10 Fun Facts About the Acropolis & Parthenon in Athens, Greece

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10 Fun Facts About the Acropolis & Parthenon in Athens, Greece

10 Fun Facts About Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens, Greece

Traveling to Athens, Greece was an incredible experience. Here are ten fun facts I learned about Acropolis and the Parthenon I'm pumped to share with you.

If you're on your way, here are eight tips I wish I'd known before visiting and a packing list to make sure you're ready for your visit:)

10 Fun Facts about the Acropolis & Parthenon in Athens

1. It's over 2,460 years old!

How old is the Parthenon? The history books say it started being built in 447 BC.

2. Acropolis is the area the Parthenon sits on.

What's the difference between Acropolis and the Parthenon? The Acropolis is the high hill in Athens that the Parthenon, an old temple, sits on. I originally thought they were different ancient structures, but I was incorrect. Acropolis is the hill and the Parthenon is the ancient structure. 

3. The Parthenon has been a temple, a church, and a mosque throughout it's lifetime. 

What is the Parthenon? The Parthenon's been fought over during the centuries by different religions. It started out as a temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena. Then, it was taken over by Christians and converted into a church, then it was taken over by the Turks and transitioned to a mosque with a minaret erected over it. 

4. The Parthenon was blown up.

Fun Facts about The Parthenon and Acropolis

In the late 1600's, the Venetians and Turks were fighting over Athens. Acropolis was used as a military point because of it's high position. There were explosives stored in the Parthenon that went off and blew up the interior of the Parthenon.  

5. The rock on Acropolis is slippery!

The biggest shocker to me as I walked around the structures on Acropolis, is the rocky ground is so slippery! It made me realize how much foot traffic over the centuries has smoothed down the ground making it slick to walk on. I recommend wearing shoes with good traction when you visit. Here's a packing list I recommend and some more tips before you go. 

6. It cost the equivalent of 469 war ships to build the Parthenon!

How much did it cost to build the Parthenon? The columns are made of marble and the base is made of limestone.  Ancient-greece.org says, "The Parthenon construction cost the Athenian treasury 469 silver talents. While it is almost impossible to create a modern equivalent for this amount of money, it might be useful to look at some facts. One talent was the cost to build one trireme, the most advanced warship of the era." 

Fun Facts About the Parthenon and Acropolis

7. Hand carved statues line the Parthenon above the columns.

What are the carvings on the Parthenon? The Parthenon was built as a temple for the Goddess Athena. Each side of the Parthenon shares a story with hand carved statues. One side shows a battle between gods and giants. Another shows Greeks and centaurs. Other areas show Athena at birth, fighting Poseidon for Athens, and Greeks parading for Athena.

8. The carvings were carried away and shipwrecked!

Carvings of the Parthenon

In the early 1800's a British nobleman, Lord Elgin, convinced the Turks to let him take some of the carvings from the Parthenon to England. One of the boats carrying the carvings sunk and for two years many of the carvings were stuck on the ocean floor. The carvings are also known as Elgin Marbles. 

9. Carvings are still scattered abroad.

Original carvings from the Parthenon are still scattered abroad in England, France, Denmark, and of course, Athens, Greece. You can see original carvings at the British Museum in London, the Louvre in Paris, and the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. 

10. Greece wants their marbles back.

The carvings and statues are also known as the Elgin Marbles. Greece has been trying to get the Parthenon's marbles back for 150 years with no success yet.  

Fun Facts about the Parthenon and Acropolis
 

Curious to Learn More?

Check out these books!


Make sure you're prepared for your Acropolis visit!

Download our packing list for what you'll need visiting Acropolis and the Parthenon below.

 
 

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Tour the Acropolis & Parthenon in Photos

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Tour the Acropolis & Parthenon in Photos

Tour the Acropolis and Parthenon in Photos

Want to see Acropolis and the Parthenon up close before visiting?

Let's take a tour together through my photo journal! 

Before you visit in person, check out my packing list (I forgot a lot of must have things) and tips I suggest before you go.

Back to this photo journey, you'll see:

  1. Your approach to Acropolis hill

  2. We'll pass the ancient theater Odeon of Herodes Atticus on our way up

  3. We'll climb the stairs through the first Temple of Athena Nike (the Goddess of Victory)

  4. Then we'll take a left at the top of the hill and walk to the temple Erechtheion dedicated to the Goddess Athena and God Poseidon

  5. Then, we'll walk around the Parthenon.

Enjoy!

 

Let's Tour Acropolis & the Parthenon Together!

 
 

Still Curious about Acropolis & the Parthenon?

Check out these books to keep learning!

 

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8 Tips for Visiting the Parthenon & Acropolis: 8 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Going

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8 Tips for Visiting the Parthenon & Acropolis: 8 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Going

8 Tips for Visiting the Parthenon and Acropolis Before You Visit

What should you know before visiting the Parthenon and Acropolis? Here's eight tips for your trip I wish I'd known before going.

8 Tips to Visit the Acropolis & Parthenon:

1. Go to the museum first.

We got this advice before going and we totally agree. We recommend going to the museum first to learn the history of the Parthenon so when you get up on Acropolis you know what you're looking at. Also watch the movie they show on the top level of the museum. It quickly shows you the history of the Parthenon. So interesting! And, here's good news, too: The museum's cheaper than a ticket to Acropolis. It's only 5 euro and is air conditioned:)

NuventureTravels.com Tips to Visit the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens, Greece

2. Consider splitting up your visit to the museum and Acropolis into two different days.

There's so much to learn and see! We split our visit to the museum and going up on Acropolis into two days. We (I mean Adam) likes to read every placard and sign. After several hour of this, my brain's fried. So, we spent half a day in the museum and I spent another half a day on Acropolis (Adam wasn't interested in going- so I went solo). You're learning centuries worth of history here. This makes for a great but exhausting experience if you try to cram it all in.

3. Go to the Acropolis early.

I went around lunch at the heat of the day. Mistake! This meant the lines were long to get in and it was so hot, and so bright up there. I made a lot of mistakes with no sunscreen, no water bottle, no hat. I ended my experience fried, dehydrated and exhausted. Learn from my mistakes, and make sure to pack these items

4. Make sure you're in the right ticket line.

Tips to Visit the Parthenon and Acropolis nuventurertravels.com

To get a ticket to enter the Acropolis and head up to the top, you have to pay 20 Euro at the ticket booth. However, there's two lines to buy tickets. One line is for credit cards and the other one's for cash. There's little or no signage to know which line is which, so make sure you're in the right one. This leads to my next tip.

5. Eat before you go and pack lots of water. 

The ticket lines are long and you'll want to spend several hours exploring, so make sure you go on a full belly, pack a snack, and carry water with you to stay hydrated in the lines and up on Acropolis. There's lots of cheap gyro places with bottles of water near the entrance to the Acropolis to get stocked up. 

6. Prepare for the intense sun and bright surroundings!

This means pack your sunglasses, hat, I recommend an umbrella even, and sunscreen. The Acropolis and the area surrounding the Parthenon is very exposed to the intense sun and has little shade. To make the sun's rays even more intense, there's white rock reflecting light at every angle making it super bright up there. So, make sure you're ready for it. Check out my packing list for visiting the Acropolis and Parthenon here

7. Wear shoes with good traction.

The ground is uneven and it's slippery up there! The rock is so warn down from centuries of heavy traffic, I was slipping around up there with my shoes with no traction. I don't recommend flip flops. Make sure to wear shoes with good traction. Again, see my packing advice here

8. Take your time and enjoy it up there!

NuventureTravels.com Tips to Visit the Parthenon and Acropolis

I share all of these hydration and gear tips to help you prepare for a comfortable experience so you can stay as long as you'd like learning, seeing and exploring. The Parthenon is over 2,400 years old and is still standing. What a special place in the world. Enjoy it and soak it in! 

9. Bonus: Read Before You Go

One of the biggest lessons we've learned on our travels is to read a book about the places and topics you'll be traveling to. It's just like when people tell us to read the book before seeing the movie. You learn so many more details from a book than the movie can provide. And once you see the movie, you'll know all the background details and you appreciate the visuals. Same with reading a book before you visit somewhere. By reading the history of the Parthenon before arriving, you'll have a better understanding of this special place and appreciate your visit even more. You'll be able to visualize what happened there.

We recommend these two books to learn more about Acropolis and the Parthenon before you visit:


Gift Yourself a Great Visit to the Parthenon!

Download our Packing List for everything you'll need for your visit. 

 
 

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10 Things to Pack When Visiting the Parthenon & Acropolis in Athens, Greece

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10 Things to Pack When Visiting the Parthenon & Acropolis in Athens, Greece

10 Must Pack Items When Visiting the Acropolis and Parthenon: Essential Gear

How should you prepare to visit the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens, Greece? I've got you covered! I made so many mistakes on my visit, so please follow my list to carry what you'll need for an enjoyable time up there.

What mistakes? First, I made the mistake of going in the heat of the day (what a bad idea!). I was up there for three or four hours soaking in the history, but there's no vegetation and shade up there, so second, I forgot a hat and sunscreen so I got blasted by the sun for all that time. Lastly, I was wearing slippery shoes and was slipping on the rocks the whole time. I ended the visit fried, dehydrated, and exhausted. I was in awe the whole times surrounded by this ancient history, but boy did my body pay for it! 

So, make sure you go early in the day and pack these items below:

 

10 must pack items for visiting the Acropolis & Parthenon:

1. Money

To get a pass in, it costs €20 in the summer (€10 in the winter) and you'll be standing in line for awhile for your pass. So, make sure you have a credit card or euros on hand. And make sure you're in the right line (there's two lines at the ticket booth). There's a credit card line and a cash line and there's terrible/no signage for which one's which. So make sure you're in the right line, so you're not waiting in the wrong line to have to wait all over again. 

Here's a money belt we pack with us to tuck our money into.

 

 

2. Shoes with Good Traction

I was shocked by how slippery the rocks were up there on Acropolis and around the Parthenon. However, if you think about it, this small area has been walked on with high traffic for centuries, so the ground has been smoothed and it's slippery. I recommend shoes with good traction to have sure footing as you're looking up at the striking columns and carvings on the Parthenon. 

During my visit I was wearing cheap and slippery shoes. I wish I'd been wearing my Altra's. They have awesome traction! 

 

 

3. Sunglasses

The area up on Acropolis around the Parthenon is white rock at every angle. There's barely any vegetation and it's super bright from all the light being reflected! Protect your eyes with sunglasses. 

A friend gifted us fun sunglasses like these, and life is just more fun in these. We feel like we're chilling at the beach when wearing them:)

 

 

4. Hat

Along with no vegetation up there, there's also little shade. Make sure you wear a hat, a big wide one, to protect your head, face, and skin. 

I forgot these things on my visit, but if I were to go again, I'd pack my hat and my buff to protect my head and neck. 

 

 

5. Sunscreen

 

And wear sunscreen from head to toe! 

Again, I forgot this at our Airbnb. But, we use Beyond Coastal's tiny travel size ones and love it, because it doesn't leave you greasy like other sunscreens. 

 

 

6. Umbrella

Bring this too! I'm not an umbrella type even in the rain, but it's so bright up there from the sun above and the white stone reflecting light from every angle, next time I'm packing an umbrella to provide my own shade.

Here's a fun travel umbrella I found for next time:)

 

 

7. Water

Carry water, water, and more water. With that Greek sun, heat, and the amount of time you'll want to spend up there, remember to stay hydrated. It'll make for a more enjoyable experience. 

This is my favorite water bottle that I left at home and forgot to carry.

 

 

8. Snack

It's always smart to carry a snack to keep the hangry monster at bay:)

My favorite quick, compact, and healthy snacks to grab and go is some kind of bar. Larabars are my fav!

 

 

9. Camera

For your photos and video of the Parthenon! You have to capture this place! It's over 2,400 years old! What a spot in the world! Read some more fun facts here

I carry a small Canon Rebel. I love it because it's light and I can stow it away in my bag and get it out easily when I need it. You can check out other camera gear I carry here

 

10. Backpack

Pack all this in a collapsible backpack. 

Our friends gifted us this awesome collapsable backpack. It folds down into a tiny pocket to pack in our carry on luggage and then we unpack it and use it for our day trips. It's been a game changer for us on trips!

Have an awesome time at the Parthenon!


Make packing easier!

1. Pin this for later here.

2. And, download this packing list to have for later, too.

Yes! I want the packing list!


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