Serving some of the best street food in the capital and selling unique handmade gifts, here we’ve rounded up Athens’ best Christmas markets for 2023 – where you can eat, drink, shop and be merry!
Christmas Mood in Pedio tou Areos & Omonoia Square
After strolling around the beautifully decorated Syntagma Square, make your way over to Pedio tou Areos and Omonoia Square where it’s also shining! Transformed into Christmas parks with open markets selling handcrafted gifts – here you will also have the opportunity to ice skate and enjoy plenty of cultural events that are held every day. At Omonoia Square you can admire the second-largest Christmas tree in Athens, with thousands of lights sparkling in one of the most beautifully renovated squares in the heart of the city.
Address: Pedio tou Areos & Omonoia Square
Μeet Market-Xmas Edition
Get ready for 10 consecutive days of shopping, music, drinks, food, activities and meet-ups in the most festive of settings! This year over 200 “Made In Greece” brands will be showcased during the 10 days – including well-known designers and artisans, plus over 50 fresh faces that will be introducing themselves to Athens locals for the first time with their gorgeous items that are ideal for this time of year.
Date & Time: Friday 8 – Sunday 17 December 2023 Weekdays 17:00 – 22:00 & Weekends 12:00 – 22:00
Address: Amaxostasio / Old Depot OSY, Ermou & Pireos, Athens
For the most extravagant Christmas market event in Athens, look no further than the Christmas Factory, which is taking place for the tenth year at the Technopolis courtyard in Gazi. Games, gifts, an amusement park, an ice skating rink, musical acts, theatre performances, Christmas stories, and interactive workshops with dozens of elves will be there to greet visitors! This bright affair also features tasty Christmas market food and edible gifts, as well as a series of festive performances and programming, plus rides including a huge Ferris wheel.
Date & Time: 25 November- 6 January 10 am – 10 pm
Αddress: Technopolis, 100 Pireos and Voutadon, Gazi
Just outside of the Galatsi Indoor Olympic Stadium, which happens to be home to the Athens Christmas Theater, you’ll find Athens’ first and only Christmas Street Food Village! Wonderfully set up with wooden chalets, here you’ll find sweet treats and great handmade gifts for Christmas. With international street food, as well as fun games for visitors of all ages, this is a great Christmas market to visit in Athens if you’re catching a show at the Christmas Theater.
The exciting exhibition “Memories Steeped in Dream” which includes 90 engravings, ceramics and lithographs by eight prominent artists of the 19th and 20th centuries from the B & E Goulandris Foundation collection, highlights the significance of the multiple in modern and contemporary art.
The Museum of the Vassilis & Elizas Goulandris Foundation presents a huge tribute to the fundamental role of multiples in modern and contemporary art. For this purpose, the periodic exhibition “Memories Steeped in Dream” exhibits about ninety lithographs, engravings and ceramics, collected from the Foundation Collection that bear the signatures of eight acclaimed 19th and 20th-century artists. Multiple masterpieces from legendary artists including Aristide Maillol (1861-1944), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Fernand Léger (1881-1955), Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Georges Braque (1882-1954), Joan Miró (1893-1983) and Balthus (1908-2001) are exhibited. The consolidated presentation of these works gives us the opportunity to “read” again their story through two perspectives.
At first, we consider the carefully selected art pieces as a set of “Memories steeped in the dream”, according to the lyrical description of the Guatemalan author Miguel Ángel Asturias. This way we can analyse the advantages that these various techniques offered artists of the multiple. This includes: approaching different methods of creation and developing a different way of looking at the work of art; spreading their work wider and faster; and having their works co-exist with written texts by prose writers or poets. Additionally, other than exploring the world of engraving and ceramics, the exhibition further stresses the key role of many collaborators who were involved in editing the works, including Ambroise Vollard, Aimé, Marguerite and Adrien Maeght, Tériade, Fernand Mourlot and Suzanne Ramie.
In the second stage seeing each work separately, we enable ourselves to follow the path of their creation, emphasising at the same time the originality in relation to the rest of each artist’s output.
Visitors of the exhibition will be able to discover hidden gems of contemporary art history such as the collections: Master of Design by Aristide Maillol, Twelve Lithographs by Lautrec, Circus by Léger, Hesiod’s Theogony, illustrated (in Greek) by Braque, Windswept heights of Emily Brontë, as Balthus imagined them. As for the famous artists Matisse, Picasso and Miró, through their exhibited works they prove once again the decisive role they played in the development of engraving and ceramics during the 20th century.
The essential “map” for the museum tour
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalog (in Greek and English), which has been compiled by the curator of the exhibition Maria Koutsomalli-Moreau and is published by the B&E Goulandris Foundation, that is edited by Mikri Arktos. It is enriched with a Glossary containing all the technical terms of engraving, which are necessary for a solid understanding of the methods used, as well as with biographical notes of the valuable collaborators who gave the artists the opportunity to excel in the art of the manifold. The interspersed testimonies of artists, gallery owners and craftsmen complete this tribute to an entire field of art, which unfortunately has not yet found the recognition it deserves.
The artists in the exhibition “Memories Stepped in Dream”
Aristide Maillol (1861-1944) – LITHOGRAPHS
In 1948, four years after the death of Aristide Maillol, the French publishing house Flammarion published a scrapbook with drawings by the artist and a foreword by the author Jules Romain. Those works on paper, transferred to lithographs, give a wider audience the opportunity to discover a previously unknown side of the art of Maillol, who until that time was famous as a sculptor.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) – TWELVE LITHOGRAPHS
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was involved throughout his life with lithography, a genre that offered him great freedom of expression. His dealers Maurice Joyant and Michel Nanzi, the last owners of Goupil & Cie, encouraged him a lot in this direction. Nevertheless, Lautrec’s work in the genre of lithography achieved real success after his death, mainly thanks to the exhibition organized by Marcel Guérin in 1910 at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
Henri Matisse (1869-1954) – JAZZ
Matisse began to create works using cut coloured papers as early as 1930. But it was not until 1943 that this technique took on much greater dimensions, when Tériade, with whom he had already collaborated for Verve magazine, discovered his collages. At that time Matisse was living in the hills of Nice and the state of his health did not allow him to work except lying in bed most of the time. Tériade is so impressed by those cut-out figures from sheets of paper painted with gouache that he suggests Matisse create a “flower-book”, which will be a combination of a series of such compositions and handwritten text.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) – LITHOGRAPHS, LINOGRAPHS AND PAINTED POSTERS
Picasso has always been known for his penchant for experimentation. No technique, no medium, no form of artistic expression was foreign to him. He painted, drew, sculpted, wrote, photographed, and made theater sets and ceramics. He also showed a great interest in engraving, learning all its possible techniques: engraving with a chisel, punta, aquatint, and lithography. The Vassilis & Elizas Goulandris Foundation has in its Collection two lithographs, a linocut, as well as a painted poster, which demonstrate Picasso’s unparalleled talent in this field.
Fernand Léger (1881-1955) – CIRCUS
Fernand Léger returned to Paris in 1946, after a six-year stay in New York. A little later, he was contacted by Tériade, who suggested that he create a scrapbook of lithographs that would illustrate a theme and a text of his own choosing. The painter chose to deal with the world of the circus and decided to write the text himself, which was decorated exclusively with original lithographs. He created 34 color and 29 black-and-white compositions for The Circus, which are inserted into a manuscript written in a thin and broad script, similar to that seen in Matisse’s Jazz.
Georges Braque (1882-1954) – THEOLOGY
In 1932 the gallerist Ambroise Vollard wanted to celebrate Georges Braque’s fiftieth birthday in his own way. Known for his passion for artists’ books, he asked him to choose an anthology and illustrate it. Spontaneously, Braque suggested Hesiod’s Theogony, a work of the 7th century BC, which describes the creation of the universe and the origin of the gods. With this proposal, he satisfied a desire he had for a long time: to recall Greek mythology in his work and draw from its richness, thus showing his need for purity in the forms and universality of the subjects he works on.
Georges Braque (1882-1954) – LITHOGRAPHS
Georges Braque discovered the world of engraving in 1907 and lithography from the beginning of the 1920s. But only from the end of the 1930s did the latter become a real passion for him. First, he began a collaboration with the engraver Maurice Berdon, which proved very fruitful. The painter himself was involved in the process of printing and numbering, going so far as to change inks during the print. This explains the different colorations one observes from one sample to another. Then after the Second World War II, Braque continued his efforts with the support of Adrien Maeght and the experienced printers Maurice and Fernand Mourlot.
Joan Miró (1893-1983) – COMPOSITION, COMPOSITION IIII, COMPOSITION IIIIIII
Joan Miró discovered printmaking in 1928, but it was not until 1947 that it took a dominant position in his life, thanks to his acquaintance with Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, as well as their son Adrien. For over three decades, Miró created in Maeght almost 1,800 original lithographs and engravings. So it is no coincidence that, shortly before his death, he acknowledged: “For me, engraving is a supreme means of expression. It was a means of liberation, expansion, discovery.”
Balthus (1908-2001) – WINDSWEPPED HEIGHTS
Between 1933 and 1935, Balthus, aged 25, chose to illustrate Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. He drew in pencil more than fifty studies, with which he described specific passages of the text. His fascination with this novel, which he had discovered at the age of 14, prompted him to parallel the story of Cathy and Heathcliff with his own relationship with his future wife Antoinette de Watteville, who at the time was engaged with another man. Some of the compositions inspired his lead paintings, such as Cathy’s Toilet and The Blanchard Children.
Book your tour
We highly recommend that you book your own private tour in English if you want to learn more about the art of the multiple and the story of each individual artist through the institution’s website.
Make sure you take home…
If you wish to preserve your own memories of the exhibition as a beautiful “dream” we suggest you visit the museum shop on the ground floor. There you will find items dedicated to works of every collection of the foundation as well as catalogues dedicated to previous periodical exhibitions.
Basilis & Elise Goulandris Foundation exhibition “Memories Steeped in Dream”
This is the last week of November for 2023- but before we turn the page on our calendar there are still lots of special events taking place in Athens.
The cultural scene in the capital is on fire this week and we have rounded up our favourites for you.
Half Note Jazz Nights 2023
Want to add some flare to your Athens nights? Half Note, the most iconic jazz hangout in the city, is returning for the winter season in the Mets neighbourhood. Make sure you reserve a seat and enjoy the moonshine while listening to the music of the excellent jazz performers playing throughout the night. Philipp Weiss and Stathis Anninos will present a contemporary version of Schumann’s romantic vocal music and promise to take us on an unforgettable melodic journey.
Entry: €20- €30
Date & Time: 29 November 2023, 9:30 pm
Address: Half Note Jazz Club, 17 Trivonianou, Mets
Evangelismos, the musical is a theatrical production by the National Theatre of Greece. Set against the backdrop of one of the most famous hospitals in Athens, the storyline is about time and love. Directed by Angelos Triantafillou, in collaboration with Dimitris Stavropoulos, the libretto is by Yiannis Asteris and a troupe of 21 renowned actors and singers all combine to create a surreal universe. The “residents” of a hospital, doctors, nurses, patients and attendants, sing for those who have already left, but also for those who wish to say goodbye. The play is in Greek language with English subtitles.
Entry: €10- €18
Date & Time: 30 November 2023, 8:30 pm
Address: Rex Theater, Stage “Marika Kotopouli”, Panepistimiou 38 Athens
Choreographer Spyros Kouvaras and the Greek-French contemporary dance group, Synthesis 748 Dance Co. are bringing to Athens their new project, NATURA MORTA (a dance less). Synthesis 748 presents a work about loss and “lost natures”, a choreography that functions as a reminder of time for the inescapability of human fate and the vulnerability of the material world. The performance introduces an intermediate space-time in which a dance ritual unfolds and develops as a modern doomsday and sometimes as an archaic rave, following an increasing escalation of kinetic intensity.
The Underground Youth Orchestra of Athens is one of the most important youth symphony orchestras in Greece. With the goal of offering young talented musicians the opportunity to train in orchestral art by participating in high-level concerts in Greece and abroad, the orchestra teams up with famous conductors and soloists. The founder and artistic director of the orchestra is Kostas Iliadis and this time he is collaborating with the talented and well-known maestro Sebastien Rouland, who will conduct the orchestra with a great selection of works by famous composers such as L.B. Beethoven, Sibelius, M.Ravel.
Entry: €8- €24
Date & Time: 29 November 8:30 pm
Address: Athens Music Hall – Vas. Sofias & Kokkali 1, Athens
The internationally acclaimed painter and sculptor Kostis Georgiou introduces visitors to his own “Dreamland” at Kapopoulos Fine Arts. An ode to a dreamlike place – the artist presents a series of contemporary paintings from recent years, some of which compose multifaceted creations, each part of which maintains its own autonomous entity. His paintings start from a dynamic individual expression, with colour and shapes that create major cultural and social symbolism.
Date & Time: 27 November- 4 December | Monday-Wednesday-Saturday 10.30am-5.30pm | Tuesday-Thursday-Friday 10.30am-8.30pm
Many cafes and restaurants in Athens are welcoming the festive season with elaborate decorations, bright lights, and lots of red and gold taking centre stage.
Seasonal menus have also changed to match this wonderful time of year – so we’ve rounded up the most festive spots that turn into winter wonderlands for you to visit in the Greek capital over Christmas!
This gorgeous little spot in the heart of Athens stands out for its Christmas cheer! The extravagant decor and sparkly array of ornaments are displayed in every corner of the cafe – both inside and out. Apart from the decor that evokes the spirit of Christmas, what makes Little Kook special is that the friendly staff are dressed accordingly, making the setting even more theatrical! Don’t miss the opportunity to try decadent sweets swimming in chocolate or the colourful and moist cupcakes with marshmallows.
Α: Karaiskaki 17, Athens
P: +30 21 0321 4144
The Christmas period may have just started but Cap Cap has already entered a very festive mood! This thematic cafe constantly takes visitors on a fairytale adventure through unique themes that change each season – and right now it’s all about Santa, elves and nutcrackers! Famous for its highly imaginative decorations, here you will also enjoy creative sweets including homemade cakes, playful cupcakes, chocolate delights and amazing drinks that will warm you up in no time.
A: 26 Panormou, Athens
P: + 30 21 0590 4116
This small coffee shop tucked away in an alley of Kaisariani, is a magical spot that dresses up in festive attire every Christmas. It’s a beautiful wooden chalet, which also houses a picturesque hall on a mezzanine floor – from where you can gaze for hours at the stunning decor. The vintage elements of the shop (found all year round) enhance the whole experience and make you feel as if you are in a fairytale. Here you can enjoy wonderful handmade hot chocolate, as well as a range of delicious sweet treats.
A: 3 Nikomeidias, Athens
P: +30 210 723 5572
By far one of the most festive all-day cafe bars in Athens, this is an absolutely atmospheric hangout! The romantic space (inspired by an old Paris) features a range of elegant décor that blends in beautifully with the rest of the restaurant’s unique design. You can visit Noel from early morning for coffee or brunch, until the late evening for dinner and drinks.
Α: Kolokotroni 59B, Athens
P: +30 21 1215 9534
One of Athens’ most elegant all-day restaurants is even more stunning to visit this time of year! We recommend you combine your Christmas shopping at the nearby high-end fashion stores with an exquisite lunch or afternoon tea at Athénée. And if you are around on the weekend, definitely visit for a unique brunch spread that has been designed by talented chef Antonis Selekos, and includes a signature Panettone that has also been exclusively created by Selekos.
A: 9 Voukourestiou, Athens
P: +30 21 0772 8411
The Winter Garden of the Grande Bretagne is a unique experience hosted in one of Athens’ most historic hotels. The carefully picked lounge music and wonderful atmosphere accompany the impressive menu curated by executive chef Asterios Koustoudis and his talented team, while pastry chef Evgenios Vardakastanis has created some Christmas options that are perfect with a cup of coffee or afternoon tea. Make sure you try the traditional Italian Panettone or the luscious raspberry chestnut cake!
A: Vas. Georgiou A’ 1, Athens
P: +30 210 333 0000
Located at the five-star Gatsby Hotel in the centre of Athens, this is one of the most ideal spots for a coffee, drink, or a casual dinner during the festive season, as the elegant décor beautifully compliments the menu’s fresh flavours and traditional recipes that include modern twists. This is the perfect place to head to after a busy day wandering around in the city looking for Christmas gifts.
A: 14 Lekka, Athens
P: +30 21 0321 6001
The all-day bar restaurant in Piraeus is undoubtedly one of the most atmospheric bistro restaurants in this part of Athens. Housed in a beautiful old building, decorated with imposing chandeliers, retro paintings, candles and other vintage touches – this time of year it’s even more beautiful with the addition of gorgeous Christmas decorations. Perfect choice for brunch, a nice dinner, or a festive cocktail.
A: Angelou Metaxas 11, Piraeus
P: + 30 21 0417 5740
Βy the Glass Wine Bistrot
With a great selection of Greek and international wines, champagnes, as well as spirits and dessert wines – here you can toast to the festive season in style! You can also taste impressive dishes based on the best local raw ingredients, which have been carefully designed to match the wine experience by renowned chef Kostas Tsigkas. The cool jazz and soul music in the background, along with the wonderful Christmas decorations complete the magical atmosphere.
If you are in Athens and looking for some cool events to attend, you are in the right place, as we’ve rounded up the best of what’s on this weekend in the Greek capital.
Jimmy Carr | Terribly Funny 2.0
One of the most successful and distinguished stand-up comedians in the world, Jimmy Carr returns to Athens with his dark humor and outrageous jokes for a unique show. The award-winning comedian will present his latest stand-up comedy tour, “Terribly Funny 2.0,” with jokes about all kinds of “terrible” things that may have happened to you or people you know!
Le Presbyter | Ballet for Life Bejart Ballet Lausanne
Created in 1997 by the late great Maurice Béjart, this contemporary ballet is one of his most famous pieces that’s been performed. Paying tribute to three people who died too young – Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, composer Mozart and former Béjart Ballet principal dancer Jorge Donn – it’s set to the music of Queen and Mozart and features talented dancers in a ballet designed to express optimism and the hope that, as Mercury sang, the show must go on.
Date & Time: Saturday 25 November, 9 am, Sunday 26 November 5 am
Address: ATHENS MUSIC HALL – Vas. Sofias & Kokkali 1, Athens
Australian producer Mall Grab, one of the modern titans of the electronic music scene and the world’s most sought-after DJs, arrives in Athens and promises to rock the Greek capital, as only he knows how, as part of the EDEN parties at the Athens Conservatory. The party will kick off with high-energy producer I.Jordan, self-proclaimed “rising global nightlife queer icon” Chloe Caillet and Eden favourite Jay Jay.
Date & Time: Sunday 26 November 2023, 4 pm-midnight
Constantinopoliad | Sister Sylvester – Nadah El Shazly
This unique presentation features a handmade book, read collectively by the audience inside a sound installation. A response to the archive of the poet Constantine Cavafy, the work is inspired by the blank and torn-out pages in “Constantinopoliad, an epic”, a journal that the teenage Cavafy began when he and his family fled Alexandria.
Entry: Free with entrance tickets
Date & Time: 25-26 November | Wednesday-Sunday 8.30pm
“The usefulness of the painter lies in the composition and formulation of the generally accepted mythology of his time,” was a key phrase in the life of Spyros Koukoulomatis. The famous painter with his strong vision influenced by expressionism and surrealism infused his creations with symbols from Greek mythology to underline contemporary social issues with a deep interest in human nature. “Retrospective” is the first exhibition organised in Athens, since the painter’s death in 1995, and it presents around a hundred works from his oeuvre. It’s a rare opportunity to admire his creations and to dive into his imaginary world.
Date & Time: 25-26 November 2023, Tuesday-Friday 11 am-7 pm, Weekend 10 am-3 pm
Address: Melina Mercouri Cultural Center, 66 Heraklidon, Athens
From opera and baroque to ballet and string quartets- there are so many fabulous performances to catch this week in Athens, and we’ve rounded up a selection of the best ones that are not to be missed.
Les Éclairs – Philippe Hersant
The contemporary opera “Les Éclairs” is the Greek National Opera’s second co-production with the Opéra Comique (Paris), one of Europe’s most important opera houses. At this national premiere, and for three performances only –inside the Stavros Niarchos Hall at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center– Greek audiences will get the chance to discover the third opera to be written by the multi-award winning French composer Philippe Hersant, with a libretto by the internationally acclaimed French author Jean Echenoz. The opera is a musical journey through New York during the Industrial Revolution that traces the turbulent life of the ethnic Serb cosmopolitan dandy and “mad” scientist Nikola Tesla.
Entry: Ticket prices €10- €60
Date & Time: 16,19,21 November, 7.30 pm (Sunday 6.30 pm)
Αddress: Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center Syggrou Avenue 364, Kallithea
With their fresh approach to tradition and open engagement with new forms, the renowned French string quartet Quatuor Ébène has successfully reached a wide audience of young listeners and conveyed their talent in regular master classes at the Paris Conservatoire. Their global tour is now coming to Athens where guests can enjoy jazz improvisation, Bartók, and Haydn. The foursome is a hit with both young and old audiences because of the energy in their performances and the spirit of tradition renewal that sets them apart.
Entry: €12 – €30
Date & Time: 16 November 2023, 8.30 pm
Address: The Athens Concert Hall (Megaron), 115 Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, Athens
Anthony Davis’ ground-breaking opera “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X” will be presented at the Met and broadcast as part of the MET HD LIVE program, live at the Concert Hall Athens. The new staging of Davis’ play, which premiered in 1986, is directed by the famous Tony nominee director Robert O’Hara. In this production, Malcolm ‒ one of the most important figures of the African-American civil rights movement, is presented as an everyday man whose story transcends space and time. In the lead role is baritone Will Liverman.
Date & Time: 18 November 2023, 7:55 pm
Address: The Athens Concert Hall (Megaron), 115 Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, Athens
The Baroque Music Festival returns to the GNO Alternative Stage and the historical hall of the Parnassos Literary Society – and is set to take audiences on a journey through the enchanting world of Baroque music. This year’s festival, curated by the prolific cellist Dimos Goudaroulis, includes four singular concerts revolving around the year 1723. It will feature concerts by distinguished artists (Lucile Boulanger, Dimos Gourdaroulis) who will enrich the colourful palette of baroque music with sonatas for violin, cello, basso, and gamba choosing sonatas by famous composers such as Tartini, Bach, and Caporale.
Entry: Ticket prices: €10-€15
Date & Time: 13,15,18, November, 8.30 at Parnassos Philological Association & 19 November, 7.30 pm at Alternative Stage of the National Opera – SNFCC
Address: Parnassos Philological Association (8 Agios Georgios Karytsis Square, Athens) & Alternative Stage of the National Opera – SNFCC, Syggrou Avenue 364, Kallithea
Swedish singer and producer, Molly Nillson is known for her magical melodies and touchingly clever lyrics that bring nostalgic pop, on a journey through life and death, with love and trouble. And now her stately approach to synth pop is coming to Athens where audiences can enjoy her swooping synth melodies and the grace of her vocals.
The Greek National Opera Ballet presents the modern dance triptych titled Colors – choreographed by Diego Tortelli, Eva Georgitsopoulou and Konstantinos Rigos. The performancefollows the successful presentation of the triptychs Human Behaviour and HumanNature on the GNO Alternative Stage and brings the ensemble’s dancers face to face with modern dance forms, mixed with the musical sensualism of late Romanticism.
In the heart of the capital, but far from the hustle and bustle of urban living, you’ll find Benaki, one of Athens’ finest museums. Housed in a stunning neoclassical mansion, it’s located in the chic neighbourhood of Kolonaki.
On the second floor, is the recently renovated restaurant with an impeccable terrace overlooking the National Garden and the Panathenaic Stadium. A well-kept secret of the Greek capital, it combines modern and classic elements and is a wonderful place to visit all year round.
The renovated space offers a modern aesthetic, as well as a special touch – thanks to its collaboration with the Akrithakis Archive, which is behind the popular Fofi’s restaurant in Berlin. At Benaki Restaurant, you will now find unique works by legendary artist Alexis Akrithakis, alongside creative dishes that are influenced by local seasonal produce.
The cuisine of Deipnosofistirion, with Executive Chef Dimitris Skarmoutsos at the helm, offers a fine culinary experience that includes zucchini julienne with shrimps marinated in mint and lemon thyme sauce, bites of dolmades accompanied by yogurt sauce, delicious homemade meatballs, and a mouthwatering lentils salad with Florina peppers, sun-dried tomato, fresh basil and aged vinegar.
My fave dishes
The risotto with truffle oil, fresh asparagus, lemon thyme, and mushrooms sprinkled with pieces of graviera cheese, the pappardelle with chicken, and the pastitsio with San Michalis Syros cheese, veal ragu and skioufihta (Cretan pasta).
Leave room for dessert?
Profiteroles filled with vanilla ice cream and bitter chocolate sauce, pavlova surrounded by strawberries and red fruit sauce, delicious lemon mousse with white cream chocolate, or otherwise a delicate namelaka flavoured with basil and fresh blueberries – are enough reasons to try something sweet from the menu.
Something to drink…
Savor an Adonis cocktail- a blend of fino sherry, aged sweet vermouth, orange bitters and a soft touch of wild lavender. The Hemingway is a twist on a classic daiquiri with Barbados aged rum, homemade grapefruit sherbet, and aromas from maraschino and fresh lime, while the Fiore di Ciliegio, is a French gin with aromas of sweet spices, lime essence, bitter almond and ginger topped with cherry blossom tonic.
Why I’d come back…
For the spectacular terrace (especially during sunset) overlooking the National Garden.
A great spot to dine at any night of the week – whether it be for a date night, catching up with a group of friends, or after-work drinks.
Price range: About €25 per person
Opening hours: Open everyday apart from Tuesday | 10 am – 1 am
November keeps getting better and better thanks to some amazing cultural events taking place around Athens.
From the cool Athens’ Bar Week to the popular Authentic Marathon- there’s such a great variety- and we’ve rounded up some of our favourites right here for you.
Αthens’ Bar Week 2023
Some of the world’s best bars are taking over the city of Athens this week- with unique parties, events, and fine entertainment experiences for everyone over 18. It’s thanks to The Athens Bar Show, an annual educational expo for bar and hospitality professionals, which will take place on November 7 and 8 at the Technopolis of Athens. And from Monday, November 6th to Thursday, November 9th, the world’s best bars are teaming up with the Athenian bar scene to transform the city into a cocktail lovers’ paradise! Bar take-overs, pop-up bars, fine-dining tours, and masterclasses, are some events that will be held as part of Athens Bar Week. Taking place all over the city, this includes The Great Tuesday Club takeover at Avra FS Athens, which promises 16 cocktails that will travel you to 6 cities!
Canadian cellist and composer Julia Kent and composer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Telemachos Mousas join forces for a one-off performance at the Athens Conservatory. Kent, a member of Anthony & the Johnsons, creates magical sounds using live looping and real-time sound processing on cello and electronics. Her compositions have also graced films, television, dance and theater performances, and has released six personal albums. At this unforgettable music night, she will be accompanied by Telemachos Mousas, known for his award-winning compositions that are a combination of speech, poetry, classical music, jazz, and electro-acoustic techniques.
Address: Ioannis Despotopoulos Amphitheater, Athens Conservatory, Rigillis & Vasileos Georgiou II 17-19, Αthens
Spyros Louis Cup Tour
Α truly unique opportunity to admire and learn the story about one of the most important items in the history of world sport. Designed by Michel Bréal for the champion of the first Marathon race – the Greek runner Spyros Louis – the Silver Cup was awarded at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. Give yourself the chance to learn more about the first Marathon race and the Cup’s historical significance in a free tour offered by the SNFCC (with tours offered in English).
The amazing performance tribute to the great Leonard Cohen is finally coming to Athens! Dance Me – Music by Leonard Cohen is an exclusive creation inspired by the rich and profound work of Montréal-based poet, artist and songwriter, Leonard Cohen. Approved by Cohen while still alive, this amazing homage to the famed artist evokes the grand cycles of existence, as described in Cohen’s deeply reflective music and poems. Three internationally renowned choreographers were entrusted with putting movement to Cohen’s legendary songs: Andonis Foniadakis, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Ihsan Rustem. Their powerful and profound choreographic world reflective of Cohen’s singular work is brought to life by Ballets Jazz Montréal’s 14 artists and the strong, bold dramaturgy of Eric Jean.
Athens hosts its 40th Classic Marathon this weekend. A popular event recognised as the world’s original modern marathon, it attracts thousands of participants and spectators from around the globe. According to the organisers, the Athens Marathon allows runners the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Greek soldier Pheidippides who first ran the 42 km route from the battlefield of Marathon Beach to Athens in 490 BC. Tip: for the non-runners, you may still enjoy this popular event by going to the Panathenaic Stadium and catching the atmosphere. Pro tip: bring something soft to sit on.
We are officially in the heart of autumn and the first week of November is bringing with it some exciting events taking place throughout different venues – including musical stages, galleries and theatres all across Athens- and we’ve rounded up the ones you don’t want to miss.
Modern Love Exhibition
How does flirting in the age of social media and online dating apps work? Can love blossom in the “mind” of a robot or the wreckage of a lost life? Are intimacy and tenderness measurable quantities? The exhibition of the National Museum of Contemporary Art entitled “Modern Love: The Love in the Years of Cold Intimacy” raises all these questions and more. This popular project is the result of a fruitful collaboration between 24 artists and the artistic director of the museum, Katerina Gregou.
Date & Time: 1-5 November, Tuesday-Sunday 11 am-7 pm
Address: Kallirois Ave. & Amvr. Frantzi Street, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens
T: +30 211 101 9000
“Witches of Salem”
Arthur Miller’s fascinating theatrical allegory will be broadcast at Athens Concert Hall, straight from the Olivier Stage of London’s National Theater. Lindsey Turner directs the new, contemporary production of the great American author’s masterpiece, with Erin Doherty and Brendan Cowell in the leading roles. Miller’s play “The Salem Witches” is based on true events that occurred in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, which resulted in the hanging of twenty innocent people.
Entry: Ticket prices: €8 – €15
Date & Time: 2 November, 8 pm
Address: The Athens Concert Hall (Megaron), 115 Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, Athens,
Νo need to head to the far East to discover the next generation of Hong Kong artistic talents, as the Phoenix Athens Gallery is presenting them in its latest exhibition, right in the heart of Athens. “Some Shreds: Happening at the Edge” is a cool group exhibition showcasing artworks of several artistic media including visual art, video installations, choreography, and live music performances.
Date & Time: 1-3 November, Monday-Friday 7-11 pm, weekends by appointment
Sotiropoulos Art Gallery opens the autumn artistic season with the group exhibition of paintings entitled “Morfes” (forms). Curated by Fotis Sotiropoulos (gallery manager), it’s part of the gallery’s new initiative “NEW EYES | Contemporary, young creators”, which aims to promote a range of new artists. The focus of this exhibition is the human form through the conversation of five contemporary visual artists. Realism, expressionist writing and the abstract mood coexist fruitfully in this project, allowing the audience to appreciate the varied approaches each artist has taken to representing the human form.
The Athens English Comedy Club is back and better than ever! Founded in 2019, this club is the only place in Athens where performances are all in English. Whether you’re a seasoned comedian or just looking for a good laugh, you can join if you are looking for a night of live comedy- just make sure to bring your best punch line!
Entry: €10- €17
Date & Time: 1-5 November, 8:40 pm
Address: Eliart Theater, 127 Konstantinopoleos, Gazi
Samara Joy’s career took off when she won the Sarah Vaughn International Jazz Singing Competition in 2019. Since then, the international press has idolized the American diva for her rich voice and velvet vocal timbre. Being named a worthy successor to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, Samara was also awarded two Grammys in 2023, in the categories of Best New Artist and Best Jazz Vocal Album. This is a concert you don’t want to miss if you love jazz music!
Entry: €14- €35
Date & Time: 5 November, 8:30 pm
Address: The Athens Concert Hall (Megaron), 115 Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, Athens,
We’ve compiled a list of the best street food in Athens – perfect for when you just want a quick bite!
With so much to see and experience, Athens is a great city for walking and exploring on-the-go. Avoid falling into a calorie deficit by sampling some of the capital’s finest street food in and around the centre of the city.
Souvlaki for the super fans: Here you’ll get downtown Athens’ tastiest souvlaki and a piece of history, as Kostas has been part of the city’s street food story since 1946. Pork souvlakia are grilled in front of you and their famed beef patties are fermented every morning and shaped to order. Served with their signature tomato-based sauce and topped with onion, parsley and tomato cut fresh on the spot to secure its juices.
A: Agia Irini 2, Monastiraki
Iconic Kalamakia: At this legendary souvlaki spot, pork kalamakia are grilled on the coals while customers patiently wait because they know they won’t be disappointed. Usually accompanied by thinly sliced potatoes and baked bread.
A: 29 Plataion, Kerameikos
Heartwarming Levantine fare: Established in 2014,Feyrouz is family-owned and operated and serves beautifully prepared Levantine street food. Their Lahmajoun, Peinirli and soups of the day (including plenty of vegetarian options) have made them a staple in the Athenian street food scene.
A: Agathonos 2 & Karori 23, Monastiraki
Deli-style sandwiches: An Italian deli in the heart of Pangrati, Borghese focuses on sandwiches with sourdough bread and selected cheeses and cold cuts. We love the classic combinations like mortadella with peanuts, rocket, pecorino Romano and mayonnaise, as well as originals like the sandwich with fennel salami, ricotta, pickled onion and figs.
A: Archelaou 19, Pangrati
Possibly the best gyros in Athens: 8 out of 10 Athenians will probably tell you that this is the best gyro in Athens, and we like those odds. Achilleas has been serving up fresh and hot souvlaki with juicy and peppery pork gyro since 1987. The Gyros is made every day in the shop’s workshop and served wrapped in fresh oiled pita with onion-parsley, tomato and their own tzatziki. Open Monday-Friday and closes when sold out, usually by 8 or 9 in the evening.
A: 18 Spintharou, Neos Kosmos
Loukoumades since 1912: These Loukoumades have stood the test of time and still remain a favourite among Athenians. The loukoumades here are crunchy, bite-sized and release syrup into your mouth when you bite into them. Best topped with a little sesame.
A: Sokratous 59, Omonia
Dreamy profiterol: If you’re a fan of the profiterol dessert served in a bowl, this is the place for you. Freshly baked choux pastry is enveloped in velvety Madagascar vanilla cream patisserie and toppings of your choice. The perfect sugar hit while shopping with the masses on Ermou Street.
A: Diomeias 2 & Ermou 18, Syntagma
Pizza by the slice: Good, American-style pizza by the slice for those late nights in the Athenian inner-city precinct of Psyrri. Hint: ask them if there are any upcoming events on in their underground basement club.
A: Protogenous 13, Monastiraki
Souvlaki with a gourmet touch: A fabulous twist on the common souvlaki, made with pita bread that is opened on the spot from fresh, homemade dough, carefully prepared meat cooked briefly over the fire for maximum juiciness. Don’t forget to order the hand-cut potatoes.
A: Agias Irinis 9, Athens
Divinely Greek gelato with a view: Bypass the tourist traps and follow your stroll through the Acropolis with a stop at Django in the Koukaki neighbourhood. Originally from the island of Syros, the team at Django lovingly makes natural ice cream, without preservatives and additives. Made and consumed daily.
A: Veikou 15, Koukaki
Fresh sandwiches and salads: Simple ingredients thoughtfully combined to make amazingly fresh and tasty salads and sandwiches. Try the Chicken Salad with grapefruit and grated pecorino or the Guilty Pleasure with chicken schnitzel fried in clarified butter, spicy endive and ground caper mayonnaise, on a handmade focaccia. All homemade, all delicious.
A: Lekka 10, Syntagma
Cocktails in-hand: If one good thing came out of the quarantine of 2020 (and 2021) it was the concept of takeaway cocktails. Located in the center of Athens, Tyco is continuing its tradition, offering refreshing cocktails served in plastic cups to add some extra fun to your Athenian strolls. Sample their signature cocktails like Meloncholia and Peach Don’t Kill My Vibe.
On the lookout for the best things to do in Athens this week, with the perfect autumn weather behind you? The capital has heaps of amazing events, exhibitions, films, and live music for you to add to this week’s calendar and we’ve rounded up some of our favourites right here for you!
Yilian Cañizares Concert
The impressive Cuban violinist, singer, and composer who has gained worldwide fame over the last decade thanks to her unique talent, will be making her debut performance for the first time in Greece! Cañizares’ music, with its Cuban identity, combines jazz, classical, and Afro-Cuban rhythms always has her audience up and dancing. And over the next few days, she will be performing live at Mets, behind the Panathenaic stadium.
For four days, the Technopolis will become a networking hub for international artistic groups, while also giving Athens’ art-loving public an opportunity to get up close to the freshest contemporary artistic creations from around the world. This year’s independent art fair includes 56 artistic platforms from 24 countries – and more than 900 artists in total! For the first time, the exhibition will also include other artistic forms such as theatre, music, architecture, and design.
Date & Time: 26-28 October 2023, Thursday 6 pm-10 pm, Friday-Sunday 12 pm-9 pm
Address: Peiraios 100, Athens, cultural venue of “Technopolis”
Known for her magical voice, Imany, whose hits include “Don’t Be So Shy” and “You Will Never Know,” will be on stage at the Christmas Theater on October 25. Performing “Voodoo Cello”, which is based on her latest album with the same title- audiences will be able to experience Imany’s earthy vocals, as well as 8 cellos accompanying her, while they perform a series of pop-jazz music hits ranging from Nina Simone to Radiohead, Cat Stevens, and Donna Summer.
The “Save The Water” photography exhibition taking place at TAF in Monastiraki this week, aims to communicate the danger posed by the effects of climate change. With concerns about the sustainability of the planet multiplying and the threat of dehydration, as well as water pollution, in general, being a vital issue – the organisers underline that “Art has a duty to transmit messages that awaken actions in order to save the planet”.
Curated by Irini Solomonidi, the Gennadius Library is bringing to light a selection of rare materials from the 300 editions of Homer. Unique treasures including the first edition of the Iliad and the Odyssey in 1488 Florence by the famous Greek scholar Dimitrios Chalkokondylis, as well as the earliest paraphrase of the Iliad in modern Greek by Nikolaos Loucanis printed in Venice in 1526, will be displayed next to English, French, Italian and Spanish translations – showcasing the wide reinterpretation of the Homeric text.
Date & Time: 23-23 October 2023, Monday-Wednesday 5 pm
Address: 61 Souidias, Athens
Cinema Fest Day
Cinema Fest Day is back for a second consecutive year! On October 26th, all cinemas nationwide will offer a reduced € 2 admittance for both matinees and evening shows. This event is organised by film distributors and is sure to be a day full of movie marathons, popcorn, and soda. Mark your calendars and head to your nearest theatre to catch the latest flicks, while also showing support for the film industry.
Culture lovers, a trip to Athens wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the newly opened Alekos Fassianos Museum & Estate- bringing to light the work and legacy of this famous Greek artist.
A neighbourhood full of treasures….
The area of Metaxourgio is described by many as one of the most vibrant and colourful neighbourhoods in Athens. While many walk around the streets and admire the beautiful modern designed buildings of the area, few know that in the past this place was a lively cultural centre, with fine neoclassical and 1950s residences. Nearby is the Fino’s studio, which was one of the biggest filmmaking companies in Greece back in the 60s, a catalyst in the region’s cultural flourishing. Then, in the corner a building makes you look up, so different from its neighbours- it’s beautiful and measured…
This tall, minimal architectural estate of urban aesthetics is the museum dedicated to the memorable Greek painter Alekos Fassianos- the beginning of his life and artistic activity.
The starting point…
At the foundations of what is today the Alekos Fassianos Museum, from the 1930s until the 1970s, was the paternal home of the artist. A small neoclassical property with an inner courtyard and a tiled roof. Growing up there, Fassianos’ memories of the vibrant neighbourhood – filled with theatres and cinemas – came to stamp his later artistic subject matter. Through his wanderings, Fassianos explored the city and came into direct contact with micro-trades of this Athenian neighbourhood- the itinerant craftsman and street sellers, professions represented in his works throughout his life.
The idea of creating a museum is born…
In the 1970s, the neoclassical building was demolished to become, at the request of his mother Eleni, an apartment building for her children. Fassianos, with his widely known artistic activity, was living in Paris at the time and was dissatisfied with his mother’s decision to destroy his childhood memories. And in fact, the above episode was the springboard for Fassianos to collaborate with his friend and architect Kyriakos Krokos at the end of 1980, to remodel this building. During the renovation, they created on the ground floor a small exhibition space that would host his future works. The common aesthetic and philosophical principles, with which the painter and his architect friend created are evident in every corner of every floor.
The museum is under construction…
The architectural style that both Fassianos and Krokos wanted to develop was clean and minimal. The entire space is carefully enriched and shaped using a variety of materials and finishes (concrete, stone, mosaic, brick, plaster) with a colour palette of earthy greys, reds and ochres.
The architect wanted the structure of the building to be highlighted and the materials to be visible, while the main concern of the artist was to create a space that would create a harmonious dialogue with his works. Their artistic sensibility is evident in the structure of the space – with the different finishes and techniques including stonemasonry, the marble border that frames the mosaic floor, and the details such as the ornate spiral staircase, the mosaic floor, the painted figures on the walls using a fresco technique, the brass door handles – as well as the metal dragon hanging from the basement ceiling to hide cables in a creative way.
The curation aims to introduce the scope of the work of Fassianos from 1956 until the last years of the artist’s life. In the exhibition, we find early works with an abstract mood of the 60s as well as his early years in Paris. Works influenced by Byzantine art, collages, mixed techniques, and invisible but also widely recognisable paintings with the most characteristic writing of the talented artist.
The character of the neighbourhood unfolds through works that are represented through images and experiences that the artist acquired in the area where he grew up, and while wandering the streets of Athens.
Following the path of the human soul, in the depths and underground space of the museum are works based on myths and heroes- that spoke from an early age to the heart and mind of the artist. Οn the ground floor are his works related to urban life. While the first floor is fully dedicated to the spirit and includes items from his relationship with intellectuals.
The purpose of the museum…
Beyond the paintings, the exhibition aims to highlight the multifaceted personality of the artist – presenting handmade objects, furniture and lighting – as well as texts he wrote, books he illustrated, and a rich archive of his involvement in set design and design costumes for comedies by Aristophanes and plays by Eugène Ionesco and Jean-Paul Sartre. The exhibition unfolds in a handmade tapestry where every detail is curated by Fassianos – from the knobs on the doors and the handles on the cabinets to the nails on the mirrors and the frescoes and mosaic floors.
The Alekos Fassianos Museum is an important cultural space in Athens, in terms of both contemporary visual art and architecture. It is also one of the few museums in the world where the synergy between artist and architect supports the dialogue between the works and the space that houses them.
The official opening of the museum…
Saturday the 21st of October 2023 will be the official day when the doors of this stunning museum open- and it will include all-day activities to introduce Fassianos to the public and share the artist’s story and his multifaceted work. It will be open all day with free entry to all.
Official OpeningDate: 21 October 2023 | Museum Entry: Free