The Parthenon - the largest temple on the Athenian Acropolis
The Athenian Acropolis is the ancient high city of Athens, a prominent plateaued rock perched high above the modern city with commanding views and an amazing array of ancient architecture, mostly from the Classical period of Ancient Greece, the most famous of which is the Parthenon. A visit to Athens is not complete without visiting the Acropolis - hundreds of tourists each day accordingly make the pilgrimage.
The Acropolis of Athens is open daily. Summer opening times: 8AM-7PM, except for Sundays and national holidays, when it is only open until 3PM. Winter opening times: 8AM - sunset. Telephone: +30 210 3214172. Get there as early as possible to avoid heavy crowds, and summer heat when relevant.
General admission is €12 but excellent concessions are available, as is free access to many categories of individuals, especially under-18s and European university students - check the official web site . There are also a limited number of free days for the public listed each year; again, check the website.
The entrance to the Acropolis is off Theorias Street. From the Akropoli metro stop and New Acropolis Museum, walk west along Dionysiou Areopagitou Street and take the first right on to Theorias; from the Thissio metro stop west of Monastiraki, walk west to Apostolou Pavlou Street, turn left on it, and walk south to turn left on Theorias. From Plaka, you can walk south up steep Mnisikleous Street as far as you can go and turn right on Theorias.
The main archaeological site is surrounded by a large public area, a plethora of trees with beautiful stone-paved paths (designed by the great Greek architect Pikionis). A canteen with a wide range of food and drink is reached before you get to the ticket kiosk - but beware: refreshments are available only at exorbitant prices. You will definitely need a bottle of water with you in the hot summer, so either bring it with you or buy it from the kiosk on Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, just outside the entrance. There are water fountains within the site, but the water isn't always cold. Guides can nearly always be found offering to show you around - at a price - at the point where tickets are checked. An alternative will be a printed version of this article (info not yet added), or ask for the free leaflet published by the Archaeological Resources Fund (includes a ground plan of the site and valuable information on the various monuments).
Some views will be marred by scaffolding. Many portions of the site are undergoing major, needed renovations.
Following European regulations, disabled access to the Acropolis can be gained by means of special paths and a purpose-built lift  on the north face of the hill. Apparently this is only for the use of those in wheelchairs.
On the Acropolis
- The Parthenon— The largest temple on the Acropolis, originally dedicated to the goddess of
the city, Athena, later converted to a church and then a mosque. Built between 447 and 438 BCE at the height of the Classical period. Original home to what some refer to as the "Elgin Marbles", now in London's British Museum.
- The Temple of Athena Nike— First temple on the Acropolis to be built in the Ionic style, and one of the few exemplars of an amphiprostyle temple in all of Greece: what made it truly unique was the unit by which it was planned, which turns out to be the Egyptian foot of 300 mm.
- The Erectheion— Dedicated to the worship of the two principal gods of Attica, Athena and Poseidon-Erechtheus.
- The Propylea— The ancient monumental gateway to the Acropolis.
On the South Side
- The Odeon of Herodes Atticus: This ancient theatre is still used today for concerts and plays.
- The Theatre of Dionysis
- New Acropolis Museum . Designed by Swiss star architect Bernard Tschumi at a site south of the Acropolis, this long-overdue replacement for the musty old museum opened in June 2009. Located in Makryanni just below the Acropolis, it's easily accessed from the Acropolis station of the Metro. Entry is €5.
For students of the European Union, entrance is free.
- Athens Backpackers, 12 Makri Street - Makryanni, Athens (Easy access from the metro station Akropoli, exit the station and take the first left onto Makri street and it is the second building.), ☎ +30 210 9224044 ([email protected]), . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 10.30am. Backpacking hostel offering clean and comfortable beds, 24 hr reception access, friendly staff and free Wi-fi access. Great spot to meet other travellers. Roof top bar with Acropolis view and daily happy hour. Shared rooms of varying sizes available from 6 person mixed rooms (also female only rooms), to 3 person shared dorms. 16€-28€.
- Athens Studios, 3a Veikou Street - Makryanni, Athens (Exit Akropoli metro and head down Makrygianni street. At the traffic lights at the end carry on straight ahead and it is the first building on the left hand side.), ☎ +30 210 9235811 ([email protected]), . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 10.30am. Clean and modern private and shared Studios and Apartments available from 2 person couple rooms with a king size bed, to 6 person shared studios. Prices include continental breakfast at the in-house restaurant Fish Cafe, and a welcome ouzo shot at their Sports Bar. Free Wi-fi and ADSL connection in the rooms. All rooms have new kitchens and bathrooms as well as balconies. 22€ - 90€.
- Hostel Dioskouros, 6 Pittakou street, ☎ 0030 210 3248165 ([email protected]). Tel: Right beneath the Acropolis. 1 minute walk from the Acropolis Museum. Getting to Dioskouros: From Airport You can either take the Metro or Bus (E95). Both leave you at Syntagma SQ on Amalias avenue. Walk to number 38 and turn in right onto Periandrou street. When on Periandrou street take the 1st left and you will see Dioscouros in front of you Or you can get a taxi, which will cost between 30 - 40 euros. Port: Train. Get the train to Monastiraki (green Line). From there change to the blue line and its one stop to Syntagma. This leaves you on on Amalias avenue. Walk to number 38 and turn in right onto Periandrou street. When on Periandrou street take the 1st left and you will see Dioscouros in front of you 20.
- Tony Hotel: 26Zaharitsa Str., Koukaki, +30 210 9235761, +30 210 9230561, fax +30 210 9236370, [email protected], .
- Acropolis View Hotel Athens, Webster street 10, Athens, ☎ +30 210 32 25 891. Attention to detail is catered for in this hotel, with most rooms having a fresh lick of paint on them every year. Rooms are also equipped with central heating and A/C, private baths and mini fridges and some units have balconies. Price from €88 for a single room in high season.