Better preserved than all its neighboring temples and monuments, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a Roman marvel inside the Acropolis of Athens.
Besides, beyond visiting and photographing it, you may have the opportunity to enjoy a concert while sitting on the original marble steps… We tell you this and EVERYTHING you need to know (history, opening hours, tickets, shows…) to make the most of your visit to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in this article:
History of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus
We owe the existence of this monument to Tiberius Claudius Herodes Atticus, an Athenian of a rich and powerful family (in fact these words are synonymous); and to Aspasia Annia Regilla, wife of the former (and whose full name is rarely mentioned in most sources).
Due to the death of his wife, in 160 AD, our friend Claudius decided to build this impressive Odeon at the foot of the Acropolis of Athens, in her memory and honor.
Personal opinion that no one has asked me for:
It is curious that, despite doing it for her, Mr. Tiberius Claudius Herod Atticus Herod decides to name the construction after himself instead of using the name of his beloved. But anyway, let’s continue:
Another curious fact, and more historical than the previous one, is that this was NOT the only Odeon in the ancient city of Athens; previously we had the Odeon of Pericles (Athenian politician who took all the credit for bringing us the first democracy in the world), and the Odeon of the Roman general Agrippa. The former was also located on the Acropolis, while the latter was part of the precinct of the Ancient Agora.
Inciso: I mentioned earlier that Pericles takes all the credit for “inventing” democracy, but not that he did it himself. This is a long but interesting story that we can talk about on our guided tour of the Acropolis.
However, today we can only appreciate the Odeon to which we dedicate this article… And with a lot of luck, since even the one financed by Herod Atticus suffered a severe destruction by the Heruli (Germanic tribe that invaded the Roman Empire in the 3rd century A.D.).
|Everyday at 10:00 AM|
New Athens Free Tour
Experience Athens through history and mythology on our free walking tour. We cover the major classical sights, infusing a touch of modern Greek life. Discover the heart of ancient Athens as you stroll through Plaka, past the Acropolis, and ancient theaters.
|Everyday at 10:00 AM|
The construction of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus took them 10 years, resulting in this work of art with a floor plan similar to a Roman theater but with an impressive wooden roof.
With a diameter of 80 meters, the Odeon has a capacity for 5000 spectators distributed among its 32 staggered rows. On the other hand, its stage has a length of 19 meters. Like all its neighboring temples and monuments, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus is also mostly made of white Pentelic marble.
However, the material that took all the glory at the time, and in fact caused a large outlay of money by the benefactor, was the cedar wood that made up the aforementioned 38-meter diameter roof.
Sadly, though fortunately on the other hand, nothing remains of that impressive roof today. Today the Odeon of Herodes Atticus is completely uncovered, which is no impediment due to the good climate of Athens. Moreover, we should consider ourselves lucky since the rest of the structure remains (almost) intact.
But there is even better news:
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus today
Let’s see, we have an impressive Odeon in the center of the city, which is in practically perfect condition and… We’re not going to use it?
Of course we are:
Today the Odeon of Herodes Atticus hosts dramatic and musical performances – that’s right, we can still enjoy a show (in every sense of the word) sitting in this nearly 2,000-year-old monument.
These events take place as part of the Athens and Epidaurus festival that is held every year, in those cities, during the summer.
|Everyday at 9:30 AM & 4:00 PM|
Ektor Free Historical Walking Tour
Discover the historic gems of Athens and step into a world of legend. Our adventure starts at Lord Byron’s Statue, leading you through the ancient wonders of Hadrian’s Arch, the Temple of Zeus, Monastiraki, and Plaka. Would you like to join a local Athenian guide for an incredible journey back in time?
|Everyday at 9:30 AM & 3:00 PM|
We can highlight events such as the Miss Universe pageant (year 1973), the recording of the first album of Yanni Markopoulos (Greek composer) and the great performance of Nana Mouskouri after her 20 years of absence on stage (Greek singer) that also took place in the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
Odeon of Herodes Atticus schedule
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is located inside the Acropolis and, as such, its opening hours are the same as those of the Acropolis. There are two different opening hours, depending on the time of year:
– Hours from November 1 to March 31 (low season):
|Open every day from 8:00 to 17:00|
– Hours from April 1 to October 31 (high season):
|Open every day from 8:00 to 20:00|
IMPORTANT: The Acropolis of Athens Archaeological Site will be closed on the following dates:
- January 1st
- March 25th
- May 1st
- Easter Sunday
- December 25th
- December 26th
In addition to the days mentioned above, the Acropolis may also be closed in case of intense heat waves during the summer and when it snows in winter. However, this happens only a few times a year.
Acrópolis también permanezca cerrada en caso de intensas olas de calor durante el verano y cuando nieva en invierno. Sin embargo esto ocurre muy pocas veces al año.
Entrance fees and tickets
As mentioned above, to visit the Odeon of Herodes Atticus it is necessary to purchase a ticket valid for access to the Acropolis of Athens. You have two different options: Buying the individual ticket (only for this archaeological site) or the combined ticket.
The price of the individual ticket depends on the season in which you visit, having two possibilities:
– High season (1 April – 31 October):
| Ticket price – 20 euros |
– Low season (1 November – 31 March):
| Price of the ticket – 10 euros |
The other option, which is my personal recommendation in most cases, is to purchase the combined ticket. With this ticket you will have access to 7 archaeological sites in Athens, being able to visit them in an interval of 5 days. We have an article entirely dedicated to the combined ticket (you can click on the link to get to it).
Where can I buy both types of tickets?
You can buy them at the ticket office, however, if you choose to buy the Acropolis single ticket I do not recommend it. It turns out that there is usually quite a long queue at this archaeological site, especially in high season. On the other hand, you can buy the combined ticket at any other archaeological site, where you will very rarely have to wait to do so.
A very interesting alternative is to buy your ticket online, this is the official website: https://etickets.tap.gr/.