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.


Emma Shapplin

Galatsi Olympic Hall, November 15 & 16

French pop opera diva Emma Shapplin returns to Greece for two appearances at the Galatsi Olympic Hall as part of the annual Christmas Theater program of cultural events. The artist will present a grand spectacular dedicated to love songs, with a cast of 100 that includes an orchestra and choir.

The concerts will start at 21.00 both days.

Buy your tickets here.

137 Veikou, Galatsi

Madama Butterfly

Athens Concert Hall, November 16

Athens Concert Hall is screening a production of Giacomo Puccini’s heart-wrenching drama “Madama Butterfly”, conducted by Pier Giorgio Morandi, live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Hui He stars as the devoted geisha who sacrifices everything for the dashing American navy officer Pinkerton, sung by Andrea Care. Elizabeth DeShong is her devoted companion Suzuki and Paulo Szot is Sharpless, a role that he has previously sung at the Marseilles Opera.

The screening starts at 19.55. 

Find more information and buy your tickets here.

1 Kokkali & Vassilissis Sofias

Alexis Akrithakis: Tsiki-Tsiki

Museum of Greek Culture, September 25-November 17

“My relationship with painting is completely impulsive. It is like looking at any empty space, where a single dot can become a starting point,” said Alexis Akrithakis, one of the most important figures in the postwar art scene in Greece. Marking 80 years since his birth and 25 since his death, the Benaki Museum is organizing an exhibition dedicated to one of the artist’s signature techniques, which came to be known colloquially as “tsiki-tsiki,” a dense black-and-white drawing style that defined much of his work from the 1960s through the mid-1970s.

1 Koumbari & Vasilissis Sofias

ANIMA I

Benaki Museum, September 12-November 17

Artist Jannis Varelas constructs collage-like paintings that showcase the profundity of ordinary objects. His latest solo exhibition, “Anima I,” at the Benaki Museum’s Pireos Street annex, features items from the museum’s historical collections alongside paintings combining realism and the abstract with his friends and family as models, scrapbooks, archive material, photographs, collages, video and costumes from the preparatory stages of the performative process. The exhibition is co-produced by the Onassis Foundation.

Opening hours are Thursday and Sunday from 10.0-18.00 and Friday and Saturday from 10.00-22.00.

Read more here.

138 Pireos & Andronikou, Tavros

Fokion Zissiadis

Benaki Museum, October 17-November 17

Photographer Fokion Zissiadis captures scenes in the Arctic region that reveal the awesomeness of icebergs, capturing the dichotomy between their apparent solidity and perpetual transformation, their seeming fragility and actual power. On show at the Benaki Museum’s Pireos Street annex, “Icebergs from Genesis to Extinction,” runs through November 17.

Opening hours are Thursdays and Sundays 10.00-18.00 and Fridays and Saturdays 10.00-22.00.

Find more information here.

138 Pireos & Andronikou, Tavros

EXTENDING REALITY

Eugenides Foundation, the New Digital Planetarium, November 14-17

Athens Digital Arts Festival is organizing an art, science and technology exhibition titled “Extending Reality | CoExistence: Art, Science & Technology,” featuring animation screenings, performances, workshops, and much more.

Go here for the full program.

Opening hours are 10.00-22.30.

Entrance is free.

387 Leoforos Syggrou

Bryan Adams

OAKA Basketball Arena, November 18

Following the release of his 14th studio album, “Shine a Light,” in March, enduring and ever-popular Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams is stopping by Greece on his world tour for a single show at the Olympic Stadium (OAKA) basketball arena on Monday, November 18.

Doors open at 20.30.

Get your tickets here.

Spyrou Loui Avenue, Maroussi

FROZEN ON ICE

Faliro Indoor Arena, November 20-24

Field Entertainment transports the action of the smash-hit animated adventure “Frozen” onto ice, complete with amazing scenery and cool special effects, and will be bringing its production to Athens for a run at the Faliro Indoor Arena. Not to let Disney on Ice fans down, the extravaganza will also feature appearance by Mickey, Minnie and other much-loved characters.

Buy your tickets here.

22 Koumoundourou, Palaio Faliro

JOSE CARRERAS

OAKA Basketball Arena, November 24

World-famous Spanish opera singer Jose Carreras, hailed as one of the three great tenors of the modern age, will perform in Athens for one night only on November 24 in a concert that is reported as being the last he is planning in Greece and the Balkans. The 72-year-old, renowned for his performances in the operas of Verdi and Puccini, will be joined by the ERT Symphony Orchestra in a program of his greatest arias.

The concert starts at 20.30.

Tickets for the show at the Olympic Stadium (OAKA) Basketball Arena start from 35 euros. Buy yours here (link in Greek).

Spyrou Loui Avenue, Maroussi

Irish Stand-up

Faust, November 27-28

Two of Ireland’s biggest-named, London-based comedians Rory O’Hanlon and Peter Flanagan, along with Niamh Marron will perform at Faust on the evenings of November 27 and 28. The event is organised by the Greek Irish Society, and supported by the Embassy of Ireland.

Doors open at 21.00.

Buy your tickets here.

Kalamiotou 11, Monastiraki

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

THE GREAT TAMER

Megaron Athens Concert Hall, November 29 & 30

After touring the world for two-and-a-half years, award-winning choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou returns to Greece for two final performances of “The Great Tamer”. With allusions to Greek mythology, the paintings of Mantegna, Courbet and Rembrandt, and films including Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” in this piece Papainoannou explores the inner forces that man has to tame in order to achieve self-fulfillment.

Buy your tickets here.

1 Kokkali & Vassilissis Sofias

ATHENSCON

Tae Kwon Do Stadium, November 30-December 1

Athenscon is for anyone who loves comics, pop-art, color and fun, or just have an urge to wake the child within. Visitors can get works signed by Greek and international writers and artists, attend seminars and take part in workshops, play the newest video games and board games for free, and much more.

Go here for details about the events.

Palaio Faliro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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