What’s On in Athens: Events, Exhibitions, Festivals and More

From food festivals to concerts to international exhibitions, here's a list of some of the best events happening around the city in the next months.


Avant-Garde Film Festival

Greek Film Archive & Exile Room, November 20-December 5

The Greek Film Archive and Exile Room are hosting the 10th edition of the Athens Avant-Garde Film Festival (AAGFF), with select feature films and documentaries, most of which have not been screened in Greece before.

Find the festival program here and buy your tickets here.

Greek Film Archive: 48 Iera Odos & Megalou Alexandrou, Kerameikos

Exile Room: 12 Athinas (3rd floor), Monastiraki

ELENIT

Onassis Stegi, November 28-December 7

Described as an “ensemble piece for three creatures and a machine,” Euripides Laskaridis’ “Elenit” continues to explore the artist’s key theme of the perseverance of humankind in the face of the unknown. Coming after his critically acclaimed “Relic” in 2015 and “Titans” in 2017, “Elenit” is a tragicomedy about a machine interested only in the urgency of the moment, which also features a chorus of many bodies to create an endlessly animated backdrop to the action.

Book your tickets here.

107 Syngrou

The Past of the Future

Kalfayan Galleries, to December 14

In “The Past of the Future,” artists Rania Bellou, Bill Balaskas, Antonis Donef, Farida El Gazzar, Yiannis Hadjiaslanis, Konstantin Kakanias and Yiannis Papadopoulos explore the sociopolitical dynamics and symbolisms of the Acropolis, and its crowning monument, the Parthenon, while also underscoring the enduring appeal of the ancient Greek citadel as a source of inspiration, but also commercial exploitation.

Opening hours are Tuesdays to Fridays from 11.00-19.00 and Saturdays from 11.00-15.00.

11 Haritos, Kolonaki

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

FokiaNou Art Space, December 7-21

Artists and co-owners of popular FokiaNou Art Space, Panagiotis Voulgaris and Mary Cox, are presenting their second show featuring their own work. Titled “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. The works presented have been made with repurposed materials, and represent small, intensely colored gems, meant to “give rise to the euphoric feeling of gazing into a Tiffany’s display window”.

24 Fokianou

My fair lady

SNFCC, December 5-31

Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s “My Fair Lady,” one of the most popular musicals in the history of Broadway, is presented for the first time in Greece in its full-length music version by the Greek National Opera’s Alternative Stage at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. The production is conducted by Stathis Soulis and directed by Ioannis Perlegkas, who also features in the leading role of Professor Higgins.

It also features two up-and-coming GNO sopranos, Vassia Zacharopoulou and Christina Asimakopoulou, in the title role, alongside an excellent cast of soloists and actors, and will be accompanied by English surtitles.

Starts at 20.00 December 5-8, 12-15, 19-22, 28 and 29, at 19.00 on Sundays and December 24, 26 and 27, and at 18.30 on New Year’s Eve.

Read more, and buy your tickets through here.

364 Syngrou, Kallithea

JAZZ & OPERA EVENINGS

Grande Bretagne, to the end of the year

As the nights draw in, the Hotel Grande Bretagne invites music lovers to its Winter Garden City Lounge for evenings of live jazz and opera.

On Wednesdays, a talented trio comprising saxophonist Melina Paxinos, bassist Dinos Manos and pianist Petros Karpathakis will be performing jazz numbers, while soprano Katia Paschou and tenor Giorgos Nastos will be singing opera duets on Thursdays through the end of November before dedicating the month of December to Christmas songs.

20.00-23.00 every Wednesday and Thursday until the end of the year.

1 Vassileos Georgiou A, Syntagma Square

SWAN LAKE

National Opera, December 22-31 (selected dates)

Greek National Opera Ballet director Konstantinos Rigos returns to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) stage with his bold new reading of one of the most popular pieces of the classical repertory, “Swan Lake,” which met with critical and popular acclaim during its first run last year. The Greek choreographer attempts to highlight the contradictions of man’s nature by casting the black and white swans as two sides of the same person and setting the action in a post-apocalyptic world.

Shows take place on December 22 and 29 at 18.30. on December 24, 26, 27 and 29 at 20.00. and on December 31 at 19.00. 

Find more information and buy your tickets through here.

SNFCC, 364 Syngrou, Kallithea

CHRONOGRAPHY

Archaeological Society at Athens, to December 31 (duration extended)

Robert McCabe’s photographs in regions of archaeological significance during his first trips to the country between the mid-1950s and early 1960s, are on display at the Archeological Museum at Athens. The aim of the exhibition is to highlight the key role played by the Archaeological Society in shaping the self-awareness of the Greeks as a nation. The American photographer’s shots show Greece at a time when there were few cars and infrastructure was basic, and include a tour of the Peloponnese with British philhellene and distinguished archaeologist Alan Wace.

Opening hours are Mondays to Fridays from 10.00 to 18.00.

Admission is free of charge.

22 Panepistimiou, Omonia

SUNDIAL EXHIBITION

National Observatory, to December 31

The Visitor Center of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) is hosting an exhibition of sundials designed by sculptor Andreas Galanakis through the end of the year. Functional and precise, these elegant timepieces can be viewed in the open air on the Hill of the Nymphs every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evening.

Lofos Nymfon, Thiseio

COUNTLESS ASPECTS OF BEAUTY

National Archaeological Museum, to December 31

The National Archaeological Museum presents “Countless Aspects of Beauty,” the final exhibition in a fascinating trilogy showcasing the institution’s impressive collections on the occasion of its 150th anniversary. Here, 350 artifacts, digital media and other displays explore man’s eternal quest for beauty and his need to surround himself with beautiful things, from everyday cooking utensils to jewelry, perfume and other finery. The show also addresses conflicting notions of beauty and aesthetic trends as they evolved from Neolithic times to late antiquity.

Opening hours are Mondays from 13.00 to 20.00 and Tuesdays to Sundays from 8:00 – 20:00.

Admission costs 10 euros.

44 Patission

Art notebooks

Benaki Museum – 138 Pireos, December 10-January 3

In 1926, Kefalonian-born art publisher, gallerist and critic Christian Zervos launched the Paris-based magazine Cahiers d’Art – a beautifully produced and splendidly illustrated showcase for art and architecture from prehistory to modern times – which ran until 1960. The exhibition of works from his personal collection, titled “Christian Zervos & Cahiers d’Art: The Archaic Turn,” at the Benaki Museum casts light on Zervos’ contribution to the modern art scene and on his role in linking ancient Greek and contemporary art.

138 Pireos & Andronikou

DON CARLOS

SNFCC, December 8-January 5 (selected dates)

The Greek National Opera presents one of the most important operas of Verdi’s mature period, “Don Carlos,” based on Friedrich Schiller’s play of the same title, in its Italian five-act version (Modena, 1886). Directed by the great British director and former artistic director of London’s Royal National Theater Sir Nicholas Hytner, with sets and costumes by Bob Crowley, this is a co-production of the Royal Opera House, London, the New York Metropolitan Opera and the Norwegian National Opera.

It stars Marcelo Puente in the title role, Alexander Vinogradov as Filippo II, Tassis Christoyannis and Dimitri Platanias alternating as Rodrigo, and Rafal Siwek as the Grand Inquisitor, and is conducted by celebrated conductor and artist in residence at the GNO for the 2019/20 season Philippe Auguin.

Performances will take place on December 8, 13, 15, 19, 21 and 28, and January 2 and 5.

Buy youur tickets here.

364 Syngrou, Kallithea

GREEK EXPRESSIONISM

Athens Municipal Gallery, to January 5 

The Athens Municipal Gallery pays tribute to often overlooked yet important Greek artists who were active in the second half of the 20th century with “Exception: Aspects of Expressionism in Greece.” The main part of the exhibition is dedicated to painter Giorgos Bouzianis and engraver Giorgos Economidis, local pioneers of the the expressionist scene developed in Germany and France, as well as to other artists who shaped their personal idiom regardless of the strict academic edicts that influenced many artists at the time and the pull of modernism.

Opening hours are Tuesdays from 10.00 to 21.00, Wednesdays to Saturdays from 10.00 to 19.00 and Sundays from 10.00. to 15.00.

Leonidou & Myllerou, Avdi Square, Metaxourgeio

Historical connections

Bernier/Eliades Gallery, to January 11

In his second show in Greece, titled “Nanny Guinevere (Dr Excalibur is Back),” acclaimed German artist Jonathan Meesepresents a series of new paintings in which he ponders modern man’s connection to history and to the world around him. Figures from mythology and from the pages of history books – including Nero, Caligula and Hitler – emerge from his dynamic brushstrokes and fine lines, juxtaposed with self-portraits and extracts from literary and political texts.

11 Eptachalkou, Psyrri

JANNIS PSYCHOPEDIS

SNFCC, to January 12

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) has put together a retrospective on Yiannis Psychopedis that focuses on the artist’s love of poetry, something that is evident throughout his oeuvre. Engravings, watercolors, oils and portraits shed light on the influence on his art of a range of Greek and non-Greek poets, from Homer, Parmenides, Herodas and Calvo, to Byron, Palamas, Cavafy, Karyotakis, Lorca, Seferis, Elytis, Ritsos, Embirikos and Sachtouris.

The exhibition is open daily from 9.00-22.00 on the fourth floor of the National Library.

Read more about the exhibition here.

364 Syngrou, Kallithea

Qi Baishi: The Mysterious East

B&M Theocharakis Foundation, November 12-January 12

Dreamy landscapes and the beauty of nature are key motifs in the work of Qi Baishi (1865-1957), a self-taught Chinese artist who drew inspiration from the painters of the early Qing Dynasty. In cooperation with the Beijing Fine Art Academy, the B&M Theocharakis Foundation is presenting a selection of his work in “Qi Baishi: The Mysterious East.”

Opening hours are Fridays to Wednesdays from 10.00-18.00 and Thursdays from 10.00-20.00.

9 Vassilissis Sofias & Merlin

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Greek National Theater, Ziller building, Main Stage, November 15-January 12

A musical version of a Christmas Carol, based on a version by Jack Thorne, directed by Giannis Moschos and with original music by Thodoris Economou, will bring Christmas mood to the Greek National Theater’s main stage this holiday season. 

The production will feature English surtitles every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Find more information and book your tickets through here.

22 Aghiou Konstantinou

Gone Today, Here Tomorrow

Megaron – Athens Concert Hall, to January 26

Five contemporary artists – Maria Theodoraki, Marcos Lutyens, Basim Magdy, Kosmas Nikolaou and Malvina Panagiotidi – use innovative media to explore how we see art, what we get from it and how that changes every time we revisit it. Curated by Eva Vaslamatzi, the exhibition is part of a series being launched by AnnexM, an Athens Concert Hall initiative to showcase the work of young curators.

Vasilissis Sofias & 1 Kokkali

The collector’s house

Rebecca Camhi Gallery, to January 30

Works by famous artists Takis and Nan Goldin are illuminated by Vico Magistretti table lamps. In another arrangement, Paolo Buffa armchairs are paired with old wooden trunks and handmade buffet tables. Design meets modern art in an exhibition titled “L’appartement du collectionneur,” organized by the Martinos Antiques store and the Rebecca Camhi Gallery, and staged to resemble the interior of a collector’s apartment.

9 Leonidou, Metaxourgeio

AEGEAN DESERT

Museum of Islamic Art, October 10-January 19

In two experimental installations by Prince Nikolaos, presented in a Bedouin tent at the courtyard of the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art and in a traditional windmill of the Aegean Sea, erected in the Katara Cultural Village in Doha, the Prince presents his photos of the Qatari desert and  the Aegean Sea side by side, or fused together, in an attempt to illustrate the beauty and individual character of variegated landscapes.

Opening hours are Thurday-Sunday, 10.00-18.00.

Read more here.

22 Ag. Asomaton & 12 Dipilou St

TESLA TRIBUTE

Kotsanas Museum, October 1 – January 31

The Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology pays tribute to the great Serbian-American engineer, inventor and futurist Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), who, among other discoveries, revolutionized how we generate and distribute electricity. The exhibition comprises scale models, including of Tesla’s lab at Colorado Springs and his hydroelectric plant at Niagara Falls, as well as explanatory texts on his life, work and contribution.

Opening hours are 9.00 to 17.00 daily and admission costs 5 euros.

6 Pindarou, Kolonaki

GREEK FASHION

Hellenic Cosmos, October 31-January 31

The Foundation of the Hellenic World and the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation present “Greek Fashion: 100 Inspirational and Creative Years,” a show exploring the influence of Greek culture and civilizations on fashion. Comprising 140 exhibits, the show at the Hellenic Cosmos cultural center presents work by well-known and pioneering Greek and foreign designers, small studios and humble dressmakers to illustrate how the old became an integral part of the new.

Opening hours are Tuesdays to Thursdays from 9.00 to 13.00, Fridays from 09.00-20.00, Saturdays from 11.00-16.00 and Sundays from 10.00-18.00.

The exhibition is accompanied by an excellent catalogue in Greek and English.

254 Pireos, Tavros

SPYROS PAPALOUKAS STUDIES

Eynard Mansion, to January 31

The National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation (MIET) is showing 200 pieces by Greek 20th century modernist Spyros Papaloukas, on loan from nine collections. The show includes drawings in pencil and ink, as well as watercolors, temperas and oils. The majority are studies – many of which have never been shown to the public before – and cast light on his creative and intellectual processes.

Opening hours are Mondays to Fridays from 11.00 to 18.00.

20 Aghiou Konstantinou, Omonia

Discovering Skalkottas

Megaron-Athens Concert Hall, to January 31

Handwritten scores, personal letters, concert programs from all over the world and other fascinating items from the Nikos Skalkottas Archive highlight different aspects of the life and work of this great early 20th-century Greek composer. The exhibition is part of a series of events organized by the Athens Concert Hall to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Skalkottas’ death.

Vasilissis Sofias & Kokkali

The Merry Widow

Olympia Municipal Theater, December 7-February 2 (selected dates)

Franz Lehar’s legendary operetta “The Merry Widow” tells the tale of the romance between the young, beautiful and rich widow Hanna Glawari and the fun-loving Count Danilovitsch. It returns to Athens’ historic Olympia Theater in a production directed by Isidoros Sideris, who has relocated the action to early 20th-century Paris and the famous cabaret Maxim’s.

Catch the show on December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 26, 27 & January 1-2. It starts at 18.30 on Sundays, and at 20.00 on all other dates.

59 Academias

Phantom of the Opera

Galatsi Olympic Hall, February 1-9

One of the world’s biggest musical successes and the longest running musical on Broadway (33 years and 12.000 shows), Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera is traveling from London’s West End to Athens for 11 shows in February.

Tickets are expected to sell fast. Buy yours here (link in Greek).

137 Veikou, Galatsi

The New House

Rex Theater – Marika Kotopouli Stage, February 9

Fallen aristocrat Anzoletto strives to fulfill the whims of his spoiled yet beloved new wife Cecilia, despite his straitened circumstances and her love of finery, as they make their home together. Written in 1760, Carlo Goldoni’s comedy pokes fun at the social ills of that era but also underscores how little times have changed: the anxiety to keep up appearances, the desire to climb the social ladder and the predominance of money are eminently current themes addressed in this play, which is being staged by the Greek National Theater for the first time, under the direction of Yiannis Skourletis.

The performance includes English supertitles every Thursday and Saturday.

48 Panepistimiou

Masterpieces on the loom

Benaki Museum – Pireos 138, to February 16

An exhibition of tapestries hosted at the Benaki’s Pireos Street annex, titled “Weavings: Painting and Tapestry in Greece from 1960 to the Present,” showcases a lesser-known side of Greek handicrafts. It comprises loom-woven tapestries depicting paintings by great Greek artists such as Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas, Vassiliou, Moralis and Tsarouchis, as well as rugs based on motifs found in paintings and etchings by Katrakis and Mytaras, among others. It also features three-dimensional pieces made of string that highlight the evolution of fiber art.

138 Pireos & Andronikou

Enter Achilles

Onassis Stegi, February 19-25 (selected dates)

Eight guys downing pints of beer around the jukebox of a dingy pub sets the stage for a piece that examines modern-day stereotypes about masculinity. This landmark piece of physical theater, which was first directed by the iconoclast of dance Lloyd Newson and went on to tour 18 countries, comes to the Onassis Stegi with a new cast and a modern approach in a new world premiere.

Find more information here.

107-109 Syngrou

I am… How I see myself

Museum of Cycladic Art, October 25-February 28

The Museum of Cycladic Art is hosting a drawing competition for children aged 4-15 years old. This year, the theme is self portraits. The portraits can be representations of anything from your physical appearance to your hopes and dreams; they should be what you see when you look in the mirror.

To take part in the competition, you need to print out a outline of a Cypriot bronze mirror dating to 1200-1050 BC, which is on display at the museum, and use it as the base for your drawing.

Find more information, and print out the entry form and the mirror outline here.

Melita Vangelatou: Casablanca

Museum of Islamic Art, November 14-March 1

Photographs by Melita Vangelatou present to the visitor the way of life of the people in Casablancas remaining traditional districts, where few things differ from the villages where these people were born.

Opening hours are Thursday-Sunday 10.00-18.00

Read more here.

22 Ag. Asomaton & 12 Dipilou St

Lynda Benglis: In the Realm of the Senses

Museum of Cycladic Art, Stathatos Mansion, November 22-March 15

“Lynda Benglis: In the Realm of the Senses”, curated by the writer, critic and art historian, Dr. David Anfam, will include over 30 pieces of her work, created over half a century. It’s the artist’s first solo show in the country.

The exhibition opening will take place at 19.00 on Exhibition November 21.

Read more here.

Vasilissis Sophias Avenue & Irodotou

JEFF WALL

The George Economou Collection, June 18-April 2020

The first solo exhibition of Canadian artists Jeff Wall’s work opens at the George Economou Collection on June 18. The artist’s fine art photography, created between the late 1980s and the 2010s, is presented in three sections, reflecting his involvement with various historical narratives.

Opening hours are Monday-Friday 10.00-18.00.

Find more information here.

80 Kifissias Avenue


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