When we decided to visit Athens, we had one very special place in mind that we wanted to visit: the Acropolis. After all, it was here that we would be able to find some of Europe’s oldest ruins. Ruins that once built one of the most important European empires and that still keep some of the world’s oldest secrets.
But before we climbed up to the Acropolis, we decided to visit its Museum at the foot of the hill and we didn’t regret it! Our intent was to pique our curiosity before exploring the temples of Ancient Greece and it worked! We were already excited to discover the ruins of this ancient city. The Acropolis Museum gave us the foundation we needed to appreciate the history of the Acropolis even more.
Just like the Acropolis, the Museum is huge and has many details that you can’t miss! With three floors and hundreds of archaeological pieces on display, there is a lot to see here! Below, check out our tips to make the most of your visit to the Acropolis Museum:
THE BEST ROUTE
The Acropolis Museum is divided into three floors: on the first floor, you can enjoy a transparent floor that reveals the ruins of an ancient Athenian neighborhood which was discovered during the excavations to build the museum; a second floor with one of the most beautiful sculpture collections in Europe; and a third floor with the Parthenon Gallery that offers a stunning view of the Acropolis.
Even though museums are usually visited from the first floor up, at the Acropolis Museum we recommend you visit it the other way around. For one simple reason: the Parthenon Gallery is the museum’s crown jewel and it would be a shame to get there too tired (or with too big a crowd) to fully enjoy it. So, start on the third floor and make your way down to discover all of the archaeological treasures on display at the Acropolis Museum.
TAKE YOUR TIME
It’s not hard to lose track of time at this museum. With so many ruins, artefacts and works of art, the Acropolis Museum can be visited in one full day or in just a few hours. Depending on your time and itinerary, the time that you’ll take at the museum will vary. We recommend putting aside at least a few hours but the best is to go without a schedule! If you’re short on time, don’t miss the Archaic Gallery on the second floor and the Parthenon Gallery on the top floor!
ENJOY THE AC
Athens is hot, especially in the summer. If you visit the city on a warmer day, the best thing to do is to take advantage of the day’s hottest hours to visit the museum. Between noon and 4pm, the museum’s fresh air conditioning will be your best friend. Take a light jacket or scarf because, especially on the first floor, the AC is really strong!
WHEN TO VISIT
That being said, and especially if you visit Athens in the summer, it’s only natural that the hottest hours of the day are also when more people will visit the museum. If you want to avoid the crowds, we recommend you visit the Acropolis bright and early in the morning at 8am and head to the museum between 9am and 10am, where you’ll be about one hour ahead most tourists. If you can, visit the museum on a Friday – that’s when the museum is open until 10pm which allows you to visit the Acropolis in the evening and the Museum at night, when it’s also a bit emptier.
LUNCH WITH A VIEW
One of the museum’s highlights is undoubtedly its terrace. From here, the 360-degree view over the Acropolis and Athens is stunning and will give you countless photo ops! Once on the terrace, enjoy a fresh drink while you take in the view. Or head into the restaurant and enjoy the wonderful view with a delicious Greek lunch.
EXTRA: Ladies – don’t visit this museum in a skirt or dress! Some parts of the upper floors are transparent which means that the visitors below you can see everything! ?
The Acropolis Museum is open every day, usually between 8am and 8pm. Opening hours are subject to change depending on the season and weekday. Check out the official website for more information. Tickets cost €5 per person.