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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 10 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: John Malathronas

This world-class performing arts festival, a summer highlight since 1955, is staged in several venues – most notably the Herod of Atticus amphitheatre in Athens and the Epidaurus amphitheatre in the Peloponnese.

Expect to see ancient Greek drama, contemporary dance, world music, and experimental theatre performed by an eclectic line-up of international stars, such as Willem Dafoe, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Foo Fighters and Sting.

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
Frequency: annually
When: June-October
Duration: 4 months

Getting there & doing it

Ticket sales open three weeks prior to any event, and major events sell out fast. Seats at the ancient Herod Atticus and Epidaurus theatres aren’t allocated, so arrive early.

Book online, by phone, or at the box office (39 Panepistimiou Street, inside the Pesmatzoglou Arcade). Tickets are also on sale outside the Odeon of Herod Atticus and Peiraios 260 converted factory.

Seating at the ancient theatres of Herod Atticus and Epidaurus is on the original, backless stone benches – so you might want to bring a small cushion.

There are special chartered buses leaving from Athens to Epidaurus on festival nights.

When to do it

Events take place from June to October.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first


Athens, Central Greece, Greece

A modest, excellent-value hotel, superbly sited for the Monastiraki nightlife and with comfortable, family-friendly suites.

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Athens, Central Greece, Greece

An informal, welcoming hotel with a home-from-home feel and wonderful Acropolis views from the leafy roof terrace.

Official star rating:

Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

One of the most glamorous resorts on the Athens Riviera, this hotel occupies a pine-clad peninsula with its own private beach and promenade.

Official star rating:

Hotel Asomaton

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

A new art-focused hotel with a lovely rooftop pool and terrace, bringing a New York city buzz to one of Athens’ oldest neighbourhoods.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Central Greece, Greece

Antiquities galore, contemporary culture, scintillating nightlife and fantastic food: there’s something for everyone in Greece’s cosmopolitan capital that’s continuously reinventing itself.

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