LGBTQ+ Guide to Athens
Clubs & Bars
Shamone is a gay and lesbian bar that turns into a nightclub after midnight, and hosts regular drag shows, live performances and themed parties during the weekends. The club is beautifully decorated, has a lively atmosphere, and is a great place to dance all night long. There is a patio outside if you seek a quiet place to chat and flirt.
This small but famous gay club is located in the Gazi district, where several other LGBTQ-friendly spots are located. The entrance fee is 8 euros and this includes a free drink. It attracts a younger crowd and gets pretty busy after 1-2am, especially during the weekend. Sodade2 has two dance floors, of which the second is only open during the weekends. Staff is very friendly and the DJ’s play queer hits, house music and Greek songs.
BeQueer is an alternative queer club which unites the LGBTQ+ community and is open every Friday and Saturday with special themed DJ events and drag shows. The atmosphere is friendly and open, and the venue attracts a mixed crowd of all ages, genders and sexualities. Fridays are filled with fabulous drag shows, and Saturdays feature great Athenian DJs and parties.
In this club, you will find several floors and bars, and in the middle of the club a cage where you can dance in. The club is popular among both gays and lesbians and plays loud techno and house music. The club can get crowded, especially during Friday and Saturday nights.
Koukles is a more intimate place, where you can watch enjoyable drag and cabaret shows. All the acts are down to the detail, with a great selection of costumes and wigs. Some of the most popular local drag queens perform here, like Eva Koumarianou and Mania Lempesi. Entrance is 10 euro’s, and this includes a drink. The club is quite small, but it can be fully packed with people during the weekends.
Big Bar Athens
The Big Bar in Athens is a popular spot amongst gay bear men and their admirers. The bar also has the possibility to play karaoke and perform in drag. In addition, there is an art space with temporary exhibitions. People smoke inside the bar, so if you do not like that, this is probably not the right place for you.
Stylish sauna where you can relax on 4 floors (lift available). There is a bar, garden, private cabins with TV, lockers, 2 saunas, a steam room, jacuzzi, relax cabins, steam labyrinth and a big dark/playroom. There are also regular drag shows and parties. The sauna provides free slippers and protections. Usually doesn’t get busy until midnight or even later.
Trans men: Not welcome 🙁
Entrance: €15/€7 Concessions
Zappeio Park is the busiest cruising ground and located right in the center of Athens. Most people cruise at the south and south-west side of the Park, along with the lanes leading to the famous Zappeion. The park is visited by a wide range of people, ranging from rentboys and students to tourists and businessmen. It gets busier when the sun goes down and is most crowded in the weekends. There are some reports of theft, so if you plan to visit this place it would be wise to leave your valuables at home.
Location: 37.971371, 23.734555
Limanakia is a beautiful and rocky beach famous for its nudity and cruising. The beach is located between Vouliagmeni and Varkiza, where there are a series of coves. The cruising area is more than a mile long and ranges all the way from Canteen Lefteris in the West to the Island Night Club in the East. Cruising takes place 24/7, but late afternoon until 12 pm is most popular. Cruising occurs on the parking lots, but mainly on the rocks of the beach. There is a cave/underpass under the coast road where activity can be very hot. This cave is located quite hidden away, just before the first bus-stop close by the Island Club. If you are tired of cruising, Limanakia is also an amazing place to take a refreshing dive into the bright blue sea!
Alexander Apartments is located at the heart of the gay district, Gazi, and just above Alexander Sauna, a gay relaxing spot in Athens. Here you will find fully air-conditioned apartments with TV, private toilet, kitchen with refrigerator, and a living room. Guests are welcomed on the 4th floor in a safe and modern building (access with elevator). Guests of Alexander Appartments can enjoy full access to the sauna and all of its facilities are for free.
Since 2005, Athens Pride has been growing and growing, both at the level of participation and at the level of recognition and respect of the Greek society. It has become an integral institution of the city and its people. The purpose of Athens Pride is to maximize the visibility of LGBT people in Greece and to promote and develop their rights and claims. Athens Pride contributes to the awareness and support of LGBT young people. It provides a free public platform for the whole community, to promote their goals and actions. This platform also includes NGOs for human rights and civil society, political parties as well as integrated cultural groups.
Outview Film Festival
Outview is Athens’ International LGBTQ+ Film Festival. The festival takes place every April-May since 2007 and is dedicated to a broad selection of movies, short films, documentaries and artists. Their aim is to make both Film Festivals and the LGBTQ+ community more inclusive. Outview Film Festival, with 10 years of history, and despite all socioeconomic difficulties, continues to feature movies, artists, parties and workshops in a 10-day celebration of love, art and solidarity. The festival hosts film premieres, international guests, masterclasses and film awards.
Athens Queer Collective
Athens Queer Collective is a small collective of local Athenians who come together and work toward building a stronger, more cohesive, and inclusive Athens queer community. Until now, there hasn’t been an Athens organization that addresses intersectionality in the queer community and provides ongoing resources and support. The Trans Support Group hosts a monthly meet-up for trans or gender variant folks. The Athens Queer Collective’s QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) is intended for queer people of color to create a safe space to interact and find resources related to queer life within the Athens community. The Athens LGBTQ Youth Group is a social & educational group for middle-school and high-school aged youth who identify as LGBTQ+.
Athens Housing Collective
LGBTQ+ refugees in Greece face a double challenge. Though they may have escaped war or persecution in their home country, they often end up in refugee camps where they face homophobia from their fellow refugees. Many live in fear of coming out, for fear of violence or discrimination from those around them. Athens Housing Collective helps LGBT+ refugees in Greece leave the camps, houses them alongside others from their community, and provides them access to support, resources, and job training for up to three months. The project houses LGBTQ+ refugees and facilitates connections with other organizations and resources in Athens, to help its beneficiaries access to food, health care and psychosocial support.
Color Youth aims to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth. They envision a world where homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are eliminated. A society where there is no discrimination based on sexuality, gender and bodies. The organisation raises social awareness, applies institutional pressure, and creates a strong youth community functioning as a shelter for LGBTQ+ persons.