Acropolis Restrictions

On Monday 4th September 2023, Greece imposed limits on the number of visitors to the Acropolis to prevent overcrowding in Athens’ most famous landmark.  A new booking website now keeps track of tourists at the Acropolis, while enforcing an hourly time slot to tackle overcrowding and preserve the archaeological site.  Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said "Obviously tourism is desirable for the country, for all of us, but we have to find a way of preventing overtourism from harming the monument".  Access will be granted to three thousand visitors between 08:00 and 9:00 am, followed by two thousand visitors each subsequent hour throughout the day.  The new system will cap Acropolis visits to twenty thousand tourists a day and be used at other archaeological sites beginning from April 2024.

The Acropolis in Athens, which includes the 5th century BC Parthenon temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, currently sees up to 23,000 visitors per day.  The tourists create bottlenecks and unpleasant conditions for the site, the visitors and the staff who are trying to accommodate this high volume of people.  The implementation of the new policies aims to alleviate the issue of long queues, which has been aggravated by the arrival of massive cruise ships. These disembark thousands of passengers at the port of Piraeus, the gateway to Athens, with at least 30% of all those passengers having pre-purchased tickets to visit the Acropolis. 

There will be no limit on how long the Acropolis visits may last, although people who come with organised tours or from cruise ships, who account for about 50% of the daily visitor count, spend an average of forty-five minutes at the site.  Greek authorities closed access to the Acropolis and many other ancient sites from 11:30 am to 5:30 pm during July 2023 at the height of the 'Cleon' heatwave.  They also installed awnings as sun protection and handed out free bottles of water for people lining up to see the Acropolis’ temples.  These precautions would be implemented again if necessary, if extreme climate conditions continue.

Three easy steps to organise your Acropolis visit:   1) Visit     2) Select your preferred time slot    3) Schedule your visit