One of the upsides of Greece’s challenging economic landscape has been a boom in start-ups, incubators and shared workspaces. These co-working spaces are laying the foundations for a new, international generation of businesses, from tech start-ups to social entrepreneurship. They have built lively communities, where people share not only desks, but skills, contacts and ideas. Whether you’re looking for a place to catch up on emails for an afternoon or need a flexible base to work remotely, Athens has the right co-working space for you.
Set foot in Impact Hub’s tree-lined courtyard and you’ll immediately feel at home. This neoclassical townhouse provides flexible space for freelancers and small, ethically minded businesses. Plus there’s a buzzing events space that hosts talks, conferences and screenings.
It’s part of a network of over 100 Impact Hubs in more than 50 countries. Co-founders Sophie Lambrou and Dimitris Kokkinakis worked in Impact Hubs in Madrid and Vienna, respectively, to learn how best to adapt the concept for Athens. “Our initial goal was to create a community of people who shared the same mindset and values,” Lamprou explains. “We brought our friends from the local social entrepreneurship and non-profit sectors together with a group of foreigners looking for an open-minded, socially-responsible and collaborative network.”
Nomadic hospitality hub, Selina Theatrou, has upped the game for co-working spaces in Athens with a jazzy new aesthetic for digital nomads—in tandem with some of the city’s most upbeat hostel lodgings for you to bunker down in between shifts. At this groovy new hotel and work space behind the City Hall and Central Food Market on Platia Theatrou, you'll toil surrounded by vintage sound cabinets, cool wallpapered ceilings, plush red sofas (red boosts our attention to detail, apparently) and cheeky murals of Maria Callas and Aristotle Onassis.
Pay daily, weekly or monthly and choose between a hot desk, dedicated desk or larger private office spaces and meeting rooms for 6 and 8 workers. Wifi, tea, coffee, cookies and printer access are yours gratis, as are the wooden phone cubicles for when you need privacy. After you’ve clocked off, slip up to the 9th floor rooftop bar and unwind in a hammock while you soak up ace Acropolis views—or dig into the authentic flavours of nearby Evripidou Street and popular neighbourhood canteen Tis Theatrou to Steki, directly opposite the hotel.
Vios - Historic Centre
Don’t be surprised to find yourself regularly working back late at this sleek new multi-purpose workspace in the handy Panepistimio district. In fact, you may want to move in permanently. Channelling the Google ethos, ViOS is more than just a place to fire up your laptop: it’s the first such facility in Greece to meet the global WELL Building Standard that prioritises health and well-being on the job.
In practice, that means that your ViOS co-working space, flexi-plan hot desk or private office has the option of coming with wonderful add-on perks like gym or yoga workouts, nutritious snacks, massages and meditation. Recharge between Zoom sessions with a power nap in the Zen-like sleeping room; seek creative inspiration while soaking up Mount Lycabettus views out on the tranquil terrace; or refresh with a shower before heading out on the town. Light-flooded ViOS has the polished good looks of a modern hotel with lashings of Scandi-chic wood, industrial concrete, ergonomic furniture and feel-good flora. Did we mention there’s also unlimited fresh-brew coffee?
The Cube—Historic Centre
The Cube is where tech and entrepreneurship come together with the non-profit sector. With events like ‘Hack the Camp’ and its own makerspace, The Cube provides a base for pioneers with an innovative approach to tackling problems.
Co-founders Stavros Messinis and Maria Calafatis helped launch Athens’ very first co-working space, CoLab in 2009 before opening this huge, seven-floor HQ, which contains offices, meeting rooms, and an events space. Stavros and Maria are both actively involved in the projects born at The Cube and are responsible for curating a huge range of community-building events, from animal training workshops to meet-ups for developers.
Spaces is a global brand that offers premium co-working spaces everywhere from London to Amsterdam, Mexico City and Manila. Their central Athens outpost is housed in a swanky arcade on Ermou, Athens’ main shopping street. Spaces Athens offers Silicon Valley-style co-working for hi-tech businesses, international companies and freelancers, with Instagrammable hangout areas and work pods, a coffee bar and kitchen, and a roof terrace with impressive Acropolis views.
Spaces has a second, equally-well equipped site in Athens at Green Plaza, in the suburban business district of Maroussi.
Spaces Green Plaza
Stone Soup occupies the fifth floor of an office building near Omonia Square, and has taken over much of the floor above, too. The residents are a lively mix of freelancers passing through Athens and small companies that use the space as a more permanent base. As well as co-working space for digital businesses, tourism professionals, copywriters, artists and architects, Stone Soup provides IT consultancy and runs an eclectic events programme.
“When the space opened in 2014, we felt there was a real need for us to share the best practices we had picked up from abroad and do what we could to support this fragile ecosystem of freelancers and small businesses in Athens,” explains Stone Soup co-founder, Olga Paraskevopoulou. “I like connecting with creatives and tech people from across Europe, helping to exchange knowledge and resources, so it’s been inspiring to see more and more foreigners choosing to work in Athens.”
The inviting glow of Romantso’s retro neon signage has provided a guiding light for the Athens creative scene. By offering spells of free co-working space to freelancers and creative businesses, Romantso has helped countless ideas and projects to flourish. Getting a spot at Romantso involves an application process; founder Vassilis Haralambidis maintains a good balance of artists, freelancers and creative businesses. Residents are encouraged to collaborate with each other and across the continent, through the European Creative Hubs Network, which Vassilis helped to launch.
If you’re just passing through Athens, Romantso is a great spot to hang out with or without your laptop. It features a bar, gallery and performance space, with an ever-changing roster of live shows, exhibitions, and events.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre—Kallithea
Not technically a co-working space, but one of Athens best-kept—and best-equipped—secrets, is the free public study area in the Renzo Piano-designed Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre. If you just need a bright, modern and comfortable space with a fast internet connection to get work done, then look no further. The space is well-used by Greek freelancers and digital nomads in the know. And it’s absolutely free.
- 364 Syngrou Avenue, Kallithea, 176 74
- +30 216 809 1000
Digital Nomads Athens
The Digital Nomads Athens Facebook group is an essential source of information for everything from finding a place to live, to entrepreneurship grants and your nearest pub quiz. Founder Evi Missa has created a close-knit local community that gives all digital nomads passing through Athens the opportunity to meet, network and socialise—even to do yoga together in the National Gardens. And it’s all absolutely free.