If you want to know the history of ancient Greece, you should visit the Acropolis, the fulcrum of Athens and one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. This fascinating attraction should be included in everyone's must-visit list: it’s the highlight of every tourist Greece trip! Here are some useful information and practical tips for a well-planned visit to the Acropolis of Athens in Greece.
- The Acropolis and Parthenon and the other main sites
- Visiting the Acropolis Museum of Athens and the other archaeological sites
- Museum and Acropolis tickets: Which ones to choose?
- Discounts and free admission
- Online tickets and queues at the entrance
- What happens if I don't book my Acropolis ticket online?
- Two more tips:
- Acropolis and Museum tours and combined experiences
- Useful tips for visiting the Acropolis
- When to go to the Acropolis and how long a visit last
- Water at hand and comfortable clothing
- Mini "do-it-yourself" itinerary and gastronomic tips
- Acropolis and accessibility: Travelling with strollers and prams
- How to get to the Acropolis and the Museum
- Acropolis and Museum Opening Hours
Our civilization was born here. With its great beauty and immense value, the Acropolis is a must-see attraction if you come to visit Athens. You're in a world-famous place so you can expect large crowds as well as sold-out tickets at any time of the year.
A visit to the Acropolis of Athens is recommended for everyone, not only for history and art lovers: we assure you that every tourist leaves here a piece of heart. The best advice for avoiding a nightmarish day trip to the Acropolis? Decide in advance what you want to see and check out our tips about the best way to buy skip-the-line Acropolis tickets.
The Acropolis and Parthenon and the other main sites
The entire archaeological site - a citadel located upon a hill - is very large and includes several attractions. If you travel on your own, we suggest you to visit the Parthenon first - the temple dedicated to the Goddess Athena dominating the Acropolis - and then the Odeon of Herod Atticus, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Propylaea and the Erechtheum.
Visiting the Acropolis Museum of Athens and the other archaeological sites
During a day trip to the Acropolis of Athens you can also visit other archaeological sites, some of which are included in the admission ticket to the Acropolis while others can be visited with a combo ticket or by joining a guided tour.
Keep in mind that the Archaeological Museum of the Acropolis - slightly separated from the citadel - is a key step of the visit and requires an entrance ticket.
The Museum displays objects found in the Acropolis and explains the origins of this historical site. A visit to the Archaeological Museum is highly recommended to understand the history of the Acropolis.
- A very detailed visit can take several hours. So, depending on the time at your disposal, you could spread your visit over two consecutive days, one dedicated to the Acropolis and the other to the Museum.
Museum and Acropolis tickets: Which ones to choose?
There are two types of tickets that you can choose to visit the Acropolis of Athens.
- The STANDARD ACROPOLIS TICKET, which only includes a visit to the citadel and to the North and South hillsides.
- The COMBO TICKET which is valid for 5 consecutive days. It's a little bit pricey compared to the standard one but it gives access to the Acropolis and other 6 archaeological sites of Athens too: the Ancient Agora and its Museums, the Roman Agora, the Library of Hadrian, the cemetery of Kerameikos and the archaeological site Lykeion.
Each of these sites can also be visited separately, purchasing their own entrance tickets. However, if you want to visit at least two of them in addition to the Acropolis, the best and more convenient option is to book a combined option. Please remember that the admission to the Acropolis Museum, however, is NOT included in the combo-ticket so you need to buy a separate one.
Discounts and free admission
The ticket price for both the Acropolis and the Museum varies according to the season (summer and winter).
- Free admission for European citizens under 18, university students (with current student identification card or International Student Identity Card ISIC), disabled visitors and their companions. Reduced ticket for over 65.
- During Open Days and on every first Sunday of the month from November to March, all Greek archaeological sites, museums and monuments are open to visitors free of charge.
Online tickets and queues at the entrance
The exhausting queues at the ticket office and the torrid heat, are the most stressful conditions for visiting the Acropolis of Athens in summer. Especially during this season of the year, getting to the site with a skip the line ticket at hand is a great choice to save time and avoid queuing for hours in the sun (you can be in line for up to 2 hours if you arrive at noon).
Therefore, we suggest you to book priority tickets for the Acropolis of Athens in advance.
- Luckily, things are easier at the Acropolis Museum, where lines are generally free-flowing. In this case, you can buy single tickets on the spot or choose combined experiences that include the option 'Acropolis plus Museum'.
What happens if I don't book my Acropolis ticket online?
If you don't have a ticket at hand, we suggest you to get to the Acropolis at about 8 a.m., when the site opens and cruise tourists are just arriving. As an alternative, get there around 17:00: at that time cruise passengers are usually returning back to the port and until 20:00 the Acropolis will be less crowded.
Two more tips:
- If you want to visit the Acropolis only, don't go to the main ticket office but to that located in the south-east area of the site. The main entrance is used by single visitors but also by private groups and cruise passengers because of its proximity to the port of Piraeus, so it is always super crowded. The side entrance is smaller and less known instead, so you'll almost certainly find shorter lines.
- If you are interested in the combined ticket, we suggest you to choose one of the less popular archaeological sites as your first stop, such as Kerameikos, and book your ticket there, on the spot; there will certainly be a short queue, so you will have your ticket for the Acropolis and the other sites without passing through the ticket office.
Acropolis and Museum tours and combined experiences
In addition to the great advantage of skipping the line, booking a ticket in advance allows you to enjoy "additional facilities" that you would not otherwise have with the standard ticket.
For instance, there are no audio guides available on the spot, so guided tours are a great solution if you don't want to get around on your own. There are many tours available and the prices are not so high.
If you really want to be on your own, then you should book a ticket that includes an audio guide to be downloaded on your smartphone.
- For a more in-depth visit, there are also combined experiences that include admission to the Acropolis, the Museum and other historical sites in Athens such as the Ancient Academy, the University, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the legendary Panathinaiko Stadium.
- For a quick tour of the city after a visit to the Acropolis, we suggest to book a seat on the open-air tourist buses that will take you around Athens and along the coast.
Useful tips for visiting the Acropolis
Here are some other interesting tips that might help you to better prepare your visit to the Acropolis.
When to go to the Acropolis and how long a visit last
As we told you, the best time to go to the Acropolis is at the opening time (around 8:00 a.m.) or in the last two hours before the closing time (8:00 p.m.). The worst time for the visit is definitely lunchtime because of the crowds and high temperatures (especially in summer): keep in mind that the site does not have many shady areas and at noon it becomes extremely hot.
The Acropolis is enormous, so it takes half a day to tour it all plus at least a couple of hours to visit the Acropolis museum.
If you get early in the morning or if you access the attraction quickly with a skip-the-line ticket, then you can complete the visit of the whole acropolis + the museum in one day. If you arrive too late you won't have enough time to see everything, then it's recommended to spread the visit over two days by opting for a combo ticket.
Water at hand and comfortable clothing
Pack your sunglasses, a hat, umbrella and sunscreen.
The Acropolis, especially the area surrounding the Parthenon, is very sun-exposed and there is almost no zone to shelter yourself from the sun during the hottest hours.
The ground is slippery and the route to the Acropolis is up-hill walk so, even if it's very hot, avoid wearing flip-flops or sandals and put on sneakers so as to reduce the risk of falling.
Bring water with you if you don't want to get to the top dehydrated. Inside the site you will find some refreshment areas, drinking water taps and vending machines.
- Is the heat bothering you? Don't worry, the Acropolis Museum is a cool, air-conditioned oasis.
Mini "do-it-yourself" itinerary and gastronomic tips
If you have organized a self-guided visit, you may follow this mini itinerary.
Start the tour from the Acropolis and continue visiting the Museum. Then, walk to the Temple of Zeus and end your visit on Lycabettus Hill, also known as the "Balcony of Athens" for its breathtaking views of the city.
As an alternative, another amazing view of Athens is that from the Filopappou hill, 15 minutes walk from the archaeological site.
- If you want to take a break, stop for a cool beer or juice at the Acropolis Museum bar. Would you like sitting and ordering something for lunch? You will find a nice restaurant with an open terrace on the second floor.
Acropolis and accessibility: Travelling with strollers and prams
Visiting the Acropolis can be certainly hard if you're travelling in a wheelchair or with mobility difficulties. The route is slippery and inclined, but don't worry because the site is equipped with a lift that allows you to climb to the top.
- The elevator is located just 350 metres far from the main entrance and it is available for travellers in wheelchairs or with reduced mobility and their companions as well.
The experience is not recommended for those travelling with small children and strollers, which must be left in a free storage area at the site entrance and collected after the visit.
How to get to the Acropolis and the Museum
The Acropolis is located in the center of Athens and there are several pedestrian areas all around, full of bars and cafes, leading to the entrance of the site.
Take metro line 2 and get off at Acropolis. From there, walk down to the main entrance - there are no transports available taking directly to the entrance.
If you want to have a relaxing walk, start from the Plaka district walking up to the top, until you will find at the foot of the Propylaea.
The Museum is located 300 meters from the Acropolis and about 2 km from Syntagma Square, the main square of Athens. The entrance is on Dionysiou Areopagitou Street.
Acropolis and Museum Opening Hours
The Acropolis and the Athens Museum are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in winter, from 8.30 a.m. to 8 p.m. in summer. Entry is allowed until half an hour before the closing time.
How much you enjoyed our tips? Visiting the Acropolis of Athens has no more secrets for you! Athens is a real gem and you should enjoy it all: what about having a nice bike tour, better if at sunset, among the most characteristic city spots?