Athens, a city rich in history and beauty, offers a year-round celebration. Whether you seek music, dancing, local cuisine, or films, there is something for everyone. From the Feast of St. Basil in January to the Panorama of European Cinema in December, Athens has a diverse range of events to enjoy throughout the year.
The people of the city of Athens enjoys their music, movies, food, and drinks, so many of the festivals seem to be focused on one or more of these. This is good because we all like music, movies, food, and drinks! To have a hassle-free time at the festivals, drop off shopping parcels and backpacks at an Athens suitcase storage locker before going.
- Feast of St. Basil
The Feast of St. Basil, commemorating the selfless bishop of Caesarea Mazaca born in 330 AD, is observed on January 1st. While numerous individuals mark this occasion with large family gatherings, Athens hosts numerous parades, feasts, and citywide celebrations.
The Greek carnival, Apokries, is celebrated all over Athens, and you can find many festivals starting in February and on into March. They have giant parades with huge floats, dancing, drinking, eating, and games for everyone. It typically starts three weeks before Easter and continues until Shrove Monday.
- Shrove Monday
Shrove Monday is also known as Clean Monday, Pure Monday, or Ash Monday. It is celebrated on the Monday before Ash Wednesday and usually includes outdoor festivities like parades, picnics, and kite flying. This takes place all over the city.
- Independence Day
Greek Independence Day, observed annually on March 25th since 1821, is a significant national holiday. The tradition of parades traces its origins to the 1875 army parade held in front of the palace. Nowadays, the parade occurs along Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, accompanied by a service at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
- Athens Science Festival
The first week of April, the Athens Science Festival comes to the Technopolis City of Athens. It features workshops and activities for kids, adults, and teachers. Each year, there is a different theme. Some of the past themes include artificial intelligence, environmental science, robotics, astronomy, and computer vision.
- Athens Video Art Festival
If you enjoy digital culture like film, web art, and animation check out the Athens Video Art Festival in early May. Every year there is a different theme that features performances by Nonotak, Matthias Pintscher, and Moon Ribas. There are several venues including Megaron, Athens Airport, and the Syntagma Metro.
- Athens Jazz Festival
In late May, the Athens Jazz Festival attracts numerous Jazz enthusiasts to the Athens Technopolis once again. With a lineup of over 250 Greek and International bands, featuring 2,850 musicians, the festival draws 6,000 visitors daily. Spanning a week, it offers a delightful blend of food, entertainment, and, naturally, captivating music.
- Athens Street Food Festival
Athens Street Food Festival takes place at Palio Amaxostasio of OSY the last weekend in May. From traditional Greek food like courgette balls, gyros, and moussaka to International foods from all over, you will find a bit of everything to enjoy. Adult beverages as well as kid-friendly choices are available too.
- EJEKT Festival
With famous bands like the Red-Hot Chili Peppers, the Cure, and Chain, the EJEKT Festival is one of the biggest music festivals in Europe. Held in Markopoulo Park in late June, you can expect thousands of people, lots of partying, all sorts of drinks, and great food.
- Aegean Film Festival
Discover the Aegean Film Festival held in mid-July on the enchanting islands of Patmos and Paros. Embrace your love for movies as this festival presents a platform for filmmakers to showcase their latest creations, spanning short films, feature fiction, and documentaries. Spanning three delightful days, this event offers not only captivating screenings but also culinary delights, refreshing beverages, and an abundance of entertainment.
- International Andros Festival
At the end of July, the International Andros Festival puts on 75 theater events for locals and visitors to enjoy. From Greek music concerts to theatrical plays and dance performances to orchestra music, there is a bit of everything at this festival next to the Voulgaris building at Andros Outdoor Theater.
- Pulsar Festival
The Pulsar Festival is an exciting event that showcases new age, experimental, electronica, post-rock, and punk music and art. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Samothraki Island, it offers a stunning setting for this extraordinary music festival. Immerse yourself in a weekend filled with delicious food, refreshing drinks, vibrant dancing, and rejuvenating yoga workshops in early August.
- Beer Festival
If you like beer, head to the Beer Festival at Kotzia Square in Athens the first week of September. With hundreds of types of beer from Greek breweries, microbreweries, and imported beers, you will have a huge selection of choices. The food is great too with traditional Greek as well as pizza, Italian, Asian, and Burgers.
- Burger Fest
Burgers are universally adored, with many individuals indulging in them daily due to their immense popularity. The Athens Burger Fest, held in mid-September, is a celebration of this beloved food. Whether you prefer gourmet, classic, or vegan options, you can customize your burger to your liking. Additionally, the admission fee covers the cost of a refreshing beer!
- Avant-Garde Film Festival
The Avant-Garde Film Festival is celebrated in late October at the Greek Film Archive. The program typically includes films by new artists as well as some classics. Tributes to several filmmakers are held every year as well. Besides film, you can also see and hear musicals, book readings, documentaries, and more.
- Athens Marathon
The Athens Marathon takes place annually on the second Sunday in November at the historic Panathenaic Stadium, constructed in 330 BC and renowned for hosting the first Olympic games in 1869. Prior to the race, an Expo is held at the TaeKwonDo Olympic Venue, accompanied by various activities taking place at multiple venues across Athens.
- Athens Con
The first weekend of December, join other comic lovers at AthensCon to see thousands of comics, movies, games, and collectibles. The huge convention at the TaeKwonDo Olympic Stadium welcomes people of all ages. Meet writers, actors, and other celebrities and play new video games for free.
- Panorama of European Cinema
Experience a dazzling awards ceremony in December at the Panorama of European Cinema, where esteemed personalities such as Hugh Hudson, Francis Ford Coppola, and Paolo Taviani grace the event. Held at the Andora and Trianon film theaters, this two-week program showcases captivating films like Death Watch, Worlds Apart, and Pauline at the Beach.
Athens hosts festivals and celebrations throughout the year, ensuring there’s always something happening. Here’s a brief selection to consider. Remember to explore local parks and cultural centers for additional details, and capture plenty of pictures for sharing on social media.