For €2.70 we bought a round trip metro ticket to the Acropolis metro station. Before we even left the station we were treated to ancient pottery and statues. Here you’ll read about Athens and the Acropolis.
We followed a very nice pedestrian walkway to the ticket booth.
The entrance ticket was slightly pricey at €30 but it included admission to seven sights over a period of five days. Opening hours 8:00 – 17:00 when we went in March (though we learned the hard way that they stop letting people in at 15:45 at some sights).
- The Acropolis
- The Ancient Agora
- The Roman Agora
- Hadrian’s Library
- The Olympieion and Temple of Zeus
- Keirameikos Archaeological Site
- Aristotle’s Lykeion
1. The Acropolis
Our first view of the Acropolis.
On the way we passed the Theater of Dionysos.
This was a nice respite. It didn’t last long because after about five more minutes of walking uphill we came to the Propylaia and hoards of tourists.
We passed through the Propylaia
Up to the right was the Temple of Athena Nike
We soon had our first full view of the Parthenon (and all the scaffolding over it on the right)
The other major site on the Acropolis was the Erechtheion. Good thing I don’t have to pronounce that one.
and its spectacular Porch of The Caryatids.
On the way down we passed the Odeon of Herdodes Atticus.
and got a different view of the Temple of Athena Nike.
2. The Ancient Agora
The Ancient Agora was the section of town leading up to the Acropolis. Today it is mostly ruins. It’s huge and takes over an hour to get through.
The Stoa of Attalos is a completely reconstructed municipal building. Fun fact: the original members of the European Union signed the original pact in this building.
In my opinion the most worthwhile part of the Ancient Agora is the Temple of Hephaestus.
3. The Roman Agora
The Roman Agora is tiny. You can get through it in about 10 minutes.
4. Hadrian’s Library
Hadrian’s Library is a little bigger than the Roman Agora. It has a few more nice ruins, but it still is only a short visit of less than a half hour.
5. The Olympieion and Temple of Zeus
Unfortunately one can’t walk through the Arch of Hadrian, but we did get to see it
on our way to the Temple of Zeus.
At the time it was bigger than the Parthenon, but sadly only 16 columns are left (one of them toppled over).
From here we had a great view looking back at the Acropolis.
6. Keirameikos Archaeological Site
This was the most out of the way site, and since we weren’t impressed by Aristotle’s Lykeium, we skipped this one for fear that the walk wouldn’t be worth it.
7. Aristotle’s Lykeion
It’s cool only if you imagine that Aristotle, at one time, may have stood exactly where you are standing. Otherwise it’s not very exciting.
Other Things Near the Acropolis
Go back to the Acropolis in the evening
It was totally worth going back in the evening as the sun was setting and watching the lights slowly turn on on the Acropolis.
Gyros and souvlaki every day. They are cheap, delicious and filling for about €2.50.
Summary of Athens and the Acropolis
These are the seven sights when you buy the €30 combo ticket.
The Acropolis is amazing; plan to spend a lot of time there. The other six sights are decent, so it depends how into Greek history you are, especially since you can see much of the other sights from right outside the gate and get a pretty similar view.
Call me ignorant but there are quite a few ancient Roman ruins in Athens.
It’s worth getting a look at the Acropolis in the evening when it’s lit up.