Home Europe Greece Nightlife in Santorini: 9 Places To Party Above The Caldera

Nightlife in Santorini: 9 Places To Party Above The Caldera

Nightlife in Santorini
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The nightlife in Santorini is never going to be as wild or as raucous as on other, more party-orientated, Greek islands. It’s just that this eye-wateringly gorgeous rock in the very middle of the Aegean Sea is more for the honeymooners and the sightseers. People come for romantic sunsets and elegant cave hotels more than they do all-nighters on the ouzo. There’s more in the way of sea-view tavernas than pumping 18-30s clubs, too.

But that doesn’t mean that Santorini has nothing to show for itself once the sun has dipped behind the horizon. There is a certain buzz about the place, especially if you stick to the main towns of Oia and Fira. They host a smattering of slick cocktail bars and even the odd dance bar with DJ decks, just in case you wanted to shimmy until midnight after a day’s sailing through the caldera.

This guide will reveal nine of the top spots for nightlife in Santorini. It’s got chilled bars with happy hour deals. There are drinkeries with dramatic views of the Aegean’s sloshing waters. And you’ll find some livelier venues to retire to for the later hours. Let’s take a look at the ones we love…

Koo Club

Fira at night
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Koo Club is probably the premier spot for more hardcore nightlife in Santorini. It bounces until very late on (the official closing time is 4am) and churns out chart tunes, EDM, electronica, techno, and dance hits ad infinitum for the evening hours. Regular big-name DJ acts also grace the decks, and there are often special events for Christmas, season openings, and major holidays to keep on the radar.

Koo Club sits smack dab in the heart of the main island capital of Fira. It shoulders above the caldera rim where the winding donkey paths link the town to the port below. Duck under the unassuming entranceway on the cobbled alley and you’ll come into a vast al fresco terrace space that’s shaded by bulbous royal palms and dotted with white lounge sofas. That’s the place to be from the opening hour, sipping cocktails under the blazing Santorini sun.

When twilight approaches, you can consider moving inside or to the upper patios. The former spreads through a series of bar spaces that are lit with noir neon and pinkish dim lights. The latter have circular floating bars manned by qualified mixologists. All in all, this is one of the few true late-night venues on the island.

Enigma

Santorini sunset
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Enigma is probably the closest you’ll get to the mega clubs of Ibiza on Santorini. By far the oldest nightlife venue on the island, it’s been going for over 30 years now. That adds a little prestige and means the box office at Enigma tends to get first dibs on the most famous DJ names and events – the last year alone saw London R&B outfit Supa Dupa Fly and Greek legend Petros Kostopoulos take to the stage. This is also the home of the acclaimed resident DJ Marinakis, a local fav.

The music is backed up by a truly slick setting. The club merges outdoor and indoor spaces, flowing from a dark cavern bar of curved ceilings and shimmering laser lights to a wide courtyard that’s open to the stars. Both have dancefloors and multiple bar areas, and there’s even a dedicated shisha lounge section for folk looking to kick back with a pipe or two.

Enigma officially opens at 9pm every night in the high season. The main crowds usually come in by 10 or 11, though, with dancefloors hitting peak at just after midnight. It’s always a good idea to pre-book entry for this one, especially when there’s a major event on. Oh, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for celebs – A listers are a regular occurrence at Enigma.

2 Brothers Bar

Fira in the dark
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2 Brothers Bar is another go-to hangout in the midst of the whitewashed cottages and cafes of Fira, the liveliest town on the island. As the name implies, it’s the brainchild of two siblings, Dimitris and Giannis, who opened the joint way back in the early 1980s, when Santorini was just entering the travel mainstream. It’s now owned, in turn, by their sons, so the family tradition is very much alive. Look for it behind a small timber door and whitewashed walls on narrow Dekigala alleyway.

Inside, the space stretches back into a cavernous hall with rough-stone walls and a mezzanine seating area up top. Rows and rows of Jack Daniels bottles adorn the alcoves, while taps of local beers and fridges filled with Santorini wines and Greek ouzo beckon behind the long bar. Expect the whole venue to be packed to the rafters most nights in the summer, as it’s a favorite among travelers but also a haunt for the local tourist reps and island dwellers.

The music at 2 Brothers Bar doesn’t crank up in volume until it’s dark. Then, you can expect an eclectic mix of top chart tunes, contemporary electronica, and the latest in deep house and house. Parties here go on until 5am, so don’t be surprised to walk out into the first haze of daylight. You wouldn’t be the first it’s happened to!

Tropical Bar

Fira cliff bars
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For sunset watching – which is a pretty big activity on Santorini, in case you didn’t already know – there’s hardly a better drinkery than Tropical Bar. Clinging to the precipitous ridges of the cliffs that fall away from Fira town, this one’s the perfect spot to begin a night of revelry on Santorini. Be sure to get there as early as possible, though. The caldera views from the terraces are no secret, so the best, front-row seating will get occupied fast.

Talking of the terraces…those really are the piece de resistance of Tropical Bar. They drop in two steps to gaze directly westwards out across the colossal old volcano, taking in the crags of Tholos Naftilos and Therasia in the distance. When the golden hour approaches, the whole scene is worthy of a postcard, with dazzling streaks of daffodil yellow and orange burnishing the sky.

Tropical Bar specializes in bespoke fruit-juice cocktails. Expect mixes of watermelon and pineapple, orange and citrus galore. You can also choose form all the classics (they make a mean margarita) or go for any number of Greek and imported beers (there’s a particularly good selection of Aussie brews if that’s your thing).

Tranquilo

Perissa
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Tranquilo is the place to be for those folks sticking the less-rocky, sand-fringed eastern side of Santorini. It spills straight out onto the powder of Perissa Beach, some 20 minutes’ drive from the capital in Fira. It’s very much your classic Greek beach bar, with timber-built decks and sunbeds dotting the coastline.

There’s a touch of the Caribbean about the venue, though. Expect multicolored wood walls and swinging string hammocks aplenty, along with gardens topped by thatch-palm umbrellas and cacti plants. Come morning, there are yoga sessions to help you cure the hangover from the night before, if needed. There’s also a menu of healthy fruit smoothies and avocado-heavy vegan brunches to pick from.

Things get livelier at night, but this isn’t a rollicking EDM club a la Enigma. Instead, folk, reggae, and pop are the order of the day on the music changer, and the vibe is very easy going. Drop in to chat with the friendly bar staff, meet the resident hippy crowd, and listen to the waves lapping against the shore. Official close is around midnight.

Casablanca

Santorini town after dark
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There’s a bit of a maze to navigate before you can step into Casablanca bar. It sits smack dab in the middle of Fira town, up a zigzagging staircase that rises off the bustling streets below on a terrace that’s topped by overhanging roofs and rounded by white-painted fencing. You’ll spot it for the thatched lights and the glinting ashtrays, the dangling drapery overhead and the leather seats, all of which gives it the air of a North African speakeasy.

Yep, there are real Rick’s Café vibes in this characterful joint. You can almost hear the twinkling piano as you walk in and might just expect to see Humphrey Bogart smoking away in the corner. But, nope, this is Santorini’s capital, not the spy city of Morocco. That means live DJs and a music policy that runs the gamut from hip hop to pop to jazz.

The highlight of Casablanca has to be the comprehensive list of cocktails, though. They include both classics and in-house mixers. You can pick a zingy margarita or go with a Lemon Pie, an creative drink that puts vodka on top of homemade lemon curd. There’s also craft beer that originates from Santorini itself and Champagne for those who are celebrating.

Fino Cocktail Bar

Oia at night
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Fino Cocktail Bar is the solitary option for nightlife in Santorini that sits up in the charming village of Oia. It draws on the refined character of that honeymooner’s resort to offer somewhere upscale and romantic. The style is a fusion of 1930s New York, Art Deco, and rustic Greek country, with marble tables and upcycled ceramics on the floors. The vibe is casual-posh – just don’t arrive expecting a pulsating EDM shindig.

Drinks run the gamut from in-house cocktails to bespoke wine labels sourced from the Cyclades islands. Popular tipples include the ginger-infused highball and the Gigimatic, a vodka-based drink with macadamia and passion fruit. For wine, check out the dry whites of the Avantis Estate near Athens, or sample one of the local Assyrtiko grapes from a nearby Santorini vineyard.

Hungry? There’s good news: Fino Cocktail Bar is adjoined by one seriously acclaimed restaurant. Winner of a World Luxury Restaurant Award and a Luxury Lifestyle Award, it’s got an a la carte that offers lobster spring rolls, Angus beef burgers with truffe mayo, grilled octopi couscous, and Greek lamb ribs with hummus and carrot puree. Yum.

Volkan on the Rocks

Bar with a view
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Volkan on the Rocks is a super-fun drinking hole that seems to defy gravity from its location atop the high cliffs of Firostefani village. It’s within walking distance of central Fira, so you can start your drinking session here in the evening before strolling back for the heavy-hitter clubs if you’d like. We’d recommend that mainly because the views are nothing short of incredible. They look north to Oia and west to the volcanic islands. Throw in the sunset and that’s something truly special.

Volkan on the Rocks is actually part microbrewery. They create four different tipples, which come with a distinct crispness thanks to the lava rock-filtered mineral water of the island. There’s also an onsite bistro and pizzeria, with a menu that runs the gamut from creative Mediterranean surf and turf to good impressions of Italian margaritas.

For something a little more relaxed, you could ditch the dancing shoes and settle in for a film at the Volkan on the Rocks open-air cinema. It’s a unique place to be, with art-house flicks screened every evening on a patio that’s set to backdrop of wild Aegean islands and seas.

Highlander

Santorini at sunset
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Transport yourself to the old streets of Scotland by ducking under the archway entrance to Highlander. It’s a Scottish-themed pub that would look right at home between the peaks of the Cairngorm mountains. Only here it is, tucked into the heart of little Fira town on the side of the Santorini caldera, just a few steps away from a dramatic promenade that has sweeping views of the Aegean Sea.

It does well to channel the charming pubs of yesteryear. The inside is an arched stone dome with vaulted alcoves and a bar running the whole length of the joint. The back of the tavern is given over to a raised area that’s got a few lounge seats but turns into the dancing space a little later on, complete with flashing strobe lights and hazy laser shows.

Highlander is a sort of half-bar, half-club mashup. It’s got a happy hour deal that’s 50% off on cocktails earlier on in the evening and then starts to become livelier around 9-10pm, with dancers filling the main hallway and packing into the bar. There’s not much outdoor seating here but there are one or two high-perch tables on the cobblestones of the alley out front.

Does Santorini have good nightlife?

Santorini isn’t really famous for its nightlife in the same way that Corfu, Crete, Ios and Mykonos are. However, it’s still got a few clubs that go on until the early hours, most notably Enigma and Koo Club in the capital of Fira. What Santorini excels in is chilled and romantic evenings spent in rustic tavernas with dramatic views.

Where in Santorini is the nightlife?

The nightlife in Santorini is mainly centered on the island’s capital, Fira, and the smaller resort town of Oia. The smaller villages of Imerovigli and Akrotiri are far more chilled, with tavernas and hotel bars that make the most of the caldera view. That said, there are some lively spots on the east coast, too, especially around the town of Perissa.

Is there a strip in Santorini?

There’s no official strip in Santorini. Most of the major clubs dot the heart of Fira town, though, and they are all within walking distance of each other. The closest thing you’ll get to a central nightlife street is the walking road of Ipapantis, which also comes brimming with souvenir stalls, cafés, and little artisan shops.