Entertainment in Athens

There's all kinds of entertainment in Athens whether you're interested in theatre, dance, classical music, jazz, Greek music, rock music, disco, opera or movies.

Here's a brief overview of some of the things that are available.

Theatre, Dance and Classical Music

A Performance of Don Quixote at the Greek National Theatre in AthensThe Greek National Theatre in Athens
A Performance of Don Quixote

While Athens has a lively theatre scene and a National Theatre company, most performances are in the Greek language. You might get to see a visiting theatre group, if you check the listings (see below) while you're there. There is also a Greek National Opera company, and several halls putting on classical concerts. Dance is popular too, from contemporary work to classical ballet to Greek traditional dance, notably at the very popular Dora Stratou Theatre at the foot of Filopappou Hill. 

The Dora Stratou Dance Group in Athens, GreeceThe Dora Stratou Dance Group

Bars, Discos and Clubs

Athenians like to have a good time and the city has as many bars, clubs and discos as anywhere else. These range from intimate venues which might play a little soft jazz to huge barns of discos pumping out hip-hop at shattering levels.

Because of the noise factor, and the summer heat, during the hot months some clubs close down because the customers prefer to head out to the open-air venues in the city's beach-resort suburbs.

Our Pick of the Athens Guides

Lonely-Planet-Pocket-Athens.png

In the bars and clubs every kind of music is catered for (jazz, blues, rock, reggae, '60s, world music) but it's advisable to check the local listings magazines as while some clubs are devoted to one kind of music, other have different styles on different nights. You don't want to go along to a great reggae club and find that it's '60s night.

There are fewer choices available in the summer, partly due to the air-conditioning question and partly due to musicians going out to the Greek islands to work the much busier tourist resorts there.

Movie Entertainment in Athens

There are plenty of cinemas all over Athens, showing the major international releases in the original language, with Greek sub-titles. They tend to be fairly inexpensive, and programmes can be found in any of the city's several listings magazines. In summer many of these close down, unless they have good air-conditioning, and open-air cinemas spring up to take their place.

These tend to show second-run movies and old black-and-white films, and are very much social occasions. People talk a lot, as they are not listening to the foreign soundtrack, which can make it hard for foreign visitors who are desperately trying to hear what's going on!

Late-night showings usually have the sound turned down anyway, to avoid disturbing the neighbourhood. But it is all certainly a very Athenian experience. You can usually find one or two open-air cinemas in and around the Plaka, while the conventional ones are all over the city, with several along Stadio, Akadimias and Panepistimou Streets (also known as Venizelou).

Buying Tickets for Entertainment in Athens

Apart from obviously going to the venue itself, the easiest way to get concert and other tickets is to go into almost any of the big central record shops and buy them there. They are also a good source of information, with adverts and flyers for concerts and clubs.

Information Sources

The Why Athens WebsiteThe Why Athens Website

The best source of entertainment information is Athinorama magazine, published every Friday. This is in Greek but is still useful as names of films, bands, programme times etc are all in English. There's also an online version, which you can use an app or a browser like Chrome to translate for you. A phrase book which includes the days of the week should help out too.

There are plenty of other online sources too. The  What's On section on the Ekathimerini website, Athens24.com, This is Athens and WhyAthens.com are all good sources of information about entertainment in Athens.

Other Athens pages

  • Greece Travel Secrets gives its choice of the best hotels in Athens from budget and moderate options through to 5-star luxury choices.

    The Best Hotels in Athens

    Greece Travel Secrets gives its choice of the best hotels in Athens from budget and moderate options through to 5-star luxury choices.

  • Athens Airport hotels include the luxury Sofitel at the terminals, Holiday Inn near the airport, and others close by like the Hotel Pantheon.

    Athens Airport Hotels

    Athens Airport hotels include the luxury Sofitel at the terminals, Holiday Inn near the airport, and others close by like the Hotel Pantheon.

  • This drive around Attica offers visitors high hills, beach resorts, small villages and classical sites like Marathon and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion.

    A Drive around Attica

    This drive around Attica offers visitors high hills, beach resorts, small villages and classical sites like Marathon and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion.

  • Athens is a top vacation destination. The Greece Travel Secrets Athens guide has information on hotels, museums, Athens airport and all the best things to do.

    Athens: Travel Information and Advice about Athens, Greece

    Athens is a top vacation destination. The Greece Travel Secrets Athens guide has information on hotels, museums, Athens airport and all the best things to do.

  • This beginner's guide to Greek architecture explains how to tell your Ionic from your Doric columns, and what to look for in temples and Byzantine churches.

    Greek Architecture

    This beginner's guide to Greek architecture explains how to tell your Ionic from your Doric columns, and what to look for in temples and Byzantine churches.

  • There are lots of flights from Athens to Santorini as well as a ferry service from Piraeus, with flights to Santorini leaving from Athens International Airport.

    Athens to Santorini

    There are lots of flights from Athens to Santorini as well as a ferry service from Piraeus, with flights to Santorini leaving from Athens International Airport.

  • The beach resorts of Athens are easily reached from the city and also close are Cape Sounion with the Temple of Poseidon, ancient Marathon and Rafina's port.

    Cape Sounion and the East Coast

    The beach resorts of Athens are easily reached from the city and also close are Cape Sounion with the Temple of Poseidon, ancient Marathon and Rafina's port.

  • If you're wondering where to eat in Athens and Piraeus we have a few suggestions including some favorites around the Acropolis, Omonia Square, and Syntagma.

    Where to Eat in Athens and Piraeus

    If you're wondering where to eat in Athens and Piraeus we have a few suggestions including some favorites around the Acropolis, Omonia Square, and Syntagma.

  • The Pnyx hill near the Acropolis is one of Athens' true hidden gems, a place to wander freely away from the crowds and discover ancient places and mysteries.

    The Pnyx

    The Pnyx hill near the Acropolis is one of Athens' true hidden gems, a place to wander freely away from the crowds and discover ancient places and mysteries.

  • Ten Fun Things to Do in Athens include eating in the Central Market, watching the sun set over the Acropolis and seeing one of the world's oldest theatres.

    Ten Fun Things to Do in Athens

    Ten Fun Things to Do in Athens include eating in the Central Market, watching the sun set over the Acropolis and seeing one of the world's oldest theatres.

  • Greece Travel Secrets lists the ten best museums in Athens, with the top two being the National Archaeological Museum and the Acropolis Museum.

    Ten Best Museums in Athens

    Greece Travel Secrets lists the ten best museums in Athens, with the top two being the National Archaeological Museum and the Acropolis Museum.

  • Syntagma Square or Constitution Square is the main square in Athens and has a metro station, the Greek Parliament building, hotels, cafes, and a post office.

    Syntagma Square

    Syntagma Square or Constitution Square is the main square in Athens and has a metro station, the Greek Parliament building, hotels, cafes, and a post office.

  • Piraeus is the port of Athens from where many ferries to the Greek islands depart, and it also has an Archaeological Museum and the Hellenic Maritime Museum.

    Piraeus

    Piraeus is the port of Athens from where many ferries to the Greek islands depart, and it also has an Archaeological Museum and the Hellenic Maritime Museum.

  • Pictures of Athens from the Greece Travel Secrets website

    Pictures of Athens

    Pictures of Athens from the Greece Travel Secrets website

  • The National Archaeological Museum is one of the best things to see in Athens, and the best museum in the world for seeing Greece's archaeological treasures.

    National Archaeological Museum

    The National Archaeological Museum is one of the best things to see in Athens, and the best museum in the world for seeing Greece's archaeological treasures.

  • In My Athens on Greece Travel Secrets travel writer Mike Gerrard describes what he loves about Athens including the Acropolis and eating!

    My Athens: a Portrait by Travel Writer Mike Gerrard

    In My Athens on Greece Travel Secrets travel writer Mike Gerrard describes what he loves about Athens including the Acropolis and eating!

  • Mount Lykabettos is the highest hill in Athens and provides some of the best views of the city, with a funicular cable car the easiest way to get to the top.

    Mount Lykabettos

    Mount Lykabettos is the highest hill in Athens and provides some of the best views of the city, with a funicular cable car the easiest way to get to the top.

  • Greece Travel Secrets visits the Monastiraki Flea Market, followed by Sunday lunch at Sigalas on Monastiraki Square

    Monastiraki Flea Market

    Greece Travel Secrets visits the Monastiraki Flea Market, followed by Sunday lunch at Sigalas on Monastiraki Square

  • Around Monastiraki is the flea market, Athens cathedral, Kerameikos Cemetery, the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art and the Psirri and Gazi nightlife districts.

    Monastiraki and Around

    Around Monastiraki is the flea market, Athens cathedral, Kerameikos Cemetery, the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art and the Psirri and Gazi nightlife districts.

  • A History of Athens from the first people to live on the Acropolis through the Golden Age of Pericles and Alexander the Great to the military junta.

    A History of Athens

    A History of Athens from the first people to live on the Acropolis through the Golden Age of Pericles and Alexander the Great to the military junta.

  • Easter in Athens is, like everywhere in Greece, the biggest religious celebration of the year and this page tells you what to expect over the Easter weekend.

    Easter in Athens

    Easter in Athens is, like everywhere in Greece, the biggest religious celebration of the year and this page tells you what to expect over the Easter weekend.

  • The Changing of the Guard in Athens takes place outside the Parliament building at the top of Syntagma Square and is a must-see for visitors.

    Changing of the Guard in Athens

    The Changing of the Guard in Athens takes place outside the Parliament building at the top of Syntagma Square and is a must-see for visitors.

  • The best views in Athens include views from the Acropolis and of the Acropolis from the top of some of the city’s several hills and from hotels and restaurants.

    Best Views in Athens

    The best views in Athens include views from the Acropolis and of the Acropolis from the top of some of the city’s several hills and from hotels and restaurants.

  • Greece Travel Secrets picks the best time to visit Athens with a month-by-month account of the weather, hotel prices and any special events that are happening.

    Best Time to Visit Athens

    Greece Travel Secrets picks the best time to visit Athens with a month-by-month account of the weather, hotel prices and any special events that are happening.

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