The annual Athens and Epidaurus Festival encompasses a broad spectrum of cultural events: most famously ancient Greek theatre (performed, in modern Greek, at the Herodes Atticus Theatre on the South Slope of the Acropolis), but also modern theatre, traditional and contemporary dance, classical music, jazz, traditional Greek music and even a smattering of rock.
The Herodes Atticus Theatre is a memorable place to watch a performance on a warm summer’s evening – although you should avoid the cheapest seats, unless you bring along a pair of binoculars and a cushion. Other festival venues include the open-air Lykavitós Theatre on Lykavitós Hill, and the two ancient theatres at Epidaurus. For the latter, you can buy inclusive trips from Athens from the festival box office, either by coach or boat – the two-hour boat trip includes dinner on board on the way home.
Performances are scheduled from late May right through to early October, although the exact dates vary each year. If you can, it’s worth booking in advance (credit card bookings on
210 327 2000 and at greekfestival.gr); tickets go on sale three weeks before the event at the box office. As well as online, programmes are available from tourist offices or from the festival box office in the arcade at Panepistimíou 39 (Mon–Fri 8.30am–4pm, Sat 9am–2.30pm). There are also box offices at the Herodes Atticus Theatre (daily 9am–2pm and 5–8pm) and Epidaurus (Mon–Thurs 9am–2pm and 5–8pm, Fri & Sat 9.30am–9.30pm) for events at those venues only.