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Acropolis - Morning or Afternoon?

Our cruise is disembarking in Piraeus at 6AM in a couple weeks. I am not sure when we will actually be able to get off and head into Athens.

Just wondering, do you think we should see the Acropolis first thing after dropping off luggage at hotel? Or save it for the end of the day as mentioned by Rick Steves? I'm not certain on the hours, but I heard that they're opened from 8:00am - 7:30pm until October.

I'd imagine that a lot of people would try to get there early. If we don't get there at opening, then there could be a crowd there already.

Posted by
2916 posts

Normally I'd say go first thing in the morning to avoid the heat, but in October that might not be a problem. I suggest you just wait to see how you feel and what the ambient temperature is by the time you drop off your luggage.

Posted by
2916 posts

My mistake. It could be hot but as I suggested, just wait to see.

Posted by
87 posts

SF--on my trips to Athens there has been about a half hour window between the Acropolis opening and the crowds showing up (in March and May). I have heard, however, that you can find the same thing in the last forty minutes of the day. It seems like if you get into Pireaus at 6:00 AM and make it off the boat at that time, two hours would give you time to get into Athens, check in, and make it to the Acropolis (assuming your hotel is either in Pireaus or the center), but you would always aim for that and if it doesn't happen hit it last thing in the day.

Posted by
11450 posts

I'd go first thing, its hot up there later in day.

Posted by
11 posts

We were just there on April 26. We hadn't worried too much about crowds at that time of year, but it was more crowded than we would have liked . . . I would definitely try to avoid the crowds. The end of the day, after it starts cooling down and when the crowds are (hopefully) less, sounds good to me.

Posted by
290 posts

If you can get there by opening time at 8 that would be the best. The crowds don't show up for another hour or so and it's still cool. See the air conditioned National Archeological Museum in the afternoon.

Posted by
181 posts

SF, we had your exact schedule last year. Our cruise ship arrived in Piraeus on May 15, we disembarked around 9 and made our way into Athens. We dropped our bags at the hotel, took our RS book and headed out - I think we followed one of Rick's recommended walking tours. As it worked out, we toured through the Agora on our way up to the Acropolis mid-afternoon, arriving on the Acropolis around 4-4:30. Although there were still lots of people on top, we had no lines or delay gaining entrance. In fact there were 2 or 3 available guides trying to hawk their services. It was a beautiful afternoon and we finally left when the guards finally started shooing everyone out - I'm pretty sure that was before 7:30, more like 6 pm - I can't explain why it was earlier the official time. Bottom line, it was cooler late in the PM and we didn't have crowds.