Courtesy: Zoumboulakis Galley

Athens is heaven for art-lovers. The capital’s art scene is red-hot and Athenian galleries are a great place to eavesdrop on what local artists think and feel about current issues. A city art insider distills the vibrant gallery circuit in Athens.

By Kiriakos Spirou

Kolonaki

With over 20 galleries, big and small, scattered around the slopes of Mount Lycabettus, Kolonaki is Athens’ art HQ. There’s something to see (and buy) for every taste. Keep an eye out for the smaller and younger spaces; they’re great for scouting promising new talent.

Three paintings in a gallery room
a view of an installation with multiple canvases.
a yellow dining table, dishes and candles on top, three paintings on the wall behind.

Syntagma

The area between Kolonaki and Syntagma Square mixes state affairs, embassies, museums and high-profile law firms. The galleries here are more than dressed for the part.

a view of the gallery's inside, artworks around.
the gallery as seem from the road, empty white walls.

Acropolis

a view of the gallery's inside, artworks around.

Thissio & Petralona

Low-rise buildings and slow traffic make the urban neighbourhoods of Thissio and Petralona deal for gallery walks and outings. The galleries here are part of the old guard, but never run out of fresh ideas.  

three large paintings hanging on two white walls.

Monastiraki & Psirri

There's contemporary art even in Athens’ most touristy area, Monastiraki, if you know where to look.

a view of the gallery's inside, artworks around.

Metaxourgeio & Keramikos

The plan to posh-up Keramikos and Metaxourgeio back in the Noughties didn't quite stick, but the edgy galleries that relocated here as part of that movement have stayed.

an installation of two different artworks in brown colour.
artworks hanging on the gallery's walls.

Ambelokipi

A short walk from Kolonaki and the Athens Concert Hall, the northern slopes of Mount Lycabettus are worth exploring if you'd prefer to veer off the tourist path.

a view of the gallery's inside, artworks around.

Art adventures in the Athens suburbs

Venture beyond the city centre to discover gallery gems that are well worth your time.

facades of old mechanical shops in Piraeus
a view of the gallery's inside, artworks around.