HomeGreeceWould you like to visit the Acropolis in Athens? Under the new...

Would you like to visit the Acropolis in Athens? Under the new rules, they may not let you in

From next month, the Acropolis of Athens, Greece’s most famous archaeological site, will only let 20,000 visitors a day. In addition, there will be a limit on the number of visitors per hour.

Until now, up to 23,000 people, a day have visited the complex of monuments, with large groups of visitors arriving mostly before noon.

Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni said that the introduction of controls is necessary to prevent the formation of bottlenecks and overcrowding of the monument, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Excess tourism poses a threat to the Acropolis

In a radio interview, Mendoni said: “Obviously, tourism is good for the country, for all of us. But we must think about how to make sure that excessive tourism does not harm the monument.”

According to the minister, the new restrictions on entry to the Acropolis will be introduced in a trial mode from September 4 and will come into permanent force from April 1, 2024.

There will be no time limit on visiting the monument, Mendoni said, although people who come on organized tours or from cruise ships, which make up about 50% of daily visitors, spend an average of 45 minutes at the monument.

What time is the Acropolis open?

The Acropolis is open from 8 am to 8 pm from Monday to Sunday. Under the new rules, only a certain number of visitors will be allowed each hour.

Currently, half of the visitors to the Acropolis come from 8 am to noon. Under the new system, 3,000 people will have access from 8:00 am to 9:00 am, 2,000 people within the next hour, and the number of visitors will change the rest of the time.

“This measure will solve the problem of protecting the monument, which is of utmost importance to us, as well as (improve) the visitor’s experience of visiting the site,” says Mendoni.

Would you like to visit the Acropolis in Athens? Under the new rules, they may not let you in

Will other Greek landmarks follow suit?

Other popular archaeological sites will be subject to similar restrictions, Mendoni said. The decision on the Acropolis came after consultations with tour operators and cruise lines, but was delayed due to the Greek general elections in June, she added.

More than three million people visited the Acropolis last year, according to the Greek Statistics Office.

Acropolis reacts to the heat

Last month, Greek authorities closed access to the Acropolis and other ancient sites during the midday hours amid a heat wave that also sparked massive wildfires across the country. In addition, awnings were erected to shield people from the sun as they queued up to view the temples of the Acropolis, built in the 5th century BC. Mendoni said that if necessary, these measures will be repeated.

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