulge their favorite romantic spot:
- Anywhere around the Acropolis at night
- Galaxy Bar at the Hilton Hotel
- Anywhere with an Acropolis view
- A stroll in Thisio
- Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon
- Sunset swimming at the beaches of Kavouri, the town just after Glyfada
- A drink at one of the many bars tucked into Plaka
- A suite at the Hotel Grande Bretagne
- Dinner at seaview restaurant Ithaki and Mister Pil Poul (Acropolis)
- The rock of St. Pavlos at the Acropolis —perfect for the first kiss
Lingerie to tuxedoes, Sexy Shopping in Athens Shopping is a great thing to do with your partner. Reserve some time together or solo to buy him or her something that will add to your romantic Athens experience. Some suggestions follow:
NIBBLE ON WINE & CHEESE Take one night off and dine at your hotel or bungalow. This will give you a chance to explore the wonderful Greek food and wine products. There are several specialty markets downtown. Some well-known liquor stores downtown include Cellier (www.cellier.gr) on Kriezotou Street and Les Connaisseurs (www.lesconnaisseurs.gr; +30 210-723 9195) on Haritos Street. For specialty cheeses and deli items head to La maison du Fromage at Kapsali Street. The supermarkets also offer a wonderful selection of wine and cheeses. The bread shops (known as fournoi or artopoiia) will provide fresh bread, breadsticks and perhaps some cookies. Mastic liqueur available at Mastihashop (www.mastihashop.com) and Masticspa (www.masticspa.com) should also be on your shopping list to try, on ice, and after your meal.
SEXY LINGERIE FOR HIM AND HER Add some spice to your holiday siesta. Surprise him or her with a new sexy piece of lingerie. Some of the shops to check out for him and her: Intimissimi, (+30 210-364 6996 on Voukourestiou in Kolonaki); Calzedonia, (www.calzedonia.gr +30 210-360 5775 on Solonos in Kolonaki,); Hondos Center, www.hondoscenter.gr ; Attica, the Department Store, (www.atticadps.gr +30 211-180 2600 on Panepistimiou Street; Yamamay (www.yamamay.com) ; Aerakis, (www.aerakis.gr on Tsakalof in Kolonaki); and Sine qua non (+30 210-729 2537, Patriarhou Ioakim in Kolonaki).
DIAMONDS ARE A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND No matter what your budget it is, Athens’ jewelry shops offer many options to bring a sweet smile to her face. Several international name brands are here, but why not make it a bit more – destination specific – and choose an item (it can be expensive or not) from a Greek jewelry designer such as Lalaounis. When it comes to jewelry shopping there are many options: Voukourestiou (more expensive); downtown on Pericleous Street and other streets near Ermou Street; in Kifissia; Neo Psychiko and at the malls. Designers include: Fine-Gems Papadopoulos; Vildiridis (www.orovildiridis.gr); Kessaris (www.kessaris.gr); Lalaounis (www.lalaounis.gr); Liana Vourakis; Oxette (www.oxette.gr); Folli Follie (www.follifollie.com); Bulgari; Cartier; and Patseas (www.patseas.gr).
BAGS, SHOES AND OTHER ITEMS FOR HER AND FOR HIM: Have a shoe fetish? Then don’t miss: Tsakiris Mallas, www.tsakirismallas.gr ; Vassilis Zoulias (www.vassiliszoulias.com) Spiliopoulos on Ermou Street Kalogirou, (www.lemonis.gr) Prada, Louis Vuitton, Tod’s, and Gucci, in Kolonaki.