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Heritage weekend during our Athens visit! Good or bad?

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
12 posts
35 reviews
Heritage weekend during our Athens visit! Good or bad?

Totally by chance, our scheduled time in Athens falls over the last weekend in Sept which is, apparently, the free entry weekend at the Historic sites. Should we expect massive crowds everywhere? Would it be better to hit the Acropolis on Friday (the day we arrive) when it is not free entry? I am travelling with a 17 year old with mild Autism and, if it is going to be insanely crowed, it may ruin his experience. So, if going the day before the free weekend is advisable, I would much rather do that. Also, I saw on the forum that going to the Acropolis after 5 may give a less crowded experience. Any advice and suggests would be very welcome.

6 replies to this topic
Athens, Greece
Destination Expert
for Peloponnese, Athens
Level Contributor
12,269 posts
80 reviews
1. Re: Heritage weekend during our Athens visit! Good or bad?

Any time it’s insanely crowded can spoil the experience for anyone, so I understand your concerns when the effect could be magnified for this young man.

If Friday is an option for you, then yes, it may well be the best decision for you, either get there before opening time, ready to enter the site, or leave it later as you mentioned.

The other sites don’t get as manic as the Acropolis on the free days, but obviously busier than usual, but not overwhelming. I would probably aim for morning again, as any tours that are going to visit the Acropolis & then include other sites will be at the Acropolis in the morning :)

I don’t know how much you plan to fit in, or which would be better for him, but on the whole the early morning & later in the day applies to many of the options, including the changing of the guard at Syntagma, tour buses from cruise ships & day trips can be continuous some days!

On the free days, however many sites you want, or can cope with, plus any museum options. If you don’t want it all filled with sites & museums you can spend some time in the National Gardens, go up Lykavettos on the funicular, numerous choices. We can help with further suggestions if there are any particular things (other than massive crowds) you want to avoid, or any interests you’d like to include.

Edited: 20 September 2018, 21:15
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
12 posts
35 reviews
2. Re: Heritage weekend during our Athens visit! Good or bad?

Thanks so much for your quick response! We've learned to take it easy where rigid scheduling is concerned so our must-do list isn't too big. We are staying just across from the Acropolis museum and I hope to do the Acropolis on Friday evening (our flight arrives that morning). He is a history and mythology fan so that is really the highlight. After that, we have Saturday all day and Sunday morning in Athens. We hope to do the Acropolis museum, the Agora and perhaps wander through a street market on Saturday. We will probably be walking by Hadrain's arch and a lot of interesting places but will likely take it very easy.It is all meant to be purely fun so if he hates it, we shorten the list. :) If it isn't too hot, I was hoping to walk through the National Gardens to see the Changing of the Guard which I think he will really enjoy. After that, it is off to the Peloponnese with a rental car to visit a few fun places (Mycenae, Olympia, Mystras, Nafplion and Delphi) before we take a ferry to Crete to visit the Palace at Knossos and visit a few beaches for a few days. As long as it isn't too hot, he should really be fine and, I think, he is really going to love it!

Athens, Greece
Destination Expert
for Peloponnese, Athens
Level Contributor
12,269 posts
80 reviews
3. Re: Heritage weekend during our Athens visit! Good or bad?

Wow, you’ve certainly got some trip planned! I totally understand having an idea of an itinerary, but with flexibility where needed. I hope he enjoys every minute :)

When you go to Hadrian’s Arch, you can see the Temple of Olympian Zeus through the gates behind it, also Hadrian’s Library & the Roman Agora are both viewable from the outside as you walk around Plaka. An excellent museum in the Agora & of course the Temple of Hephaestus, which he will love getting so close to.

Any other questions you think of, just ask!

Athens, Greece
Destination Expert
for Athens
Level Contributor
2,311 posts
4 reviews
4. Re: Heritage weekend during our Athens visit! Good or bad?

I like your itinerary! You have created a great mix of sightseeing, adventure and leisure. Don’t worry about the weather, September is the best month for vacation -the summer heat waves are gone and you’ll both enjoy your time in Greece 😎

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
12 posts
35 reviews
5. Re: Heritage weekend during our Athens visit! Good or bad?

Thank you so much! You cannot imagine how helpful these answers have been.

Princeton Junction...
Level Contributor
1 post
75 reviews
6. Re: Heritage weekend during our Athens visit! Good or bad?

I was in Athens last October. It was still warm so I climbed the Acropolis at 8 am. It was a pleasant hike and not at all crowded. I left at 9:30 and passed all the tour groups lined up at that time. Later in the day you had the people from the hop on hop off buses. I would highly recommend going at 8 or 8:30 am.

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