Mystras

Mystras, Sparta

Historic Sites
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4.5
929 reviews
Excellent
684
Very good
195
Average
40
Poor
5
Terrible
5

Gene R J
Silver Spring, MD8,099 contributions
We arrived before the 8:30 AM opening, as this UNESCO site is only 7 km from our Sparti hotel. After paying $13 each, we began the torturous climb up and down the irregular cobbled path of this large 13th-15th C Byzantine site. The morning sun highlighted the beautiful architecture as we concentrated on visiting the open churches to see their interior paintings, passing all types of ruins in between. Later, we drove 2 km up the hill to visit the top half of this site parking near the shaded castle.
This is a difficult visit even for those dropped off at the top and hike down through the site.
The views to the valley below with its olive groves are mesmerizing.
Written April 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chris318i
Regensburg, Germany244 contributions
Family
Impressive ruins, churches and chapels and an amazing view on the surrounding area. The entrance fee is ok. My wife, little sons (11 months and 3 years old) were exploring Mystras in July. As it's quite hot in July, the hike with two little kids is definitely challenging and you should be equipped with good shoes and sufficient water (at least during the hot months). However, we enjoyed Mystras and could definitely recommend it.
Written July 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Simon V
18 contributions
We visited this site on a hot day in June, and while there was quite some walking and climbing involved, it was very much worth it. Many ruins are well preserved, and the location on the steep hill makes for some stunning sights of the surroundings.
What this archeological site lacks in fame, compared to more well-known sites in Greece, it makes up for in exceptional quality of information offered on the descriptive boards. While this may sound strange or trivial, I think this aspect really is an important feature to consider. While the descriptions at other Greek sites just swamp the visitor with facts at every ruin (temple X, built in year Y, to honor deity Z, ...), of which one hardly can recall a handful after the visit, the descriptions at Mystras do a great job at conveying how daily life, trade, politics, etc. was like in the Byzantine period. Much more engaging, for which I give my praise.
Written July 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Werner B
Bali, Indonesia2 contributions
For people arriving by car: Leave it at the first parking lot, start from the main (lower) entrance and walk up to the fortress. Either exit at the fortress gate and hitch a ride down to the parking to fetch your rental car or the nimblest in your group can retrace their steps to the lower entrance, get the car and pick up the others on the top. It's so much easier to walk up the uneven path then going down, and it's faster to go back through the site than walking down on the road.
Written June 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ron S
New York City, NY5,009 contributions
Only if you're interested in medieval fortresses or churches. I'm not a fan of either, went there with my son who wanted to see the place where the last Byzantine emperor Constantine XI Palaeologus lived and ruled for some time. There are two entrances, both with car parking. Credit cards accepted only at the lower entrance.
Written February 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John A
Oxford, UK28 contributions
A small amount of staff on site and very pleased to help with information. The castle ruins with all the attached buildings leading up the mound (mountainside) to the very highest parts where you can look down over countryside, ruins, and other buildings in the complex around the main castle.
clamber down from the highest part to the entrance gate and then further down toward the palace (closed during my visit) and many other buildings or remains of. . Best to take the visit easy allowing plenty of time, if I have the opportunity I would enjoy a second visit as much as the first.
Written January 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Laurence1234
Dubai, United Arab Emirates27 contributions
I drove into Mystras from Kalamata, through the mountains, in the middle of winter. It was beautiful and, at that time of year the surrounding area was a delightful combination of snow capped mountains and dark green and orange of yellow of the citrus plantations spreading out for miles.... The mystras archaeological sight was spectacularly breathtaking, being a clear day, overlooking Sparta and the gentle countryside beyond. Simply perfect! A blend of Frankish architecture, crowded out in places by olive groves and small roads in and around the place, Mystras found it's way to my heart.
Written September 17, 2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

columela
Malaga, Spain59 contributions
Greece is famous for its ancient monuments , which are absolutely wonderful. However, Mystras is the best example of the last period of the byzantine empire, the civilisation which inherited the legacy of the Ancient greco-Roman world. This place is a fortress and a city , surrounded by walls and full of wonderul churches and monasteries. It is in the foothill of Mt Taigetos and has impressive views of Sparta and the plain around it.
Practical considerations: parking can be difficult and buses might take all available spaces near the main entrance, so go there early as it can be very hot under the greek sun. Bring a good cap, confortable flat shoes and a bottle of water, as well as a map of the site to help you plan your visit. It might take you around 3 hours to tour the site and see everything . By any means skip the wonderful monastery of Peribleptos , which is at the end of the tours. it is the most impressive byzantine church I have ever seen, covered in the original frescoes in very good condition. If you are brave and have the time you can climb to the Frankish fortress which was the origin of the city. As most churches have their original painted decorations, Mystras is a sort of byzantine Pompeii , but most of the buildings are almost intact.
The most important thing that I took from Mystra is the realisation that the small world of late Byzantium was still in a sense part of the roman world as you can see in the domes of all the churches and buildings.

Written May 15, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Theol
toronto76 contributions
Mystra is a Byzantine fortress that can be seen from Sparta located on a hill at the base of Mt. Taygetos. It's about a 15 minute drive from Sparta to Mystra. I would suggest checking when Mystra opens and getting there early in the morning to avoid the heat of a sunny Greek summer day. Bring lots of water if you decide to climb to the top of the hill. You will find many beautiful Byzantine churches, a functioning convent and an interesting museum with Byzantine Christian Icons and other artifacts including pieces from ancient Sparta. The view of valley from Mystra is breathtaking. Below the fortress is modern village with outdoor cafes and restaurants.
Written July 28, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

lindadownunder
Perth, Australia2,858 contributions
Couples
My husband and I headed to the Mystras on the last weekend of September and found the entry was free which was a bonus.
We found easy parking at the lower town and explored the lower Mystras then returned to the car and drove up the upper town which was a good idea.
Once you go through the Monevasia gate you are in a world of Byzantine churches which are simply stunning.
Well worth a visit but go early, take water and wear good walking shoes.
Written November 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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