Ticket tips for the sites of Athens
The Acropolis is of course the top attraction of Athens. It is not surprising that its entrance fee is the priciest of all other sites in Athens, at € 20. Naturally, this doesn’t seem to deter the crowds that throng to the site every, all day long.
There is more to Athens than just the Acropolis and, if one is interested in seeing more of the city’s sites, it makes sense to invest in the “combined” ticket, which is priced at € 30. Usually called “the combo” it allows entrance to the following archaeological sites (besides the Acropolis and the monuments on its Slopes, such as the Asclepieion, the Theatre of Dionysus, etc.):
- The Ancient Agora of Athens and its museum (whose separate fee is 8 €)
- The Kerameikos and its museum (8 €)
- The Roman Forum of Athens (6 €)
- Hadrian’s Library (4 €)
- The temple of Olympic Zeus (6 €)
- The Archaeological Site of Lykeion (4 €),
Separately, the above sites would cost a total of € 36, coming to € 56, if one includes the Acropolis. At € 30, the combo ticket is not only far more economical but it also saves time, as one has to line up for the ticket only once.
That said, the lines for the Acropolis can be punishing, especially during the high season. Buying your ticket online (at this portal) is a recent option, which saves enormous time and hassle. You don’t even need to print it; the ticket can be shown (and scanned) on a portable device (phone or tablet).
Notice that the combo ticket should be used within 5 days from the day it was issued on; after that, it is valid for another 5 days only. Most people won’t stay that long in Athens anyway, but if you do and have not visited all the sites within the 5-day period, you will need new tickets to visit them.
Notice also that any ticket is valid for only one visit per site; once you leave any site, you cannot re-enter it on the same ticket. This is something to bear in mind when in the Acropolis; if you wish to visit the theatre of Dionysus and other monuments of the southern slope, make sure you ask for the way so as not to exit the site by mistake.
A 50% discount applies to students, if they can produce a valid student ID and to senior (above 65) citizens of the EU.
Minors (under 18 yrs), students from EU countries and the disabled (plus one escort) enter for free. Proof of age or disability may be required.
Unfortunately, the option of getting discounted (or free) tickets online is not yet available. You may instead buy a voucher online but, in order to get a valid ticket, you need to go to the ticket booth with the voucher and the necessary credentials (passport or student ID or -in some cases- proof of disability).
Entrance fees are discounted by 50% during the off-season, between November 1st and March 31st.
Further information about discounts and eligibility may be found at this site.
Bypassing the line
If you wish to see more than the Acropolis and have not got your ticket online, I would advise you to start your tour (and get your combo tickets from) the Roman Forum or the Library of Hadrian; this is the best way to skip the (very long) Acropolis line.
Another option would be to book a tour via an agency (like AWT) or a guide (like yours truly) who offer skip-the-line services. Check the prices to protect yourself from scalpers.