Look for posters announcing concerts and art exhibits and check out the listings in the current issue of the quarterly Paros Life (2€). If you're on Paros in July and like jazz, check to see if the Greek International Jazz Summer School (www.innovaros.com) is meeting and giving performances Music-Dance Naoussa Paros (tel. 22840/52-284; www.parosweb.com) often performs Greek dances; the group wears costumes and is quite good.
As on all the islands, what's a hot place this year is often forgotten by next year. You'll sense what the hot places are (they're the ones that are packed with customers and amplifiers). Here are a few durable favorites. Just behind the windmill in Parikia is a local landmark, Port Cafe, a basic kafenion lit by bare incandescent bulbs and filled day and night with tourists waiting for a ferry, bus, taxi, or fellow traveler. The cafe serves coffee, pastry, and drinks; it's a good place for casual conversation.
Pebbles Bar often has classical music and good jazz; as does the Pirate Bar, a few doors from Hotel Dina in the agora. Both are very congenial places, as popular with Greeks as with foreign visitors. Alexandros, in a restored windmill by the harbor, is awfully attractive and a perfect spot to enjoy being on an island, by the harbor, watching the passing scene. In Naoussa, check out Agosta or Café del Mar by the harbor or for an after-dinner drink. If you want to watch the sun rise after you see it set, head along the harbor to where the fishing boats are moored, and Lindardo's often goes all night. You'll find the serious discos on the outskirts of town and by the bus station (Vareladikos, by the bus station, often goes all night).
Beware the Bomba -- Several places on the strip in Parikia offer very cheap drinks or "buy one, get one free." What you'll get, most likely, is locally brewed alcohol that the locals call bomba. This speak-easy brew is made privately and often illegally. It's a quick way to get drunk -- and to feel awful after you get sober.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.