Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Odeon of Herodes Atticus: A Timeless Marvel of Ancient Athens

Discover one of the most enduring landmarks of Athens as you visit the Odeon of Herodes Atticus during your Greece vacation. The Odeon is known as one of the oldest functioning open-air theatres in the world and attracts thousands of visitors regularly. Many shows and festivals are held here, with celebrities like Elton John and Andrea Bocelli having performed here over the years.

The Odeon was constructed in 161 CE by an Athenian benefactor and Roman senator Herodes Atticus in memory of his late wife. The original structure was a three-storeyed theatre with a wooden roof and was the most stunning Roman landmark in ancient Athens. Centuries of neglect impacted the site severely, leading to an in-depth restoration effort in the 1950s that led to the current structure. One thing that hasn’t changed about the Odeon, however, is the fact that it hosted public events even during foreign occupation.

The iconic Athenian theatre has organised countless shows and hosted major local and international artists over the years. The most famous festival held here is the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, which attracts thousands of visitors here from May to October. The stunning semicircular theatre also offers beautiful panoramic views of the Athenian Acropolis to its visitors.

History of Theatre of Herodes Atticus

  • The Odeon of Herodes Atticus history starts in 161 CE, when the monument was constructed by Greco-Roman senator Herodes Atticus for his late wife.
  • Although the structure was the third Odeon in Athens, it had distinct Roman features like a three-storey stage building and Roman-style arches.
  • The original design of Odeon of Herodes Atticus included a steep-sloped theatre, a three-storey front wall, a wooden roof, and marble and ceramic artworks.
  • The theatre was constructed entirely from marble, hosted Council meetings and music and drama performances, and could host 5,000 people.
  • The Odeon was destroyed due to a Germanic invasion in 267 CE, which left the structure in ruins.
  • Over the centuries, Odeon of Herodes Atticus Acropolis faced more ruin due to neglect, especially under the Ottomans.
  • Minor repairs were done in 1898, 1900, and 1922, but full-scale restoration was completed in the 1950s.
  • The Odeon was opened in 1955, and has been a grand hub of concerts, festivals, and shows in Athens.

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Tips To Visit Odeon of Herodes Atticus

  • The Odeon is open to the public only during performances, but you can the monument from far as you walk up to the Acropolis.
  • Remember to wear comfortable flat shoes as the stairs are quite steep and high heels are not allowed to protect the marble work.
  • You can get the best pictures of the Odeon from the Acropolis during the daytime hours, so try going for a tour before showtime.
  • Tickets are a must to enter the Odeon of Herodes Atticus Athens for a show, and late arrivals are not recommended as entry gets barred.
  • Children under six years of age are not allowed entry inside the Odeon, so plan accordingly when travelling with family.
  • It is recommended that you hire a cushion or get a soft item to sit on as the marble seats might feel uncomfortable.
  • Smoking, drinking, eating, clicking pictures, and making videos are prohibited inside the Odeon during a show.

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Know Before You Go Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Essential Information
Know Before visiting Odeon Herodes Atticus

Plan your visit to Acropolis with these information:

How To Reach:

  • By Car: The drive from Athens city centre to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus takes around 20 minutes, depending on traffic. Parking is limited, so choose the Syngrou Fix Station car park.
  • By Bus: Bus route 230 provides direct connectivity to Erechtheiou and Acropolis Museum, which are the nearest bus stops from the Odeon. Walk for around five minutes to reach your destination.
  • By Foot: The city centre of Athens is around 30 minutes away from the Odeon if you wish to walk. The route is comfortable, which makes the journey pleasant in good weather.
  • By Metro: The Acropolis Metro Station is the closest to the Odeon. Take the Red Line or Metro Line 2 to reach the station and then walk 10 minutes to reach the theatre.

Location - The Odeon of Herodes is an ancient monument and amphitheatre located at Dionysiou Areopagitou, Athina 105 55, Greece.

Best Time to Visit- The best time to visit the Odeon of Herodes Atticus is in the summer months of May to October. During these months, the iconic Athens and Epidaurus Festival is held at the Odeon. This means you can attend numerous festivals, musical concerts, and drama performances during this period. The weather is also pleasant and sunny, making a visit comfortable and fun.

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  • The Odeon of Herodes Atticus opening hours vary depending on the shows held inside as the monument is not open for exploration otherwise.
  • Entry to the premises is allowed only before a show begins and during interval times.
  • Avoid wearing high heels and bringing along children under six years of age as both are prohibited.
  • When you are inside the auditorium, you cannot smoke, drink, or eat anything.
  • The use of mobile phones is prohibited during performances, as are photography and videography.
  • Although parking is limited in the area, use the car park of Syngrou Fix Station nearby and get a 50% reduction in parking fees too.

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  • A non-slip wooden ramp has been provided from the stage door of the Odeon to the first seating section of the lower tier.
  • The theatre has an adapted toilet with a marble ramp for access right at the entrance.
  • Vehicular access is available for wheelchair users to the square in front of the Odeon of Herodes.
  • Special seats have been provided inside the theatre for wheelchair users as well as non-wheelchair users with mobility issues.
  • Concessions on ticket prices are provided to wheelchair users, visitors with severe mobility issues, those with visual or hearing impairment, and one companion per visitor.

FAQs for Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Which are the places to visit near the Odeon of Herodes Atticus?

  • Panathenaic Stadium: This stadium is a popular place to visit near the Odeon and is known as the place where the first modern Olympics were held. It is made entirely of white marble.
  • Plaka: Explore the historical neighbourhood of Plaka, which lies near the Acropolis of Athens. It is known for its beautiful streets, cosy restaurants and shops that sell Greek handicrafts.
  • Mount Lycabettus: Hop on a fun mountain rail ride or funicular and head to the top of Mount Lycabettus. This attraction is known for offering stunning panoramic views of Athens from the summit.
  • Ancient Agora of Athens: See the ruins of ancient monuments and structures like the Stoa of Attalos and Temple of Hephaestus here. The open-air archaeological site is also home to unique shops and cafes.
  • National Archaeological Museum: Witness the vast collections of the largest archaeological museum in the country here. You can spot many rare Greek artefacts and artworks here.

What are the best shows at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus Acropolis?

The best event held here is the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, organised from May to October. Different shows are hosted at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus that range from contemporary ballet and traditional Greek music to modern concerts. Many drama performances, operas, fests, and other events are also organised here. 

What is the price of the tickets of shows at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus Acropolis?

In general, the prices can range between €20 to €100 (INR 1,790 to INR 8,950 approx.). The price of tickets for shows at the Odeon depends on the performances held, which means there are no fixed numbers. These prices also vary depending on the seating location you choose for the event as well.

What is the best time to visit the Odeon of Herodes Atticus?

The best time to visit the Odeon of Herodes is in the summer months of May to October. This is when the famous Athens and Epidaurus Festival is organised at the Odeon. You can attend many cultural events like drama performances and musical concerts in the pleasant weather here.

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What is the significance of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus?

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus Athens is among the finest open-air theatres in the world, dating back to ancient Greece. Its stunning architecture and centuries of history make it one of the most important landmarks of Athens. The structure is significant even today as it is an Athenian cultural landmark where festivals, drama performances, and musical concerts are hosted.

How much is the ticket for the Odeon of Herodes Atticus?

Generally, ticket prices vary between €20 to €100 (INR 1,790 to INR 8,950 approx.). The Odeon of Herodes Atticus Acropolis tickets depend on the performance held inside the theatre on a certain day. This is so because visitors are only allowed entry if a show is being hosted in the Odeon. 

How big is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus?

The Odeon of Herodes is in the shape of a semicircle with a diameter of 80 metres. It has a seating capacity of around 5,000 people and is among the finest ancient open-air theatres in the world. The site hosts cultural events like festivals, drama performances, and musical concerts regularly.

What is Acropolis famous for?

The Athenian Acropolis is known for its ancient Greek heritage landmarks like the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike. These structures are some of the finest examples of classical architecture and are a glimpse into the fascinating history of Greece. The site also offers stunning panoramic views of the entire city of Athens from every point.


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