"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 I will tell you 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 any organized group and spending as little as possible. Plus, with this ticket you will skip the entrance queues.
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 will need to have some context about what you are 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 visit at your own pace.
In the latter case, you can also buy your tickets online to visit the Acropolis of Athens without queues and in fact it is the most advisable to avoid waiting and getting tired before starting the tour. Reserve about 3 hours for this visit and wear comfortable shoes. You will always find people visiting the Acropolis, but, logically, in high season (summer) and on holidays the number will be even higher so try to go early in the morning.
Once you make your reservation online you will receive your ticket in your email; you will only have to present it the day of your visit without waiting in line and access directly.
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 budget.
How to get to the Acropolis
The Acropolis of Athens can be seen from almost any point in the center of the city. 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 Theater of Dionysus. I recommend the southeast gate which is usually less crowded.
Acropolis opening hours
The Acropolis of Athens is open daily from 8 am to 8 pm, although in winter the opening hours may change and closing may be earlier. The best time to visit is at 8 am, before most organized groups arrive, although the sunset from there is very worthwhile. The last access is always between half an hour and an hour before closing time.
How to get discounted tickets
Seniors over 65 years old, children under 5 years old and EU students under 25 years old get free admission to the Acropolis on presentation of their ID. The latter also get a 50% discount on the combined ticket that includes visits to other important sites in the city.
Where to eat near the Acropolis
At the Acropolis you will not find restaurants, but you will find water vending machines and some food stalls. For lunch you can go to any nearby place, always keeping in mind the prices. If you can, ask your guide for recommendations.
What to see in 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 the classical architecture of Ancient Greece. However, before climbing up to it, you will 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 in a place of the Acropolis that was considered sacred, since it is said to be where the Goddess Athena made the first olive tree grow. Pay special attention to its caryatids; women who hold the temple as columns.
- Temple of Athena Nike: a small Ionic temple dedicated to the Goddess built to commemorate the victory of Greece over Persia in 420 BC.
- Monument of Agrippa: an eight-meter 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 like the Theater of Dionysus, although it cannot be visited.
Ana's Traveller Tip
The Acropolis is illuminated at dusk; you can't miss the views, as you can see it from almost anywhere in the city center.
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On occasion you may have heard that visiting the Acropolis is the only thing worth seeing in Athens. Although it is the most important thing in the city and sometimes its importance can 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 you explore them through a walking tour of the city center. From the hand of 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.