Greece aims to prevent overcrowding and damage to Athen's ancient monument
According to Greece’s culture minister Lina Mendoni, only 20,000 daily visitors will be let into Athens’ Acropolis archaeological site from September 2023.
The UNESCO World Heritage site currently sees in excess of 23,000 people per day and is mostly visited by tour groups in the morning. More than 3 million people visited the site last year.
Mendoni also stated that a cap on how many visitors will be able to enter every hour will be imposed in order to prevent bottlenecks and overcrowding.
The decision followed consultations with tour and cruise operators. Organised tours and cruise ships excursions account for roughly 50% of daily visitors.
The new regulations will be instated on a trial basis from 4 September, before coming into permanent effect from 1 April 2024.
The Acropolis is open from 8am to 8pm daily. Under the new rules, 3,000 people will be granted access from 8am to 9am, and 2,000 from 9am to 10am, with the remaining numbers varying across the rest of the day.
Similar regulations are being planned for other popular archaeological sites in Greece.