As a digital nomad, I’m constantly on the move. That means joining game nights, checking out board game cafes, and otherwise looking for fun places to play and meet local gamers. The Where to Game series aims to cover some great places to check if you’re in the area.
 
My wife and I spent about 2 1/2 months in Athens to end 2018 / start 2019 — naturally, I spent a fair amount of time gaming there.
 
To get a few common questions out of the way:
  • Yes, Greeks play board games. Like almost everyone else in the world, there’s a growing crowd of people that enjoy them.
  • Most Greeks I met spoke very good to great English. For better or worse, a lot of games are published in English.
  • As seen elsewhere in Europe where board games are still new, most players lean towards casual games. There’s certainly a crowd that enjoys the heavier euro-games here, though.
 

So, where to go?

Playstories

Aristofanous 34, Chalandri 152 32, Athens

https://www.facebook.com/theboardgamescafe/

Kaissa Cafe

Leof. Mesogeion 12, Athens 115 27

https://www.facebook.com/KaissaCafe

Kaissa game store

Aristotelous 33, Chalandri 152 34, Athens

Playce

Vasili Logothetidi 14, Athens 115 24

https://www.playce.gr

Kedi

Nikomachou 33, Athens, 116 31

This HOUSE RULES

Dim. Ralli 4, Marousi 151 24, Athens

https://www.facebook.com/ThisHouseRules

The Game Rules (game store)

Eantos 10, Peristeri 121 33

 

Playstories

Where to game in: Athens, Greece Aristofanous 34, Chalandri 152 32, Athens (GPS: 38.020167, 23.800940) Part of the hip and upcoming Chalandri neighborhood, I spent more time at Playstories than everywhere else combined. Between a weekly game designer’s meeting I was privileged to join and welcomed to start my own playtesting event, I had a blast showing off games and playing with plenty of locals. Draft beer, soft drinks, coffee, some snacks, and some simple meals available at pretty reasonable prices.

The biggest downside, but only if you’re coming from central Athens, is the location. It’s about a kilometer’s walk from Agia Paraskevi (ΑΓ.ΠΑΡΑΣΚΕΥΗ) on line 3, which is rather far north from there. Still, there’s a ton of games to play that run from gamut from party games to euros. Weekends are busiest, and the place picks up after 8 or 9pm on Thursdays. While in the area, walk a couple hundred meters to the Kaissa game store (Aristotelous 33, Chalandri 152 34, Athens, GPS: 38.020926, 23.802788) for a good selection of games, sleeves, and so on. Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/theboardgamescafe/

Kaissa Cafe

Where to game in: Athens, Greece Leof. Mesogeion 12, Athens 115 27 (GPS: 37.985299, 23.761799). About 700 meters from Ambelokipi on line 3. They sell games and they make games accessible in a colorful and bright space. Games here tend to be more kid-friendly and for the casual player, with some medium-weight games in the mix as well. Plenty of non-alcoholic drinks and desserts available, though some stuff looked a bit pricey. More info: https://www.facebook.com/KaissaCafe

Playce

Where to game in: Athens, Greece Vasili Logothetidi 14, Athens 115 24, (GPS: 37.994277, 23.763771). About 150 meters away from Panormou station (ΠΑΝΟΡΜΟΥ) on line 3. This two-story cafe offers plenty of coffee and beer. Bring your kids to the Kaissa cafe if you want to play with them, or come here to drink while playing. This place was very crowded every time I went in, and the lower lights made it feel much more like a bar after the sun went down. Plenty of games to be found, including a selection along the stairs. Learn more: https://www.playce.gr

Kedi

Where to game in: Athens, Greece Nikomachou 33, Athens, 116 31 (GPS: 37.958776, 23.736414) – about a 400 meter walk from Aghios Ioannis on metro line 2. Every Saturday night, a small basement board game club opens up to the masses. If I understood the business model correctly, gamers helped to fund the space, and they got to reserve the space for their game nights according to their investment. Saturday nights (starting around 5:30pm) was the chance for mere mortals. There’s nothing for sale here (drinks or games-wise), so bring your own beverages. The crowd here is mainly serious, more hard-core gamers that are most commonly be enjoying a medium or heavy euro. There’s a large selection of games around, of course, and you can still enjoy a more casual game with the group. It rarely seemed to be their focus, though.

This HOUSE RULES

Dim. Ralli 4, Marousi 151 24, Athens (GPS: 38.054086, 23.806943) I never made it here, mainly because it was so far out of town. It’s about 400 meters from Maroussi (ΑΜΑΡΟΥΣΙΟΥ) on line 1, which is even further north than Playstories is… My understanding is that it’s a board game cafe with a good variety, but I never confirmed this first-hand. They also have a store called The Game Rules (Eantos 10, Peristeri 121 33, GPS: 38.019085, 23.704370, which is quite far northwest of the city. If you’re really looking for something specific and are willing to make a trek, they’re worth checking out. Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/ThisHouseRules

Over to you

Gamed somewhere else in Athens?