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Athens may be packed with age-old monuments and treasures but it is an equally interesting destination for art lovers. Whether you are into contemporary, visual or street art, you will find it all here with our condensed art guide to the Greek capital.
With a focus on music and art, both in Greece and overseas, the B&M Theocharakis Foundation strives to engage the public with music and visual arts, and to promote the work of Greek artists abroad. As such, the center has a rich program of events, exhibitions, music performances and activities geared towards children.
Besides several museums, Athens is filled with art galleries of all sorts that will certainly appeal to those in love with art, be it abstract, figurative, or even visual and performance. You could even tailor-make your own art tour, by exploring them all.
Why not combine art with delicious food and drinks? This is the idea behind Pirée, a café/restaurant that also serves as an art space, with performances, live events, pop-up exhibitions and installations hosted upstairs and in the other rooms, while the café on the ground floor welcomes visitors. You may even be surprised to see a live performance right in front of you while you are savoring a delicious cup of coffee.
Pirée, Kastoros 78, Piraeus, Greece, +30 210 40 82 700
Created in 2004 by Greek sculptor George Zongolopoulos, the man behind the Umbrellas artworks on Thessaloniki’s waterfront and in the Council of the European Union’s cour d’honneur in Brussels, the Georgios Zongolopoulos Foundation is a public welfare, non-profit organization with the objective to promote and present the work of the Greek sculptor and his wife, Helen Paschalidou-Zongolopoulou, a painter. Established in their home and workshop in Psychiko, Athens, visitors get to explore the artists’ sculpting and painting exhibitions and discover the tools and materials they used. George Zongolopoulos’ workshop is also open for visits. Want to learn more? The foundation organizes free guided tours of the glyptotheque and the foundation premises every first Sunday of each month.
Visitors to Athens cannot help but spot the numerous graffiti on the city walls. If you are into street art, well then you are in luck. Taking advantage of the many urban outlaws of the city making it an open-air museum for street art, travel agencies and tour operators have conceived tours so visitors can explore this alternative art form. Whether you prefer to see the city by foot or by bike, you will get to discover lesser-known areas where tourists hardly go and be able to learn and admire the urban art.
If you want to really get to know Athens’ contemporary art scene, then this tour is just what you need. Giving visitors the chance to learn about contemporary Athens and to explore the art scene, the tour will first take you to an art museum in the city, plus an art gallery, before getting acquainted with a local artist. Spend the afternoon with him or her in their studio, ask them questions about their work and watch them at work. The tour ends with a small exploration of the artistic community in two central districts of Athens.