The 10 top-rated Open Air Cinemas to enjoy a movie under the stars of the Athenian sky, including a free film festival.
Last updated: 15 Dec 2023
Featured image: Thalia Galanopoulou / AOAFF 2019
Watching a movie in open-air cinemas in Athens is an unforgettable experience.
These movie theaters usually do not have high-end sound systems.
In fact, the music volume is often intentionally kept low so as not to disturb the neighbors.
Instead of a roof, the sky forms the ceiling, and there’s no traditional air conditioning. The evening breeze naturally cools the spectators.
As for the seating, forget the super comfortable seats of multiplex cinemas.
More often than not, you’ll find yourself sitting in a director’s chair or, occasionally, on a lounge chair.
Despite these differences, or perhaps because of them, visiting an open-air cinema is a unique experience that you should not miss.
Ever since my school days, I remember eagerly anticipating summer for two reasons: 1) to go to the sea, and 2) to visit the summer cinema in my neighborhood with my classmates.
The carefree nature of the holidays, the view of the night sky, the movies, and the smell of hot dogs and popcorn from the bar would continually draw us to the Cine Marina Summer Cinema.
While Cine Marina may no longer operate today, my love for outdoor movie theaters endures, as does my fondness for hot dogs under the summer sky.
Athens Summer Cinema Tips!
Below, you’ll find a list of my 10 favorite summer cinemas in Athens. These cinemas typically operate from April to October.
Keep the following in mind:
- Movies in Greece are shown with subtitles, not dubbed, so you can watch almost any film you want.
- Ticket prices at most open-air cinemas range from 7.5 to 8 euros. However, in a few cinemas, it’s possible to find tickets priced as low as 5 euros or as high as 10 euros, depending on their location.
- Between June and August, opt for the late-night screenings, for example, at 23:00. This is because, until around 21:00 – 21:30, there is still enough light in the sky, making it challenging to watch a movie clearly.
Open Air Cinemas throughout Athens
10) Cinema Mpomponiera
One of the nicest Open Air Cinemas in the Northern Suburbs of Athens is the Mpomponiera in Kifisia.
It has been operating for over 100 years, specifically since 1918, showing new films and reissues.
So grab a cold beer and a pizza from its bar, sit next to a table, and enjoy your movie.
9) Cine Zéphyros
You can find Cine Zéphyros in the neighborhood of Ano Petralona, one of the most popular areas for a relaxing night out among the locals.
Here, you will mainly enjoy classic masterpieces and selected, less commercial, films from European cinema.
Do not forget to sit in the surrounding taverns right after the movie, some of the best in town.
There you can order meze, relax, and talk about the film for hours.
8) Athens Open Air Film Festival
As its name suggests, the Athens Open Air Film Festival is a… festival, not a specific cinema.
Unique spots at archaeological sites, parks, squares, beaches, museums, and other places around the city turn into open-air cinemas with free entrance for everyone!
It is a unique opportunity you should not miss if its dates are convenient.
You will find more information and the screening program at https://www.aoaff.gr.
7) Cine Alsos
Cine Alsos is one of the town’s lesser-known and most beautiful Open Air Cinemas.
You can locate it in the New Philadelphia neighborhood, in an environment full of colors and pleasant smells.
It lets you enjoy the best summer movies while offering upgraded image and sound quality.
Furthermore, the sound volume does not turn down after 23:00, as in most other outdoor cinemas.
6) Open Air Cine Flisvos
Do you stay in Athens Riviera? Or do you want to watch the latest movie productions next to the sea?
Then Open Air Cine Flisvos is the best choice for you.
Grab a frozen margarita from the bar, sit back, and enjoy the sea breeze.
The place is also ideal if you travel with your family, with a playground and a beautiful sidewalk by the sea nearby.
5) Dexameni Outdoor Cinema
Dexameni Outdoor Cinema is, along with Cine Aegli, Thision Open Air Cinema, and Cine Paris, the four most popular outdoor movie theaters in the center of Athens.
Located in a beautiful neighborhood near Lycabettus Hill, it is ideal for enjoying carefully selected movies among locals.
And as soon as the film is over, do not forget to enjoy your drink in the nearby bars.
4) Filothei Open Air Cinema
The Filothei Open Air Cinema is one of my favorites as it is located in a little green park full of night flowers in the suburb Filothei.
So, even on the hottest nights of the Athenian summer, it stays cool, while you may even need a cardigan!
At the same time, in its bar, apart from excellent cocktails, you will find authentic Italian ice creams and a hot dog that you should definitely try.
Top 3 Athens Summer Cinemas
All three following Open Air Cinemas are located in the “heart” of Athens.
Feel free to choose the one closest to your hotel, screening the movie that you like best.
3) Thision Open Air Cinema
Built in 1935, Thision Open Air Cinema was voted by CNN Travel as the best movie theater in the world.
You will find it on the pedestrian street of Apostolou Pavlou, in a cozy, simple, and traditional place overlooking the Acropolis.
It is worth enjoying the reissues of classic movies that it usually shows, with some popcorn and a glass of wine from its bar.
2) Cine Aegli Summer Cinema
Next to the National Garden, just a few meters from Syntagma Square, you can find Athens’s oldest Open Air Cinema.
Cine Aegli Summer Cinema premiered in 1903 and continues to this day with first-run movies and summer blockbusters.
It is among my top three picks, offering excellent sound, great image quality, and a full bar.
Moreover, although it is located in the “heart” of the modern city, when you visit it, you will feel like you are on a tiny, quiet Greek island.
1) Cine Paris
Cine Paris, located in the center of Plaka, operates on the rooftop of a building on Kidathineon Street.
Here, in addition to the movies, you’ll enjoy a unique view of the illuminated Acropolis.
This makes it an ideal destination for an unforgettable romantic date. If you’re in the city with your loved one, you simply shouldn’t miss it.
Important note: After being closed for four years due to the pandemic and renovation work, Cine Paris is scheduled to reopen in 2024! We’ll update this article as soon as we have more information.
Where to Stay in Athens?
Are you looking for more uncommon ideas to spend your time while you are in town?
Then, make sure you check out the Hidden Gems In Athens guide.
It includes all the non-touristy things to do in the city and their pins on Google Maps, so you don’t miss a thing.
Moreover, if you are also searching for reliable accommodation, check the “Where to stay in Athens in 2024” guide!
It includes the 10 most reliable neighborhoods, the city’s best hotels, and the areas you should avoid.
Make Your Trip Easier
I always book my accommodation with a reliable service like Booking.com. Besides their price guarantee, you can rest assured that you will have 24/7 support in the event of any problems with your hotel. Always make sure you read reviews from other guests before booking.
If you want to get to and from Athens Airport with peace of mind, I recommend pre-booking your taxi with Welcome Pickups. Their flat rate is a few euros more expensive than random taxis, but they are totally worth it. They use local English-speaking drivers, wait for you at the arranged meeting point, even if your arrival is delayed, and introduce you to the city along the way.
Don’t forget to use Skyscanner before booking your flights as it compares different airlines to provide the cheapest and fastest solutions. Moreover, you can save a lot of money if you are flexible with your dates.
Nobody wants to think about all the things that could go wrong on a trip. However, these things can happen, so do not miss taking out travel insurance: SafetyWing is the one I use, as its plans are affordable and can save you a lot of trouble.
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