10 Famous Festivals in Athens That You Cannot Miss

by Niharika Singh

Historical sites, ancient streets, and iconic landmarks are a few things that come to our mind when we think of Athens. But the city is not just about its museums and ancient ruins. While there are numerous sightseeing places like the Acropolis of Athens, Museum of Illusions, the city also hosts many festivals that allow you to experience the culture of the city. From traditional events rooted in ancient rituals to modern-day extravaganzas showcasing contemporary creativity, Athens offers a diverse array of festivals that cater to every taste and interest. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore some of the most famous festivals in Athens that grace the streets of the city, offering travellers an unforgettable experience filled with culture, entertainment, and culinary delights.

1. Athens Photo Festival

 A premier event in Athens, that celebrates the art of photography and work of photographers from around the world. This Athens festival is held annually and showcases exhibitions, workshops, and screenings at various venues across the city of Athens. If you are someone who is intrigued by photographic styles and themes, then you should not miss this event. From documentary photography to conceptual art, you will gain insights into the powerful art of visual storytelling here. Not just the festival, it also offers program events and initiatives including educational activities, networking, and talent development opportunities. It is a great event for emerging as well as established photographers to showcase their work.

2. Rockwave Festival

Perfect for music lovers, the Rockwave festival in Athens is one of Greece’s largest and most awaited music events every year. Held during the summer months, this is a multi-day festival that features performances by established Greek and international artists from various genres. Attendees gather at the Terra Vibe Park in Malakasa, a naturally preserved area near Athens, to enjoy live performances of contemporary and rock artists and bands. Attending live performances under the starry Athenian sky is the highlight of this festival. One can find a lot of camping sites, shops, bars, and green surroundings to add to the experience of attending the festival. Next time you plan a trip to Athens, make sure to plan it around this festival to add something new to your travel experience.

3. The Athens & Epidaurus Festival

Image by David Tip via Unsplash

Another famous festival to attend in the summer months is the Athen & Epidaurus Festival. A celebration of performing arts like theatres, dance, and music. It is held from June to August at various venues across Athens and the ancient theatres of Epidaurus. Visitors here can enjoy and experience performances of Greek dramas, contemporary plays, dance performances, and concerts, all against the backdrop of modern amphitheaters. People can also enjoy opera performances at venues like the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the ancient theatre of Epidaurus. It is not only Greece’s leading cultural organization but is also one of the oldest continuously running festivals in Europe. Perfect for someone who wants to enjoy the grandeur of these places and enjoy classic performing arts.

4. Athens Digital Arts Festival

 The Athens Digital Arts Festival is an annual event that celebrates digital culture and contemporary art. Held in the heart of Athens, this festival showcases innovative artworks that explore the intersection of art, science, and technology. Through exhibitions, performances, workshops, and screenings, ADAF presents a diverse range of digital art forms, including video art, interactive installations, virtual reality, and multimedia performances. Visitors can experience cutting-edge multimedia artworks that push the boundaries of creativity and technology at the same time artists can showcase their work and engage with audiences.

 5. International Comics Festival

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Attending the International Comis Festivals is one of the best things to do in Athens for any comic book enthusiast. Celebrating the art of graphic storytelling and illustrations, this festival is held annually. It features exhibitions, workshops, and panel discussions with renowned comic book artists and illustrators from Greece and abroad. A great platform for new artists to showcase their work and also for established artists. So, if you have a knack for visual storytelling or just love the idea of interacting with artists from all around the world, this is your best chance to do so. Discover new artists and their work or just attend the festivals to add something new to your experience.

6. Athens Open-Air Film Festival

 Don’t you just love the idea of watching a movie under the sky? If yes, then this festival in Athens allows you to experience that. Athens Open-Air Film Festivals is held in the summer months and offers a unique experience of movie-watching to its Attendees. From a diverse selection of classic and contemporary films, this festival happens across various venues throughout the city. A must-attend, if you are a movie buff, or just want to add something different to your travel experience. Just grab a popcorn, bring a blanket, and enjoy the experience of watching a movie under the stars. From award-winning movies to classic Hollywood classics, you can watch a movie that suits your taste. Whether you are with your partner or your family, this festival ensures to make your experience a memorable one.


7. Athens Street Food Festival

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There is no better way to know about a place than to indulge in its street food. Not only do you get to try some of the most amazing dishes, but it also helps you to know more about the culture of a place. Athens Street Food Festival is an annual gastronomic event that is a must-visit for all food enthusiasts. Local vendors, food trucks, and chefs from all over Greece get to showcase the best of Greek street food culture in this event. From traditional souvlaki and gyros to innovative twists to classic dishes, you can try a wide variety of food here. In addition to trying new dishes, you can also enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the event with live music and various options for entertainment. A celebration of Greek cuisine and culture, this is one of the best festivals in Athens to attend on your next trip.

8. Athens International Film Festival

 Held in September every year, the Athens International Film Festival is a great event for all the movie buffs. Featuring diverse selections of international and Greek films, this event brings together all cinema lovers. From documentaries to short films to classic movies, this is a great place to explore your love for movies. Not only it is a great event for the attendees, but it also is a great opportunity for budding filmmakers to showcase their work. Several movie screening takes place along with live Q&A sessions, workshops, and panel discussions with industry professionals. So, if you are intrigued by the idea of filmmaking or just want to expose yourself to some great movies, this is your best bet.

9. Burger Fest

Calling out all the foodies! One of the best festivals in Athens to attend on your next trip. Burger Fest is an annual culinary event that celebrates the art of burger making. This fest showcases the creativity and diversity of burgers and is a great event that brings all the foodies together from all over the county. From classic cheeseburgers to delectable gourmet burgers, attendees here can indulge in a tasting of a diverse range of burgers. It showcases the burgers by local restaurants as well as food trucks. What adds to the experience of attending this fest is also the live music, live cooking demonstrations and healthy competition amongst the people presenting the food. A must-visit event for anyone who loves food and likes tasting the authentic food items of a particular city. So, next time happen to plan a trip to Athens and are in search to try some of the most amazing burgers, you know when to plan!

10. Athens Beer Festival

Any trip to Athens is incomplete without exploring Athenian craft beer and the micro-brewery scene of the city. The annual celebration of craft beer culture, the Athens Beer Festival is a must-attend event for anyone who loves exploring beers. Drawing visitors from all over Greece and beyond, this festival showcases a wide variety of local and international craft breweries. From ice-cold brews to suit the Athenian ale lovers, to live music and delectable food stalls, there is a lot to explore here. You can not only sample a diverse range of beers that suit every taste but can also engage in interactive workshops and learn about the brewing process. Ranging from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts and refreshing lagers, attendees can indulge in a variety of beers here. What makes this festival even more special is the lively crowd and the vibrant culture of the place, making it a memorable experience for anyone who attends the event.


In conclusion, as you explore the vibrant streets of Athens, be sure to immerse yourself in the city’s famous festivals and cultural celebrations. From photography and music to theatre, film, and food, Athens offers a diverse array of events that cater to every interest and taste. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, an art lover, or an outdoor enthusiast, this Athens travel guide will help you make the most of your visit to this remarkable city. If you are short on time and still wants to explore the best of the city, opt for an Athens guided tour to know more about the places there. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the fascinating festivals in Athens.




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