The Dionysus Theater on the southern slope of the Acropolis is one of the most famous sights of Athens. It is considered the birthplace of ancient Greek theater. It is an absolute must-see for history and theater fans!
In this complete guide to the Dionysus Theater in Athens, you will learn everything you need to know about it, including its history, directions, tours and tickets.
Things to Do at the Dionysus Theater
The Theater of Dionysus, dating back to the 5th century B.C., is considered one of the most important monuments from antiquity, since it was in this theater that drama and tragedy were born. Thus, it is not only the most important theater in Greece, but also one in the whole world.
1. Tour the Ruins
You can tour the ruins of the ancient site and transport yourself back to a time when some of the most important Greek tragedians of antiquity, such as Sophocles and Euripides, performed their plays here.
Walking through the rows of seats, you can enter into the spirit of that time and imagine how it once seated 17,000 Athenians.
2. Pay Attention to the Architectural Details
Special attention should be paid to the marble seats of honor in the front row, which were reserved for distinguished citizens and dignitaries. Even today it is possible to recognize the names for which these seats of honor were reserved.
On the stage you can discover stone reliefs depicting scenes from the life of the god Dionysus, the eponym of the theater.
3. Combine your Visit with the Top Attractions Nearby
Since the Dionysus Theater is located in the area of the Acropolis, a visit to all the sites in the area is highly recommended. This includes the Parthenon, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the Areopagus, the Acropolis Research Center and Acropolis Museum.
- You can learn more about the historical sites of the Acropolis in our guide to the Acropolis.
Entrance, Tickets and Tours to Dionysus Theater
How to Get to the Dionysus Theater?
The Theater of Dionysus is located on the southern slopes of the Acropolis. After a short walk you can get there from many sights.
- By public transport, the best way to get there is to take bus number 230 to "Akropolē". From there it is only a few meters.
- By Hop on Hop off: It is just as easy with the hop on hop off bus tour (stop A4 " Acropolis-Parthenon").
- From the Piraeus Cruise Port: Visitors arriving from the cruise port in Piraeus can go to the nearby Piraeus metro station and get on the M1 line. A one-way ticket is sufficient to get to the "Thiseio" station. From there, it's still about a 12-minute walk to the Dionysus Theater. It is even easier with the hop-on hop-off bus tour, which has stops directly at passenger terminal A (P1) and B (P2), and goes to station P6 "Acropolis-Parthenon". From there it is a short walk to the Dionysus Theater.
FAQ about Dionysus Theater
The Dionysus Theater is usually open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (April-October) and daily from about 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (November-March).
The Dionysus Theater is located on the southern slope of the Acropolis. The exact address is: Mitseon 25, Athens 117 42, Greece
The Dionysus Theater near the Acropolis is within easy reach of many sights. The best way to get there by public transport is to take bus number 230 to "Akropolē". From there it is only a few meters. It is just as easy with the hop on hop off bus tour (stop A4 " Acropolis-Parthenon").
Visitors arriving from the cruise port in Piraeus can go to the nearby Piraeus metro station and get on the M1 line. A one-way ticket is sufficient to get to the "Thiseio" station. From there, it's still about a 12-minute walk to the Dionysus Theater. It is even easier with the hop-on hop-off bus tour, which has stops directly at passenger terminal A (P1) and B (P2), and goes to station P6 "Acropolis-Parthenon". From there it is a short walk to the Dionysus Theater.
There are no individual tickets for the Dionysus Theater. The visit to the site is included in the entrance ticket to the Acropolis. Tickets are available at the ticket counters on site as well as in our store. There is a one-way ticket without queuing for the Acropolis including a guided tour as well as a combination ticket that gives access to the Acropolis, the Agora and the Olympieion among others.
History & Facts of the Dionysus Theater
The Dionysus Theater, which owes its name to Dionysus, the god of wine, was built in the 5th century BC. As part of the sanctuary of Dionysus, which also included a temple, it originally served as a sacred building.
Only later did the Dionysus Theater find use as a theater. In the beginning, it included only a kind of wooden stage building and a playing area, which today could be described as a stage. Here the cultic dance and song performances as well as the sacrificial rites in honor of Dionysus were performed. At the same time, the annual festival of the Great Dionysia took place here. In the course of time, these rituals led to the emergence of theater and drama.
The Dionysus Theater was expanded and enlarged several times in the following century. First, wooden rows of seats were added, followed later by both a stage building and rows of stone seats. Thus, the Dionysus Theater became the venue for almost all Greek tragedies known to us, which had their first performances here. For this reason, it is believed to be the first theater in the world and the birthplace of drama.
It was only in 1863 that the Dionysus Theater was rediscovered during excavation works. Even though today only the ruins of the site can be seen, they give a glimpse of the fascinating architecture and structure of the theater, making it a very worthwhile testimony of antiquity.
Contact & Map
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