Travel wish-list: The Athens mini-break

Gaydar Blog

Gaydar Blog
24 August 2023

Athens tends to figure into our travel planning as a summer stop-off, spending a night or two on the way to one of the numerous islands that are on everyone’s wish-list.

But Athens is a city that is a mini-break destination in its own right. We were recently there for a few days in early December, and it absolutely ticked all of the boxes.

The history

If you’ve got even just a passing interest in history, you’ll already know that Athens is a city that lives and breathes its history at every turn. There are some big landmarks – such as the Acropolis – which are worth exploring, but if history isn’t your thing then find a rooftop bar and admire it from a distance.

The culture

Undertaking a bit of a culture walk, we visited the Municipal Gallery and also The Breeder.

This is the Metaxourgeio neighbourhood – an old industrial part of the city. This is generally known as the ‘red light’ district of Athens but it’s also where you’ll find a number of galleries. It’s a universal rule that the edgier parts of a city tend to be the most interesting.

The Municipal Gallery was presenting a retrospective of the work of George Ioannou – a great example of the power of pop art, the artist cleverly incorporating orthodox religious symbols in his work.

Over at The Breeder, two artists were being showcased – Theo Triantafyllidis is a digital artist creating immersive installations, while Dimitris Gketsis creates wall reliefs that draw on mythology.

It was all very cool and very queer – we felt as if we’d had a glimpse into another side of the city.

The weather

We’d escaped a particularly bleak London for our Athens mini-break – to us, the early December weather felt mild and really pleasant. Meanwhile, the locals were all dressing like they were about to embark on an expedition to the Arctic Circle – I guess it’s all relative.

For us, this sort of temperature was perfect. Sure, it’s a stretch to call it a ‘winter sun’ destination, but the weather in Athens is definitely one of its positive features.

The food. The drinks. The nightlife.

We had a feast of traditional Greek dishes at L’œuf Du Coq, and exciting contemporary dishes at Diego. We drank cocktails at the Blue Parrot – locals were also recommending that as a brunch option.

Obviously, we also had a souvlaki or three, the occasional Greek salad, and a cheeky ouzo now and then – these essentials are awesome, but there’s a lot more to discover as you explore the food scene in Athens.

Going out was also a lot of fun. There’s two main options – Shamone and Sodade. Maybe we just struck it lucky, but it felt like everyone was there to have a good time – to drink and laugh and dance. In our books, that’s a good night out.

The hotels.

We stayed at Lighthouse Athens – it’s in a great location on Omonia Square.

Easy to get to by train from the airport, we loved the energy of this hotel. It was comfortably luxurious without being stuffy, everything worked, and the extensive breakfast buffet demanded our attention.

Lighthouse is part of the Brown group of hotels. Nearby options in this group include the Acropol and also Dave.

The verdict?

We’ll be going back to Athens. We liked this city – we liked its vibe.


Comments (9)

  1. Avatar Norminaus says:

    I think the re-introduction of HIV status is good and about time.
    How about you re-introduce all the other good items you deleted for example “cut or uncut”

  2. Avatar lekkeekke says:

    I agree with Norminaus. You MUST re-introduce all the good items you deleted for example cock size, age group the person is interested in, etc. It really wastes your time if you write to a guy and he is not in the age group that you are looking for or rather he is looking for. You MUST add AGE GROUP to save time and to stop the humiliation because guys get angry when an old guy writes to a teen that is not interested in older guys.

    • Avatar Eddie says:

      If someone’s so touchy that they’re going to get ‘angry’ because they’re contacted by someone who isn’t within their desired age range, then they need to write what they want on their profile, don’t they. That’s what the ‘ABOUT ME’ section is for.

  3. Avatar lekkeekke says:

    Cock size is absolutely necessary. You must give guidelines, for example small 4 inches and less; large 5 to 7 inches and extra large 8 + inches. Guys have no clue what the different sizes mean. I do not know what measurement you must use, however, it will be helpful if you can give the sizes in inches or centimetres.

  4. Avatar Eddie says:

    Regarding regular testing. If you *need* to be tested *regularly* it means you *know* something’s happened since the last test that might have compromised your safety and changed your status. How is this in any way responsible behaviour?

    • Rob Curtis Rob Curtis says:

      Hi Eddie – thanks for the comment. Around 1 in 6 people living with HIV aren’t aware that they’re positive. So a policy of regular testing which has been in place for more than a decade protects everyone.

      Not to mention, of course, that people that are using PREP to protect themselves against HIV may be susceptable to other STIs including chlamydia, gonorrhea etc so regular testing not only protects oneself but future partners.


      • Avatar Eddie says:

        I’d date someone I liked regardless of his HIV status but still even today, not everyone feels this way. So while around 1 in 6 people living with HIV aren’t aware of it, how many of the other 5 are going to honestly announce their status to their prospective sexual partners, potentially risking rejection? The truth is some will and some won’t. Also while the STI’s you mention are curable, there are others besides HIV which aren’t. There’s also the reality of new antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria developing, making previously curable STI’s difficult to get rid of. For these reasons I think it’s up to the individual to protect themself if they’re concerned about these issues, regardless of what they’re told about the status of their partners. Thank you Rob and the Gaydar team for promoting a conversation about these things – the fact that we’re now invited to disclose such info on our profiles is a forward thinking move on your part.


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