The entrance fee of the Acropolis is around 12.90€ per adult. Children under 5, EU citizens under 25 and students get in free, no need to buy an Acropolis ticket. Every 1st Sunday from 1 Nov-31 Mar 2023 and on selected dates are free entrance for everyone.
Acropolis tickets are sold at the entrance gate. However, especially during the tourist season, you can buy your ticket online in advance to avoid waiting in long ticket queues and to enter the Acropolis quickly. If you buy your Acropolis ticket online, you do not need to print out your ticket, and the ticket sent to your mobile phone will be enough to enter the Acropolis. You can book a fast-track ticket for the Acropolis in advance, you can also join guided tours or take a look at the combined ticket options.
The ancient ruins atop this 512-foot hill comprise Athens’ most impressive landmark. The city of Athens is said to have been founded on these heights long before the days of recorded history by the mythological serpent-god Cecrops, who was succeeded by the serpent-man Erechtheus.
Over the centuries, from the Mycenaean period (1.400-1.200 B.C.) onward, as the city gradually expanded beyond the rocky plateau down around the foot of the hill, the Acropolis remained the citadel of Athens, the seat of temples and sanctuaries where people came to pray and seek refuge in time of war. During the Persian Wars, at the beginning of the fifth century B.C., the temples of the Acropolis were destroyed by Xerxes’ armies. For nearly half a century the Acropolis lay in ruins, until Pericles, whose victories over the Persians gave Athens hegemony over the other Greek city-states, ushered in the Golden Age of Athens. In a vast rebuilding program he lavished enormous sums to adorn the Acropolis with masterpieces of architecture and art—many of which remain standing in various stages of preservation today.
Upon ascending the Acropolis, the visitor passes through the porticoes of the Propylaea, the imposing gateway to the sacred precincts of the summit. Built by the architect Mnesicles between 437 and 432 B.C., it was not completed because of the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. To the right of the Propylaea on a high platform stands the diminutive Temple of Nike Apteros (Wingless Victory), constructed to commemorate Greece’s victory over Persia. Subsequently destroyed by the Turks during their occupation of Greece between the 15th and 19th centuries, the building has been reconstructed. A path, or Sacred Way, formerly lined with statues and now littered with slabs of marble and broken columns,’ leads to the Parthenon, erected by architects Ictinus and Callicrates between 447 and 432 B.C.
The Parthenon’s simplicity, grandeur, and harmonious proportions make the temple the most perfect example of Doric architecture in existence. Dedicated to the goddess Athena, guardian of Athens, this Pentelic marble structure, also known as the Virgin’s Chamber, was adorned by the sculptor Phidias, who created the surviving portion of the interior frieze, which represents the Panathenaic procession in honor of the goddess Athena.
The chambers of the Parthenon were filled with bullion and priceless ornaments, and the building served as a public treasury. During the early Christian era the Parthenon was converted into a church and later, under the Turks, was turned into a mosque with a minaret. In 1687, during the Venetian siege of Athens, much of the Parthenon, being used at the time as a Turkish gunpowder magazine, was reduced to ruins when it was struck by a shell. Fragments of the metopes, friezes, and other sculptures were salvaged in 1801 by Lord Elgin, who removed them to England; they are now displayed in the British Museum. North of the kmi Parthenon stands the Erechtheum, the most important religious shrine on the Acropolis and the site of the legendary contest between Athena and Poseidon for the patronage of the city. Athena won by causing an olive tree to spring from the ground at this spot. The southern portico of this elegant example of Ionic architecture is supported not by columns, but by six maidens known as caryatids. During the Ottoman period a Turkish governor housed his harem here. The Acropolis Museum, near the east end of the Parthenon, houses rare treasures of Attic art uncovered here.