The Acropolis

About the Acropolis

The Acropolis, an ancient citadel located in the heart of Athens, Greece, is one of the most famous and iconic archeological sites in the world. The word “Acropolis” (Ακρόπολις in Greek) literally translates as the ‘edge’ or ‘highest point’ of a city. Built in the 5th century BC, during the Golden Era of the Athenian Empire, the Acropolis was the religious and political center of Athens.

The UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its collection of intricately decorated buildings, including the Parthenon, the Erechtheion with its Porch of Caryatids, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Theater of Dionysus and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.The most famous building on the Acropolis hill is the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. The temple, which is considered one of the greatest examples of ancient Greek art and culture, is often confused with the Acropolis itself. You can read more about the differences here.

The Acropolis attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world every day, to see the architectural masterpieces of the ancient world and to learn more about the culture and beliefs of ancient Greece. A visit to the Acropolis is more than just a tour of ancient ruins, it is a journey through time and an opportunity to witness the grandeur and beauty of one of the most important symbols of Western civilization.
For a more comprehensive experience, make sure to visit the Acropolis Museum, which is opposite of the archeological site. If your tour does not include a stop there, Acropolis museum tickets are sold separately and can be bought in advance or on the spot.

Acropolis Highlights


The Parthenon, located on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, is a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, the patron of the city. It was designed by the architects Iktinos and Callicrates, with sculptures by the famous Phidias. According to ancient historians, inside the temple there once was a beautiful golden and ivory sculpture of the goddess, known as the Parthenos Athena (or the Virgin Athena). Although the fate of the original statue has been lost in the mists of time, several copies have been made.

The Parthenon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is considered one of the greatest examples of ancient Greek architecture and one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. If you want to learn more about the Parthenon and the Acropolis, be sure to check out our blog post which provides in-depth information and interesting facts about these ancient treasures.

Must-see at the Acropolis

Acropolis museum

The Acropolis Museum, located opposite of the Acropolis in the heart of Athens, is dedicated to showcasing the rich archaeological findings from the famous citadel. The museum which opened in 2009, is home to over 4000 artifacts that were found on the rock and surrounding slopes of the Acropolis, and contains relics from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece.

Visitors can expect to see a wide range of exhibits including statues, pottery, jewelry, and architectural elements. The museum also features an interactive digital guide and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the Acropolis. A visit to the Acropolis museum is essential for anyone interested in ancient Greek culture and history.

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Built between 421-406 BC, the Erechtheion was a sacred temple dedicated to Greek Gods and Goddesses, including Athena. It was named after the mythical king of Athens, Erectheus, and its imposing ionic structure still stands today, sharing the ground with the Old Temple of Athena and Pandroseion.

The highlight of visiting this site is the six Caryatids – female statues that were built as supporting columns to hold up the roof. These statues are considered as one of the greatest masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture, and are a must-see for visitors to the Acropolis. The temple, known for its architectural beauty, complex history and impressive sculptures, offers visitors a glimpse into the rich culture and history of ancient Greece.

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Temple of Athena Nike & Propylaea

The Propylaea is the first thing you'll see on entering the Acropolis. It was built as the primary gateway into the sanctuary dedicated to Athena, the Propylaea predominantly features six, towering marble and limestone columns.

The Temple of Athena Nike, located right next to the Propylaea, is a classic site of worship built between 426-421 BC in honor of Athena, the protector of the city. The temple, known for its architectural beauty and historical significance, offers visitors a glimpse into the religious practices of ancient Greece.

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Odeon of Herodes Atticus

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus, also known as the Herodeion, is a relatively modern structure compared to the other ancient buildings at the Acropolis. Made almost entirely of stone in 161 AD, the 5,000-capacity theater was built by rhetorician and politician Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife.

Following a renovation in 1950, the Odeon is still used as a venue, linking the cultures of ancient and modern Greece. Performances at the Odeon usually take place between May and October as part of the annual Athens Festival. Its impressive structure and historical significance make it a must-see for visitors to the Acropolis.

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Interesting facts about the Acropolis

What is the Athens Acropolis? 

City states in ancient Greece were often established from settlements that developed around the highest point in the area. These areas were fortified and often became the focus point of social, political and religious life.

Athens has the most famous example of such a citadel, with its Acropolis featuring iconic temples, buildings and theaters. Among the architectural masterpieces are the Parthenon, the Erechtheum and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.

When was the Acropolis built?

Archeological evidence indicates that the Acropolis was populated as far back as the Neolithic era. Although temples were erected on the Athenian hill during the Bronze and Archaic eras, little is known about them.

A major reconstruction took place during the Golden Age of Athens in the 5th century B.C., during which period many of the iconic temples, such as the Propylaea, Parthenon and Erechtheion were built.

What makes the Athens Acropolis so special?

The Acropolis of Athens is a symbol of ancient Greek civilization and an important part of Athenian history and culture. Its structures, such as the Parthenon, Erechtheion and Temple of Athena Nike, are some of the best-preserved examples of ancient Greek architecture.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site was an important religious and civic center and a must-see destination for any traveler visiting Athens.

Plan your visit

Opening hours

The Athens Acropolis opening hours are seasonal.

Summer* (April to Oct.): 8 AM to 7:30 PM

Winter (Nov. to Mar.): 8 AM to 5 PM

The last entrance to the Acropolis is half an hour before closing time.

*From the 1st of September until the 30th of October, the Acropolis opening times decrease by 30 minutes every 15 days, due to a gradual reduction in daylight hours.

Visit duration

The average visit lasts between 1.5 and 2 hours.


The Acropolis is located at Athens 105 58, Greece.

Google Map Directions


There are two entrances to the Acropolis. The main entrance is located on the western side of the Acropolis on Theorias Street, while the side entrance is on Dionysiou Areopagitou Street.

The Acropolis main entrance is a 10-minute walk from Monastriraki Square near Plaka and along the way you will go by Hadrian’s Library and the Roman Agora. This entrance gets very busy, especially during the summer.

The Acropolis side entrance is a 2-minute walk from the Acropolis Metro Station and near the Acropolis Museum. As it is dedicated to small group tours and skip-the-line ticket holders, this entrance tends to be quieter.


Visitors are only allowed to take water with them in the archeological site, no other drink or food is permitted. Bottled water can be purchased from kiosks near the Acropolis entrance, while on-site there are water fountains.

Before or after your visit to the Acropolis, you can head down the hill towards Plaka, Monastiraki and Anafiotika, where there are many quaint cafésand traditional tavernas to savor the local cuisine.


Near the entrance to the Acropolis, there is a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs and memorabilia of your visit. Additionally, there are facilities available to store large bags and items, such as suitcases and strollers, which are not allowed on-site.

Restrooms can be found outside near the Acropolis entrance, while inside they are located at the Old Acropolis Museum.

There a many things to do in Athens and if you're visiting the Acropolis, there are a few sights you shouldn't miss.

Near the Acropolis you will find the New Acropolis Museum, the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora, Hadrian’s Library, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the Theater of Dionysus, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Kerameikos Archeological Site.

Within walking distance of the Acropolis hill you can also visit the National Observatory; Filopappou Hill, where Socrates is believed to have been imprisoned; the Kallimarmaro Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games were held and the Metropolitan Church of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary.

You can also head to the Thision Open Air Cinema, which operates during summer months, the Monastiraki Flea Market and Ermou Street shopping district, as well as well as the popular Plaka and Koukaki neighborhoods for food and drink.

FAQs and tips

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