One can easily say that Greece is a country that welcomes LGBTQIA+ without any problems. In fact, Greece already legalized homosexuality in 1951. Also, LGBT individuals can serve in the military in an open way.
Furthermore, the annual report of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA) indicates this welcome. It says that between the years 2014 and 2018, Greece was the top European country that showed improvements.
So, is Greece LGBT-friendly? Let’s get to know about it in this all-inclusive guide.
History of the LGBT Rights in Greece
After legalizing homosexuality in 1951, Greece allowed civil partnerships for same-sex couples in 2015. However, the right to marriage is not included in this law.
In 2017, there occurred another right, this time for transgender individuals. The country provided them the right to change their gender legally without the need for surgery. One year later, same-sex couples also obtained the right to be foster parents. Also, all types of discrimination against the LGBT community have been prohibited since 2016 in Greece. Also, gay Athens Greece holds Pride events since 2005. Speaking of which, let’s find out more about LGBT+ events.
LGBT+ Events and Activism in Athens
Events include Pride, a queer film festival, and similar other entertainment. In Athens, Pride occurs every June. Especially the Syntagma Square welcomes a huge crowd. There appear other events such as parties and concerts, too.
Another event is the queer film festival known as Outview. It takes place in spring. You can watch films including short films as well.
There is also the queer party called Purple Nights. The Dreamer, a DJ and creative, holds this party every year.
Finally, you can attend the Athens Queer Theatre Awards. It is an awards event to appreciate the diversity in Greek theatre.
You can find certain activist groups and organizations in Athens like Athens Queer Collective, Colour Youth, and the Greek Transgender Support Association. There’s also the LGBTQIA+ Refugees Welcome as a consequence of the refugee crisis.
LGBT Friendly Places in Athens
After a brief introduction to Greece LGBT friendly environment, let’s now get to know about LGBT-friendly areas in Athens.
Athens provides really many gay-friendly restaurants, bars, clubs, and even saunas. You’re assured to enjoy your time in Athens thanks to these areas.
Platia Agaias Irini
A close area to Monastiraki where you can find lots of restaurants around. You can see that it’s always a lively and vibrant area no matter if it’s day or night.
Gazi comes to mind when one asks about nightlife in Athens Greece. You can simply find everything here from saunas to underground bars. Gazi district is close to Acropolis and is very popular among the gay community as well. Restaurants and cafés here are also gay-friendly so that you can visit the area comfortably.
Near Gazi, there’s also Metaxourgio. This area, too, provides places like restaurants and cafes. However, clubbing here is not as popular as it’s in Gazi.
In Greece, islands like Mykonos and Skiathos are favorite places for the LGBT community as well.
Mykonos is popular with its colorful nightlife as well as an overall good atmosphere provided for its visitors. It also provides gay-friendly hotels as well. There’s also this festival called XLSIOR Mykonos International Summer Gay Festival. It’s held in August. DJs from around the world come to this festival, and you’re assured of enjoying its famous parties.
Skiathos is another island that travelers prefer to go to in Greece. Its nightlife is also lively enough. In addition, you can enjoy the International Gay Culture Festival here as well. Also, the beaches are quite awesome here.
Restaurants and Nightlife in Athens Greece
If you’re not satisfied with the answer to “is Greece gay friendly”, keep reading the following sections. You’ll find that various bars and clubs are at your service.
You’ll find that the most fun begins late at night because people here begin to have fun outside late.
Before having fun in the bars and clubs, you can eat something in some good restaurants. One of them is Rooster located on Agias Irinis square. Not to mention that it’s a gay-friendly café.
For dinner and some drinks, you can choose to go to Myrovolos. It’s a combination of a bar and a restaurant located in Metaxourgio.
You can also go to Beaver, which is a café and bar located in Gazi. It’s run by a women’s collective. You’re sure to enjoy a great time here.
Let’s now direct our attention more to the gay bar Athens. First of all, many of them are concentrated in the Gazi neighborhood. Still, you can find such bars in other areas as well, as you’ll also find out below.
Gay Bar Athens Greece in the Gazi
Let’s list some of the popular gay bar Athens Greece.
- BIG Bar: This is one of the most popular bars in Athens that offers affordable drinks.
- Garage Bar: Different kinds of music are played in this bar, and drinks are affordable here as well.
- Enodia Café Bar: This casual bar offers a terrace and great remixes of retro Greek. You can also find places to have conversations comfortably in this bar.
- Del Sol Café: This one provides a large area that includes tables on the street as well. The cocktails here are also quite tasty. Also, you can come here anytime, and enjoy your breakfast or lunch, or dinner at night.
- DAVID: This gay Athens bar turns quickly into a nightclub at night. It’s a casual one, and the parties last until six a.m. here at weekends.
- Dyari Cafe: This one is owned by two gay men, and it’s a mix of café and bar. It’ll make sure that you’ll enjoy its delicious coffee as well as great cocktails and a selection of beers.
- TRAP: Trap is a music bar that is open until the early morning. It not only serves gays but it welcomes hetero people as well.
Gay Clubs in Athens
If you’re looking for some wild nightlife clubs, check out this list below.
- Bizzar Club: This one is a gay dance club that offers shows every Saturday night. You can enjoy modern Greek music here. The money boys are the popular part of this club
- Sodade2: Sodade2 is one of the clubs that come to mind when one asks about a wild club in Athens. In summer, the place gets quite crowded, and it’s a popular place to go on Saturdays. It also provides two dance areas that offer pop and deep house music. The entry charge is €7.
- BEqueer: You can see great drag shows in this recently-established club in gay Athens. The parties here are also great.
- Noiz: Located in Gazi, Noiz provides a successful DJ with great international and Greek music. Parties usually last until the morning here.
- S-Cape: This one is another wild gay nightclub in the Gazi area. It also holds themed parties regularly.
- Shamone Club: Shamone is a more relaxed type of club. You can enjoy nice music and areas for conversation here. On most weekends, it organizes parties and drags shows as well.
- Moe Club: Here, you can enjoy live music and a crowd but a good and cozy atmosphere as well.
Athens Gay Hotels
In addition to all these entertainment options, the city provides comfortable Athens gay hotels as well. Note that these hotels are not aimed exclusively at gay travelers, but they welcome them. Also, some of them become famous as gay hotels because of their location in the gay areas in the city.
If you’re in Athens, you may consider staying in one of the hotels listed below, however, you have more options than these as well. Note that some of them are hostels and boutique hotels. So, you are sure to find a place suitable for your budget here. The list is as follows:
- New Hotel
- Electra Metropolis
- Grand Hyatt Athens
- Hotel Grande Bretagne
- The Zillers Boutique Hotel
- Hotel Fresh
- Coco-Mat Hotel Athens.
Gay Sauna in Athens
The city offers two gay saunas and a traditional hammam. One of these saunas is Alexander Sauna, and the other is Ira Bath.
Alexander Sauna is located in Gazi, where most of the gay places are located as well. There are private cabins offering TV and several public areas in this sauna. The place welcomes diversity in terms of sexual preferences and ethnicities. It’s made up of four floors. You can enjoy bars and cafes inside, as well as a garden. Other attractive parts include a steam room, a steam labyrinth playroom, and a jacuzzi. There’s an X-Action Area as well. You can watch drag and strip shows and join parties here. It also boasts of being the biggest darkroom in Athens. The sauna includes organizes naked parties, and it provides a shop with underwear brands and accessories.
Ira Baths is another sauna you can prefer to visit, which is located in the Omonoia area. However, it’s open only during the day. Usually, men over the age of 30 visit this place. It’s similar to gay hammams in Turkey. It provides private rooms and fun cruise areas as well.
As a bonus, you can consider visiting Flex Sauna located in the city center and open since 2004. As a very popular place, the sauna offers dark spaces, and a steam room accommodating 30 people. In addition, there are free cabins, a cinema, and a jacuzzi as well.