Once upon a time, Greece was the center of all things homosexual. In in the ancient tails of Zeus it was said that he had taken a boy, Ganymede, as a lover. In ancient Grecian times it was not uncommon for wealthy and affluent unmarried men to take male lovers. Unfortunately, the past is different from the present. The mindset has shifted and Greece has become far more conservative in regards to the LGBT population mostly due to the influence of the Greek Orthodox Church.
However, within the last decade the mentalities within Greece have slowly but surely been changing in a more progressive direction. Athens has become the ultimate haven for gays; residents from all over the country are migrate to Athens to be in the comfort of other open-minded people in the big city.
Athens is deeply rooted in its history and is home to a tremendous amount of historical icons and artifacts. The National Archeological museum is located in Athens, which holds the single largest collection of Greek artifacts in the world. Just to name off a few more: The Parthenon, Acropolis, Temple of Zeus, The roman stadium, and the theater of Dionysus and etc are all located in Athens.
If you plan on traveling here, keep in mind that the months of July and August seem to be the peak months for travelers to this city. However, the weather during this time is almost unbearable. A humid heat resides in Athens for most of the summer, and when you combine that with the fumes of city smog you end up with a nasty concoction that is not quite so pleasant. The best time to visit this great city is in April, May, September, and October when the weather is in between the extremes and perfect for sightseeing.
Nowadays, much of gay Athens life is center at Gazi, located on the west side of the city and formerly an industrial area. On the weekends the gay venues become completely packed in this area, the streets become filled with gorgeous people moving from venue to venue. However, keep in mind that the clock starts late in Athens, the partying doesn’t really start until midnight and peaks out at about 3am.
If you are looking for a city to fulfill your shopping desires then Athens probably isn’t right for you. Even though Athens does not have huge shopping centers it is filled with a plethora of cultural attractions and interesting events. We really recommend you try the different cafes when you’re in Greece, the food that comes from this part of the world is nothing short of delicious.
The Gay Scene in Athens
While the history of homosexuality is an essential part of Greek culture, Greeks are very covert about their sexuality, possibly due to modern Orthodoxy. Athens’ gay scene remains mostly hidden, with some gay bars located in darkened alleyways and others using shut gates that require screening for entry. Homosexuality is completely legal in Greece and more accepted in Athens than elsewhere in the country, but attitudes are not always as progressive as other parts of Europe. Athens’ gay scene is alive and well you just need to do a little searching, but that is what our gay and lesbian travel guide is for.
Restaurants in Athens
There are plenty of great gay-friendly places to dine in Athens, but don’t let that be your only criteria for choosing a place to eat. Athens has an incredible restaurant scene with views to match.