Modern Greece has not followed the reputation of Ancient Greece for liberalism on matters of homosexuality. Between these two different worlds is a Greek culture slowly changing to accommodate new concepts of Human Rights with Orthodox traditions.
The Greek gay situation in everyday life is pretty austere. Greece retains much discriminatory law on homosexuality and is probably the least open-minded country in the European Union. Compared to the other Mediterranean countries they can lead a good life, but in comparison to other parts of Europe, Greek gays still have to grow in self-confidence and respect. Athens and Thessaloniki have very active gay groups , but their activities do not reach for beyond the town limits. Most gays vacation are on the Cyclades, and principally on the island of Mykonos, however other islands like Santorini and Paros are becoming equal.
There are a few discriminatory requirements in the Greek criminal code for example Article 347 which offers for a higher age of Consent of 17 for seducing a male person if the partner is over 18. Male prostitution is also illegal while no such ban exists for female prostitution. The police are empowered to to forcibly require gay men to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases. In addition sexual orientation as a non-discrimination category is not incorporated in the Greek constitution. Homosexuality is banned in the army. Public sector employment rules require 'decent' behaviour and homosexual orientation is not considered decent.
The best time to visit Greece is from April to October. If you find warmth a problem go early or late in the season. Athens is evidently Greece's main gay location with 11 bars and clubs, 4 coffee shops, 4 adult theatres, 2 saunas, 2 gyms, 4 video clubs and one gay beach. There are also several political and social organizations, half a dozen publications and a network of activists and friends. Most Athens gay life is concentrated in the very central parts of Kolonaki, Omonia, near Syntagma and the start of Syngrou Avenue.
Places of Entertainment and Restaurants
Here a list of some places of entertainment and gay friendly restaurants:
Almodovar, 60 Konstantinoupoleos St. Bar serving alcoholic beverages. Young crowd. Opened 11:30pm - 03:30am
Koukles, Zan Moreas St. and Sygrou Av. Drag show bar, mixed ages, straight and gay mixed crowd. Opened 11:30pm - 02:00am
Alekos Island, 42 Tsakalof St. Friendly place, late 30's early 50's. Gay Bar serving alcoholic beverages, exclusively or mostly men. 10:30pm - 03:30am
Sodade, Triptolemou St. & Iera Odos. Cozy Bar with gay and lesbian crowd, mixed ages, girls and boys, lots of fun, dance place, disco music. Must on Fridays & weekends.
Smile, 22 Lepeniotou St. Mostly grilled.
Aristera Dexia, 3 Andronikou St. Mediterranean cuisine with exotic tastes.
Varoulko, 14 Deligiorgi St. Classic one, seafood restaurant.
Ermou and Asomaton, 137 Ermou St and Asomaton Sq. in the corner. Cheerful ambience with excellent tastes.
Vithos, Asomaton Sq. and 9 Andrianou St. Modern and delicious seafood cuisine.