Arriving in Plaka in the evening for the first time can be truly magical. Like in other old European cities the streets are more like alleyways and swerve like serpentines. If you come across one that perfectly frames the Acropolis you're in for a real treat. Looming over the city with its orange glow being cast down into the streets you feel you're in the presence of something genuinely old as shit.
Venturing out to the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum from Plaka is an easy and seamless process. Navigating the winding roads to reach them may be your only challenge. When committing to these destinations make sure to factor in about 3-5 hours total...unless you don't really care and you're doing this just to say “I’ve been here,” if so then you probably only need about an hour and a half.
The museum is conveniently located next to the Theatre of Dionysos entrance, one of two entrances to the Acropolis. I recommend visiting the museum first as it gives you a bit more context and adult insight into something you learned of in history class in elementary school.
The architecture of the museum does not disappoint, its a true modern gem among the ruins. Built in 2009 and designed by Bernard Tschumi with Michael Photiadis, it hovers over an active archaeological site with captivating views of the ancient neighborhood. The inner layout is uniquely designed to avoid closed off rooms and allows visitors to get a glimpse of the sprawling city thanks to the museums floor to ceiling glass walls. The floors on the first level are of plexiglass and enables you to view the ancient ruins directly below you as you walk through the museum.The location provides a truly magnificent 360 degree view of Athens, however its only a welcomed tease before the view from atop the Acropolis.
The collection primarily displays the works of the Acropolis of the 5th century throughout its three floors. The movie on the 3rd level is ideal to watch just prior to leaving for the Acropolis. With its concise and informative description of the history of the Acropolis you can appreciate the full magnitude of the undertaking of the Temple of Athena Nike and the other on site buildings.
There is a reasonably priced restaurant that overlooks the archaeological excavation. You can find wifi here if you're desperate to post a photo of you and a crumbling statue...
Photos are permitted only on the 2nd and 3rd floors but with quick slight of hand I think you’ll be alright.
Admission: 5 euro
You’d be committing a heinous crime if you went to Athens and didn't visit the Acropolis. All you have to do is make it up the slippery slope once in your life to witness the beauty of the Parthenon and to snap some shots of “an old building in Greece.” In doing so you’ll have a birds eye view of the furthest reaches of Athens and all the glimmering water towers it holds.
There are a few key tips to be aware of before going.
1. There are two entrances, so figure out which is best for you. If you are going to go to the Museum before, the easiest entrance is through the Theatre of Dionysos. The main entrance is on the other side just next to the Odeon Herodes Atticus.
2. The walk up is really slippery. Make sure to wear shoes that have good grip and ones that you don't mind getting dusty.
3. It is crazy hot during the walk up, there isn't much shade and the stone & marble really reflect the light making it that much hotter- bring water. You're going to be walking up for about 10min-25min (depending on how many pictures and monuments you choose to stop for on the way up.)
4. Definitely wear sunglasses, like I just mentioned the stones/marble really reflect
the light but, on the top, its compounded with the glaring rooftops of Athens.
5. If you want nice pictures of yourself that don't have you looking annoyed by the wind constantly blowing up your dress or skirt then dress accordingly- wear shorts, its pretty goddamn windy.
6. There are bathrooms at the entrances and on the top.
7. The entrance fee is 12 euros per person. This ticket gives you access to the main ancient sites: the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora, the Theatre of Dionysos, Keramikos, Hadrian’s Library, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. What is great about this ticket is that it allows you 4 days to view these sites so you don't have to be out in the heat for hours on end trying to get to all of them before they close.
The Acropolis is wonderful at demonstrating the awesome abilities of ancient civilizations, you definitely don't want to miss it.