As the capital of Crete, Heraklion has all that you need to spend an amazing vacation. Bars and trendy pubs included. So here, you’ll find a great (and well-tested) list of the best places to hang out in Heraklion. Pubs, speakeasy bars, and more. Venues where you won’t only spend a great time, but also get familiar with the legendary Cretan hospitality.
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Essentials for your Adventures in Crete!
Getting to Crete: Nothing like sailing from one island to the other. Check Ferryhopper to book your ferry tickets in advance.
Top-rated tours in Crete: If you’re a fan of our beaches, then don’t miss this Cruise to Balos or a Day Trip to Elafonisi. If you came to the island seeking adventure, then hike the Samaria Gorge. Finally, for those interested in Crete’s past and history, don’t miss a visit to Knossos Palace.
Want to see Crete better? Explore it on wheels! Personally, I use Discover Cars to go where my old jalopy won’t take me.
Show me the money! No, really, need cash? Wise is the best online money transfer service with a debit card accepted all over Greece.
Where to Stay in Heraklion
If you’re coming to Heraklion to enjoy the best restaurants in town, the museums, and the thrilling lifestyle of the capital, the best thing to do is to book a place in the center, this way, it’ll be easy to walk everywhere without stressing about transport.
These are some of the places to stay in Heraklion that I recommend, prices for a small budget range between €20 for a bed in a shared room in a hostel to €45 for a small apartment. Mid-range hotels range from €50 to €80 per night. Upscale accommodation can be booked for more than €100 a night. I’ve also written a complete guide to the best hotels in Heraklion as well as a guide to the best holiday homes in Heraklion.
Don’t get lost in Heraklion! Use this map to book!
The Best Pubs and Bars and Heraklion, Crete
Holidays on Crete? After a great day exploring museums, archaeological sites, and stunning beaches, it’s time to go out and have a cocktail the same way that locals do…
This guide will guide you to the best pubs you can find in town, including music bars, trendy spots by the beach, wine bars, shisha bars, and more.
Heraklion is the capital of the island, so do not expect anything less than a selection of awesome places to hang out at night, take a look!
Xalavro Cocktail Bar
Visit the unique Xalavro Open Bar, a magnificent open space located in the heart of Heraklion.
Believe it or not, this atmospheric place came out from the ruins of a house from the 1900s! Old stone walls, roof beams with flower pots on top, a great wooden bar, and window sills turned into tables, all these and more you can find when you step into unique open space.
And let’s not forget to mention their signature cocktails that are well known all over town. As a matter of fact, each summer Xalavro organizes a Cocktail Festival where you can try some of the best drinks mixed by bartenders from all over the world. As for me, I always remain true to my favorite Jungle Bird.
Location: 10 Milatou Street.
The Bitters Bar
A surprising place where you can experience the Prohibition Times of America through the handmade cocktails of The Bitters Bar.
Inspired by the 1920s atmosphere, as well as by many famous speakeasy styled bars, this place offers high-quality drinks, mostly mixed including a wide selection of bitters.
Another specialty is homemade marmalades which you will always find next to your drink. A great selection of Blues and Jazz music finishes the picture of this unusual place. I would really recommend trying their Yellow Prince, something that you are not going to find in every bar…
Location: 25 Idis Street.
Beer O’Clock is an American style rock pub and bistro where you can find more than 100 kinds of beers and taste some of the best burgers in the city.
If you are not sure which beer to try, the friendly staff will always help you with the choice. Pay attention to the Cretan beer labels as this can be a one-of-a-kind experience. The Cretan Charma Lager is definitely worth trying.
The service here can sometimes be on the slow side, but always at a high level. And don’t forget to visit during the happy hour, from 4 to 8 pm, when you can get convenient discounts and delicious treats.
Location: Parodos 23, next to OTE.
Wets & Drys Speakeasy Bar
One of the top-rated bars in Heraklion, Wets & Drys Speakeasy Bar offers you an unforgettable journey in time to the America of the 1920s.
Outstanding interior design and pleasant Jazz and Blues music make it a great place to enjoy your drink. The bar has a superb range of cocktails, both classic and signature ones.
Wets and Drys is probably one of the best bars in Heraklion!
Their exceptional Familiar Stranger cocktail will make you come back for another round! Oh…! And one more thing, to go in you’ll need a secret code!
Location: Korai 7-9.
Looking for a place to stay in Heraklion?
>Check the best Airbnbs in town<
Think Tank 3rd Wave
This fantastic espresso-wine bar is set in a beautiful neoclassic building with a lovely terrace.
The professional barista will make you an outstanding coffee of your choice and the sommelier will help you choose some wine from their carefully selected wine cellar.
If you have the chance, make a reservation in advance for a table at the terrace. Very often, this bar hosts wine tasting events, so maybe you will be lucky to take part in one of them.
If you come for coffee, then you should definitely try their special espresso. And if you are a wine lover, then Cretan Kotsifali wine is a must.
Location: Andreou Kritis 7.
Stone Project Cocktail Bar
Stone Cocktail Bar is a great place set in a wonderfully decorated venue. Here, you can get your favorite cocktail made by passionate bartenders.
Try their signature Mastiha Sour and taste real Greece! Not only they have superb service but also great music with some of the best DJs from Crete.
Each Sunday, happy hour goes on from 6 to 9 pm, and you can get one free cocktail of your choice.
Location: Korai 14.
Opus Wine Bar
A cozy atmosphere, great wine selection, and knowledgeable staff are part of the ingredients that can make your night a great experience in this wine bar hidden in the alleys of central Heraklion.
Opus Wine Bar is one of my favorite places when it comes to a glass of Cretan wine. I choose it for its intimate atmosphere, the music, and their wine list. Not the best place for food though, so just go for a glass of wine and a cheese platter.
Location: Capetan Charalampi 3.
A little hidden gem of Heraklion’s nightlife. Not so popular among tourists, this is the place where locals like to party.
Great music, both Greek and International, plays until the early morning. And the famous Planter’s Punch is a perfect choice for some amazing party time.
Located in the heart of Heraklion city yet hidden in a narrow street, Cuckoo features some of the best theme parties in the city.
Location: 1 Korai Street.
This dynamic bar offers some of the most creative cocktails in Heraklion. Discover new mixtures and unusual tastes together with a team of professional bartenders and baristas.
Retro music and chilling vibes guarantee a pleasant time when you’re hanging out here. Each drink here has its own story and the bartender will gladly explain to you all the secrets of the cocktail creation.
Their Cinnamon Treasure Cocktail is a perfect start to your tasting journey.
And if you are in a rush you can always check their Take Away Cocktail List, perfect to park your car in front of any Heraklion beach, turn on the radio, and enjoy your evening in a more private way.
Location: 13 Arkoleontos Street.
Best Bars and Pubs on the North Coast of Heraklion
Nothing lick having a cocktail by the sea, enjoying some music, and great company. For that, reach any of these pubs and bars on the coast of Heraklion…
Del Mar Café Bar
Offering a stunning view over the pristine bay of Agia Pelagia, this café-bar is a perfect place to enjoy your coffee in the morning and a colorful cocktail in the evening.
Friendly and caring staff serve delicious drinks in no time and the pleasant sound of the waves creates a relaxing vacation atmosphere.
The Strawberry Daiquiri will help you to totally immerse yourself in paradise. By the way, you definitely need to visit this place right before the evening: the sunsets here are magical!
Location: Agia Pelagia Beach.
Looking to have fun also under the sun?
>>Check this awesome tours departing from Heraklion<<
Nefeli Café Bar
This fantastic bar will stay in your heart forever. And no wonder as it is set in a beautiful location and is run by very welcoming staff.
Choose from their tasty and beautifully decorated cocktails and chill out enjoying the front sea view. Try their Zombie cocktail and you won’t regret it!
The bar always treats you with some free snacks and popcorn and in the end, you will receive a small carafe of homemade Raki. This bar has a very relaxing environment, the inside area is gorgeous and the music just great.
Location: Agia Pelagia Beach.
Dolphin Beach Bar
A unique bar made directly inside a… pirate ship! This is truly an exciting experience. And their cocktail list is just amazing.
You can enjoy your drink either on the ship bar or directly on the beautiful sandy beach under your umbrella.
The choice is yours, but I recommend both. Start with the Cuba Libre to get in the pirate mood on the ship and then continue on a sunbed with their signature Piña Colada.
Location: Malia Central Beach, Malia.
Zoo Bar Malia
Zoo Bar is a great place for chilling out with your friends and enjoying your drink. The bright jungle styled design directly will immediately grabs your attention. Besides, the great service and very welcoming staff won’t disappoint you.
The bar’s menu has a big range of classic and signature cocktails as well as some delicious finger food. Their Passion Fruit Mojito is nothing but to die for!
Have a drink, or smoke a narghile (or shisha, as locals usually call it), or do both! The music perfectly finishes this picture of relaxation.
Location: Dimokratias 117, Malia.
Nissos Beach Bar
A spacious sandy beach is just what you need to enjoy your drink. Nissos Beach Bar brings you nothing but an unforgettable experience surrounded by a classy setting and with a stunning view over the sea.
Chill out in a tropical style terrace or suntan on a comfortable sun lounge, the choice is yours. And if you add some of their extremely tasty cocktails then your day will be just amazing.
If I were you, I would definitely go for their tempting Watermelon Sangria. Great music, live DJs, and beach parties until the break of the day. Those are just some of the things you’ll bind in Nissos.
Location: Afenti Christou, Malia.
Kahlua Beach Bar
Would you like to have a drink with the sea touching your feet? Then Kahlua Beach Bar is the place you are looking for. A luxurious seafront beach bar with a breathtaking view over Hersonissos bay should be on the top of your list.
Upscale service, great music, and summer vibes guarantee a pleasant stay. Their menu includes a wide selection of drinks and food. Savor the signature Kahlua Sour Martini while enjoying all the shades of blue Cretan Sea.
Location: 25 Martiou & Pampoudaki, Hersonissos.
Shenanigans Irish Pub
Can you imagine visiting an Irish pub that offers a stunning view over the Cretan Sea? Well, Shenanigans Irish Pub makes it possible!
Enjoy the mixture of Irish bar atmosphere and Greek hospitality. The bartender will gladly help you with the choice through their wide beer collection and will treat you with few shots of traditional Greek tsipouro.
If you’re not so passionate about beer, do check their Strongbow Cider served perfectly chilled. One more reason why I visit again and again.
Location: Beach Road, Agias Paraskevis 50, Port of Hersonissos.
Get yourself trapped in the atmosphere of fun and joy! The Trap bar is well known around Hersonissos for its cheerful staff who try their best so that you spend an unforgettable time.
Even though the selection of drinks is not that big the bartender is always ready to make a special cocktail just for you.
The famous Spicy Mango cocktail has become a legend! And the outstanding rock music selection is another reason why I recommend this place.
Location: Agiou Vasiliou 58, Koutouloufari, Hersonissos.
Which of these Bars in Heraklion will you visit during your next time in Crete?
Let me know in the comments below!
Travel Plans for Crete?
More Resources to Organize Your Trip!
Start by heading right to my tips to plan a trip to Crete for in-depth details you need to know about Greece. You can also check my post to better know what to pack for a trip to the island or read this info to visit Crete with children!
Get in touch if you need extra help to plan your trip. If you want to tour West Crete, check my guide. Want more? Join my Private Facebook Group to connect with like-minded travelers who love Crete as much as you do!
Make Sure You’ve Got Everything For a Hassle-Free Vacation!
I never move around the islands without my Osprey backpack, a sturdy but light travel partner I just love. For short trips, I carry this little crossbody bag. If I drive, I pack my Nikon D7200 and a good travel guide: Lonely Planet’s Best of Greece & the Greek Islands.
For accommodation, I personally use Booking.com. Traveling to remote places is easier with Discover Cars. Other times, I join organized tours with GetYourGuide, which features anything from cooking lessons to airport transfer!
Are you coming to Crete any time soon?
Get in touch and let me know!
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Oh Hey! Pin this Before You Leave: Best Places to Hang Out in Heraklion!
About the author:
Gabi has been living in Crete for the last five years. Here, she juggles being a solo mom, hosting culinary tours in the summer, translating, and working as a tech advisor.
She’s written for Greek Reporter, published two travel guides about Greece, and drunk more glasses of frappe than any regular person would be able to handle.
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