Visiting the Acropolis of Athens with Kids
A trip to Athens would not be complete without a visit to the Acropolis. Before we get started on the Acropolis, let’s talk about what the Acropolis is. You might envision the pillared building on top of the hill when you think about the Acropolis. That iconic structure is actually the Parthenon. The Acropolis is the entire site on top of the rocky hill, where the remains of the Parthenon and other significant monuments stand. When you purchase your tickets to the Acropolis, you get access to view the grounds and buildings that were part of the ceremonial life of the Ancient Greeks.
Best Times to Visit the Acropolis
The best times to visit the Acropolis are right when it opens at 8 am or late in the afternoon, after all the cruise passengers have returned to their ships. The first reason is that there many tourists visiting the Acropolis during peak times, and it can make it difficult to get good pictures and take in the experience.
The other reason is that Athens can be very hot, especially in the summer months. Most of the Acropolis site has no shade or shelter from the blazing sun, and the rocks underfoot radiate that heat. We chose to go in the late afternoon, right before sunset, and were rewarded with very few other tourists and some nice photo opportunities.
What to Bring When Visiting the Acropolis
For comfort and safety, it is important to wear sensible shoes at the Acropolis. We saw other tourists in flip-flops while we were there, and they didn’t look like they were enjoying the view as much as we did with our rubber-soled shoes.
While the walk up to the Acropolis is not especially strenuous, the stairways are made of natural marble, which is especially slick when damp. In some areas at the top near the Parthenon, where millions of visitors have walked, the stone is worn and slippery even when dry. Make sure to bring a water bottle or purchase one from the vendors near the entrances to combat the hot weather.
Finding an Acropolis Tour
For your first visit to the Acropolis, I recommend visiting with a guided tour or a private guide. We chose a licensed private tour guide, mostly because the time that we wanted to visit didn’t coincide with the tour schedule that day.
If we would have gone on our own, we would have taken in the sights and had a good visit. However, we would have missed out on learning about the history and culture. It was this education that made the visit exceptionally memorable, and we wouldn’t have experienced this without a private guide. (Plus, I wouldn’t have been able to give you the public service announcement about the Acropolis vs. the Parthenon.) For a small group tour, I would try Athens Walking Tours, which meets daily at nearby Syntagma Station, or check out our awesome private tour guide, Aristotle.
Consider staying at the unique and modern Hilton Athens, which is only two miles from the Acropolis.
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Rachel is from Peoria, Illinois. She works full-time as a software implementation consultant in the healthcare field. Her family includes her husband Justin, also an IT professional,…