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“A must see if you like ruins...the oldest European city....”

Knossos Archaeological Site
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$51.73*
and up
Ancient Palace of Knossos Tour
Ranked #6 of 70 things to do in Heraklion
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Knosos Archaeological site 12km south of Heraklion
Redlands, California
Level Contributor
132 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“A must see if you like ruins...the oldest European city....”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

We were on a cruise in March, off season. One stop was Heraklion, and we decided to take the hop on hop off bus to Knosos. It was worth enduring the cold! And, a special bonus was that we were visiting on the first Sunday of the month, so our entrance fee was free!

The site is clean and very interesting, even if you are walking on your own. There are plenty of descriptions along the way, as well as an explanation/map on a brochure (free) you can pick up on the way in.

We also visited the museum shop, and were very impressed with the helpfulness of the woman working that day! She even made copies of some information for my travel partner, who is a museum director.

As a final treat, we sat in the small cafe to plan our next stop, and had some delicious baklava and coffee.

Visited March 2013
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4 Thank kmarq55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Very interesting”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2013

If you are someone who enjoys history then this is for you. It's in the era of the Minoan. So much to learn . They conduct organised paid tours if you like or you could just do you own thing and walk around at your own pace. A must when in Crete. There is also a coffee shop outside the site for a nice cold drink or whatever else you may need after you have finished going through the site.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Maria B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Hope, Canada
Level Contributor
111 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“Greek Legends”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2013

Knossos was very interesting as far as archaeological finds goes considering the almost unbelievable age of the ruins. There are a few areas that have been recreated giving you a better sense of what the palace looked like. It is surrounded by lovely hills covered in olive groves. We were on a cruise port stop and took the advice of many reviewers to simply take the bus to the top. The bus station was fairly easy to find and since it was Sunday there was no entrance fee to the ruins. We did not want one of the bothersome tour guides begging for our patronage once we got there but afterwards thought we should have paid the small sum and had things explained to us. As this was one of our last stops, we were on information overload! On our way back with the same city bus we guessed where to get off so we could get to the city center. Iraklion street signs are difficult to follow but we managed with the map we had and by asking for directions. We found a wonderful street with a great restaurant and lots of little shops. We then walked to the town square past the Loggia and down to the picturesque harbour. Unfortunately the weather turned nasty and we did not bother to go to the port. fortress. For anyone stopping in Iraklion, Knossos should definitely be on their list of places to see. This is not a large city so there is plenty of time for sightseeing and enjoying some Greek food and beverages as well.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank pippili
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lefkosia, Cyprus
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6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Historically significant, but unfortunately disorganised attraction”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2013

Knossos is a very significant historical and archaeological site, one of the first (if not *the* first) recorded examples of civilisation in Europe, dating back to 1900BC, attached to so many well known legends from mythology.

While the site itself has been kept in a good condition, there are a lot of things that the local authorities would want to correct, if they want to ensure a steady flow of visitors to the site. To begin with, the touristic guides' willingness to assist (for the exchange of money) is overwhelming. One wants to be polite and say "no, thank you very much" but after the 8th time of repeating yourself, it really gets tiring.

In general, the entrance to the site could have been done much better, here's an example: Right before you enter the site, there are some controlled-entry points, like the ones you see in underground stations where you use your ticket to get through. These things were probably placed there over 10 years ago, but nobody bothered to maintain since. There they stand, rusty and useless, year in, year out, and tourists have to go round them to get past. It is strikingly easy to fix this sight for sore eyes: 5 minutes while they're thrown in the skip. But they're still there, and they do spoil the whole image of the site.

It is an irony that sites with such potential are undermanaged to such an extent, particularly at this time of financial crises. Greek authorities must finally tackle these issues, if they want to maintain a steady flow of tourists to their sites. The economic crisis in Greece should underline that maximising the attraction sites' potential is paramount.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank SomeVisitor11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“knossos”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

Situated in a very pretty area. There are excellent guides ( for a small fee) that will take you around the whole site. A very important site and the facts are amasing. A must to visit if in Crete.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank 659June
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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