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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The Best Bars and Pubs in 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!
Best Hotels in Heraklion
Affordable: Candia Studios & Rooms or Rea Hotel in the city center.
Mid-range: Capsis Astoria and Veneziano Boutique Hotel in town.
Luxury: GDM Megaron H. M. Hotel or Galaxy Iraklio in the center.
Check also Heraklion Accommodation Guide and Best Places to Stay in Crete.
Xalavro Cocktail Bar
- Location: 10 Milatou Street.
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 a unique open space.
And let’s not forget to mention their signature cocktails that are well known all over town.
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.
The Bitters Bar
Location: 25 Idis Street.
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 recommend trying their Yellow Prince, something that you are not going to find in every bar…
- Location: Parodos 23, next to OTE.
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 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.
Wets & Drys Speakeasy Bar
- Location: Korai 7-9.
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.
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!
Wets and Drys is one of the best bars in Heraklion!
You might enjoy: Insanely Useful Accommodation Guide for the Best Hotels in Heraklion.
Think Tank 3rd Wave
- Location: Andreou Kritis 7.
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 try their special espresso. And if you are a wine lover, then Cretan Kotsifali wine is a must.
Stone Project Cocktail Bar
- Location: Korai 14.
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 do 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.
Opus Wine Bar
- Location: Capetan Charalampi 3.
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 food place though, so just go for a glass of wine and a cheese platter.
- Location: 1 Korai Street.
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: 13 Arkoleontos 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 more secretly.
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
- Location: Agia Pelagia Beach.
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 immerse yourself in paradise. By the way, you need to visit this place right before the evening: the sunsets here are magical!
Looking to have fun also under the sun? Check these awesome tours departing from Heraklion
Nefeli Café Bar
- Location: Agia Pelagia Beach.
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 is just great.
Dolphin Beach Bar
- Location: Malia Central Beach, Malia.
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.
Zoo Bar Malia
- Location: Dimokratias 117, 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 grab 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.
Nissos Beach Bar
- Location: Afenti Christou, Malia.
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 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.
You might also want to read: Unique Things to Do in Rethymnon at Night.
Kahlua Beach Bar
- Location: 25 Martiou & Pampoudaki, Hersonissos.
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.
Shenanigans Irish Pub
- Location: Beach Road, Agias Paraskevis 50, Port of Hersonissos.
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 the 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 a 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.
You might also want to read: Comfy and Convenient Airbnbs in Heraklion, Crete.
- Location: Agiou Vasiliou 58, Koutouloufari, 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.
Which of these Bars in Heraklion will you visit during your next time in Crete?
Let me know in the comments below!
You might also be interested in reading these articles:
– Amazing things to do in Heraklion – All the things you can do in the capital of Crete.
– Top things to do in Matala – A guide to visiting the southern village of Matala.
– Top tours, day trips, and excursions from Heraklion – A guide to the best local activities for when you’re staying in the Heraklion region.
– Comfortable and Cute Rental Homes in Heraklion – A guide to the best rental homes and Airbnbs in Heraklion.
– What to do in Heraklion in 1, 2, or 3 days – A guide for a short stay in Heraklion.
RESOURCES TO BOOK YOUR TRIP TO CRETE:
FLIGHTS: Use Skyscanner to compare prices before booking a plane ticket.
FERRIES: Check out Ferryhopper for convenient ferry tickets.
ACCOMMODATION: Look for hotels and rental homes on Booking.com.
PRIVATE TRANSFER: Welcome Pickups offers local English-speaking drivers, flight monitoring, and a very convenient (flat) pre-paid fee
CAR RENTAL: Use Discover Cars to find an affordable car to rent.
TOURS: Live unforgettable adventures and cultural experiences with Get Your Guide.
INSURANCE: If things go wrong, you’ll get coverage against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. I recommend Safety Wing for peace of mind.
Oh Hey! Pin this Before You Leave: Best Places to Hang Out in Heraklion!
About the author of this blog:
Gabi has been living in Crete for the last six years. On the island, she juggles being a solo mom, hosting culinary tours in summer, translating, and freelance writing for several travel blogs.
She’s written for Greek Reporter, published several travel guides about Greece, and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.