The ideal way to explore the treasures of ancient Athens including the Acropolis is to buy a ‘Combo Ticket’ from one of the listed archaeological sites. The Combo Ticket is valid for five days from the date of purchase and gives access to all the archaeological sites listed below. Purchasing a Combined Ticket is a convenient way to avoid the ticket queues!
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Explore the Acropolis and more sights in Athens with the combined ticket
Standing on a hill at a height of 150 meters, the Acropolis has 2,500 years of rich history and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are fortified walls and temples to admire including the beautiful Parthenon which was a temple dedicated to Athena, goddess of wisdom and war.
The building of the Acropolis was initiated by Pericles who wanted it to be the largest and most splendid ever and it took 50 years for all the work to be completed. The Erechtheion was another temple that was built close by and dedicated to the goddess Athena and Poseidon, the god of the sea.
Theatre of Dionysus
Situated on the southern slopes of Acropolis Hill stands the Theatre of Dionysus, which was dedicated to the god of wine. The first theatre to be built on this site was constructed in the mid-6th century BC.
This was the world’s first theatre where all the well-known Ancient Greek tragedies, comedies, and satyrs were first performed with three performers wearing elaborate costumes and masks. Theatre productions were always popular and at its largest, the theatre could accommodate an audience of 16,000 people.
Ancient Agora and the Museum of the Ancient Agora
The Ancient Agora lies on the north-western slopes of the Acropolis and for more than 5,000 years it was the meeting and gathering place, as well as the artistic, spiritual, and commercial center of the city.
The Ancient Agora was the focus of its public and economic life in ancient times and today is the best example of its kind in the world. Famous sites inside the Ancient Agora include the Temple of Hephaestus and the Stoa of Attalus.
Karameikos and the Archaeological Museum of Karameikos
Karameikos is the ancient cemetery that stretches over both sides of Dipylon Gate to the banks of the Eridanos River. It was the main cemetery from the 12th century BC until Roman times and was given the name ‘kerameikos’ meaning ‘ceramics’ because it was built on the site where pottery workshops had stood.
The small museum has a display of archaeological artifacts. Karameikos is one of the most important archaeological sites in the city.
Temple of Olympian Zeus
This temple was one of the largest ever built and it took several centuries to complete. Its construction began in 174 BC and was completed by Emperor Hadrian in 131 AD. The temple was huge and very grand with numerous exceptionally high columns. Today, unbelievably, 15 of the columns remain standing.
Roman Agora and the Tower of the Winds
Just north of the Acropolis lies the site of the Roman Agora, which was once the focus of public life in Athens. It was a large courtyard area built in the 1st century BC and was where merchants sold their goods and bankers and artists did business, whilst philosophers made speeches and encouraged debates.
The Tower of Winds was visible all over the market and was built by the astronomer Andronicus. The tower was used to predict the weather, using sundials a, weather vane, water clock, and compass.
The largest structure to be built by Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD was the library, which lies on the north side of the Acropolis. Hadrian’s Library was built in marble as an elegant Roman Forum in the Corinthian style. The library was lined with shelves for storing rolls of papyrus. and there were also reading rooms and a lecture hall.
Aristotle’s Lyceum ( Archaeological site of Lykeon)
The Lyceum was originally constructed as a sanctuary for worshipping Apollo Lyceus. It became well known when it became the Peripatetic School of Philosophy, founded by Aristotle in 334 BC.
The school got its name g from the Greek word ‘peripatos’ meaning ‘to walk’ as Aristotle liked to walk amongst the trees that surrounded the school whilst he discussed philosophy and the principles of mathematics with his students.
My favorite tours of the Acropolis
A small group guided tour of the Acropolis with skip-the-line tickets. The reason I like this tour is that it is a small group one, it starts at 8:30 am, so you avoid the heat and the cruise ship passengers and it lasts for 2 hours.
Another great option is the Athens Mythology Highlights tour. This tour includes a guided visit to the Acropolis, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the Ancient Agora. It is my favorite tour in Athens as it combines history and mythology and it is also interesting for kids.
Please note that the entrance fees of 30 euros (combo ticket) are not included in the price. With the same ticket, though you will be able to visit some more interesting sites in Athens in the following days.
Key information about the Combo Ticket.
- The combined ticket costs €30 for adults and €15 for students on production of photo ID. Children aged under 18 years have free admission on production of photo ID
- The Combo Ticket gives a single admission to each of the listed sites.
- With a Combo Ticket, there is no need to queue at the ticket office, but you will need to queue for admission.
- You can get your ticket at the ticket offices on-site or online (https://etickets.tap.gr/). Pay attention: the online ticket will have a precise date on it and it cannot be changed!
- In the summer months, if you are planning to visit three or more of the archaeological sites, it saves money and time to buy a Combo Ticket, in the winter months, you need to visit seven sites in order to save money on the individual purchase of tickets – but you will still save time!. This is because the entrance to archaeological sites during the winter months is cheaper,
- On certain days, there is free entrance to all archaeological sites, monuments and museums in Athens. These days are:6 March (Melina Mercouri Remembrance Day), 18 April (International Monuments Day), 18 May (International Museums Day), the last weekend in September (European Heritage Days), 28 October (Oxi Day), the first Sunday of each month between 1 November 1st and 31 March.
- The archaeological sites are closed on the following days. – March 08.30 – 15.00, April – October 08.00-20.00. it is closed on 1 January, 25 March, Easter Sunday, 1 May and 25/ 26 December.
- Visitors to any of the archaeological sites are recommended to wear flat, comfortable shoes.