Courtyard bars in Athens can be found where you least expect them! While in Athens you can grab a drink in a renovated stable or check out the local art scene in a prison turned cafe/bar.
Athens’ weather permits people to enjoy the fresh air year round. Places with outdoor seating areas will put up temporary walls (sometimes just plastic) during the dead of winter. Those walls come down at the first sign of spring and people fight for those tables when the sun is shining.
The beauty of courtyard bars is that you get the best of both worlds- the fresh air from mother nature and the comforts of being inside if she is not cooperating.
Whether they have retractable roofs, tarps or greenhouse-esque glass ceilings, these 5 courtyard bars are the hidden gems of the Athenian urban jungle.
*the green tree markers are the courtyard bars
Black Duck Garden
As it is the official bistro for the Museum of the City of Athens, the Black Duck is the classiest joint on my list. Take a stroll through history and enjoy a coffee in the garden of the first palace in Athens. Black Duck is open year round, with the outdoor courtyard open Spring-Fall.
A renovated shopping alleyway on Kolokotroni has become an industrial, hip hang-out. Food, coffee, juices, cocktails- you name it, they have it. Bartesera kind of reminds me of a house. It has an open homey feeling with different rooms and different decor. People are very chilled here, reading newspapers and just hanging out at all times of the day.
This venue was a pioneer in the ‘coolifying’ of central Athens. Six d.o.g.s is an all-around entertainment center that hosts live music, DJs and art exhibitions. When you are looking for this spot for the first time, don’t be deterred by the street it is on. It is graffiti-ed hard core and full of closed down shops. Once you go down the magical stairs at the entrance, a smile will come across your face as you discover a really dope oasis.
TAF (the art foundation)
A former jail turned urban courtyard/art gallery has been a go-to spot of mine for years. I love taking people here for the fist time and seeing their reactions when they step into the courtyard. Do as the locals and order hot drinks in the winter time and iced coffees or a cold beer in the summer.
Back in the day, this place was a horse stable. Now an uber trendy dinner and drinks place, The Sowl is the place to be seen in Thissio. They are open year-round and their retractable roof comes in pretty handy for those rain days in the winter months.
Athens is definitely a city lacking green space- so take advantage of these wonderful spaces created by her citizens, sit back and enjoy!
*feature image- Black Duck Garden