The Acropolis at sunset, Source: Depositphotos

Athens to cap daily visitor numbers to Acropolis

Athens to cap daily visitor numbers to Acropolis

The new measure will begin operating in September as a trial system

Currently, some 23,000 people visit the Acropolis citadel in Athens and the local government thinks that this is too many. The Greek cultural ministry has also taken notice and has decided to implement a new system to limit the number of daily visits to 20,000 – starting in September.

The new measure will begin as an experiment to counteract the effects of mass tourism, according to the country’s cultural minister, Lina Mendoni, as quoted by CNN.

That is a huge number,” she said. “Tourism is obviously desirable for the country and for all of us, but we must work out how overtourism won’t harm the monument.”

In her view, the way the limitation of visitors can be done is to also spread out the visitors throughout different hours of the day. That would ensure a more balanced impact on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Since most people tend to arrive in the morning, aiming to avoid the direct sunlight beating on the rocky hill, this creates a bottleneck – akin to a rush hour in public transport in the early hours of the day when everyone goes to work.

For example, 3,000 people will be granted access from 8 to 9 a.m., 2,000 during the next hour, 9 a.m.-10 a.m.,” Minister Mendoni said.

The symbol of Athens

The Acropolis, dating back to the 5th century BC is Athens’ most iconic site and the symbol of the Greek capital. The citadel represents a complex of ancient ruins and buildings crowned by the Parthenon temple, dedicated to the goddess Athena – the ancient patron of the city.

Last month, when Greece was in the grip of a severe heatwave hitting temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius, the Acropolis was closed for three days. However, this wasn’t considered sufficient by employees working there and they also went on strike causing disruptions in the services for a few hours a day.



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