The Most Famous and Important Theaters in Athens

The history of theater in modern Greece begins after 1821 when the term modern Greek theater was introduced.

Although the birthplace of theater, Greece experienced difficult days after the revolution, and so the only theatrical movement that existed was in Crete and the Ionian Islands, with young creators appearing and presenting works that were mostly comic or satirical.

The decisive change in the history of theater in modern Greece took place when Athens became the capital of the country, and especially with the passage of the 20th century. During this period, the first large theatrical stages began to be established, with the Royal Theater (National Theater today) laying the foundations for the rapid development of theater in Greece with new currents and practices. The theatrical stages of Athens began to invest in European works and a repertoire that had been presented for years on the big European stages.

National Theater by
National Theater by

National Theater

The National Theater is one of the most important theatrical stages in Greece. Its history has been identified with the development of modern theater in the country, as its founding was the occasion for the rapid progress of drama and the emergence of new theatrical forms and genres.

Stage of the National Theater

The National Theater was founded in 1901, as a royal theater, by Thomas Oikonomou, and was housed in the magnificent building of Agios Konstantinos, where it is still located today, with designs by Ernest Ziller. It closed in 1908 due to lack of money and reopened several years later.

In 1932 it was renamed the National Theater and retained its name, aiming not only at the presentation of works but mainly at the development of the theater as an art form and the promotion of the cultural identity of the place. Thus, a theatrical school was founded, for the promotion of the acting and directing potential of Greece, in collaboration with important stages abroad, and with great teachers of the Theater, such as Emilios Veakis, Minotis, Katina Paxinou, and others. At the same time, the theater retained its original purpose, the performance of performances for adults and children.

Over the years, the National Theater has developed its activities and so today there are four stages under its auspices. The main stage, the New Stage "Nikos Kourkoulos" and the event hall are housed in the main building on Agiou Konstantinou Street, while the Stage "Katina Paxinou" which includes the children's stage is housed in the Rex Theater on Panepistimiou Street. Every year, performances take place on all stages of the National Theater, mainly of the classical repertoire, but also contemporary works, always with the quality of the actors that make up the National Theater.

Address: 22, Agiou Konstantinou, 104 37

Website: National Theatre of Greece

Telephone: +30 210 528 8100

St. Petersburg State Ice Ballet at the Badminton Theater 2016 by Badminton Theater
St. Petersburg State Ice Ballet at the Badminton Theater 2016 by Badminton Theater

Badminton Theater

The Badminton Theater is one of the most important theatrical stages in Athens. It was inaugurated a few years ago, when the building in Goudi completed its obligations at the Athens Olympic Games, after hosting the badminton games in 2004.

How the Badminton Theater was born

After the end of the 2004 badminton games, the building became a private company that turned it into a multi-purpose event and arts venue, suitable for conferences as well as large-scale and small-scale events. The design of the space began in 2006 and was completed in 2007 when the events and theatrical performances began.

The stage of the Badminton Theater

The architecture of the theater is post-industrial, with strong modern elements, while its open, outdoor spaces are particularly characteristic, which in the summer months also host sculpture exhibitions.

The Badminton Theater has a capacity of 2430 seats. In such a layout that spectators have full and unobstructed visibility from anywhere. It also has a tent 30m wide and 18m deep. What makes the Badminton Complex stand out is that it can adapt so that it can host from simple theatrical performances to ice rinks and big concerts. The foyer of the theater and its reception areas are equally impressive and cover an area of ​​over 1,500 sq.m.

Due to its technical specifications and its amazing acoustics, the Badminton Theater is the most modern and perfect stage in Athens, and it is no coincidence that until today, it has hosted major international productions and theater and dance performances.

Address: Zografou 157 73

Website: Badminton Theater

Telephone: +30 210 884 0600

Pallas Theater by Pallas
Pallas Theater by Pallas

Pallas Theater

The Pallas Theater is one of the most famous and oldest theaters in Athens. It is located on Voukourestiou Street, one of the most central and commercial streets in the capital, and is a top choice for those who attend high-level theatrical and musical performances.

Both its ideal location, close to Syntagma and some of the most central hotels in Athens, as well as the easy access to it, have made it one of the most popular theaters in the city.

The Renovation of the Pallas Theater

The Pallas Theater was renovated in early 2000 and installed state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, to be able to successfully respond to the high-quality theatrical performances it uploads each season. The main hall of the Pallas has a large and wide stage that allows the upload of musical-theatrical performances with rich sets and opera performances from abroad.

It has an amazing balcony with a perfect view of the stage, and a gallery for the lovers of the most private view. The central lighting of his room is also one of the features of the Pallas and was maintained after the thorough renovation of the space. Also, on the second floor of the theater, there is a bar where spectators can order drinks.

The purpose of the company that has taken over the management of Pallas is the continuous enrichment of the repertoire that is presented every year in the theater, but also the innovative practices to facilitate the spectators in the information about the performances and the purchase of tickets.

In the same building, but with entrance from the Spyromiliou gallery, is the small Pallas, a small theater with 330 seats that also hosts high-level theatrical performances.

Address: 5, Voukourestiou, 105 64

Website: Pallas Theater

Telephone: +30 210 321 3100

Herodus Atticus Odeon by Zoe Waters
Herodus Atticus Odeon by Zoe Waters

Odeon of Herodes Atticus

The Conservatory of Herodes Atticus, or as it has been called, Herodeion, is one of the architectural jewels of Athens.

On the southwest side of the Acropolis hill, it dates back to the 2nd A.D. a century and was built with the sponsorship of Herod of Attica in honor of his wife. The name of the wife of the rich Athenian orator and sophist of the philosopher Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herod was "Rigilli". It was intended mainly for musical performances, while it was not always an open theater as it is today.

It was originally covered by a wooden roof, made of cedar. According to the tradition of Roman theaters, the orchestra had a semicircular shape, the marble stands covered 32 rows, while its capacity was approximately 5000 people. The Conservatory of Herodes Atticus, due to continuous embankments in the following years, was covered and was not visible until 1848, when the first pilot excavations began.

The serious restoration of the building took place after the Second World War, gradually and in parts. Pentelic marble was used for the restoration of the stands and Ymittos marble for the orchestra. After its complete restoration, it began to be used in the summer to host theatrical and other events, while in recent years it is one of the main venues of the Athens Festival.

Address: Acropolis of Athens

Website: Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Telephone: +30 210 324 1807

Christmas Theater

The Christmas Theater has a capacity of 3,000 spectators and is the largest theater in Athens. It prepares to host performances that aspire to take you to the most beautiful Christmas capitals around the world. From Prague and Vienna to Moscow and St. Petersburg, of course, New York and Las Vegas! Christmas around the world! With performances but also with flavors. Outside the Christmas Theater, you will find a unique Christmas Village with wooden houses that will offer sweet and savory flavors from around the world, the first and only in Athens Christmas Street Food village!

Address: 137 Leof. Veikou, Galatsi 111 46

Website: Christmas Theater

Telephone: +30 211 770 1700


Art Theater Karolos Koun

The Art Theater is interwoven with the aesthetics and the quality of the works and the actors that make it up. It is one of the most important theatrical stages of Athens, which established great names of Art in Greece and which has presented some of the most important works of Greek and world drama.

The history of the Art Theater

The art theater was founded in 1942 by Karolos Koun, in a climate of intense difficulties due to the Occupation. Both its founder and the people who worked with him, in the beginning, showed self-denial but also great militancy, as they tried to highlight the Art and the Greek theatrical tradition in very adverse conditions.

From the beginning, it had its style, and its goal was to promote and establish actors, directors, and writers so that the Greek theatrical audience could approach the theater more simply but with stability and devotion to Art. For this reason, Karolos Koun also founded the Drama School of the Art Theater, to serve and promote the theatrical tradition of Greece.

Address: 5 Pesmazoglou, 105 64

Website: Art Theater Karolos Koun

Telephone: +30 210 322 2760

Onassis Foundation by Yiannis Soulis
Onassis Foundation by Yiannis Soulis

Onassis Stegi

The Onassis Stegi is a building of high architectural value, which covers an entire building block on Syggrou Avenue and has the mission of strengthening Greek artists, promoting modern culture, and lifelong learning.

It was built exclusively under the supervision and with the funding of the Onassis Foundation. The French architectural firm that designed the building won an international tender, where more than 60 proposals were submitted.

The interiors cover an area of ​​7 floors and include the Main Stage, which hosts some of the largest theatrical productions in Greece and abroad, the Small Stage which, in addition to performances, also hosts events, speeches, etc., the Event Hall, the Exhibition Area, Restaurant-Cafe, as well as other free meeting places.

The building embodies the modern architectural philosophy of the use of light and integration into the existing landscape: the white rectangle looks like a shell that reflects light during the day, giving a sense of mystery, while at night the image is reversed and reflects the interior places.

Address: 107Leof. Andrea Siggrou, 117 45

Website: Onassis Stegi

Telephone: +30 210 900 5800

Main Image: National Theater by 

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