Athens Dionysus Theatre

Location: Acropolis

The Ancient Theatre of Dionysus is regarded as the first sample of Greek theatres and the birthplace of drama. It was built into a natural hollow at the southern slopes of the Acropolis and is the first theater in the whole world!
The theatre was dedicated to Dionysus, the god of wine-making and ecstasy, whose festivals were the driving force behind the development of Greek theater. Established in the 6th century, the theater has been reconstructed many times since then.


The sanctuary that hosted the theater was founded by Pisistratus, a reputed tyrant of Athens, or his sons, who introduced Athenians to the worship of Dionysus from Boeotia.

During the 5th century, the theatre was used as a regular site for theatrical performances of plays written by the great tragic poets - Aeschylus, Euripides, Aristophanes and Sophocles. The plays were performed as part of the celebrations that took place to honor Dionysus. In fact, a large statue of the god had been placed in the front row so that the god himself could watch the plays and the sacrifices to his name.

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More information about the Theatre of Dionysus

Many disputes have arisen concerning the original structure of the theatre. Apparently, the biggest part of the theater was originally made of wood but it was later rebuilt in stone. In 330 BC, stone seats that could host up to 17,000 people were added. The stage was reconstructed over the centuries and most of the ruins visible today are from the Roman times. In its final form, the lower part had 13 more sections that were separated by steps and 32 rows of seats covering the perimeter of the orchestra. The upper part had another 32 rows of seats covering only the center. Later on, a third part was added.

Today, only 20 of these sections have survived. The inscriptions on some of the thrones reveal that they belonged to elected rulers, while the other seats were intended for citizens.
However, the most impressive seat was bearing the inscription Priest of Dionysus Eleftherius, carved with bunches of grapes.

How to get there

There are many ways to reach the Theatre of Dionysus from any location in Athens.

Tours: Discover the Theatre of Dionysus with an organized tour.

Private transfers: We recommend using an online pre-booked transfer service, which provides transfer by taxi, minibus, or private VIP car and arranging a pickup directly from the port, airport, or your hotel. Alternatively, there’s the option of arranging a pickup by a local driver directly at the following numbers: (0030) 18288, (0030) 18222, (0030) 18180. You can also book your taxi online.

On foot: As the Theatre of Dionysus is located in a central area of Athens, it can be easily reached on foot from Syntagma Square in approximately 20 minutes.

By metro: The closest metro station is Akropoli (Red Line). Note that the Theatre of Dionysus is located within a 10-minute walking distance from the metro. Get a map of the metro here.

By bus/trolleybus: The closest bus stop is "Monastiraki". Check the routes and the official timetables on OASA Telematics.



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