Or, it’s winter in Athens, what shall we do after dark?

Yes, everyone who visits Athens wants to see the Acropolis and wander through Plaka, but the winter months are also the time when the sun sets early and the gatekeepers close up shop at the archeological sites rather early. So much the better, take some time to become Athenian during your visit. Join the locals enjoying a leisurely late lunch followed by a siesta in café in Syntagma with a view of the holiday festivities, or find a seat in Kolonaki square and watch the street scene. Nightfall comes early in the winter months, with early sunsets and shortened daylight hours, coupled with cool temperatures outside. But winter is also when the best of the local Athens music scene comes alive. Visitors to Greece in the summer months miss out on some of the best of what Athens has to offer and while dancing on the beach in Mykonos to the “Hottest Hits of Summer” blaring from speakers may appeal to the masses, those who really want to get the flavor of Greece need to plan on a night of live Greek music at a local taverna, club or bouzoukia. Throughout the city there are lots of options, but since I know the center the best and its where most visitors to the city will likely be staying, you won’t have to travel very far to find a live performance that will most likely remain one of your fondest memories of your visit to Athens.

So, with a fair warning that clubs in Athens still are all smoking, here is sampling of this week’s lineup in and around the center follows (performances in venues like theaters and concert halls should be smoke free):

December 27, 10:30 PM, 13€December 28, 10:30 PM, 13€ Lizeta KalimeriHere’s a clip of Lizeta. Pirinas (The Core)Hilton AreaDragoumi & Dioxarous 11 (off Michalakopoulou)
December 31,2007, drinks by the bottle: wine from 100€, whisky from 180€ – 195€ Legendary Marinella teams up with Antonis Remos in this “don your best outfit and nap all day to stay up all night” bouzoukia club. If you want one splurge night out on the town, this is it. If not, here are some middle of the night cell phone recordings of what you will be missing:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCToSyJ9WYkAnd, because she is a child of Greece’s “second” city (Thessaloniki), I thought I’d add this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUu2M44C8h8. Athenon ArenaPireaos 166, Gazi2103471111
December 31, 2007, 22:30, Free! NEW YEAR’S EVE…at Kotzia Square with Philippos Pliatsikas, his band and the City of Athens Symphonic OrchestraCome celebrate the New Year with music and fireworks! Classical melodies, electronic sounds and intense rock join forces to ring in the New Year in the first celebration of 2008 ! Kotzia Square (on Athenas Street, halfway between Ermou and Omonia Square – across from City Hall)Athens
December 31, 2007, 53€ Paul Oakenfold + 8 More Major Dance Acts + Dancers Show .BIGGEST & BEST NEW YEAR’S EVE EVENT IN GREECE EVER Ethniki Conference CenterSyggrou 103-105Tickets 210 6786000 / 801-11-60000
January 7, 2008January 14, 2008January 21, 2008January 28, 2008

Every Monday in January at 8:30 PM, 2013

Sotiria LeonardouRoots, Rock, Rebetiko
Not only a musical journey through time and borders, exploring Greek blues, jazz and even a bit of Dylan, this is also a chance to see the star of the 1983 film, Rembetiko, perform live. In case you don’t make it and haven’t seen the film, click here.
The Coronet TheaterPangratiFrinis 11 & Ymittou
Daily – call for hours, they sometimes vary or this local favorite may be closed for a private party. Anywhere from 25€ – 50€ pp depending on how much you eat and drink. PagratiotissaGreat neighborhood bouzoukia without all the glitz of the clubs on Pireaos or Iera Odos … and without the price. Zinodotou 2 (At Imittou)Pagrati210 7519475, 6939009069
Daily Alavastro CafeAlthough locally known as a place the locals go for jazz and world music, , the Alavastro is also a great laid back place to catch some really interesting homegrown Greek musicians. Alavastro Cafe78 DamareosPangrati

Athens

210 756 0102

Daily, dinner from at 8:00 PM -Sundays from noon, music all day, Food served all day. Penelope & Ministeres Five piece band – withMarris Stelios, Sdoukos Vasileios, Triantafillidis Kostas, Rigopoulou Athina, Zaharaki Vaso. Ring in the New Year with the locals without breaking your budget at this terrific neighborhood music mezedopoleio. Penelope & Ministeres PagratiYmittou 130,Tel: 2107568555 – 6 (reserve for New Year’s Eve)

Fax: 2107568557

     

Note: If you are looking for “clubs” in Athens, specifically clubs with DJs, dancing and a younger- to youngish crowd, I am definitely NOT the one to ask. Best to search this site: http://www.residentadvisor.net/clubs.aspx?ai=37.