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Visit a City on the Edge at the Acropolis in Greece

Published by Kathleen O'Connor, Writer

Country: Greece

The Experience

Harmoniously blended with its natural surroundings, the Acropolis towers gracefully over the archaeologically-rich and modern city of Athens, often referred to as the most important historical compound left behind by Greek Antiquity. The Acropolis, or city on the edge, was erected on a flat-topped rock high above the rest of the city as a form of defense. Its location atop a rocky crag doesn’t stop hundreds of tourists from climbing up to it every day and admiring what was formerly the cradle of one of the grandest civilizations of all time.

The Acropolis of Athens is only one of many acropolises that were erected in Ancient Greece, but it is by far the most famous having been the greatest cultural center during the peak of Ancient Greek civilization. Many decisive events in Ancient Greek history are connected to this majestic compound. Although archaeological evidence shows that it has been used since the Neolithic times, the famous monuments and buildings that make up the Acropolis we recognize today were built under the authority of the statesman Pericles during the second half of the 6th Century BC. The most famous sites at the Acropolis include the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike, all of which were built in dedication to different aspects of Athena, the patron goddess of Athens. These sites housed religious rituals and worship, as well as opulent statues which are now exhibited at the Acropolis museum. One can’t help but feel the power and splendor that emanates from this ancient complex when climbing up the steps to its majestic entrance.

Taking in the sheer magnitude and significance of the ruins is a sensation much compared to being swept back to the birth of Ancient Greek civilization. This lofty perch also offers some of the best views of the architectural and artistic gems that Athens city has to offer.

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When to Go to Acropolis Greece

The best time of year to visit the Acropolis is in late winter or early spring, when there are fewer visitors. During the summer, sweltering mid-day heat and large crowds can make for an exhausting and uninspiring visit. If you do going during a peak time your best bet is to go in the morning or late afternoon.

Odds n' Ends

From April to October, opening hours are 8am to 7pm Tuesday through Sunday and 11am to 7pm on Monday. From October to March, opening hours are 830am to 230pm Tuesday through Sunday and 11am to 230pm on Monday. Buy your entrance tickets on site and bring along your International Student Identity Card if you have one for a discount on the 12 Euro entrance fee. Once you pay the entrance fee, the ticket is valid for the Acropolis site and museum as well as the Ancient Agora, the Theatre of Dionysos, Kerameikos, Olympieion, and the Roman Agora. The New Acropolis Museum, which houses the permanent exhibition of ancient artifacts excavated at the site, is set to open in early 2009 but in the mean time the ground floor of the museum is open for visitors from 10am to 6pm.

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Language Guides

Russian , Turkish are some of the languages spoken in Greece. If you know of a freely available phrase book or podcast for one of the missing languages, let us know!


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