Greek Acropolis: Daily tourist limit and varying access timings

low angle photograph of the parthenon during daytime

Beginning on September 4, the new daily tourist limit entry at Greece’s Acropolis will be used temporarily before becoming permanent on April 1, 2024.

Beginning next month, the Acropolis of Athens, the most popular archaeological monument in Greece, will only let 20,000 visitors per day. There will be a limit on the number of guests admitted each hour as well. Up until now, the monument complex has been crammed with up to 23,000 visitors per day, most of whom arrive in big groups before noon.

beige concrete pillar
Photo by Josiah Lewis on

The limits, according to culture minister Lina Mendoni, are required to avoid traffic jams and overpopulation at the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Mendoni stated, “Obviously tourism is beneficial for the country, for all of us, in a radio interview. But we need to figure out a way to prevent damage to the monument from overtourism. The new immigration limits will be put into place temporarily beginning on September 4 and permanently starting on April 1, 2024, according to the minister. There will be no time restriction on visits, notwithstanding Mendoni’s claim that visitors from cruise ships or organized tours, who make up roughly 50% of daily visitors, spend an average of 45 minutes at the site.

Mon thru Sun, the website is open from 8 am to 8 pm. Only a set number of guests will be permitted entry each hour under the new regulations. Currently, between 8 am and noon is when most visitors arrive on foot at the Acropolis. According to the new method, entry will be provided to 3,000 people between 8 and 9 am, 2,000 people during the next hour, and a variable amount of people during the remainder of the day. In addition to (enhancing) tourists’ experiences, the measure will address the need to protect the monument, which is what is most important to us, according to Mendoni.

lighted buildings nighttime
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Other well-known archaeological sites will be subject to comparable caps, Mendoni predicts. The choice for the Acropolis was made after discussions with tour and cruise companies and was postponed because of the June general election in Greece, she continued. The site received more than 3 million visitors in 2017, according to Greece’s statistical agency.

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At the height of a heat wave that also caused massive wildfires across the nation last month, Greek officials restricted access to the Acropolis and other ancient monuments during the noon hour. Awnings were additionally put in to provide shade for those waiting in line to view the temples from the 5th century BC atop the Acropolis. If required, Mendoni said such processes will be repeated.

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