Theater of Dionysus, Athens

Theater of Dionysus, Athens (must see)

The theater of Dionysus is one of the earliest surviving theaters of classical Greece and is known as the birthplace of European theater. As such, it's a great opportunity for both theater lovers and kids to get a feel for what ancient theater must have been like. While you can't climb all over it, access is nicely provided to walk all around the perimeter of the stage and to sit in the seats, which is a great way to make history come alive.

Around 500 BC, the theater was erected near the Acropolis for the performance of plays, which were a popular form of entertainment in ancient Greece. The location chosen was near the temple of Dionysus, the God of wine and the patron of drama. Like all the major ancient Greek theaters, the shape of the stage was semicircular and the gallery could seat 25,000 spectators. The theater had fallen into and remained in disrepair until the Roman Emperor Nero ordered its restoration and renovation.

The first drama by classical playwright Thespis from whom the word Thespian was coined, was performed at the venue in 530 BC. Plays of classical Greek dramatists like Sophocles, Aristophanes, Aeschylus, Euripides and Menander were subsequently staged. These well known classical dramatists often competed for a prize awarded for the most popular among plays. Serious Greek tragedies that propounded philosophy in the form of a drama, as well as light popular plays, were also staged at the theater.

Why You Should Visit:
Great opportunity for theater lovers, students and kids to get a feel for what ancient theater must have been like.
While you cannot climb all over it, access is nicely provided to walk all around the perimeter of the stage and to sit in the seats, which is a great way to make history come alive.

Tip:
Access to this site comes either separately or with your Acropolis/Ancient Agora/Temple of Zeus Combo Ticket (well worth the investment).

Opening Hours:
Mon: 11am-7:30pm; Tue-Sun: 8am-7:30pm (Apr-Oct); Daily: 8:30am-3pm (Nov-Mar)

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Athens. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Theater of Dionysus on Map

Sight Name: Theater of Dionysus
Sight Location: Athens, Greece (See walking tours in Athens)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Athens, Greece

Create Your Own Walk in Athens

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Athens Introduction Walking Tour

Athens Introduction Walking Tour

Athens is one of the oldest European cities, widely regarded as the birthplace of Western Civilization. Its history begins in the Neolithic period between 4th and 3rd millennium BC. The first settlement on the site of Athens was situated on the rock of Acropolis which means “high city” in Greek.

According to the Greek mythology, the name “Athens” emerged from a competition between the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Plaka Attractions Walking Tour

Plaka Attractions Walking Tour

In the shadow of the Acropolis stands Plaka, the most picturesque and oldest district of Athens, with continuous habitation from antiquity until today. The “neighborhood of the Gods”, as it is called, is like a romantic, atmospheric trip to old Athens adorned with antiquities, historic 19th-century buildings, museums and Byzantine churches.

From the vibrant Syntagma Square walking down...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Athens Food Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
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Also called "the sacred rock", the Acropolis was home to temples and sanctuaries throughout recorded history, and is a symbol of the city of Athens. Its religious importance was paramount to the ancient Greeks, and the buildings on the summit still capture the essence of their classical architecture. You can see the temples from most parts of the city, which adds to the feeling that this...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Walking Around the National Garden

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles

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