Acropolis Museum is a place where even the non-museum frequenters enjoy visiting! Extremely professionally and well designed, the museum offers an excellent overview of the construction, history, and preservation of the Acropolis. As you enter you'll walk over glass that reveals an underground city archeologists have dug up. There are three levels of unbelievable Greek history, marble statues, relics - and our favourite, the pottery! You could be a history lover or have no interest in history and still love this place. Recommended!
History of the Acropolis Museum
The monuments of the Acropolis have withstood the ravages of past centuries, both of ancient times and those of the Middle Ages. Until the 17th century, foreign travellers visiting the monuments depicted the classical buildings as being intact. This remained the case until the middle of the same century, when the Propylaia was blown up while being used as a gunpowder store. 30 years later, the Ottoman occupiers dismantled the neighbouring Temple of Athena Nike to use its materials to strengthen the fortification of the Acropolis. The most fatal year, however, for the Acropolis, was 1687, when many of the building’s architectural members were blown into the air and fell in heaps around the Hill of the Acropolis, caused by a bomb from the Venetian forces. Foreign visitors to the Acropolis would search through the rubble and take fragments of the fallen sculptures as their souvenirs. It was in the 19th century that Lord Elgin removed intact architectural sculptures from the frieze, the metopes and the pediments of the building.
In 1833, the Turkish garrison withdrew from the Acropolis. Immediately after the founding of the Greek State, discussions about the construction of an Acropolis Museum on the Hill of the Acropolis began. In 1863, it was decided that the Museum be constructed on a site to the southeast of the Parthenon and foundations were laid on 30 December 1865.
The building program for the Museum had provided that its height not surpasses the height of the stylobate of the Parthenon. With only 800 square meters of floor space, the building was rapidly shown to be inadequate to accommodate the findings from the large excavations on the Acropolis that began in 1886. A second museum was announced in 1888, the so-called Little Museum. Final changes occurred in 1946-1947 with the second Museum being demolished and the original being sizably extended.
By the 1970s, the Museum could not cope satisfactorily with the large numbers of visitors passing through its doors. The inadequacy of the space frequently caused problems and downgraded the sense that the exhibition of the masterpieces from the Rock sought to achieve.
The Acropolis Museum was firstly conceived by Constantinos Karamanlis in September 1976. He also selected the site, upon which the Museum was finally built, decades later. With his penetrating vision, C. Karamanlis defined the need and established the means for a new Museum equipped with all technical facilities for the conservation of the invaluable Greek artifacts, where eventually the Parthenon sculptures will be reunited.
For these reasons, architectural competitions were conducted in 1976 and 1979, but without success. In 1989, Melina Mercouri, who as Minister of Culture inextricably identified her policies with the claim for the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum, initiated an international architectural competition. The results of this competition were annulled following the discovery of a large urban settlement on the Makriyianni site dating from Archaic to Early Christian Athens. This discovery now needed to be integrated into the New Museum that was to be built on this site.
In the year 2000, the Organization for the Construction of the New Acropolis Museum announced an invitation to a new tender, which was realized in accord with the Directives of the European Union. It is this Tender that has come to fruition with the awarding of the design tender to Bernard Tschumi with Michael Photiadis and their associates and the completion of construction in 2007.
Today, the new Acropolis Museum has a total area of 25,000 square meters, with exhibition space of over 14,000 square meters, ten times more than that of the old museum on the Hill of the Acropolis. The new Museum offers all the amenities expected in an international museum of the 21st century.
Video | Acropolis Museum
Acropolis Museum Ticket Prices
1. General admission fee: €5
2. The following visitors are entitled to a REDUCED ADMISSION FEE (€ 3):
a) Students from Higher Education Institutions and teachers accompanying them, from non-EU countries, with current student identification card or International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
b) Young persons under 18 years of age, from non-EU countries, with current identification card to confirm age
c) Greek Senior citizens and Senior citizens from EU countries, 65 years of age and over, with current identification card to confirm age
3. The following visitors are entitled to FREE ADMISSION:
a) Members of the Greek Parliament
b) Young persons under 18 years of age, from EU countries, with current identification card
c) Children under 5 years of age, from non-EU countries
d) Students from Higher Education Institutions and Tour Guide Training Institutions, from EU countries, with current student identification card or International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
e) Greek citizens performing their military service, with current military service identification card
f) Employees of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, with current working identification card
g) ΙCOM and ICOMOS cardholders
h) Tour Guides with professional license from the Hellenic Ministry of Development
i) Teachers accompanying children on primary & secondary education school visits
j) Journalists, with current journalists’ identification card
k) Members of the ‘Friends of the Acropolis’ (EFA), with current membership card
l) Official guests of the Greek Public
m) Visitors with disabilities from EU and non-EU countries and person accompanying them
n) Professors of Archaeology, with current identification card
o) Greek unemployed citizens, with identification card and current unemployment card
4. Tickets are available for sale either at the Museum’s Ticket Desk or via its e-ticketing service.
Free entry: 6 March (In Memory of Melina Mercouri), 25 March, 18 May (International Museum Day), 28 October
For visitor access to:
the ground floor Shop and Café, the purchase of a ticket is not required.
the second floor Shop and Restaurant, a free admission ticket is required from the Ticket Desk.
Acropolis Museum - Visiting Hours
Summer season hours
(1 April - 31 October)
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (last admission: 3:30 p.m.)
8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. (last admission: 7:30 p.m.)
8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. (last admission: 9:30 p.m.)
8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. (last admission: 7:30 p.m.)
Winter season hours
(1 November - 31 March)
Monday - Thursday
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (last admission: 4:30 p.m.)
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. (last admission: 9:30 p.m.)
9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. (last admission: 7:30 p.m.)
Closed: 1 January, Easter Sunday, 1 May, 25 and 26 December
On Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve (24 & 31 December), the Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On August Full Moon and European Night of Museums, the Acropolis Museum operates until 12 midnight.
Shops/Café & Restaurant hours
Τhe Shops operate during Museum opening hours with closing 15 minutes before Museum closing time.
The Café and Restaurant operate during Museum opening hours. Every Friday the Restaurant on the second floor operates until 12 midnight.
Acropolis Museum - Location
Acropolis Museum, 15 Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, Athens 11742
How to get to the Acropolis Museum:
BUS: Lines 24, 40, 57, 103, 106, 108, 111, 126, 134, 135, 136, 137, 155, 206, 208, 227, 230, 237, 790, 856, Α2, Α3, Α4, Β2, Β3, Β4, Ε2, Ε22 (stop: Makriyianni)
TROLLEY: Lines 1, 5, 15 (stop: Makriyianni)
METRO: Line 2 (Anthoupoli-Elliniko) to Acropolis station
TRAM: Stop is "Leoforos Vouliagmenis"
CAR: The Museum encourages visitors to use one of the several means of public transportation that serve the Museum (see above) and to avoid using their cars in the historic quarter of Athens.
BIKE: There are bike racks at the main entrance to the Museum, on the pedestrian walkway of Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, and at the exit from the Acropolis metro station, where visitors cycling to the Museum can secure their bicycles.
PARKING: The Museum provides no public parking facilities. Limited street parking is available at the following streets near the Museum: Hatzichristou, Dimitrakopoulou, Veikou, Mitseon, Parthenonos, Karyatidon. Paid parking facilities are available in Rovertou Gali Street and Falirou Street.
TOUR BUS: A bus drop-off point for groups is available in Hatzichristou Street and the entrance for groups is in Mitseon Street.