8. Athens: Acropolis Skip-the-line Ticket with Audio Tour
Skip the line to enter the most iconic attraction of Athens! Receive your ticket by email and go directly to the ticket-validating machines at the entrance. In addition, download the digital self-guided audio tour “Acropolis Classic” which combines history, politics, art, religion, and true stories from the daily lives of ancient Athenians to present the Acropolis of Athens and its classical monuments in an entertaining and revealing approach. Each stop comes with a selection of signature stories, allowing you to tailor this experience to your personal interests and schedule. Discover the history, as well as a number of fascinating sites that shaped contemporary Athens with a self-guided audio walking tour of the city.
After you download it on your smartphone, the digital audio tour begins at the great staircase, the traditional way of visiting the Acropolis since the time of Pericles. The temple of Athena Nike allows you to explore the defensive role of the Acropolis and learn about the clash between innovators and conservatives in ancient Athens. Then you enter the Propylaea, a building much admired in antiquity (perhaps even more than the Parthenon). Most vestiges of its former beauty and glory are gone but try to imagine what it must have been like walking through the great doors and looking at a statue made by the great philosopher Socrates. As you enter the great court, right past the Propylaea, you see the Parthenon for the first time but you are also invited to envision this open space packed with statues of gods and heroes, including a bronze copy of the Trojan Horse. The Erechtheum is a peculiar temple, home to many different deities and divine ancestors, as well as a snake that enjoyed eating honey cakes. The old temple of Athena is nothing more than a line of stones on the ground, thanks to the fire and fury of the Persian invaders. And yet, among these ruins lie the remnants of the old palace of the Mycenaean kings of Athens.
As you take in the magnificent panorama of Athens at the Belvedere viewpoint, you will learn about the ingenious methods employed by the Athenians to bring all this marble from a distant mountain to the top of the Acropolis. Finally, it is time to explore the Parthenon, home to the gold and ivory statue of Athena Parthenos. The temple is a paradigm of architectural and artistic perfection. But it is also the source of countless stories about the throne of the Persian king, the birth of Athena, and the virgins who spent their youth knitting the peplos of the goddess. Did we mention that the Parthenon is actually a pyramid?