The Acropolis of Athens is one of the world’s most iconic ancient sites, and was once known as Cecropia. While there are many raised cities (acropolis), the Acropolis with a capital A refers to the UNESCO World Heritage Site found in Athens, Greece.
On a trip to Athens, you could easily spend a day admiring the views of the city from the Acropolis and exploring its dedicated museum. Just about anywhere you go, its regal structure stands as a memento of our shared human history.
If you decide to see the Acropolis for yourself, here are a few tips for making the most of your visit.
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Tips for visiting the Acropolis of Athens
Take advantage of the multi-site ticket
There are multiple major tourist sites in Athens. You can purchase entrance tickets one by one, or opt for the multi-site pass. The multi-site pass offers much better value and allows you to discover some incredible areas you might have otherwise skipped. One multi-site ticket costs 30 Euros (versus 20 Euros for Acropolis only) and allows you to see sites like the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Aristotle’s Lyceum, the Roman Agora, Hadrian’s Library, the Temple of Hephaestus and more. You can purchase the multi-site ticket at less popular sites, and use it to enter the Acropolis.
Take a free walking tour the before your Acropolis visit
The free walking tours in Athens are some of the best in Europe. Many of these walking tours are themed and will give you a thorough overview of the city’s layout and history. If you go on a walking tour before your visit to the Acropolis, you’ll be able to put a name to the site you’re seeing atop the citadel. When you do go to the Acropolis, it will be a much more interesting experience with this background information.
Don’t skip the Acropolis Museum
While admission is not included in the general Acropolis ticket price, it’s worth spending a few extra dollars and hours to see the Acropolis Museum. In here, you’ll find ancient Greek statues and be able to dive deeper into the legends of the gods.
Go as early as possible
Avoid the midday rush (and heat) by visiting the Acropolis earlier rather than later in the day. Closing times are strict at the Acropolis, and the exit tends to get clogged with tourists taking one last shot as you walk down. This also puts you in a poor position to find a prime sunset spot.
I recommend going to the Acropolis as soon as it opens–you’ll beat the cruise crowd, the heat, and will be enjoy some of its main features in solitude. If you got your ticket in advance, you’ll be able to waltz through the already ticketed line.
Dress the part
Dress comfortably and hold your hat close once you reach the top entrance of the Acropolis, near the Parthenon. The top of the hill can get gusty, and we saw at least three hats blow off and over the citadel ledge. Looking down, there are tens of hats at the bottom of the Acropolis wall. Hats must be a popular find in the city’s secondhand clothing market!
Expect quite a few steep steps leading up to the Acropolis, so dress comfortably. There are few places to find shade at the top. There is a glass floor at the Acropolis Museum–wear shorts under your dresses and skirts if you don’t want to end up on a seedy internet site.
Use the entrance near the Acropolis Museum
There are two main entrances to the Acropolis; one found on Rovertou Galli and one across the pathway from the Acropolis Museum. The Acropolis Museum entrance tends to be less crowded as it attracts rogue tourists rather than the large groups coming in on buses and cruise ships.
Don’t miss the Acropolis at night
The Acropolis at night is one of the most stunning sights you’ll see in Greece. The Parthenon dazzles under the lights, acting like the city’s night light. Grab a drink and a snack and head to Pynx Hill or Areopagus Hill.
Have you ever been to the Acropolis in Greece? What tips would you give first timers?