Attica is a progressive and open-minded place, welcoming to all! In a country that embraces the European legislation and mentality regarding the rights of the LGBTQ community, Athens capital city, its suburbs and the nearby islands are the utmost hospitable destinations, where it’s normal to be different, and all visitors feel safety, security and comfort.
In ancient Greece, sexual orientation was not perceived as a social characteristic, as it happens in modern Western cultures. Homosexuality played an educational and instructive role, and had spiritual elements.
Plato, Aristophanes, Herodotus, Sappho and many other philosophers, historians, and intellectuals of the time make reference to the issue of homosexuality, while Homer describes the friendship between Achilles and Patroclus in a way that it appears to be a romantic relationship. Greek mythology features a number of similar instances, such as the love between Zeus and Ganymedes, Narcissus and Ameinias, and Hermes and Perseus. The examples of Pan the Satyr, Dionysus, Hermaphroditus and others prove gay culture is no modern invention.
This eminent past of Greece has distinguished the country as a major LGBTQ destination, Athens being the capital city that hosts one of the most upcoming gay scenes in Europe, attracting LGBTQ visitors from all over the world.
The ever-growing Greek LGBTQ scene becomes more vibrant and… proud, year after year. The “Athens Pride Festival”, that takes place in June, is equivalent to the respective festivals that are held in other big European countries. Since 2005, when it was first organised, Athens Pride has been attracting larger crowds every year, people of all ages, irrespective of sex or sexual orientation, diverse groups of friends, couples, families with children. The Parade of pride, love, equality and freedom celebrates the legislative leaps of the last years – such as the passage of the bill for the civil partnership of same-sex couples and the possibility for legal gender recognition from the age of 15 – and claims even more.
Every year, beginning of June, marks the beginning of the Pride Week, the week that “prepares the ground” for the parade and the huge party of Athens Pride, with events, performances, exhibitions, theatre plays, films, shows, information forums, sports, parties, etc.
Throughout the year, Athens hosts major Greek and foreign queer cinema festivals, such as the Outview Film Festival, the biggest gender fest in Greece. The Athens Avant-Garde Film Festival by the Greek Film Archive, as well as the Athens International Film Festival “Opening Nights” also feature special sections with LGBTQ films every year.
LGBTQ Self-Organised Groups in Athens, such as the Colour Youth (Athens LGBTQ Youth Community) and Proud Seniors Greece (a group for
the support and care of
LGBTQI older people) organise frequent open actions, events and parties in various places in Athens.
The centre of Athens and its suburbs offer a vast variety of entertainment options, from elegant gay friendly restaurants and cozy cafés to bear bars, gay clubs and multi-purpose venues for drag shows. With gay-only or mixed-crowd places, everywhere you go in and around Athens, you will feel safety and security, comfort and acceptance by all.
The heart of gay night entertainment beats in the wider area of Gazi, Kerameikos, Metaxourgeio and Votanikos. Walk the neighbourhoods on both sides of Iera Odos street and feel the vibe of the Athenian gay scene. Have a coffee or drink in colourful, cozy cafes, and continue with endless fun, dancing the night away at the gay & lesbian clubs; music for all preferences and many different stages to choose from, which host frequent events, such as beauty contests, drag queen shows, karaoke nights and theme parties with DJs from Greece and abroad.
Aiolou street and Aghias Eirinis square, as well as the nearby Kolokotroni and Athinaidos streets, is where you will find beautiful crowds and the centre of the Athenian gay lifestyle. Popular restaurants and café-bars with mixed, straight and gay crowds, beautiful stores for unique shopping experiences, multi-purpose venues that host art exhibitions, events and live performances: here you will literally find everything, from early in the morning until late at night!
In Koukaki you will enjoy extraordinary drag shows at a venue that has become a cult legend in Athens, not only because of its international celebrity clientele, such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Patricia Fields, but also for its truly unique surprise-performances.
In the centre of Athens you will relax and have fun in modern spas and saunas. As for the summer, explore the stunning Attica Riviera, from Flisvos to Sounion, and immerse yourselves into its breathtaking beauty and endless possibilities. Apart from the summer’s ultimate gay spot at Limanakia Β in Vouliagmeni, for nude swim in crystal blue waters, along Attica Riviera you will also enjoy your favourite water sports, have endless fun at the numerous beach bars, and savour unique flavours at the restaurants or tavernas by the sea. Indulge yourselves with a relaxing spa at one of the luxury resorts, enjoy a sailing tour or yacht cruise and – if you are into sports – a golf match at a lush, majestic golf club.
In Attica you will stay at beautiful gay-friendly hotels, with a relaxed ambience and discreet luxury. You will find them everywhere in the centre of Athens, as well as in Kifissia, Piraeus, Glyfada and along the Attica Riviera. Shopping options are also countless: from the paved Ermou and Aiolou streets in the centre, to beautiful Kifissia and cosmopolitan Glyfada, Attica features elegant stores for all types of shopping.
Before your visit to Attica, consult the Greek LGBTQ travel agencies, which offer exclusive and specialised services and suggestions. And prepare for an unforgettable trip to a hospitable and breathtakingly beautiful place!