"Acropolis" means "high city" in Greek and when we talk about the Acropolis of Athens, we are referring to the most important archaeological site in Greece. The Acropolis has a lot to see and discover, so here's how to visit it:
Tour the Acropolis of Athens at your own pace, at the best price
Perfect if you want to discover the Acropolis at your own pace, without having to join an organised group and spending as little as possible. Plus, with this ticket you'll skip the queues at the entrance.
Visiting the Acropolis on your own may be the best way to escape the rush and enjoy the sights of the monuments, but I won't fool you: at some point you'll need some context about what you're seeing. With the information provided by a guide, the visit is much more enjoyable, but you can also do your own research and do the tour at your own pace.
In the latter case, you can also buy your tickets online to visit the Acropolis of Athens without queuing and in fact it is the best way to avoid waiting and getting tired before starting the tour. Set aside about 3 hours for this tour and wear comfortable shoes. You will always find people visiting the Acropolis, but, logically, in high season (summer) and on public holidays the number will be even higher so try to go first thing in the morning.
Once you make your online booking you will receive your ticket in your email; you just have to present it on the day of your visit without waiting in line and go straight in.
Why I like this option: Visiting the Acropolis of Athens can take two hours or a whole morning, depending on how deep you go and how many buildings you want to see. With this ticket you will have maximum flexibility.
Recommended if... you want to discover the Acropolis at your own pace and without spending too much money.
How to get to the Acropolis
The Acropolis of Athens can be seen from almost any point in the city centre. What you should know is that it has two entrances. The west entrance is the main one and is located next to the columns of the Propylaea and the southeast entrance is near the Akropoli metro stop and close to the Theatre of Dionysus. I recommend the southeast gate which is usually less crowded.
Acropolis opening hours
The Acropolis in Athens is open daily from 8am to 8pm, although in winter the opening hours may change and the closing time may be earlier. The best time to visit is at 8am, before most organised groups arrive, although the sunset from there is well worth it. The last access is always between half an hour and an hour before closing time.
How to get discounted tickets
Seniors over 65, children under 5 and EU students under 25 get free admission to the Acropolis on presentation of their ID. The latter also get a 50% discount on the combined ticket which includes visits to other important sites in the city.
Where to eat near the Acropolis
There are no restaurants on the Acropolis, but you will find water vending machines and some food stalls. For lunch you can go to any nearby eatery, always bearing in mind the prices. If you can, ask your guide for recommendations.
What to see on the Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis of Athens is crowned by the famous Doric-style Parthenon (probably the most photographed building in the whole country) which is a symbol of classical Ancient Greek architecture. However, before you climb up to it, you'll see many other temples and buildings worth stopping at. The most important ones are:
- Propylaea: the main building through which you enter the Acropolis. It was built in 437 BC and its name means "vestibule".
- Erechtheion: an Ionic temple erected on a site on the Acropolis that was considered sacred, as it is said to be where the Goddess Athena made the first olive tree grow. Special attention is paid to its caryatids; women who hold up the temple like columns.
- Temple of Athena Nike: a small Ionic temple dedicated to the Goddess built to commemorate Greece's victory over Persia in 420 BC.
- Monument of Agrippa: an eight-metre monument near the Beulé Gate commemorating the work of the important Roman general and politician.
- From the south entrance, you will also have unbeatable views of places such as the Theatre of Dionysus, although it is not possible to visit it.
Ana's Traveller Tip
The Acropolis is illuminated at dusk; you can't miss the view, as you can see it from almost anywhere in the city centre.
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You may have heard that the Acropolis is the only thing worth seeing in Athens. Although it is the most important thing in the city and its importance can sometimes overshadow that of the other monuments, I assure you that it is not the only thing.
The city of Athens has many points of interest and, to complete your visit, I suggest that you explore them on a walking tour of the city centre. With an expert guide you will get to know not only the monuments of Athens, but also its history and the way of life of its inhabitants. You can read more about it in this article about Best Tours and Day Trips from Athens.