While in Athens, T and I thought it would be a good idea to sign up for a guided Acropolis tour!
We felt that the Acropolis would be more memorable if we at least had someone explaining the must-know facts and stories about the ancient ruins. After some research, Key Tours company based in Greece caught our attention.
Key Tours offers a half-day sightseeing Acropolis tour in Athens which includes a guided tour of the ancient ruins of the Acropolis as well as its neighbouring Acropolis Museum. Perfect!
We met our group at the bus pick-up point and we were all set to go explore!
In the bus, our lovely guide for the day, Anastasia, passionately described many of the famous sites of ancient and modern Athens before we reached our first stop: The Panathenaic Stadium.
Key Tours gave us 10 minutes to stop and take a photo outside the actual stadium, which we found rather pointless. If you want to go inside, you pay an extra fee. However, you only have 10 minutes to explore it anyway so it’s not really worth it. To be fair, Key Tours does specify that this stop is in fact a photo stop. This is only one out of two “negative” points in my review. The rest was pretty much smooth sailing.
From the bus, we saw (but didn’t stop at) the following sites:
- The Zappeion
- The Temple of Zeus
- The University of Athens
- The Academy of Athens
- The National Library
- The National Garden
- Hadrian’s Arc
- St. Paul’s Church
- The Parliament
- The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
- Schliemann’s House (Numismatic Museum)
- Catholic Cathedral
- Old Parliament
- Constitution Square
- Russian Orthodox Church
We finally reached the Acropolis (and skipped the long queues) and visited Propylae, Temple of Athena Nike, Parthenon, and Erechtheion with its Caryatids). The real marble caryatids, however, have been removed from the Acropolis ruins. 5 statues are preserved in the Acropolis Museum (which we discovered later on during our Acropolis tour with Key Tours) – the final caryatid is kept in the British Museum in London.
It was such a hot day, but our Acropolis tour guide Anastasia kept us very well entertained with her storytelling of ancient Athens. I don’t know how she expected us to pretend that we were in the olden days and those 1000 other tourists in colourful t-shirts, baseball caps, and selfie-sticks weren’t all up in our faces. It was still pretty fun and informative. I won’t get into the historic details of the site, because you can find all of that info online and in your history books.
We don’t go inside Herodion and Dionysos Theater on this Acropolis Tour with Key Tours.
This brings me to my second and final negative point. Guys, we came all the way to Athens and we came all the way to the Acropolis in this HEAT. How can you NOT include the north and south slopes to your Acropolis tour?! This detail must be reconsidered!
Our Key Tours guide left us to roam around freely on our own for about 30 minutes before we were set to meet at the new Acropolis Museum for the next part of the Acropolis tour.
At the new Acropolis Museum, we explored the surviving ancient treasures of the Acropolis. From Greek artifacts of day-to-day life, statues from the Archaic period, the lovely 5 Caryatids who are missing a sister, and lastly, the impressive and grand Parthenon hall, which is built just like the Parthenon on the actual Acropolis hilltop!
We couldn’t take many photos as cameras aren’t allowed; here’s what I was able (i.e. allowed) to capture:
The Acropolis is visible from the museum (just like it is all around Athens city).
Once our Acropolis tour with Key Tours ended, it was finally time for LUNCH.
It’s a love-hate relationship with tour companies when I travel. On the one hand, I love learning more about the sites (and skipping the queues). On the other hand, I hate being pressed for time and limited to a specific number of sites. It really depends on your preference. I don’t always take tours, but sometimes, the pros outweigh the cons!
It’s definitely recommended to do this sightseeing activity with Key Tours at the BEGINNING of your trip so that 1) you get the Acropolis done and out of the way and 2) you learn more about the sites you will be walking around for the remainder of your trip – at least the sites we kept walking by without a clue as to their actual significance.
More info about the Half Day Acropolis Tour + Museum with Key Tours Greece
Price per person: 69 euros (incl. tax)
So what’s included in the price?
- Entrance fees of both the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum
- Bus transport with AC
- Tour Guide
Total time: 8:30am-1:30pm
What to wear? It’s safe to say that you need comfortable walking shoes (not sandals and most certainly not heels), sunglasses, and a hat.
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Thank you Key Tours for providing us with complementary tickets to facilitate the review. As always,all opinions are my own.
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