With summer well and truly in the air, music, theatre and film move outdoors in glorious and iconic venues around the city.
As with most European cities, August is when Athens slows down. Fewer events and performances are scheduled in the first half of the month, with a major national holiday occurring every year on 15th August (Assumption Day).
Here’s our monthly round-up of the best things to see and experience during your visit to Athens in August.
WHAT’S ON IN ATHENS IN JULY
Throughout July: Athens & Epidaurus Festival commences and is a highlight of the Greek summer calendar with a full programme of music, theatre, dance and visual arts. See the full programme here.
Until 26 July: The Athens Open Air Film Festival returns for its 9th year, transforming some of the most iconic spaces around Athens into outdoor cinemas, screening some of the greatest movies in film history. Info here.
17 July: The Ejekt Festival returns for its 15th year at Athens’ Plateia Nerou by the sea, bringing together the world’s best in alternative and electronic based music. Info here.
MUSIC IN THE CITY
Throughout July: Greek music lovers can see some of their favourite singers over various weekends throughout July. Highlights include Antonis Remos and Yiannis Parios. Info here.
Throughout July: Traditional Greek dancing at the 800 seat open air Dora Stratou theatre located on Philopappou Hill, opposite the Acropolis. Info here.
10 July: Legendary reggae band UB40 and multi-platinum selling Greek singer Antonis Remos will perform together at Theatro Petras in Petropouli in Athens, marking the bands 40th anniversary tour. Info here.
Until 12 July: Enjoy music outdoors by moonlight in true Athenian style at the Megaron as it upholds its summer tradition of transforming its surrounding gardens into an outdoor concert venue. Expect classical music, jazz and world music by prominent performers along with Greek and foreign pop. Info here.
12 July: Greek retro swing band, The Swingin’ Cats return to Gazarte to perform a repertoire of swing and rock n ‘roll melodies. Info here.
13 July: American thrash metal band Slayer will perform the closing show to the inaugural Athens Rocks Festival as part of their final world tour. Info here.
15 July: Cuban singer and dancer Omara Portuondo and her band of musicians will perform at the Technopolis cultural complex in Athens as part of her ‘Last Kiss’ tour. Info here.
THEATRE AND OPERA ON IN ATHENS
Throughout July: The archetypal play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles is long considered the greatest of Greek tragedies, with a sympathetic protagonist, a crushing climax, inspirational poetry and a wealth of meaningful themes. Performed by the Fimonoi Theater Group. Info here:
Throughout July: An old wagon is transformed into a theatrical stage for the Women of Passion, Women of Greece, where the mythological figure of ancient Greek tragedy Medea, meets the contemporary “priestesses” of modern Greece, Maria Callas and Melina Mercouri. Info here.
Throughout July: As part of the annual Athens & Epidaurus Festival the Epidaurus theatres come alive with the works of great Greek playwrights such as Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles and more. Info here.
EXHIBITIONS ON IN ATHENS
Throughout July: The Acropolis Museum celebrates its 10th year with the opening of the excavation area beneath the museum that was once an ancient Athenian neighbourhood. More info here.
Until 28 July: The Athens Photo Festival is the leading international festival of photography and visual culture in South-East Europe, and one of the five oldest of its kind in the world. More info here.
Throughout July: The Museum of Cycladic Art presents Rare works by Picasso depicting marine creatures, animals, human figures, mythological scenes inspired by ancient tragedy and comedy. More info here.
Until 14 July: The American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) presents Acropolis Redux – an exhibition of two groups of photographs which share a common theme – how the sculptures which adorned the temples on the Acropolis in the 5th century BC were disseminated in the modern world and became models for Western art. More info here:
Throughout July: The Benaki Museum of Hellenic Culture presents works by the internationally acclaimed contemporary painter Avigdor Arikha in the latest exhibition ‘One Breath’, presented for the first time in Greece. More info here
Throughout July: The National Archaeological Museum presents Countless Aspects of Beauty showcasing the institution’s impressive collections. More than 300 artefacts, digital media and other displays explore human kind’s eternal quest for beauty and the need to surround ourselves with beautiful objects, from jewellery, perfume, ceramics and other everyday pieces. More info here
Why Athens Tip for July
Throughout July: Free guided tours inside Hellenic Parliament take place in June, July and September, providing fascinating insights into the history of the building. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the grand rooms such as the Assembly Hall and the debating chamber and learn more about Greece’s modern history. More information here.
Throughout July: The Acropolis Museum provides complimentary* guided tours every Friday evening at 6:00pm (in English) led by an archaeologist who shares fascinating insights about the permanent exhibits. More information here.
*The Gallery Talks are complimentary with the regular price of entry. Duration: 60 minutes.
Throughout July: Visit the parklands and canal at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre for free guided tours and bike riding. Visitors need to register in advance. Check here for more details.
Throughout July: The visitors centre of the National Observatory of Athens will be conducting evening tours in English offering the public the opportunity to peer through the 8 metre dome of the Doridis telescope and enjoy the Athenian sky from the Hill of the Nymphs, opposite the Acropolis. More information here.
Find more events on in Athens this month.
Disclaimer: We make every attempt to ensure information about events are accurate and obtained from reliable sources. Why Athens is neither the producer nor ticketing agent of any performances listed and is therefore not responsible for the outcomes of performances including if they appear contrary to how the production has been originally promoted or represented. See our editorial policy for further information.