An acropolis is as settlement or citadel, where in Greek akron means “highest point, extremity” and polis means “city”. In Greece, there are more than one Acropolis, but whenever the name is mentioned, there is only one that can be, the Acropolis of Athens. This sacred site is nothing less than the most visited attraction in Greece, and it’s probably the main reason to visit the capital, Athens. This UNESCO World Heritage site was dedicated to the goddess Athena, and it’s also where the so famous Parthenon is located.
The hill where the Acropolis is situated was already inhabited in the Neolithic period (4000/3500-3000 BC), only later on it was dedicated to Athena. I’m no expert in Greek Ancient History so I won’t go further than this, but the sacred site originated the city of Athens, which was built all around it, and it was named after the goddess.
Visiting the Acropolis is on many bucket lists of people all over the world, and if you are visiting Greece, it’s a must. The historical site is splendid and incredible, even though most of its structures are damaged and some sites are always under construction, like the Parthenon. In order to help you make the most of your visit, I have put together some practical tips for visiting the Acropolis:
If you are staying in the center city, you can easily get there walking, as everything is nearby. If you are a bit further, there are 3 metro stations near the Acropolis: Thesion, Monastiraki and Acropolis and from there is really easy to find it.
Depending on which side of the Acropolis you arrive, for example if you are coming from the Plaka side, it must be tricky to find the main entrance. Just keep an eye open to the signs and you will find your way. The great thing about coming from the Plaka side is that the way is beautiful, filled with narrow streets and colorful houses. Soon enough you will find the main gate where you can buy the tickets.
The Acropolis is normally open everyday from 08:00 to 20:00 during the summer season (April to October) and from 08:30 to 15:00 in the winter season (November to March).
There are a few days which the site is closed:
25th and 26th of December
For more information on opening times visit the official website.
Really! Keep in mind that this is the most visited attraction in the country, thousands of people go there every day. Arriving early as soon as the gate opens is highly advised, to avoid the crowd, as well as high temperatures during the warmer months. Another option is to arrive later in the day.
Tip: the best sunrise in town is seen from the Acropolis.
Buying the tickets
The tickets to the Acropolis are only available at the ticket office on site. The prices change according to the season:
From April to October:
20€ full and 10€ reduced to visit the Acropolis, its south and north slopes
30€ full and 15€ reduced the special ticket, which is valid for 5 days and allows you to visit the following: Acropolis, Ancient Agora, Archeological Museum of Kerameikos, Archeological site of Lykeion, Hadrian’s Library, Kerameikos, Museum of the Ancient Agora, North and South slopes of the Acropolis and the Roman Agora.
From November to March:
12€ full and 6€ reduced
Free admission for young people under 18 upon showing a valid document (identity card or passport)
Free entrance dates:
6 March (in memory of Melina Mercouri)
18 April (International Monuments Day)
18 May (International Museums Day)
The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)
Every first Sunday from November 1st to March 31st
For more information on tickets prices and reductions see the official website.
For your comfort
In the warmer months, it is highly recommended to take water with you and wear light clothing, as the Acropolis can get really hot. We were there in the beginning of May and already experienced high temperatures while walking the site. Another advice is to take your sunglasses and sun cream, wear comfortable shoes and avoid flip flops, for example.
Visit the Acropolis Museum
Right next to the Acropolis, on the southeast side, on Dionysiou Areopgitou Street, is located the Acropolis Museum. A modern building, whose construction was finished in 2007. The museum, has over 14,000 square meters of exhibition space, where sculptures and other original artefacts originally found in the Acropolis, are showcased. There is also a café on the terrace a view to the Parthenon.
Admission fee: 5€ (not combined with the Acropolis ticket)
For more information, visit the Acropolis Museum website.
– Monuments you will find inside the Acropolis: Parthenon, Erechtheion, Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, Brauronion, Temple of Rome and Augustus, Pedestal of Agrippa, Beule Gate, Acropolis fortification wall, Chalkotheke, Old Temple of Athena.
– It is also possible to hire a company or a private guide to take you around the Acropolis.
– Near the main entrance, there is a small hill from where you can get a great view of Athens and the Acropolis:
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We were on a FamTrip supported by the City of Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau. As always, views and opinions are my own and I only recommend what I like and believe my readers will like too.