Theatre of Delphi

The 35 rows of this ancient theatre can seat 5,000, and offer spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding ruins and valley below.

TravelCurious Tip

There are still plays and recitals held here from time to time, particularly in the summer – ask your guide to check the upcoming schedule of events.

Further up the hill from the Temple of Apollo lies the spectacularly-located Delphi theatre. Sitting in one of the 35 rows of seats, you are treated to a stunning view looking down on other areas of the archaeological site, and towards the rest of the valley below.

Improvements on Improvements

It is presumed by ancient historians that there was a more rudimentary wooden-seated theatre existing on this site prior to the structure we can see today. However, nothing remains of this, and the current theatre was built in the 4th century BC to host Delphi’s various theatrical and musical events. By 159 BC, its condition had deteroriated to the extent that Eumenes II of Pergamon made the decision to fully renovate the theatre. It was during these renovations that the lower rows of limestone benches were constructed, bringing the total seating capacity up to an impressive 5,000.

A Glimpse of the Past

Today most of the intricate stonework has been destroyed, stolen or removed to other locations. One particularly fine example is an exquisite frieze of the Labours of Herakles which once adorned the front of the stage, and can now be seen on display in the Delphi Museum. As a result of these removals, the theatre does feel rather stripped of ornamentation when compared to certain other surviving Greek theatres. However, the experience of taking a seat in this broad auditorium and imagining a 2,000 year-old capacity crowd around you is evocative to say the least, and leaves a lasting impression on many visitors to Delphi theatre.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Athens
Greece's most important archaeological site after the Acropolis, Delphi was the religious centre of the ancient world.
Delphi Museum
The museum shelters numerous wonderful artefacts unearthed during excavations at the home of the Oracle, including the famous Charioteer of Delphi.
Temple of Apollo, Delphi
Central among the Delphi ruins, the temple's imposing columns lie on the southern slopes of Parnassos mountain.
Mount Parnassus
Mountain in Greece, which towers over Delphi and offers scenic views of the countryside.
Thissio is one of locals' favorite neighborhoods, with open air concerts and lined with kafeneios interspersed with its many neoclassical buildings.
At the heart of Greek social life are kafeneios - local cafes which serve coffee, ouzo, and local beer.

Related Tours

Visit Delphi Archaeological Site: Private Day Trip from Athens

Immerse yourself in the world-famous ancient wonders of Delphi on this magical day trip from Athens, a truly unforgettable experience. Located at the base of Mount Parnassus, where the gods were said to reside, Delphi was once a place of worship and pilgrimage. It became a wealthy city of the gifts brought there and such wealth was used to build impressive monuments like stadiums, training facilities and much more in honour of Apollo with competitions that were precursors to the modern-day Olympics.

On your tour, you will:

  • Explore the beautiful UNESCO Archeological site of Delphi, where the oracle temple dedicated to Apollo was one of the most important shrines in Greece;
  • Discover the Temple of Apollo, the sanctuary for the god of Apollo and the first temple located in Delphi;
  • See the ancient seat of Pythia, the high priestess of the Temple of Apollo that was known as the Oracle of Delphi;
  • Marvel at the Theatre of Delphi, home to the singing and instrumental music contests of the Pythian Games and the largest structure in the Temple of Apollo;
  • Visit the Athens treasury, designed to hold the Athenian offerings to the Delphi oracle and to safeguard their loot from wars; 
  • Marvel at the lush scenery of Mount Parnassus, a sacred sight to Apollo and the Corycian nymphs;
  • Stop for lunch in the lovely mountain town and beautiful village of Arachova;
  • Relax and enjoy the peaceful and scenic drive back to Athens.

No trip to Greece is complete until you have explored the beautiful and serene enclave of Delphi. After being picked up from your hotel in your private air-conditioned vehicle, you’ll begin the scenic 180 km drive through mountains and fertile valleys of cotton fields and olive groves, enjoying sensational views of the Greek countryside.

Upon arriving in Delphi you’ll enter the UNESCO world heritage site, to explore these stunning ruins with your knowledgeable local guide.

Dating as far back as the 6th Century BC, Delphi was thought to be the point at which heaven and earth met – it was here that man could get closest to God. The sanctuary of Delphi was also famed throughout the classical world as home to the Oracle: a priestess named Pythia, who channelled the spirit of Apollo, answering questions on anything from domestic squabbles to matters of war. Everyone from foreign dignitaries to common peasants would make the pilgrimage from Athens to Delphi to seek the Oracle’s advice.

During your day tour, follow in their footsteps and discover for yourself the iconic monuments of antiquity dedicated to the mighty Greek gods and goddesses: the temples of Apollo and Athena Pronea – whose circular structure is the most recognisable of all Delphi’s ruins.

Your tour will continue inside the Delphi museum, where you’ll come face to face with the piercing gaze of the famed Charioteer of Delphi, and other archaeological wonders. After stopping for lunch in the picturesque village of Arachova, carved into a hillside along the Saronic coast, your day will finish with a peaceful drive back to Athens.

Some believe it’s still possible to feel the spirit of Apollo here thousands of years later!



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