Guide to the Acropolis: Things to Do, Tickets & Insider Tips
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 directions, 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 the "Ancient Athens" 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.
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.
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.
March 7, 2023
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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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