Let’s be honest, Athens is known for its art and architecture of the past (the Acropolis, the Temple of Zeus, and the Byzantine Museum, to name a few), but its contemporary art scene has recently become one of the Greek capital’s under-the-radar attractions. In fact, the revived art scene has been considered a silver lining to Greece’s bumpy economic standing over the past several years.
In most areas of Athens, visitors will notice a great deal of graffiti, ranging from teenage tagging to political gripes to full-blown street art. For the most buzzed-about displays, head to the Metaxourgeio district. Long considered a rough-around-the-edges neighborhood, the upcoming district of Metaxourgeio is the place to go for galleries and artists co-ops. If this is up your alley, enjoy an afternoon of gallery-hopping in Metaxourgeio. Finish up at the critically acclaimed Breeder Gallery, where you can top off your art-browsing with a bite at its top-floor restaurant called the Breeder Feeder (cutest name ever, right?).
For museum lovers looking for contemporary exhibits, Athens’ National Museum of Contemporary Art had a soft opening in October 2016, after a long and bureaucratically cloudy renovation process that lasted over a decade. After its inaugural exhibit closed this month, the museum closed to prep its next projects, which are expected to return in April 2017. Rumor has it that the museum will officially (and fully) open its doors in the fall of 2017, according to The Art Newspaper.
Another recent addition to Greece’s art world is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, completed in 2016. The center houses the National Opera, the National Library of Greece, and the Stavros Niarchos Park, which is a multi-purpose urban green space.
Have you been on a tour to Athens? Did you discover any wonderful surprised? Tell us in the comments below!