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The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Acropolis

If you’ll be visiting the Acropolis in Athens, then you need this guide! The ancient site is of great architectural and historical significance. It also occupies an elevated position on a hill, giving visitors great views over the Greek capital and coastline. 

So what is the Acropolis? This famous site is an ancient citadel, perched above the city of Athens. Rather than being one building, the Acropolis is a collection of old Greek buildings.

The most famous of these is the Parthenon, followed by the Propylaea at the Acropolis entrance; the Erechtheion or Temple of Athena Polias; the Odeon of Herodes open-air theatre; and the Temple of Athena Nike. 

From what’s covered by your Acropolis entrance fee to when to visit, top tips, where to stay, FAQs and more, by the end of this article you’ll have all the info you need to plan your visit. 

This is all you should know about how to see the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.

Guide to Visiting the Acropolis in Athens.
The Parthenon
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If you’re wondering should you visit the Parthenon or the Acropolis, then a note on what the difference is. The Parthenon in Athens is the Acropolis temple you see on all the postcards. It forms part of the Acropolis, which is a large complex comprising a number of ancient Greek buildings. 

So by visiting the Acropolis, you will be taking in the Parthenon as part of the experience. The most important part of the experience for many, in fact, as it’s such an icon! 

The Acropolis Museum is separate from the Acropolis, meaning you need a different ticket to get in. It houses artefacts from the Acropolis site, and as such is an archaeological treasure trove. 

Don’t miss it if you want to complete your picture of what the Acropolis was like in ancient times – or have any interest in archaeology. 

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Before moving onto a more in-depth explanation of Acropolis ticket types, here are quick links regarding the four main ticket options. Whichever you buy, do book your ticket and entry slot in advance. It’s nor uncommon for people to wait an hour or more at the entrance if not!

There are several options when it comes to paying your Acropolis entrance fee. You can buy a stand-alone ticket for the Acropolis, or a combined ticket. The latter includes seven key archaeological sites in total. 

These are Ancient Agora, the Temple of Zeus, the Roman Agora, Hadrian’s Library, Aristotle’s School, and Kerameikos. Whether it’s worth it depends on your plans to visit any of these. The combined ticket costs around 50% more than the Acropolis ticket. deal if you’ll make use of it. 

The Acropolis Museum is a separate attraction, so you’ll need a different ticket to get in. You can also buy another type of combination ticket that includes entry to the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. Find out more about this option below. 

Click here to buy your Acropolis entry ticket

Click here to buy an Acropolis + 6 archaeological sites combination ticket

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The Acropolis Museum is a separate site, and as such, admission is charged separately. Again you can buy a ticket for the museum only, or a combination ticket. In this case, the combi ticket covers entry to both the museum and the Acropolis. But not any of the other six sites mentioned above. 

Click here to buy your Acropolis Museum entry ticket

Click here to buy an Acropolis and Acropolis Museum combination ticket

Acropolis entry slots

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Due to its popularity, all entry to the Acropolis is timed. Once you arrive you can spend as long as you like exploring the site, but you will need to state a time and date for entry. 

This timed entry requirement only applies to the Acropolis, and not to the Acropolis Museum. If the museum is open, then your ticket will grant you entry without any pre-booking needed.  

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Instead of buying a ticket for the Acropolis, you could book an organised tour. Though it costs more, there are several advantages to doing this. Entry to both the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum is included, anyway, which can help you budget better for your trip.

The Walks Pristine Parthenon tour takes place during the morning or evening. Timings have been chosen so you can enjoy the Acropolis without the crowds. This tour also helps you to make the most of the experience, as your guide can explain what you’re seeing, answer questions, and share exclusive insights. 

The tour lasts for three-and-a-half hours. 

Click here to book the Pristine Parthenon crowd-free Acropolis and Acropolis Museum tour 

If you’re working out how to get to the Acropolis, fear not! Thanks to the Acropolis location, it’s not hard to reach. You can take a metro, a trolleybus, a tram, or a bus. 

Acropoli is the closest metro station. You can catch a red line train at Syntagma Square. The trip takes under 10 minutes, then takes another 10 minutes or so to walk to the site from this station. 

Alternatively, take a trolleybus number 1, 5, or 15, also from Syntagma Square. Alight at Makrygiannē or Gargaretta, from which the Acropolis is about 10 minutes’ walk. The trolleybus journey only takes five to 10 minutes. 

Tram T6 will also take you to Leoforos Vouliagmenis from Syntagma Square. The entrance is under 10 minutes’ walk from here. 

Bus routes 230, 035, 040, 550, or A2 will take you from Syntagma Square to Akropolē. The trip takes about 15 to 20 minutes, then the Acropolis entrance is only a few minutes’ walk. 

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As it’s right by the entrance, Propylaea is the first thing you’ll see at the Acropolis. With many tall fluted columns, this monumental gateway was of course intended to impress visitors!

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Next up is the Temple of Athena Nike. This is a small temple devoted to the goddesses Athena and Nike. Nike was the Greek goddess of victory, while Athena represented victory in war. 

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Located on the slopes of the site, close to Propylaea, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus is one of the best open-air theatres on the planet. Events are still held here, and it represents the fusion of Roman and Greek cultures. 

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For many this is the main reason to visit the Acropolis in Athens. The iconic, ancient structure is world famous, and dominates the site. The temple is also dedicated to Athena, and it’s a key symbol of Western civilization, Ancient Greece, and democracy. 

The fluted columns are very fine indeed, and the sculptures decorating the Panthenon are considered great examples of the classical Greek artistic style. 

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The Erechtheion, Old Temple of Athena, and Pandroseion are clustered together, and can appear to be one building. This site is said to be sacred, where Athena and Poseidon once fought. 

Look out for the six ​​Caryatids here. These female statues double up as supportive columns for the roof. 

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Views from the Acropolis

Look out for the Greek flag, which marks the spot for the best views over Athens though the views are spectacular at every point!

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Don’t forget that the Acropolis Museum is a separate entity, and therefore requires a separate ticket. But it can continue your Acropolis experience, as this archaeological museum houses many artefacts, solely retrieved from the site. 

There are great views of the Acropolis from the museum and the outdoor terrace at its cafe. You can also find gift shops, a reading room, and some glass floors and walls at the museum. 

Here are some of our top tips for visiting the Acropolis. In other words, what to know before visiting the Acropolis!

If you’re wondering about the right time to visit, then the Acropolis is a little less busy just after opening, at 8am, and an hour or two before closing. The site shuts at sunset, so closing times are seasonal. 

Visitors from cruise ships and group tours tend to swamp the site between 10am and early to mid-afternoon. So avoid those times if you can – and always midday. Which is also swelteringly hot in summer!

What about the best day to visit the Acropolis? Any weekday is likely to be quieter than a weekend, so some between Monday and Friday if you can.

Don’t go to the mega-popular Acropolis without buying your ticket in advance, or you could spend hours queuing. For the Acropolis (but not the museum), you’ll also need to book a timed entry slot. 

Consider a combination ticket if you’ll also be visiting any of the other half-a-dozen sites included with this, as it could save you money. 

Sturdy footwear suitable for lots of walking is a must. You’ll also need water, and in summer, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Don’t forget to charge your camera, too. 

Expect to see some scaffolding while you’re visiting the Acropolis. An extensive restoration programme has been underway since 1975. This includes the Parthenon, whose stunning columns require some TLC to ensure they stay strong and handsome!

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The View from the Dolli’s amazing infinity pool!

If you want to find five star hotels in Athens near the Acropolis, you cannot do better than The Dolli at Acropolis. The rooftop terrace offers incredible views of the famous citadel. 

The Dolli also offers a gym, an outdoor pool, a restaurant, a bar, and proximity to Monastiraki Square. For all-out luxury and views you’ll never forget, book your stay at the Dolli. 

Click here to book The Dolli, Athens

This accommodation in Athens near the Acropolis also offers stunning vistas from its rooftop bar. It’s right by Monastiraki Metro Station, and A is for Athens also has a bar and restaurant on site. 

Some rooms and suites offer Acropolis views, which are worth the investment for the unforgettable experience. 

Click here to book A is for Athens

The three star Acropolis View Hotel is a more pocket-friendly option offering Parthenon views. Some rooms have balconies, so you can see the ancient citadel from your own private outdoor space. 

Again, there’s also a rooftop bar at the Acropolis View Hotel. Though there’s no restaurant, a yummy breakfast is served here daily.

Click here to book the Acropolis View Hotel

As you can see, the Acropolis is an absolute must when visiting Athens. This ancient site is a global icon, and offers unique insights into Greek architecture, culture, and history. For the complete picture, we recommend buying a ticket for the Acropolis Museum, too, so you can see various relics recovered from the citadel. 

Don’t forget to book your slot, which is mandatory. Buying tickets in advance can also save you time – and money if you go for a combined option. An organised tour is also a good alternative when you want to have everything arranged for you – plus the services of an expert guide. 

If you can stretch to it, booking a room with Acropolis views really makes for a Greek adventure to remember, too!