Sometimes it can be delightful to work in your pajamas from the comfort of your hotel room or apartment, but nothing beats spending hours in a tranquil work bubble amid aesthetically pleasing surroundings, without having to get up to make coffee.
Working from home can mean being interrupted by toddlers, partners or procrastinator-monster thoughts that tell you to put work aside after only minutes, to buy lemons or play an iPad game in bed. Athens is jam-packed with cafes, many of which are truly beautiful and serve top quality coffees and snacks, but, perhaps, more conducive to people-watching than putting your head down and getting some work done. Below is a reliable selection of the best cafes in central Athens that can serve as your daytime office. Needless to say, all of them offer free and reliable WiFi.
The capital’ s original multi-space when it opened in 1989, the three-story building, which is neoclassical on the outside and post-industrial/creative design on the inside, with touches of vintage, regularly hosts exhibitions, workshops, dance and music performances, theatrical plays and networking events. The long wooden bench on the ground floor cafe/bar area is an ideal daytime spot for setting up your laptop to work under the low-hanging creative design lamps, where you’re likely to be joined by contemplative chess players or other out-of-office workers. You can order coffee, tea, refreshments and, if you’re going off-course, tall glasses of Weiss beer.
INFO | 57 Kolokotroni St • Tel: (+30) 211. 405.3733
Known mainly for its sunny rooftop overlooking the Acropolis and a village-like scene of Monastiraki, as well as its student atmosphere and culture vulture regulars, Vrysaki can be cozy to work in, especially during rainy days. Apart from the scenic outdoor area, which is warmed by gas heaters on chilly days, it has a large interior space – that is also sometimes used as a exhibition room – with around six tables, as well as a few lining the corridor upstairs that leads to the bar. A homey and studious atmosphere with good snacks, cakes and hot drinks to match.
INFO | 17 Vrysakiou , Plaka Tel: (+30) 210. 321.0179 Open 11:00-23:00
Black Duck Garden
Centrally located on Klathmonos Square, the fashionable and elegant cafe-bar is located in the City of Athens Museum garden, one of the capital’s first gardens. It was commissioned in 1836 by the royal newlyweds King Otto and Queen Amalia, who was also behind the creation of the National Gardens.
Neoclassical-style architecture and greenery are the prevailing elements here. Although the external area is not heated on cold winter days, the interior, bedecked by paintings, plush sofas and antique objects d’art, is just as beautiful and comfortable to work in. This is a good place to work in, either at brunch or lunch-time, as it is known for its high quality cuisine.
INFO | 5-7 Ioannou Paparigopoulou, Klathmonos Square • Tel: (+30) 210. 325.2396 • Open 10:00-19:00
The Art Foundation (TAF)
TAF has become a favorite working and socializing destination for Athenians over the years, chiefly due to its unique aesthetics – an old, wooden front door at the main entrance, an industrial-style bar set up within the space of an 1870 residential complex, a tree growing in the pretty courtyard-cafe area, and soft white light that shines through a cream-colored canvas roof. Always hosting two or more art exhibitions at once, TAF utilizes its small and large areas to present art, throughout the day. If it’s absolute silence you’re after, head there in the morning hours, unless you enjoy listening to the gentle buzz of conversation as you sip on a cappuccino, or a Bloody Mary, after midday.
INFO | 5 Normanou, Monastiraki • Tel: (+30) 210. 323.8757
If you prefer to work in a space that’s exclusively dedicated to professional pursuits rather than casual socializing, try The Cube, a start-up and innovation space. According to its co-founder Maria Kalafati, it has formed partnerships with technology training institutes, an investment fund, technology user groups and the Maker Movement.
“The Cube brings together people who are open to new ideas, love innovation and seek change through applicable initiatives,” she says. Spaces can be rented daily (€10), weekly (€45) or monthly (€135). Other things on offer are fully equipped rooms for meetings and Skype calls, community events, mentoring sessions, printing access, and the chance to mix with some of Greece’s top start-ups and International freelancers.
INFO | 8 Kleisovis St • Tel: (+30) 211. 408.1253 & (+30) 6936.703. 336 • Open from 09:00-21:00
Artsy in a cool, brooding kind of way, the Bios multi-space has, since 2002, become an institution of the trendy-techie culture scene, and for good reason – it was progressive and innovative from the start in everything from its DJ sets and theater events, to its post-industrial, mismatched vintage décor, and has never ceased to seek out and celebrate the best in alternative and cutting edge music and art. The cafe area’s retro décor, large round tables, perfect for spreading papers out on, and natural lighting coming through huge windows that look out onto grimy, busy Pireos St, inspire the focus required for a highly productive outing.
Coffee and other drinks, often accompanied by popcorn, are sold at the bar.
INFO | 84 Pireos St • Tel: (+30) 210. 342.5335 • Open 11:00-past midnight.