If you’re coming during summer or September - you would probably prefer visiting the Acropolis museum in late morning or early afternoon, to stay out of the unbearable heat. That’s not the best solution in terms of crowds (those are peak hours), but probably worth doing for your personal comfort. The Museum’s cafeteria is a nice place to have lunch. The smallest crowds in the museum are either early in the morning (before 10 am) or late in the afternoon.
If your trip dates fall on a Friday - you could visit the Acropolis Museum during extended hours. That’s the best moment! Friday evenings, especially in low season, is when the museum’s attendance is very low. Arrive after 4-5 pm, try to join the evening gallery talk at 6 p.m. (highlighting the major masterpieces in the Acropolis Museum) and stay for a dinner in the museum’s restaurant with an amazing view over Acropolis (open until midnight on Fridays, booking recommended).
Since most tourists visit Acropolis site and Acropolis Museum on the same day, you’re probably asking yourself in which order to see them. The natural visitors flow heads first to the ruins and Parthenon to be able to seek fresh air inside the air-conditioned museum later in the morning and around mid-day. We don’t recommend doing it in inverse order. But in order to avoid crowds, we advise to start your day at Acropolis’s opening time (8 am), check out the site and head to the museum by 9:00-10 am. That’s when the crowds will arrive at Acropolis, so you’ll be about an hour ahead of major crowds.
Once in the museum, prefer exploring it from top to bottom (the opposite way to the majority’s itinerary). You’ll see the Parthenon gallery first and well before it becomes packed. That’s the best part of the museum, and it has a full-on view of the Acropolis through the window. It would be a pity if you discovered this gallery at the end, already too tired to fully appreciate its beauty.
The Archaic Gallery on the second floor is another must-see part of the Acropolis Museum. Be sure not to miss this gallery - one of the most beautiful sculpture galleries in Europe!
If you have enough energy left over - get back to the galleries you’ve passed by to explore the finds from the slopes of the Acropolis and get to know more about its history.
One more tip for the ladies and a few gentlemen: we suggest you don’t wear a skirt, tunic or dress, as some of the floors are transparent, giving a full view for visitors on the floor below you!
Full admission: € 5
Reduced admission: € 3 - Non-EU students - Non-EU children under 18 years old - EU senior citizens of 65 years and over
Free admission: - Non-EU children under 5 years - EU students - EU children under 18 years - Visitors with disabilities from EU and non-EU countries and person accompanying them
A valid ID will be needed to confirm age or student status.
Tips for a few days in Athens
This page will give you many tips to avoid crowds in Athens as well as crowd schedules for top tourist attractions in order to plan your visits.
Photo credits to Dr._Colleen_Morgan via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)