The word nightlife and the city of Thessaloniki are somehow interwoven concepts for me. Thessaloniki nightlife has been included in the list of the top 10 nightlife cities in the world based on a National Geographic publication in 2015 with the name ‘The world best Cities’. The activities in the city are non stop day and night. Thessaloniki city center is flooded with people of all ages. The feeling the city’s visitors get when they see the city’s center is that Thessaloniki never sleeps. In this article I will try to explain everything you need to know about the nightlife in Thessaloniki in order to be ready to experience it once you visit the city. The below topics will be covered:
- How Thessaloniki nightlife changes depending on the season of the year
- Which are the popular nightlife locations in Thessaloniki
- How loud are the decibels when going out in Thessaloniki
- What type of music should you expect to listen in a nightclub in Thessaloniki
- What exactly should you expect to see and listen when you visit the bouzoukia night halls
- How where the bouzoukia in the past and how are they now
- Which are the areas with the intense nightlife in Thessaloniki
- Which are the most popular bouzoukia halls in Thessaloniki
- Which are the most popular clubs in Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki Nightlife: Time and Season Influences
The nightlife in Thessaloniki has variations related to the time of the night and the season. What does this mean? As regards the time of the night variable, there is nightlife that develops shortly after the sunset and lasts until midnight and nightlife that begins after midnight and ends in the early morning hours. As for the season, the people of Thessaloniki choose different areas of the city to spend their nights depending on whether it is summer or winter. The season factor is influenced by the climatic conditions in Thessaloniki and the halls that are available (open halls in summer with distance from residential areas, indoor and large halls in the winter with very good sound insulation closer to the center).
Nightlife Locations in Thessaloniki
In the summer the nightlife which evolves after midnight is mainly close to Thessaloniki’s airport. And in the winter the late nightlife takes place close to the city’s port. As for the nightlife that ends near midnight, it is not influenced by seasonal parameters and it mainly located in the city center.
The decibels of the music played in the cafe’s and bars at the center of the city are reducing significantly after 23:30 because there is a law that prohibits loud music in residential areas. On the contrary, the decibels near the airport and the port of Thessaloniki are starting to elevate after 24:00 because the halls that host the nightlife after the midnight are located far away from residential areas.
Thessaloniki Nightlife: Types of Music
As regards the type of music that is played in the cafe-bars and nightclubs in Thessaloniki, this is something that is influenced by the trends of each season. Usually though most of the shops in the center are playing different types of music with English lyrics (pop, rock, alternative, radio style etc). Late in the evening, after midnight, if you choose to visit either the airport or the port even though in some nightclubs the music initially will be English at some stage later in the night the music will most probably change to Greek music. So be ready for such an ethnic musical note 🙂
Thessaloniki Nightlife: Bouzoukia Music Halls
Well-known abroad is are also the “bouzoukia” in Greece. The “bouzoukia” is a term used for large nightclubs which are hosting Greek music bands and artists and renew their music program very often. In the “bouzoukia”, 95% of the visitors are usually Greeks and visit these places to hear Greek music and dance or watch other people dance … A friend of mine from Bulgaria who stayed many years in Thessaloniki at the beginning was naming these halls with the term concert halls but they are not really concert halls. At least not in the way that you may imagine them.
People who are visiting the bouzoukia in Thessaloniki and in general in Greece, reserve tables for several people (their companies) and order full bottles with alcohol. Depending on the room and the music groups hosted in these halls a bottle of drink can have a price from 80-220 euro and is mandatory to purchase at least one such bottle per 4-6 peope. So, usually Greeks who want to go to such places gather in friend companies and go after first having booked a table. There is also another option for less people 1-2 who want to go but not reserve a table. In this case they go and stand on the bar of the music hall. The price for having a drink on the bar varies from music hall to music hall but I think it is not less than 10 to 15 euros per glass.
Thessaloniki Nightlife: Old vs New Bouzoukia
In the past (from the 50s to the 80s) Greeks used to break ceramic plate dishes at the bouzoukia. The plates were quite thin and they used to through them nearby the singer’s feet or the people who were dancing or even in some cases they were breaking them on their heads. This act was symbolizing great fun. This act no longer exists but it has been replaced by throwing carnations. So if you go to the bouzoukia in Thessaloniki you will see girls holding trays with carnations who will be standing close to the tables until someone invites them to buy their tray. The price of the tray is very expensive for the type of service it offers. I do not know exactly how much an in my life so far I have been very few times in the bouzoukia. It is not really my style.. If you are visiting though Thessaloniki with a good company, I would suggest you to go. Just to get the experience. I believe it is something that mostly Greeks can enjoy or people who speak Greek and live in Greece. Perhaps because their musical taste has adapted also this kind of music. Go for it just for the experience. I would not suggest you to book a table but you can try first sitting on the bar and if you like it you may revisit the place after having booked a table first.
Thessaloniki Nightlife: Areas in with Intense Nightlife & Bars
Having said all these, I believe it is time to suggest some of the busiest nightlife areas in Thessaloniki. To be noted that for the Greeks nightlife is not associated only with music entertainment but it is also associated with food. Thus, many of the areas that are busy during the night are also famous for their taverns and restaurants. Greeks tend to eat late in the evening. Thus, if you visit Thessaloniki you will see many of the restaurants being open and full even at 23:00 in the night (especially in the summer).
Thessaloniki Bouzoukia 2017
Below you will find a list of Thessaloniki’s most famous Bouzoukia music halls. By clicking to each one you will be able to see its facebook page. Inside their facebook pages you will find announcements from their latest events / hosting singers and will also be able to understand their style. Most of these Bouzoukia music halls are inviting famous Greek singers and change their programs periodically. Reserving a table in advance is usually necessary. To be noted, the prices of the drinks are quite high due to the live music events that are being hosted.
Mylos Club Thessaloniki
Fix Factory of Sound
Chic live Thessaloniki
Casper Club Thessaloniki
Mamounia Live Thessaloniki
Boutiq Live Thessaloniki
Caramelo Live Stage Clubbing Thessaloniki
Satin Live clubbing Thessloniki
Barbarella Live Party Thessaloniki
Voice Live Stage
Mouses En Horo
Thessaloniki Clubs 2017
For those of you who would like to hear in Thessaloniki mainly English music and dance in a club you may find some options below. Sometimes, some of these clubs also host Greek music nights, thus it would be good to find additional information in their facebook pages before deciding to visit them. Maybe it would also be a good idea to contact them to double check and also ask if a reservation is necessary.
Principal Club Theater
Eightball Live Stage
Club Vogue Thessaloniki
Dobgs Bar Thessaloniki
La Rosa Negra Lating Club Thessaloniki
Malt N Jazz Thessaloniki