What’s On in Athens

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.


WORLD SHORT FILMS

Cinema Astor, June 13 & 14

The Greek Film Academy’s annual Golden Nights festival returns to the Astor cinema with a selection of 35 short films from different parts of the world that were awarded last year by their respective countries’ academies.

From the USA and Taiwan to South Africa and Sweden, the films offer a fascinating glimpse into what filmmakers around the globe are up to, new trends and ideas, as well as emerging subjects of interest.

Screenings start at 17.45, and run through midnight. Admission is free of charge.

28 Stadiou, Stoa Korai

50/50 Film Festival

Greek Film Archive, June 13 & 14

The Greek Film Archive presents films from different parts of the world in a two-day tribute to gender equality.

On June 13, starting at 20.30, speeches on the subject will be followed by two films: the “Advocate” (Hebrew, Arabic, English), on the life and work of Jewish-Israeli lawyer Lea Tsemel, directed by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche, and “My Katines” (Greek), by Vilma Meniki, on the Autonomous Group of Women of Thessaloniki.

On June 14, another two screenings will be held starting at 20.45: “Delphine et Carole, Insoumuses” (French), a study by Callisto McNulty on the legendary 70s French actress Delphine Seyrig, and “Hannah Arendt” (German, English, French, Hebrew, Latin) by Margarethe von Trotta.

The films will be screened in their original language with Greek subtitles. Admission is free of charge.

48 Iera Odos & Megalou Alexandrou, Kerameikos

BROKEN HISTORY

Byzantine and Christian Museum, March 15-June 15

In “Broken History,” on show at the Byzantine and Christian Museum, painter and Athens School of Fine Arts professor Pavlos Samios explores how time affects history in a series of works on cardboard that juxtapose ancient art with street art, the past and the present.

The show will open at 19:00 on Friday, March 15. Opening hours are Wednesdays to Mondays from 20:30 to 16:00.

22 Vassilissis Sofias

EYEWITNESS: YANNIS BEHRAKIS

SNFCC, June 7-15

A selection of 70 of the renowned Greek photojournalist Yannis Behrakis’ photos will be on display for a single week at the National Library 4th floor patio at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. Behrakis, who passed away earlier this year, covered world events from the front lines until the end of his career. In 2016, he won a Pulitzer prize for his coverage of the refugee crisis.

Opening hours are 09.00-22.00 and admission is free of charge.

364 Syggrou Avenue

JETHRO TULL

Odeon of Herodes Atticus, June 15

Following its first gig at the Herods Atticus Theater in 2003, British rock legend Jethro Tull returns to the Athens Festival on Saturday, June 15, to celebrate 50 years in the music business with their Greek fans. Led by the ever-creative Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull has influenced generations of rockers with its diverse playing style and elaborate arrangements. On this tour, Jethro Tull revisits the past with a career-spanning show that includes rock anthems like “Too Old to Rock n’ Roll Too Young to Die.”

Tickets start at 30 euros and can be booked here.

Dionysiou Areopagitou, Acropolis

ATHENS GARDEN FESTIVAL

National Garden & Eleftherias Park Art Centre, June 14-16

In the summer heat, Athens’ green oases are the places to be. Hosted by the Athens Art Network and the Organization of Culture, Sports and Youth of the City of Athens (OPANDA), this year’s Athens Garden Festival will take place in the National Garden and at the Arts Centre of Eleftherias Park, in Ambelokipi, and feature a contest between small music ensembles.

The performances will start at 11.00 in the National Garden, and at 19.30 at the art centre in Eleftherias Park.

Admission is free.

Athens Photo World 2019

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, June 7-16

Athens Photo World gives Athenian citizens and tourists the chance to take a look at the the work of well-known contemporary Greek and foreign photojournalists with long experience and different perspectives. Their photographs depict scenes from everyday life, ranging from abandoned buildings in Athens to queues of immigrants on the border between Mexico and the United States.

All photographers have their base in Greece and capture the 21st century world. By bringing their pictures to various venues of the city, the professionals mentally transport their audience to different corners of the planet where life evolves differently.

Admission is free.

For more information, see here.

Leof. Andrea Siggrou 364, Kallithea

EJECT FESTIVAL

Water Square, 17 June

The lineup of this year’s Eject Festival is already a success. With The Cure as headliners, all presale and general admission second phase tickets are sold out. The lineup also features Michael Kiwanuka, The Ride, Khruangbin and The Steams.

General admission now costs €55. Get your tickets here.

Kallithea

Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra

Odeon of Herodes Atticus, June 17

As part of the Athens Festival, the award-winning orchestra consisting of 98 musicians from more than 20 countries will perform under the baton of Gustavo Gimeno and with acclaimed pianist Yuja Wang. The program includes Tchaikovsky’s “The Tempest” and “Fantasy” Overture, Op. 18 in F minor (1873), Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” Shostakovich’s Concerto for piano and orchestra No. 2 (F major Op. 102) and Stravinsky’s “Firebird” Suite (1919).

The show begins at 21.00 . Book your tickets here.

Dionysiou Areopagitou, Acropolis

LORD OF THE DANCE: DANGEROUS GAMES

Faliro Indoor Arena, June 19

The Lord of the Dance ensemble made its first appearance in 1996 and has since performed to more than 80 million people in 100 countries. Choreographed by Michael Flatley, “Dangerous Games” premiered in 2014 and includes all sorts of special effects, which bridge old traditional Celtic music and steps with new technology and modern themes.

Get your tickets here (link in Greek).

22 Koumoundourou, Palaio Faliro

VIENNA SYMPHONY & KAVAKOS

Odeon of Herodes Atticus, June 22

Founded in 1900, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra has collaborated with celebrated maestros including Wilhelm Furtwangler, Herbert von Karajan, Georges Pretre and Vladimir Fedoseyev. It last performed at Odeon of Herodes Atticus in 1967, under the baton of Wolfgang Sawallisch. For this concert, they’re joining forces with renowned violinist and conductor Leonidas Kavakos. The concert program includes Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor, Op. 64, Mozart’s Symphony No. 31 in D major KV 297 (“Paris”) and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92.

Dionysiou Areopagitou

Plisskën FESTIVAL

Technopolis, June 26-27

The critically acclaimed Plissken Festival, hailed for its line-up choices, returns to the Greek capital’s Technopolis cultural center with 34 artists covering a wide range of contemporary music styles, from indie to soul-funk, electronica and synthwave pop. Standout acts this year include Italian electronic music pioneer Giorgio Moroder, the London-based modern soul collective Jungle and US producer and musician The Black Madonna, popular on the house music circuit.

Book your tickets here.

100 Pireos, Gazi

Kostas Papanikolaou Solo Exhibition “The Last Days of Pompeii”

Skoufa Gallery, June 6-29

Skoufa Gallery is presenting a solo exhibition by Kostas Papanikolaou titled “The Last Days of Pompeii.” Papanikolaou, born in 1959, is a Greek postwar and contemporary painter. Generally, in all his paintings, Papanikolaou chooses warm colors, which awaken one’s memories from their childhood summers. In this exhibition’s paintings, Papanikolaou depicts the citizens of Pompeii who are struggling to survive the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The microcosms painted by the artist are characterized by contrasting elements of joy and sorrow, creation and destruction. In the depicted plains of Pompeii, one sees elements of the daily routines of people who continue to enjoy life, ignoring the signs of the upcoming disaster.

The solo exhibition will open at 19:30 on Thursday, June 6.

For general opening hours click here.

4 Skoufa, Kolonaki

NOSTOS FESTIVAL

SNFCC, June 23-30

The Summer Nostos Festival is an international multifaceted arts, sports and education event. The concert program features performances by a wide variety of artists ranging from Swedish singer-songwriter Neneh Cherry, American indie rock outfit Low and The National’s Bryce Dessner, to Greek laiki artist Yorgos Margaritis, Tetraktys, a new operetta by composer Nikos Kypourgos based on “Medea,” and “Portraits in Otherness,” which comprises solo works by four emerging artists curated by dancer-choreographer Akram Khan.

Other events include exhibitions, the SNF RUN: Running into the Future, activities for kids and families, an impressive fireworks show, and much more.

Find the full program here.

Admission is free.

364 Syngrou, Kallithea

Yo-Yo Ma

Odeon of Herodes Atticus,  June 30

Hailed as the world’s greatest cellist, with more than 18 Grammy Awards and a multitude of other distinctions including the Polar Music Prize (2012) and the United States National Medal of the Arts (2001), Yo-Yo Ma is coming to Greece for what is one of the Athens Festival’s fastest-selling shows. He will be performing Bach’s six unaccompanied cello suites.

Book your tickets here.

Dionysiou Areopagitou, Acropolis

RELEASE ATHENS FESTIVAL

Water Square, June (selected dates)

Release Athens Festival presents an impressive lineup again this year, with concerts taking place by the sea, at Water Square in Kallithea, throughout June. Some of the performing artists include Damian Marley, Manowar, Alice in Chains, Cypress Hill and Disturbed. The weekends will be packed. Iggy Pop, James and Shame all take the stage on Saturday, June 8. New Order, Johnny Marr, Morcheeba and Fontaines D.C. will play on Sunday, June 16. On Sunday, June 23 the square will fill with fans for Hozier, Roisin Murphy and Hooverphonic.

Keep an eye out here for more announcements (link in Greek).

Kallithea

ROCKWAVE FESTIVAL

Terra Vibe Park, June/July (seleted dates to be announced)

The musical festival which takes place at the Terra Vibe Park has announced the first two acts of its lineup for 2019. American singer/songwriter LP, and Kavinsky (Vincent Belorgey as his alterego – the zombie electronic music producer) will both perform on June 22.

Keep an eye out here for more lineup announcements.

Oropos

TANIORAMA

Asty Cinema, May 16-July 13

More than 140 films that have been screened and/or awarded at leading European film festivals such as Cannes and Berlin make up the seven-week annual Tainiorama film panorama. There will be three screenings every night – starting at 18.00 – with films organized according to theme. Iranian masterpieces, for example, is the theme on the opening night, followed by Venice Festival highlights, mini-tributes to Wim Wenders, David Lynch and other favorites, among others.

Admission costs 5 euros per day.

4 Korai Square, Panepistimio

TINDERSTICKS

Odeon of Herodes Atticus, July 13

British alternative rock band Tindersticks will be performing in the Greek capital as part of the Athens Festival on July 13. The career-spanning set will showcase what is known as the “Tindersticks sound,” a combination of elaborate arrangements, combining electric guitars, drums and bass with acoustic instruments such as violin, contrabass, flute, glockenspiel, trumpets and clarinet, retro aesthetics, hints of soul and jazz, and romantic sensibilities.

The show starts at 21.00. Get your tickets here.

Dionysiou Areopagitou, Acropolis

ACROPOLIS REDUX: CARYATID/FRIEZE

American School of Classical Studies at Athens, May 18-July 14

British photographer Ian Walker’s work, presented in an exhibition at the American School of Classical Studies, shines a light on how the sculptures that once adorned the ancient temples of the Acropolis, has inspired modern art around the world. The exhibition is divided into two parts: Caryatids and Friezes. The former focuses on London’s neo-classical caryatids, inspired by the one taken from the Erechtheum, which is now on display at the British Museum. The latter shows copies of the Parthenon relief, spread over Britain, Europe and the USA.

The show will open on International Museum Day, May 18, and run until July 14.

54 Souidias

DESTINATIONS

Athens International Airport, to July 14

The exhibition “Destinations,” currently on display at Athens International Airport, offers viewers a sense of the magic of theater through precious items used in memorable productions by the National Theater of Greece. Costumes and rare photographic material from the NTG’s archives shed light on significant moments in the history of this great cultural institution.

Art & Environment Exhibition Area, Departures Level (Entrance 3)

OMARA PORTUONDO

Technopolis, July 15

Buena Vista Social Club diva Omara Portuondo and her band of musicians are stopping in Greece on the acclaimed Cuban singer’s Last Kiss tour for one show at the Technopolis cultural complex on Monday, July 15.

Get your tickets here. Doors open at 21.30.

100 Pireos, Gazi

OUR BLUE PLANET

Eugenides Foundation, to July 21

The Eugenides Foundation’s digital planetarium is showing the BBC’s 2018 documentary “Oceans: Our Blue Planet,” described as a “global odyssey to discover the largest and least explored habitat on Earth.” The 40-minute screening has been dubbed into Greek, but non-speakers can purchase a headset at the foundation’s shop that allows them to watch this and all the other screenings at the planetarium in their native language.

Screenings take place from Wednesdays to Sundays at 18.30 and 20.30. Admission costs 8 euros for adults and 5 euros for kids.

Go here for more details.

387 Syngrou, Palaio Faliro

REFERENCE TO GUERNICA

Eynard Mansion, May 7-July 27

Artist and filmmaker Kyriakos Katzourakis presents a series of 50 paintings created over five years that were inspired by Picasso’s seminal “Guernica” and comment on present-day challenges and issues. “Reference to Guernica” will be on show at the Eynard Mansion by the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation through July 27 in an exhibition that will also include screenings of Katzourakis’ film “USSAK” on May 17 and June 7 and 27 at 18.00 and 20.00.

Opening hours are Tuesday-Friday 12.00-18.00 and Saturday 11.00-17.00. The inauguration takes place on Tuesday, May 7, at 20.00.

Aghiou Constantinou & Menandrou, Omonia

ATHENS PHOTO FESTIVAL

Benaki Museum Pireos Street Annexe, June 13-July 28

The popular photo festival which is organised annually, comes back for the 32nd time. Aiming to reflect the diversity of contemporary photography, the main exhibition will include works by 100 emerging and established artists from 32 countries, consisting of everything from fine art and conceptual work to documentary, installations, multimedia works, and more. Also not to miss is the photobook show and the “Young Greek Photographers” exhibition.

Find out more about the events and activities included here.

138 Pireos

MARIA CALLAS TRIBUTE

Olympia Theater, to July 31

The Olympia Theater presents an exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Greek soprano Maria Callas containing pieces purchased by the City of Athens and the Greek Ministry of Culture at a major auction in Paris in 2000. These include photographs from some of her greatest performances as well as her private life, along with letters, opera posters and programs, interviews from magazines and newspapers, and personal items like clothes, accessories, music sheets, records and books. The aim of the show is not only to celebrate the late great performer, but also to highlight her bond with the Olympia Theater.

Admission is free of charge and opening hours are Tuesdays to Fridays from 10.00 to 18.00 and Saturdays and Sundays from 10.00-14.00.

59-61 Academias

ATHENS OPEN-AIR FILM FESTIVAL

Selected venues, June 5-August 28

The ninth Athens Open-Air Film Festival promises a packed program, featuring films from every genre and screenings taking place at various venues around the city, including some of the most distinctive monuments and touristic destinations of the city, as well as squares, parks, beaches and other pedestrian areas.

See the program here.

PYX LAX

Technopolis & Municipal Theater of Piraeus, July 10 & September 3

Greek rock band Pyx Lax, which enjoyed great success in Greece in the 90’s and early 00’s, will be getting back together for a tour this summer. The band is known as one of the greatest commercial successes to come out of the Greek music industry, and collaborated with international artists such as Sting.

Two shows will take place in Athens, first at Technopolis in June, and at the Municipal Theater of Piraeus in September.

Get your tickets here (link in Greek).

JOHN CLEESE

Odeon of Herodes Atticus, September 20

Organized by The Hub Events as part of the celebrations marking the British Council’s 80th anniversary in Greece, the actor who wrote comedy history with the Monty Python gang and helped shape a style of comic acting that revolved around dark humor, profanity and provocation, will perform at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, in a show titled “John Cleese Live at the Acropolis”.

Find more information here.

Areopagitou Dionisiou

DESCRIBING A HUMAN

Municipal Art Gallery, to September 22

“Beyond Your Shadow: Four Ways to Describe a Human Being” presents work by key representatives of the modern Greek art scene – Steve Gianakos, Apostolos Georgiou, George Lappas and Makis Theofylaktopoulos – in order to explore the different ways in which the human form has been depicted in the post-war era.

Opening hours are Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10.00-21.00 and Sundays from 10.00-14.00. Admission is free of charge.

Vassilissis Sofias, Eleftherias Park

FASSIANOS & CHRONIS

B&M Theocharakis Foundation, to September 29

“Alekos Fassianos, Vangelis Chronis – 30 Years of Friendship, Paintings and Poetry” presents the collaboration of two well-known Greek artists, painter Alekos Fasianos and Poet Vangelis Chronis. The exhibition demonstraties how they have drawn inspiration from each other’s work for the past three decades, as well as their shared love for ancient Greek art. The show comprises poetry, paintings, drawings and engravings, as well as clay, bronze and glass creations.

Opening hours are daily 10.oo to 18.00.  

9 Vassilissis Sofias & 1 Merlin

PICASSO & ANTIQUITY

Museum of Cycladic Art, June 20-October 20

Famous for his spectacular paintings but less for his drawings, engravings, and pottery, Picasso’s work in these art forms was greatly inspired by the ancient Greeks. “Picasso and Antiquity. Line and clay” is a rare exhibition about Picasso and the inspiration he took from ancient works of art, curated by Professor N. C. Stampolidis and Olivier Berggruen.

Read more here.

4 Neophytou Douka

MEDEA AND OTHER FRIENDS

Athinaiki Skini, to October 31

Produced by the KOILON production team, “Medea and other friends I made in Athens” follows the adventures of a tourist who, on a visit to the Acropolis, slips, hits his head, and suddenly finds himself in the 5th c. B.C. Specially written for visitors to Athens, the play is performed in English. Shows start at 15.00 daily until June 15th, and at 18.00 starting June 16th. Tickets cost 18€ for adults and 14€ for children.

Find more information here.

Ath. Diakou & 13 Tzireon

HADRIAN & ATHENS

National Archaeological Museum, to November 29

In cooperation with the Italian Archaeological School at Athens, the National Archaeological Museum presents “Hadrian and Athens: Conversing with an Ideal World,” a temporary exhibition in the Sculpture Collection’s Gallery 31A through November 29. By promoting the integration of Greek intelligentsia with Roman tradition, Hadrian contributed decisively to forging a common cultural base that served as a fundamental element of Western culture. All 40 of the exhibits come from the National Archaeological Museum’s collections.

Opening hours though March 31 are Mondays and Wednesdays to Sundays from 8:30 to 16:00 and Tuesdays from 13.00 to 20.00. Summer hours, from April 1 to October 31, are Mondays and Wednesdays to Sundays from 8:00 to 20:00 and Tuesdays from 13.00 to 20.00.

Admission costs 5 euros though March 31 and 10 euros from April 1 to October 31.

44 Patission

COUNTLESS ASPECTS OF BEAUTY

National Archaeological Museum, throughout 2019

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


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