City Guide to Athens, Greece: Part 2 | Athens Combined Ticket
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We explored Athens from top to bottom! There’s so much to see, do, eat, and explore, so don’t miss a single part of our City Guide to Athens, Greece.
Athens is a huge city. You can take our word for it, or you can hike to the top of any hill in Athens to see a sprawling city that looks like it goes on forever. Luckily, for visitors of this ancient city, most ancient ruins and sites are fairly close to each other and in the center of the city. So, visitors can walk to and from each site and see the major attractions in a day or two. Additionally, if you want to visit some of the most popular ancient ruins, Athens has made it easy, offering a Combined Ticket, which includes access to seven ruin sites, including the must see the Acropolis of Athens. The best parts are that the combined ticket can save you money, time waiting in line, and it’s good for five full days!
How Much Is the Combined Ticket?
The full cost of the Combined/Unified Ticket is €30, but if you qualify for the reduced fare, it’s only €15. Additionally, during off-season (November 1st through March 31st), the combined ticket is reduced to €15 for all visitors.
What Ancient Ruins are Included in the Combined Ticket?
- The Acropolis of Athens
- The Ancient Agora of Athens and the Museum of the Ancient Agora
- Kerameikos and the Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos
- The Temple of Olympian Zeus (Olympieio)
- The Roman Agora of Athens and the Tower of the Winds
- Hadrian’s Library
- Aristotle’s Lyceum (Archaeological site of Lykeion)
Note: The above map includes our full list of attractions for Athens. However, the attractions included on the Combined Ticket are denoted with this green star/ticket icon:
For additional details on our full list of attractions, don’t miss our City Guide to Athens, Greece: Part 4 | Must See Attractions (coming soon!).
How Long is the Combined Ticket Valid For?
The Combined Ticket is valid for five days, starting the day you purchase it (NOT when you first use the ticket).
Where to Purchase the Combined Ticket
The Combined Ticket is sold by the Greek Ministry of Culture, which is the organization that manages the sites included in the ticket. Therefore, it can be purchased at any one of the seven sites included in the ticket, but unfortunately, it currently can’t be purchased online (as of the time of our visit).
Most people tend to purchase their tickets at the Acropolis of Athens, but this is where the ticket line can get very long (up to two hours in the summer). Since we try to avoid lines, (they take time away from the attraction and our time exploring the city), we found a way around it. Instead of purchasing our ticket at the Acropolis, we purchased it at Aristotle's Lyceum, and although it was 12 noon (in our experience the busiest tourist time of the day), there wasn’t a single person in line! Of course, this was only our experience for the time we were there (the end of summer), but we're willing to venture to say that lines are shorter here year-around, relative to those at the Acropolis. We’ve also heard that the other sites included in the Combined Ticket (apart from the Acropolis), in general have shorter queues, even in the summer. So do yourself a favor and save some time in line and purchase your tickets at one of the sites other than the Acropolis of Athens. You’ll then have your tickets in hand and be able to skip all ticket purchasing queues at every other venue, including the Acropolis!
TIP: The ticket booth at Aristotle's Lyceum only accepts cash (accurate at the time of our visit), so make sure you have enough cash on you! Alternatively, there are bank ATMs about 2-3 blocks from the ticket booth, or check your mapping application.
Is the Combined Ticket Worth it?
There are two perspectives that should be taken into account when deciding whether to purchase the combined ticket, or pay for entrance tickets for each site separately. First and foremost, does it make sense financially? When did the math, we found that once you visit three sites (in most cases), you’ve saved money. However, if you only visit two sites, you’d be better off paying for each site individually. This is, of course assuming you’ll be visiting the Acropolis of Athens, which has a single entrance fee of €20 (or €10 if you visit during the off-season, which is November 1st through March 31st). To do the math on your own itinerary, here are the entrance fees for each included site (valid at the time of our visit):
- The Acropolis of Athens: €20
- The Ancient Agora of Athens and the Museum of the Ancient Agora: € 8
- Kerameikos and the Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos: €8
- The Temple of Olympian Zeus (Olympieio): €6
- The Roman Agora of Athens and the Tower of the Winds: €6
- Hadrian’s Library: €4
- Aristotle’s Lyceum (Archaeological site of Lykeion) : €3
Secondly, consider how close you want to be to the ruins. In our experience the sites we visited (other than the Acropolis of Athens) were open air and surrounded by a fence, so we could clearly see the ruins and usually walk two to three sides of the perimeter of the site to see it from different perspectives. If you’re okay with seeing them from a short distance away, then you won’t need to enter. Additionally, we were able to walk onto the grounds of The Ancient Agora of Athens without showing our tickets, as the attendant told us to go ahead without us even mentioning we had tickets.
So, as our plan was to see four sites, we thought the tickets would be well worth it. However, we only used the tickets for the Acropolis of Athens and for The Temple of Olympian Zeus. As for the other sites, we were content with seeing them from street level/public sidewalk, or we were able to see them without a ticket. If we could do it all over again, based on our travel preferences and style, we wouldn’t purchase the combined ticket, and instead only pay the entrance fee at the Acropolis and The Temple of Olympian Zeus. Again, do keep in mind that this was our experience, and visibility into the ruins and ticket requirements could change at any time.
Combined Ticket Tips and FAQs
- The Combined Ticket is valid for only one entry into each site. So, make sure and be thorough during your visit, because if you want to return, you’ll need to purchase a new entrance ticket for that site.
- Take full advantage of your time in Athens and purchase your ticket ahead of time. We purchased our Combined Tickets a couple of days ahead of time (since they’re valid for five days) and were able to skip the ticket queues and be the first in line to enter the Acropolis of Athens.
- We recommend visiting the sites early to beat the crowds. During the summer, all sites are open 8 am to 8 pm, and in the winter from 8 am to 5 pm.
- Visit off-season. If possible, plan your visit to Athens in a shoulder season or off-season (November-March) to avoid large tourist crowds, including cruises.
- Visit for free! Check the official website for dates when entrance to the archaeological sites are free. Do keep in mind that ‘free days’ are very popular days and therefore likely extremely crowded days.
- Each archaeological site is unique and worth visiting. However, before arriving do yourself a favor and learn a bit about each site so you’ll have context of what you’re seeing. We provide some background and history on each site in our City Guide to Athens, Greece: Part 4 | Must See Attractions (coming soon!).
The Combined Ticket is no doubt a great deal; especially if you want to walk through the ancient ruin sites and take in detail you can only see by being up close. However, if you’re okay with a bit of distance between you and the sites, the combined ticket may not be worth it. Ultimately, that decision is yours, but based on our travel style and experience, if we had to do it all over again, we’d opt not to purchase the combined ticket.
There are so many ancient ruin sites in Athens that it can be hard to choose which ones to see. Be sure to read our City Guide to Athens, Greece: Part 3 | Visiting Ancient Ruins for our top picks, if you don't have time to see them all!