If you are going to Athens, don’t miss the opportunity to visit and get to know the emblem of Greece and one of the most important archaeological sites in the world – the Acropolis of Athens.
The meaning of the word ‘acropolis’is ‘upper city’. And it has gotten this name from the location on which it stands is 156 meters above the sea level.
A Brief History Lesson of Acropolis of Athens
The idea of building the Acropolis was to place a Greek polis symbolizing great political and cultural achievements of the Athens. This way granting to the city in its time of great splendor. The construction was promoted by Pericles.
The Acropolis was inhabited since 7,000 BC. The walls were built around the Acropolis throughout the Mycenaean civilization, and it has been shown that there was also a Mycenaean palace.
In the sixth century BC, the Acropolis changed its function. It was no longer a place of palaces, but a sanctuary.
During the Persian wars of the fifth century, the Athenians began to build the Parthenon, but the Persians burned the Acropolis and all attention was focused on the fighting. It was during the time of Pericles, the so-called Golden Age, when the Acropolis acquired the structure we know today.
It is said that Pericles hired Athenians who didn’t have work and, thanks to this initiative, every Athenian had food on his table.
Visit The Acropolis of Athens (Without Disappointment)
The Acropolis, as the majority of the archaeological monuments, is visited for what it was and not for what it is now. And going there with one’s expectations can disappoint you a lot. So, how to avoid this Greek tragedy?
I. If you want to see more than stones, then it’s better to make a profound research on the history of this place. Or hire a good guide during the adventure. So, you can know what the Greeks ate, how they dressed, what hobbies they had, just how they lived. Then it will be much easier to imagine the situation and understand the meaning of many details.
II. Visiting the Acropolis Museum is an essential complement. The price is €5 per person and children under 18 don’t pay. You will be able to see the archaeological remains from the excavations that have been carried out in the mountain of the Acropolis and different elements of the temples.
III. Climb to Filopapos Hill. Different paths surrounded by pine trees, olive trees and oak lead to the highest part with the monument to Philopapos on the top. He was a Roman consul in Athens. The views over the Acropolis and the city of Athens are magnificent. You can see a beautiful sunset and wait until night falls to see the Acropolis illuminated.
Acropolis of Athens Entrance Fee
A ticket to the Acropolis, including the North and South Slopes, costs €20(reduced to €10 during winter time from November 1st to March 31st).
There is no entrance fee for students of the European Union and for children under 18 (but don’t forget your identification).
There are special days when the entrance is free to everyone! If you are planning your visit to Athens on one of these days, then you are the lucky one.
• April 18, International Day of Monuments
• March 6, in memory of Melina Mercouri
• May 18, International Museum Day
• June 5, International Day of the Environment
• Last weekend of September, European Heritage Days
• October 28
• Every first Sunday from November 1st to March 31st
From April to October: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
From November to March: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
And the last access is 30 minutes before the closing time.
There are some days, when the Acropolis is closed, so be attentive.
• January 1
• March 25
• May 1
• Easter Sunday
• December 25 and 26
During the summer season, from May to September, it is better to arrive early in the morning, before the organized groups of the Chinese, Japanese, etc. begin to appear. If you don’t want to have the sensation of being in a place invaded by tourists. Another option is to go there at lunchtime. There should be less people and you will be able to enjoy the monuments in peace.
If you want to understand Athens, then the Acropolis should be your first stop.