Athens Acropolis Offers Exclusive Private Tours for VIP Visitors

Controversial €5,000 VIP tours of the world-famous Acropolis of Athens spark debate over the commercialization of Greece’s historic monuments.

The Greek Ministry of Culture’s revised pricing policy for archaeological sites, museums, and monuments now includes an exclusive private visit service to the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis in Athens. This initiative, introduced a few months ago, has sparked debate about the commercialization of historic landmarks in Greece, with the union representing archaeological site guards opposing these private visits that bypass official guides.

A Russian couple recently enjoyed the inaugural personalized tour of the Acropolis last Saturday evening, marking the launch of the exclusive service. This premium offering is available every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, with potential extensions to the new Museum of Modern Greek Culture.


The union had not been “given any information about how these visits are organized,” said the union’s president Georgia Kondyli. “We can understand that there is a financial need behind this measure, but it could have been organised differently,” she added.

According to sources from the Organization for the Management and Development of Cultural Resources, the Russian couple ascended the monument last Saturday evening, guided by their private tour guide. They received commemorative gifts, a standard part of the VIP experience. The same sources indicate that several such visits are already booked for July and August. Dedicated staff from the organization will soon be available to welcome these high-profile visitors.

The service, costing €5,000, is offered from April 1 to October 31, on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, during two time slots: 7:00-9:00 am and 20:00-22:00. Each session can accommodate up to five people, with a maximum of four groups per slot. Reservations can be made on the platform under “The Acropolis Experience.” Starting from July 9, the service will be available without a guided tour, while guided tours in seven languages (English, French, German, Greek, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish) will commence in early August to allow time for organizing the necessary personnel.


Normal visits cost €20, or €30 for a combined ticket giving access to other sites.


The Ministry of Culture plans to further promote this service and extend it to other venues. The Central Archaeological Council is expected to review the implementation of personalized visits to the newly established Museum of Modern Greek Culture in Monastiraki, but proposed visits will be limited to evening hours, accommodating two groups, with an expected fee of around €1,000.

This initiative represents a significant shift in how cultural heritage sites can be experienced, providing a unique and intimate way to explore Greece’s historic treasures. However, it also raises questions about accessibility and the balance between preserving cultural heritage and generating revenue.

By offering such exclusive experiences, the Ministry of Culture aims to enhance the appeal of Greece’s historical sites while ensuring their preservation and promoting cultural tourism. As this service gains popularity, it will be interesting to see how it shapes the future of heritage site management in Greece.

With information in Greek from

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