The Olympic Athletic Center of Athens (OAKA or Spiros Louis): This enormous athletic complex had some of its first facilities built in 1982 and had been in the process of building until 1994, but was fully renovated in 2004 to host the Athens Summer Olympics and Paralympics. The complex was named after Spiros Louis, the first Olympic marathon gold medalist of the modern age, who won in the Athens Summer Olympics of 1896. The facilities of the Olympic Center have hosted a number of sports events throughout the years, as well as some of the most important musical concerts in Athens's history!
When excavations for the construction of the complex began in 1979, certain artifacts and remnants of old civilisations were found. Further excavations in 2004 discovered even more remnants, more specifically, fountains and abandoned water works from the Roman Era. These findings are located on the western part of the complex in a special display area, the Roman Corner. To get there you have to pass through the Wall of Nations, an arched sculpture that resembles a bridge and connects the Main Stadium with the western side of the complex.
OAKA’s main facilities include: • The Main Olympic Stadium
• The Nikos Galis Olympic Indoor Hall
• The Olympic Aquatic Center
• The Olympic Velodrome
• The Tennis Courts
The Main Olympic Stadium is typically used for football matches and large concerts or festivals. It hosted the UEFA Champions League Final on three separate occasions in 2007, 1994 and 1983. The Stadium was host to a two-day sold-out concert of Greek artist George Dalaras that saw more than 160,000 people attend the concert. It is hailed as Greece’s largest-ever music event. In 2010, the band U2 performed in front of a crowd of 82,662 fans. In 2023, Imagine Dragons performed there in front of a large crowd and under heavy rain. Some legendary performers have also appeared on stage in OAKA, such as AC/DC, Iron Maiden, and The Rolling Stones.
One special event held in OAKA Stadium is the Waterboom Festival. This festival takes place during the summer when young Greeks try to battle the Athens heat by throwing water balloons or spraying each other with water guns! The event usually has a celebrity host, drinks, and many musical guests! The organizers also provide protective phone cases with each admission, so you can capture each moment without the fear of destroying your phone.
There are many ways to reach the Olympic Athletic Center of Athens (OAKA) from any location in Athens.
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.
Car rental: There is the option of renting a car and picking it up directly from the airport, port, or your hotel. Using a car rental allows visitors to discover OAKA and many other places of interest in Athens at their own pace.
By metro: The closest metro station is Eirini (Green Line). Get a map of the metro here.