An archaeological wonder, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the world's most instantly recognizable landmarks, the Acropolis is the star attraction of ancient Athens. Dramatically perched on a jagged clifftop—the so-called sacred rock of Athens—the ruins overlook the modern city and date back to as early as 510 BC.
The Acropolis complex is one of the most visited attractions in Greece, included on most Athens city sightseeing tours and often combined with a visit to the New Acropolis Museum or other Ancient Greece sites, such as Epidaurus, Cape Sounion, and the Temple of Poseidon. The best way to explore the ruins is on a guided city walking tour, taking in highlights such as the iconic Parthenon, Propylaea (Propylaia), the Temple of Athena Nike, and Erechtheion.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Choose between a standard entrance ticket and a multi-attraction ticket that includes access to the Theatre of Dionysus, Ancient Agora, Hadrian's Library, and the Roman Agora.
- Admission lines can take up to two hours in peak summer, so it's best to book ahead.
- The Acropolis provides little shade—bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water if visiting in the summer months.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven ground.
- Most areas of the archaeological site are wheelchair accessible; a lift is located on the northwest side.
How to Get to the Acropolis
It's impossible to miss the Acropolis of Athens—you can see it from just about anywhere in the city, and the easiest way to get there is on foot. Alternatively, the closest metro stations are Thesion, Monastiraki, and Acropolis. Ticket booths are located at the foot of Acropolis Hill, on both the north and south sides, from where it's a short walk uphill to the archaeological site.
When to Get There
The Athens Acropolis is open all year round, but it can get extremely busy in the summer months. This is also when Athens is the hottest, with temperatures around 85°F (30°C) in July and August. To avoid the crowds, arrive in time for opening at 8am or after 5pm, when most of the day-trippers and cruise passengers have already left. Travelers on a budget might prefer to visit in winter—ticket prices can be reduced by up to 50% from November to March.
Where to Enjoy the Best Views of the Acropolis
Find a prime view of the Parthenon at the top of Mars Hill; capture the archaeological site in its entirety from Filopappos Hill, located just southwest of the Acropolis; or gaze out over the Acropolis and the surrounding city from Lycabettus Hill, the highest point in Athens. The clifftop ruins are at their most atmospheric at night—choose a rooftop bar or restaurant in central Athens for a great view of the illuminated Acropolis.