Dedicated to Athena, the city’s protective goddess, the Acropolis of Athens is the largest and most important shrine in the entire broad history of the Greek capital. Home to the most famous myths of ancient Athens and the largest religious festivals in the ancient world. Also, certain decisive events occurred that marked the future of history as we know it today.
EVERYTHING is connected to this sacred rock, the Acropolis of Athens.
- Do you want to find out more about its history?
- Or learn about its temples (such as the Parthenon)?
- Are you looking for information about their timetable or tickets (including any possible discounts)?
- Are you interested in mythology?
I have worked as a tour guide in Athens, and now I am writing EVERYTHING I have learned over the last few years. I present you the COMPLETE GUIDE of the Acropolis of Athens, where you will find everything you need to know before visiting this archaeological site and thus make the most of your visit. LET’S GET TO IT!
Visit the Acropolis of Athens
Acropolis is the most significant historical sight of this city (and perhaps the most significant of the whole country), so you should definitely try to make the most of your visit to the Acropolis. That is why you will find an entry dedicated to each temple and monument located within the surrounding area.
Here are all the temples of the Acropolis and other equally essential parts. Click on the image to access the full explanation. We recommend reading it before visiting this archaeological site. However, you can also have it in front of you for the duration of your visit (as if it were a virtual tour).
Temples inside the Acropolis
On the hilltop of the Acropolis, there looms the great Parthenon of Athens. This is the most famous and important symbol of the city during the ancient era. It is a Doric temple dedicated to the most valuable divinity for Athenians: goddess Athena.
On the hilltop of the Acropolis, there looms the great Parthenon of Athens. This is the most famous and important symbol of the city during the ancient era…
This is the most important temple of the Acropolis of Athens for Greek mythology. The Erechtheion was a place of worship to Poseidon (god of the sea) and Athena (goddess of…
Temple of Athena Nike
Dedicated to the goddess Athena, NOT for being the deity of wisdom but for her facet of a fighter. The temple of Athena Nike is the most significant symbol of the Greek victory against…
A place as important and sacred as the Acropolis of Athens needed to have an entrance in accordance with its level. Architect Mnesicles completely exceeded expectations with…
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a jewel of the Roman period and one of the best-preserved monuments of the entire Acropolis of Athens. It was built in…
Theatre of Dionysus
This is about the largest and most important theater of ancient Greece, although it was much more than that. Located on the slope of the magnificent Acropolis of Athens, it was also…
Temple of Asclepius
Dedicated to none other than the God of medicine, this monument is as important as it is unknown. In a time when there was no medicine as such, this was your only salvation…
History of the Acropolis of Athens
The history of the Acropolis of Athens dates back to the Neolithic period (known from some pottery fragments found in the surrounding area) – that means – this place has been inhabited since at least 3000 B.C.
The enormous fortification that would protect the Athenians surrounding the Acropolis was built in the 13th century B.C. While, along with the rest of the citadel, it functioned as the center of the kingdom of Mycenae. (Great Agamemnon was its king; remember the film of Troy)
The Acropolis rock became a sacred enclosure in the 8th century when the worship of Athena Polias would be established. In addition to being the protective goddess of Athens, Athena is also the goddess of wisdom and military strategy.
During the rule of the tyrant Pisistratus (6th century a.C.), the Panathenaea were started, which were the most significant religious event in Athens (an already very holy city by default). These were held annually and were accompanied by their respective sporting competitions, called Panathenaic games.
So, we can conclude that the Panathenaic games would be the equivalent of the Olympic games (of Olympia) in Athens, although, of course, on a smaller scale.
It was also at this time (Archaic) that the first major monuments were built, highlighting among them the Old Temple (dedicated to Athena), the shrine of goddess Artemis and the Hekatompedos (the predecessor of the particularly important Parthenon).
Sadly, these temples cannot be found nowadays, as the Persians destroyed them in the Second Medical War. INDEED, the invaders caused a fire in the Acropolis of Athens (the holiest place for the locals) when conquering the city.
Shortly after dishonoring the Greek gods, the Persians would be defeated in the famous Battle of Salamina, as if it were karma.
Now, let’s get to the point of interest:
After this tragic event, the classical period of ancient Greece began. This was the era when Athens flourished and reached its peak. It was also the period during which ALL the temples and monuments -that can still be found on the Acropolis- were built.
You will find information about these sights: Parthenon, Erechtheion, Temple of Athena Nike, Propylaea, and the Theater of Dionysus. In the next section, “Visit the Acropolis of Athens,” you will see a comprehensive scheme where you can find a complete explanation of all the temples that constitute the Acropolis of Athens.
See the list of all the temples of the Acropolis of Athens
You can also use it as if it were a virtual tour; that is, go through each section as you visit the sacred rock. Be sure that the content will be helpful! However, I have to warn you that it is extensive since there is a great deal of information to share (yet you can read it in smaller parts or divide it according to your interests.)
Admission Tickets to the arqueological site
There are many different kinds of admission tickets for the Acropolis, all of them will be described in detail so you can decide which one suits you best. You can also find the link to the OFFICIAL page to buy all tickets online, both for the Acropolis as well as other archaeological sites.
The price of the individual ticket depends on the season, so there are two alternatives:
- –Summer season (1st of April – 30th of October):
| Price of the ticket– 20 euros |
- –Winter season (1st of November – 31st of March):
| Price of the ticket– 10 euros |
However, there is also a combined admission ticket that gives you access, for five days from its validation to these seven archaeological sites:
- Acropolis of Athens
- Ancient Agora of Athens
- Roman Agora
- Temple of Olympian Zeus
- Hadrian’s Library
- Kerameikos’ Ancient Cemetery
- Lyceum of Aristotle
The price of this ticket is 30 euros, regardless of the season. So, if you travel in summer and stay a few days in Athens, I recommend this option. However, the ONLY official website you can purchase these tickets online is: www.etickets.tap.gr (here you will find the prices mentioned above).
ATTENTION: There are many websites where you will find higher prices; please DO NOT accept any price higher than this one since these are the official ones (unless they offer you more services in addition to the ticket).
Young people under the age of 25 and from the European Union are entitled to free admission, while residents outside the EU are also entitled to a reduced ticket.
Other beneficiaries of the reduced admission ticket are citizens over 65 of the EU, accredited journalists, and teachers on study visits. These discounts also apply to the combined admission ticket.
In addition, ALL archaeological sites are free of charge (for everyone) on the following dates:
- March 6th
- April 18th
- May 18th
- Last weekend of September
- October 28th
- First Sunday of each month in low season (November 1st – March 31st)
Timetable / Opening Hours
The schedule also varies depending on the season due to the different duration of the days. There are two different timetables:
- Schedule in winter season (November 1st – March 31st):
| Every day from 08.00 to 17.00 |
- Schedule in summer season (April 1st – 31st of October)
| Every day from 08.00 to 20.00 |
IMPORTANT: Beware that the Acropolis of Athens, like the rest of the archaeological sites, will be closed on the following dates
- January 1st
- March 25th
- May 1st
- Orthodox Easter
- December 25th
- December 26th
There are two different entrances to the Acropolis of Athens: the lower entrance (located to the south) and the higher entrance (located to the west of the hill).
Both entrances have their own ticket office and will take you to the same place, the Propylaea, where you can access the interior of the fortification. However, taking the southern entrance, you will pass the Temple of Asclepius and the Theater of Dionysus before reaching the top.
This is very important because many people who enter through the higher entrance (to the west) do not get to see these essential points of the Acropolis of Athens. Keep this in mind, so that you do not experience this during your visit.
MAP OF THE ACROPOLIS
We are currently looking for the best map to show you, thanks for your patience.