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Information following is not official but more a gathering of personal experiences and a gathering of what is available in the Internet and other sources.
A special elevator has been installed back in 2004 Athens Olympics to assist disabled visitors to ascend to the site. The disabled access could be made much easier for those with disabilities. Disabled access to the Acropolis works best for someone in a wheelchair with a strong person to push them. If you don't use a wheelchair, but have mobility issues, you might want to arrange to use one for this visit.
Please do keep in mind that this is an elevator strictly available to disabled visitors only. That includes:
Calling in advance one day before to make arrangements is needed and strongly suggested.
Visitors that are suffering from an invisible disability will have to carry documents attesting their disability status.
Please do keep in mind that, due to the nature of the elevator, specifically visitors with cardiac (heart) related disabilities or vertigo (height - phobia) related situations may initially be denied use of elevator. Use of elevator by these visitors may finally be possible requiring though a personal appearance to the site manager of the according shift at the day of visit.
Visitors using a wheelchair and visitors with some kind of kinetic disability need to make proper arrangements with a taxi to approach ticket plateau. Otherwise the taxi will drop you where a long uphill walk to the ticket plateau is required. Site can also be approached by two subway stations which offer escalators / elevators, nevertheless a cobblestone pedestrian alley lies between the stations and the ticket plateau. Material laid on the alley makes rolling a demanding task, due to moderately uneven surface. Surface of the alley is perfectly walkable for the huge majority of people but difficult to roll on.
Similar arrangements may be needed to descend from ticket plateau to either subway station. The signs directing you to the exit from the base of the elevator will not take you back where you entered.
Procedure to make arrangements / proceed from ticket plateau to the top is this:
1. As of October 2015, advance arrangements are not available. However, you should call the day of your visit to make sure that the lifts are working. Arrangements on prior day are needed. Call 3 to 1 days before at 0030 210 3214172 or 0030 210 3214173. Just tell you want to use the elevator for you or a person you 'll be accompanying. If asked, explain briefly your medical condition. Do ask to leave a name and appx. time of visit.
2. Same morning, before starting your approach, call again at the same number to ensure no last - minute problem or any odd technical issue that could block your access exists.
3. Proceed to the ticket plateau. Legally disabled visitors ( + one accompanying person if this is a kinetic disability ) enter for free. You still need a "zero / 0 euros" ticket, so queue and ask for a ticket for disabled person's entrance. In some cases you may simply be asked to proceed to the entrance without receiving any ticket. This is also what you can do if ticketing queue line is very big. Proceed towards the main entrance where tickets are checked.
4. If a queue exists in front of the main gate (rare, still very usual between 10am - 11am on summer months) proceed directly to the entrance, from the side of the queue.
5. In case of invisible disability, inform one of the main gate officers, that you are a disabled visitor or are accompanying a disabled visitor. Inform them also about arrangements you have already made by phone.
6. You will be instructed to walk or roll to the exit's site, appx. 30 feet to your left.
7. Proceed to the site's exit and inform the guard about your situation.
8. Final ascend consists of three parts: a. an appx. 240m. / 800ft pressured soil alley, b. a hirolift ascend and finally c. the elevator ascend.
9. Soil alley has a relatively easy to roll on surface, nevertheless, due to the natural formation of the path, some parts may be steep for non motorized wheelchair users and walkers with reduced mobility. Guard is accompanying you during the whole alley length without any hurry, so all time needed to walk it or roll it is available.
10. Hirolift (stairclimber) ascend is the middle part, and is only available for wheelchairs.There are approximately 30 steps for those that do not have a wheelchair. It takes you from alley to the elevator base. Guard is controlling the hirolift. Please do pay attention on protective lever moving from vertical to horizontal position. Escort of the disabled visitor may have to assist / inform disabled visitor to move 5 - 10 inches to be positioned correctly on the hirolift platform.
11. Elevator ascend is the final part that takes you from elevator base to Hilltop. Guard is controlling the elevator.
Descend is the reverse procedure. There is always a guard waiting on top, so just proceed and inform you want to use the elevator all the way down. If you do not see the guard, they may be in the small booth several yards to the right of the elevator.
POSSIBLE PROBLEMS - OTHER NOTES:
- Do time your visit according to local conditions and heat. During summer months you are more than strongly advised to visit the site as early as possible, at 8am. This will help skip the heat which can be oppressive during midday. You will also skip the crowds and be able to enjoy the site with less people on. Sensibly expected precautions against heat are expected, meaning sunhat, some water and sunglasses. Temperature on the site is around 22C - 32C during early morning, it can reach though +42C around 3pm in mid July during a heatwave. That's 72F to 90F during early summer hours, possibly going up to 100F - 110F at 2pm on a heatwave ( rare but possible on June, July, August ). Again: Visiting early gives you considerably better temperatures and less crowds.
- Site is open all year round. Visiting around 11.30pm - 2pm is better during mid winter, since this is the warmest part of the day.
- The whole procedure is very reliable. Nevertheless, in some very rare cases hirolift ( which is battery operated ) may be out of order, especially later on the day. This may be a possible problem. That's the main reason you should call same morning.
- In these very rare cases, guards at main entrance or disabled visitors entrance may not be informed on the hirolift status. Some understanding is needed. This is a 2,500 years old site, so even such a glitch may be expected in some rare cases.
MAP OF APPROACH
This: -> Acropolis approach<- is a link to a Google map including keypoints for all visitors. Some of the key points described above regarding approach of disabled travellers and use of elevator are also included in the map.
Please note that part of the general path described in the map, specifically between points 7 and 8, is not suitable for wheelchair users or travellers using a walking aid, due to a number of steps and uneven ramps included.
Official document about access can be found