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Best Time to Visit the Acropolis
and Why

Best Time to Visit the Acropolis and Why

12 July 2022

The Acropolis is the jewel of Athens and one of the most famous landmarks in the world. Every year, millions of travelers make their way on the top of the hill to admire the great temple of goddess Athena, the Parthenon, and the other monuments that can be found there. Understandably, the archaeological site gets crowded and, during the peak season in Athens, you may wait in line for many hours in order to get your ticket and enter the site. The heat can also get overwhelming during some months of the summer, or even dangerous during a heatwave. So, what is the best time to visit the Acropolis? Read below our insider guide for the most appropriate times and why.

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Visitors on the Acropolis during Winter

Visit the Acropolis early in the morning

Although most people are not early birds, one of the best times to visit the Acropolis is early in the morning. You should start your tour at 8 am. The reason is that close to 9 am the travelers from the cruises arrive by the thousands! The entrance of the site becomes overcrowded. Even if you have pre-purchased your tickets (which is strongly advised), you can still wait up to an hour (or sometimes even more) in line to enter scan the QR code and enter the gate. There is a different line for the ticket office and a different one for entering the site. It is strongly recommended to buy your tickets in advance to skip the line at the ticket office which moves slowly. However, even with a ticket, if you arrive at the wrong time, you may lose a lot of time in the other line. Note that there are no "skip-the-line" tickets and those who advertise them are trying to mislead you. The State has recently imposed time zones for the Acropolis, with maximum capacity per day and per hour. During peak season (April - October), the morning slots, especially the 9-10 am and 10-11 am usually get fully-booked as the date approaches, due to the high demand of those time zones. Make sure to pre-purchase your ticket well in advance. This can be done from the official ticketing website of the Ministry.

For most months, 8.00 am is a good time to enter the Acropolis and start your guided tour. You will beat the crowds during your ascend to the Hill and you will find them only during your descent, which will not affect your experience and enjoyment of the site.

Hint: Be careful where you pre-purchase your Acropolis ticket from. The official price is 20 EUR during peak season and 10 EUR during low season. Some websites sell this ticket much higher, to make a profit. It is better to let your local tour operator buy the tickets for you at the official price. Local tour operators, like us, have a unique partner code issued by the ministry and get access to many more tickets than those available online, at the same price.

The other reason to visit the Acropolis at 8 am is because during the summer months (September included), the Greek sun is really hot! The Acropolis is a hill that does not offer many shadow spots and you will be competing for those few spots with thousands more visitors. The earlier you start climbing up the hill the better.

Tip: Always wear a hat and sunscreen, and carry your bottle of cold water with you.

 Acropolis during sunset

Visit the Acropolis late in the evening

If you have the option to visit the Acropolis later in the day, you should definitely grab the chance! One of the best times to visit Acropolis Hill is the last 2 hours before the closing of the site. This way, you will enjoy the sunset from the Hill, admiring the panoramic view of Athens and the sweet light of the sun caressing the white marble of the monuments. During peak season, the Acropolis site is closing at 8 pm. So the recommended starting time for your tour is 6 pm. There are no crowds during this time which makes it much more enjoyable. On top of that, it is much easier to find availability for a guided tour with an excellent local expert during this time.

All in all, the best time to visit the Acropolis during peak season is either early in the morning at 8 am or late in the evening at 6 pm.

Note: The above recommendations apply for the peak season in Athens (April-October). For the rest of the year, there are no huge crowds or considerable heat, so you can plan your visit without such restrictions.

Finally, we recommend combining your Acropolis tour with an Acropolis Museum guided visit. This can be done in 3.5-4 hours and will give you a better perspective and insights about the importance of Acropolis Hill since most of the artifacts found on the Hill are now housed inside the museum. Contact us and we can arrange this guided experience for you, assigning one of our expert, storyteller guides.

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About the author: Our team at Greek TravelTellers consists of academics and lovers of Greek culture. Our vision is to convey our knowledge and Greek values through unique tours and experiences. Through our blog, we hope to bring Greek history and culture closer to you. Feel free to learn more about us.

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