Guide to the Acropolis: Things to Do, Tickets, Insider Tips

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Since the 5th century BC, the Athenian Acropolis has been rising majestically from a 156 m high rock in the heart of Athens. It is the landmark of Greece and the most famous sight of Athens. 

The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to some of the most remarkable monuments from ancient times.

In this complete guide to the Acropolis, you'll learn all about the sights, the history, the best views of the Acropolis, and helpful information about getting there, tickets, and tours.

Let’s start!

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Entrance, Tickets and Tours

The Acropolis has two entrances. The north entrance to the west of the Acropolis is the main entrance and therefore usually more crowded. There are comparatively shorter lines at the south entrance next to the Acropolis Museum. Admission to the Acropolis is free for children under 5, EU citizens under 25, and visitors with a disability.

Since the Acropolis is part of every traveler's must-see program, one must always expect long lines at the entrance. For this reason, you can save valuable time with online tickets without having to wait in line. Another recommendation is a combo ticket, which offers access to some of the most important sites of antiquity, including the Acropolis, the Agora of Athens, and the Olympieion.

To learn more about this history-rich site, take a guided tour with an official guide or an Acropolis audio guide on your own smartphone.

Tickets, Tours and Audioguides

  • Skip The Line Ticket with Audioguide: To avoid the long lines that can be found in front of the entrances of the Acropolis, especially in high season, we recommend a ticket without standing in line. Thanks to the included audio guide, you can get interesting information about the Acropolis while exploring fascinating ruins. Book here!
  • Combo Ticket: A recommondation is the combo ticket providing access to the Acropolis and other important arhceoliogcal sites, like the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora and the Olympieion. Book the Acropolis and 6 Archaeological Sites Combo Ticket here! 
  • Acropolis Guided Tour: During a guided tour with a licensed tour guide, you can explore this important architectural World Heritage Site in more depth. Book the popular Acropolis and Parthenon Guided Walking Tour here!

Tip: On the first Sunday of every month (November to March), admission to the Acropolis is free. In addition, also on March 6, April 18, May 18, October 28 and the last weekend of September.

How Do I Get to the Acropolis?

Due to the fact that the Acropolis is very centrally located, you can easily reach it even on foot from several sights and neighborhoods such as Monastiraki, Plaka, Psyri or Thissio.

To get there by public transport, it is recommended to take bus line 230 or X80 to "Akropolē" with a short walk or Metro 2 to "Acropoli", whose station is a few meters from the south entrance. 

Alternatively, you can take a taxi or hop on hop off bus, which is also the easiest way for visitors to get to the Acropolis from the cruise port in Piraeus.

At a Glance

  • Public Transport: Bus line 230 and X80 to "Acropolē" or Metro 2 to ""Acropoli"
  • Hop-On-Hop-Off-Bus: Take the Hop-On Hop-Off bus to station A4 or P6 "Acropolis-Parthenon".
  • Taxi: Thanks to the central location of the Acropolis, a taxi ride from the city center or centrally located hotels is affordable.

Plan of the Acropolis in Athens

Walking Around the Acropolis Athens Tourist Information

Sights around the Acropolis

With its fascinating buildings, the Acropolis resembles an open-air museum that hides treasures of ancient Greek civilization.

Just before the north entrance, visitors come across the hill Areopagus, where the Supreme Council of ancient Athens once met and which today offers a magnificent panorama of Athens. 

On the Acropolis, visitors can admire ancient temples to Greek gods, including the Temple of Nike and the Erechtheion, famous for its caryatids, six enormous figures of girls on the roof of the porch. The Propylaea, an imposing gateway structure in front of the entrance, is also one of the important sights of the Acropolis. 

At the Acropolis Research Center, on the other hand, one can learn more about the work being carried out regarding the conservation and reconstruction of each building.

Top Attractions

  • Parthenon: The main attraction and at the same time the most famous temple in Greece is the imposing Parthenon on top of the Acropolis.
  • Odeon of Herodes Atticus: The Odeon of Herodes Atticus on the southern slope of the Acropolis is a very well preserved theater from ancient times. Even today, events are held in the historic site with space for 5000 spectators. It is not possible to enter the 2000 year old theater.
  • Dionysus  Theater: The Dionysus Theater from the 5th century BC is considered to be the first theater in the world. It was part of the sanctuary of Dionysus. Today only ruins can be seen, but you can walk around.

Note: Sturdy shoes are indispensable for the ascent as well as the exploration of the Acropolis. Especially when it rains, the stones can be very slippery.

The Parthenon of Athens

Guide to the Parthenon: Things to Do, Tickets, History

The majestic Parthenon dominates the Acropolis hill. The precious marble temple is dedicated to Athena, the patron goddess of Athens, and is considered one of the most important buildings of ancient Greece.

The 2500-year-old monument is well preserved today in large parts and offers a glimpse of ancient Greek art with its sculptures and decorative marble. Visitors here can admire dozens of classical columns that surround the temple complex and once provided shelter for a 12-meter-high statue of Athena. The famous Parthenon frieze, on the other hand, can now be seen in part at the Acropolis Museum.


The Parthenon was built between 447 and 432 BC. In ancient times, offerings and homage were held here. Other civilizations used the former main temple of the Acropolis as a treasury, church, mosque and ammunition depot. It was severely damaged in the 17th century. It suffered further damage at the end of the 18th century, when the British ambassador Lord Elgin carried off several parts and sculptures to England.

Admission: There are no individual tickets for the Parthenon. The visit to the temple is included in the entrance ticket to the Acropolis.

The Acropolis Museum

Guide to the Acropolis Museum: Exhibition, Tickets, Hours

At the foot of the Acropolis is the Acropolis Museum, one of the most visited museums in Athens. Archaeological finds from the area around the Acropolis are displayed on an exhibition area of 14,000 m², spread over three floors.

On display are found objects from sanctuaries, everyday objects, sculptures and votive offerings such as figurines, marble reliefs and objects made of bronze and clay. They cover the period from the archaic age to late antiquity.

Exhibitions in the Museum

The centerpiece of the Acropolis Museum is the world-famous Parthenon Frieze. An entire room is dedicated to the temple frieze of the Parthenon. The missing marble parts are replaced by casts true to the original. Also noteworthy are the "Koren", ancient marble figures of girls from the porch of the Erechteion.

Admission: To avoid the waiting, we recommend a ticket without standing in line for the Acropolis Museum.

Good Views of the Acropolis

Besides visiting the ancient site, Athens travelers usually want to enjoy the best views of this wonder of the ancient world. Together with the Parthenon, the Acropolis is also one of the most popular photo opportunities in Athens.

To help you admire the best views and take the most beautiful souvenir photos, we have compiled the 4 best viewpoints here.

The 4 Best Viewpoints

  • Philopappos Hill: Philopappos Hill is undoubtedly considered the best place to admire the Acropolis. It is located directly opposite the Acropolis, which gives it a clear advantage over other viewpoints. It is also nice that the hill is less crowded by tourists and houses monuments worth seeing.
  • A For Athens: The rooftop bar "A For Athens" is our insider tip for those who want to enjoy a unique panoramic view of the Acropolis. Located in the middle of Monastiraki Square, you can admire the Acropolis from the heart of the city while sipping a cocktail.
  • Areopagus: Also near the Acropolis is the 115 meter high hill Areopagus. For this reason, it is considered an excellent photo hotspot for the ancient site. Especially the Propylaea can be captured well here. At the golden hour, when the sun is setting, the view is especially magical.
  • Olympic Stadium: The Olympic Stadium, site of the first Olympic Games in modern times, is also one of the best vantage points overlooking the Acropolis. If you walk up the stairs of the stadium to the top, you will be rewarded with a wonderful panorama of the Acropolis and the Parthenon.
Acropolis at Sunset Athens Tourist Information

History of the Acropolis

The origins of the Acropolis date back to the Neolithic period, when the first settlements were founded here. In Mycenaean times it was the seat of kings. Later, a defensive wall was built around the site to protect it from sieges. However, its function as a fortress lost its importance over time. Instead, the Acropolis became a sacred place as the seat of the gods (temple district).

After defeating the Persians, who destroyed much of the Acropolis during the Persian Wars, the statesman Pericles had the Acropolis completely rebuilt. The most famous building in the course of the reconstruction is the Parthenon.

During the Byzantine and Ottoman rule, the Acropolis was transformed and shaped by the influences of the respective rulers.   

Since 1986 the Acropolis is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continuous restoration work aims to ensure the preservation of the historic site.

The Three Most Important Periods

  • From fortress to temple district: The defensive function of the Upper Acropolis fell into the background over time. Instead, it evolved into the seat of the gods and became a sacred place
  • Redesign after Persian Wars: Under Pericles the reconstruction of the Acropolis took place. The famous architects Iktinos, Callicrates and Mnesicles were commissioned for the redesign.
  • Takeovers & Misuse: Under the Byzantines and the Ottomans, the Acropolis was used as a fortress and mosque, among other things.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the Acropolis?

Acropolis is strictly speaking the name of the upper city, that is, the entire hill. The Athenian Acropolis is one of the oldest parts of Athens. It represents one of the most important temple complexes of ancient Greece and is considered the cradle of Western civilization.

Here are the ruins of architectural splendors of antiquity. These include the Parthenon, the Temple of Nike, the Erechtheion with its caryatids and the Propylaea. Also on site are the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the Theater of Dionysus and the Areopagus.

Where is the entrance to the Acropolis?

The Acropolis in the heart of Athens has two entrances. The main entrance is called the North Entrance and is located to the west of the Acropolis. The South entrance, on the other hand, is located a few meters next to the Acropolis Museum.

Since the north entrance is the shortest way to the Acropolis, many visitors choose this route. However, there are usually always longer queues here. The ascent to the south entrance offers more beautiful views and fewer visitors.

How old is the Acropolis?

Most of the buildings and temples on the Acropolis date back to the 5th century BC. However, there are also isolated ruins that are even older, dating back to the Mycenaean period. 

What are the opening hours of the Acropolis?

The opening hours of the Acropolis vary depending on the summer and winter seasons. In the winter (November-March) the Acropolis is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. In the summer months (April-October) daily from 8 am to 8 pm. The current opening hours can be found on the Acropolis website.

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