Panathenaic Stadium, Athens: Birthplace of the Modern Olympic Games

The Panathenaic Stadium in Athens was originally built back in the 4th century BC. Restored in 1895, it is one of the most impressive monuments in Athens. Read on to find out about the Panathenaic stadium hours, tickets and more.

The Panathenaic Stadium in Athens

The Panathenaic Stadium is an often overlooked cultural monument in Athens. It's understandable, given that Athens has so many ancient sites, but it's certainly worth visiting.

The horseshoe shape stadium was originally built in the 4th century BC and was used for a variety of sporting events, including the Panathenaic Games. It was restored in 1895 and has been used for a number of modern sporting events, most notably the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. The Panathenaic Stadium was also the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2004 Olympic Games.

Today, this all marble stadium is a popular tourist destination in Athens, and it is also used for occasional sporting events and concerts. The yearly Athens Marathon finishes at the Panathenaic Stadium.

All you need to know about the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens

Recently, I spent some time walking around the Panathenaic Stadium, something that gives a true sense of its size and majesty. I would now say that you really should go inside to appreciate the true scale of the stadium.

A Brief History of the Panathenaic Stadium

Climbing up for a view over the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens

The Panathenaic Stadium was restored in 1895 by a wealthy Greek named Georgios Averof.

Thinking the name sounded familiar, I remembered visiting a naval museum housed aboard the Georgios Averof Battleship last year. Yes, this battleship was named after the same fella. Small world!

The stadium is a faithful replica of the original one which existed here in the 4th century BC. It looks impressive now, so I can only imagine how it must have appeared to the people living over 2000 years ago!

If you wandered into Athens from the countryside and saw something like this in the 4th century BC, you must have thought you were on a different planet!

Reconstructed Panathenaic Stadium

After its reconstruction, the Panathenaic Stadium hosted the first ever Modern Olympics in 1896. It was due to the success of this Modern Olympics, that the tradition of holding the games has continued ever since then.

So, we can arguably say that the Panathenaic Stadium is the birthplace of the Modern Olympics!

Another angle of the Panathenaic Stadium

The stadium is designed to seat 70,000 people. In true Greek style though, this number is flexible.

According to records, the largest attendance ever recorded for a basketball match was here at the Panathenaic Stadium. Apparently, over 80,000 people were sitting, with approximately another 40,000 people standing!

London olympic poster and torch inside the Panathenaic Stadium

Underneath the stadium is a small museum area. Here, there are posters and Olympic torches from the Olympic Games held since that date. I've never actually been to an Olympic Games, not even the one in London. Have you?

Small museum area inside the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens

Related: What is Athens famous for?

Information on Visiting the Panathenaic Stadium

As I mentioned earlier, you can get an idea of the stadium simply from looking at it from the outside. After visiting it though, I would now recommend going inside.

Panatheniac Stadium Tickets

If you want to soak up the atmosphere, and enjoy the views from the top, allow about an hour.

In the summer, you probably want to visit here in the early morning or late afternoon.

You need to buy the tickets first from the office just outside the stadium before entering.

Panathenaic Stadium Hours

MONDAY 08.00 am – 7.00pm
TUESDAY 08.00 am – 7.00 pm
WEDNESDAY 08.00 am – 7.00 pm
THURSDAY 08.00 am – 7.00 pm
FRIDAY 08.00 am – 7.00 pm
SATURDAY 08.00 am – 7.00 pm
SUNDAY 08.00 am – 7.00 pm

The Panathenaic Stadium hours can vary during the winter. Double check by visiting their website here. You can also visit the Panathenaic Stadium as part of an Athens self  guided walking tour.


Vasileos Konstantinou Avenue (opposite the statue of Myron Discobolus)
Athens 116 35

Panathenaic Stadium Tickets


Further Information About Athens

The Panathenaic Stadium in Athens is a must see for anyone interested in the Olympic Games!


I have put together some useful guides on Athens that you might find useful when planning your trip.

Leave a Comment