Greek Government Plans to Limit Acropolis Attendance

The plan will limit the number of daily attendees to 20,000.

The Greek government is concerned about crowding at the Acropolis.
Costas Baltas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

When it comes to tourism in Europe right now, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that travelers have returned to some of the continent’s most popular spots, easing fears that the industry might be forever affected by the pandemic. The bad news is that there have been a lot of tourists making up for lost time — and that’s led to crowds in some locations that have made it harder for anyone to enjoy the sights.

National and local governments have been exploring different ways to address this — including, in some locations, raising taxes on visitors to redress the effects of the drop in tourism in 2020 and 2021. For other countries and historic sites within, there’s a different approach afoot: putting a daily cap on the number of people who can visit certain highly-trafficked sites.

That’s what the Greek government has planned for the historic site that includes the Acropolis. As the Associated Press recently reported, beginning on September 4, there will be hourly limits on the number of visitors on the site, with the daily total capped at 20,000.

As an ARTnews article on the decision points out, that will represent a slight reduction from the current number of visitors to the Acropolis, which has reached up to 23,000 per day this summer.

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“Obviously tourism is desirable for the country, for all of us,” said Lina Mendoni, the nation’s Culture Minister, in a recent radio interview. “But we must work out how excessive tourism won’t harm the monument.” According to the Associated Press, the caps will go into permanent effect on April 1, 2024. If the Acropolis is in your travel plans, you might want to plan accordingly.


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