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Sofia Ps.
4 mins read

Acropolis of Athens: 10 tips for your visit!

I remember the first time in my life that I climbed the Sacred Rock of Athens like it was yesterday. When I was about 9 years old, I was visiting Athens with my family and my mom took me and my sisters to see the Acropolis. I was beyond thrilled because I wanted to be an archaeologist since I was 5! So, visiting the Acropolis in a way felt like having a taste of the Athenian past and my own future at the same time. It was magical and everything I wanted it to be!

Since then, I’ve visited the Acropolis more than 200 times (yes, literally), so it’s hard for me to write a post from the visitor’s point of view. Instead, I’d like to share some advice and tips with you, so that you can make the most of your visit!

Here are my top 10 tips:

Parthenon of the Acropolis of Athens
The Parthenon; it was built as a temple for the goddess Athena.

1. Avoid peak season, if you can

I’ve had so many people tell me that they visited the Acropolis in the summer and they didn’t enjoy the experience at all; honestly, I can’t blame them. Acropolis is the most visited place in Athens and between May-September, it can be VERY crowded. Additionally, during the Greek summer (June-August) the temperature in Athens can reach as high as 40 °C (104 °F), so the heat could make the visit quite unpleasant. A visit in April-May or September-October is a better idea!

2. Know your options

You can purchase tickets on-site or online, which will help you avoid the long ticket office queue. Either way, make sure before you buy them to check if you’re entitled to free admission or a reduced price. Combined ticket packages are also available. Depending on your schedule it might be worth considering it! Always check the official website for information before your visit, because depending on the time of year the visiting hours might differ. Lastly, there is free admission on some days, although it’s going to be more crowded than usual, and the site is closed on specific holidays. (Check the end of this post for more information!)

Ticket for the Acropolis of Athens
Always check your options before buying a ticket!

3. Go early or go late

Try to avoid peak hours! This way you’ll be avoiding the crowds and getting the best light for your pictures as well! If you go late, keep in mind that the guards start to show people out at least 20-30 min. before closing time.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Odeon of Herodes Atticus. One of the many wonderful things you can see on your way up the hill! However, it's a good idea to go straight to the top and then work your way down (especially if you're visiting in the morning).

4. Use both entrances/exits

There are two ways in the Acropolis (I’ve marked them on the map below), so I would suggest using them both in order to see everything on the site! The best way to enter depends on your starting point, however, I’d use the southeast entrance (the one close to the theatre of Dionysus), because it’s usually less crowded.

Bonus tip: You can only validate your ticket once, which means if you exit the site you cannot enter again!

Southeast entrance of the Acropolis of Athens
Southeast entrance of the Acropolis

5. Bring water

Remember to bring your water bottle, because you can’t purchase water anywhere within the site. There is however one fountain, where you can refill it for free. Other types of drinks or food of any kind are not allowed.

Erechtheion of the Acropolis of Athens
The rule is the same in all archaeological sites in Greece. You can bring water but nothing else! This is Erechtheion by the way; one of the most interesting ancient Greek temples!

6. Be prepared

Hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses are your friends! Also, make sure that your shoes have good traction! The hike up there is not that difficult; however, the terrain is uneven and at places very slippery.

View of the Parthenon of the Acropolis in Athens
After all this walking you’re going to need some shade, but there is only this one tree. You really need to come prepared for the Greek sun! It's strong even during the winter.

7. Mind your stuff

Ok, you might be thinking this is a useless tip because of course you’ll mind your stuff, right? However, I really feel that I should warn you because there have been many pick-pocketing cases within the site by people disguised as tourists. Of course, I don’t wish to alarm you and you don’t have to be suspicious of everybody. The place is perfectly safe and you can relax, but at the same time, you have to be wise and mindful of your surroundings.

Detail of the east pediment of the Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens; God Dionysus and god Helios, the sun god with his horses
You don't want anybody to steal your wallet while you admire the elegant details of the Parthenon!

8. Look up!

Woman taking a picture at the Propylea of the Acropolis of Athens
Entering through the Propylaea! [click by @ninemias.echo]

Take many pictures, but also put your camera and your phone down for a sec and look up! Take a minute to appreciate the beauty of 2500-years-old buildings, embrace the symmetry and feel the harmony of brilliant architecture, look for the details, and discover hidden secrets! Can you spot the bomb damage, the carved faces and the crosses on the pillars?

Explosion mark on a pillar at the Acropolis of Athens
Bombs?

9. Visit the museum

Do you want to have the full experience? If yes, you should visit the Acropolis museum as well! The museum is an amazing way to learn more and take a closer look at many authentic objects from the Acropolis. Moreover, underneath the museum, you can visit an ancient Athenian neighbourhood and take a very original taste of the past! Keep in mind that the Acropolis site and the Acropolis museum are two different places, situated in two different locations, although they are very close to each other, and require two different admission fees (there aren’t any combined tickets for these two).

If you’re not that into museums etc., you should still go to have a cup of coffee with the view of the Acropolis and check the gift shop (ground floor) and the bookshop (2nd floor). Admission to the café, the restaurant, and the shops are free.

The Acropolis Museum in Athens as seen from the top of the Acropolis hill.
The Acropolis Museum as seen from the top of the Acropolis hill. Unique artifacts, stunning sculptures, interesting stories, cool gifts, books and coffee; this museum has it all!

10. Have fun learning!

Acropolis is a magnificent site with an amazingly rich history! It would be such a pity to go up there just for the nice view and the pretty rocks. Take your time to enjoy and really experience your visit to the fullest.

What’s your style? Hire a guide, take a walking tour, download an app, take a guidebook with you, read an article or a blog or even the Wikipedia entry, and watch a documentary or a YouTube video before your visit. There are so many options out there! Choose your favourite type of learning and make this a truly memorable and meaningful experience!

Woman in front of the Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens
When you visit archaeological sites, history comes alive! ╰(*°▽°*)╯ [click by @ninemias.echo]

⭐ Did you know?

Acropolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Greece has 18 sites in total inscribed on the World Heritage List. Have you visited them yet?

Check before you visit:

  • 01.

    The Acropolis is closed:

    • 1 January
    • 25 March
    • 1 May
    • Orthodox Easter Sunday
    • 25 December
    • 26 December
  • 02.

    Free admission on these days:

    • 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)
    • 28 October
    • Every first Sunday from November 1st to March 31st

[Greek: Ακρόπολη Αθηνών ]

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