Heraklion Archaeological Museum

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Heraklion Archaeological Museum: Our most recommended tours and activities

Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Entry with Guided Walking Tour

1. Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Entry with Guided Walking Tour

Join a guided tour of Knossos, a complex of more than 1500 interlocking rooms, once an astonishing palace built for a mighty king of the Bronze Age. Knossos is considered Europe’s oldest city. As you wander through the labyrinthine ruins, get the chance to see the original throne of ‘’Minos”, the mystifying sanctuaries, the luxurious domestic quarters of the royal family, Crete’s treasures pantries, and the water-management systems. The first palace of Knossos was erected soon after 2000 BC. In 1700 BC, a catastrophic earthquake destroyed the Palace. A new palace was built immediately, the most monumental of all, and for over 300 years it represented the pre-eminent center of power in Bronze Age Crete. The new palace was an imposing complex with important architectural innovations, splendid frescoes adorning the walls, hundreds of rooms distributed in four storeys, impressive storage areas, specialized workshops, and spacious courts hosting ceremonies and feasts. Learn how during the last decades of the 14th century BC, a series of earthquakes led to the final destruction of the palace. 

Heraklion: Archaeological Museum & Knossos Ticket with Audio

2. Heraklion: Archaeological Museum & Knossos Ticket with Audio

Experience Ancient Crete at your own pace with a combined e-ticket for the island's top two archaeological attractions, the Palace of Knossos and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Experience two captivating self-guided audio tours on your smartphone. Receive your ticket in a separate email from our local partner, and download the app and audio tours onto your phone prior to your visit. Then travel back in time to experience the grandeur of Crete from the Minoan period to Roman times. Put on your headphones and discover the Palace of Knossos and the exquisite artifacts exhibited in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Through the power of storytelling, learn interesting facts and hear little-known stories from ancient times. The content of the tours is the result of in-depth research, squeezed into brief original stories that will make your visit both engaging and informative. The audio tours can be used repeatedly and anytime, before or after your visit. This is an unmissable opportunity to gain valuable insights into ancient Crete and the Minoan civilization, and to engage with your surroundings in an entirely original way.

Heraklion: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Sightseeing Tour

3. Heraklion: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Sightseeing Tour

Explore Heraklion on an open bus tour with a 48-hour ticket. See city’s famous landmarks and visit the famous beach of Ammoudara. Use the ticket for 2 days and board the bus at various points around the city.  Familiarize yourself with the Cretan civilization, history, and architecture and learn all about the old and modern city of Heraklion in your own language with the commentary on board, available in 8 languages.  Admire the view of the streets and the landmarks from a safe distance, Hop on and off at all the bus stops to visit major attractions such as Knossos Palace, the Archaeological Museum, Ammoudara Beach, the Venetian Port, the Market, and many others.  The 8 bus stops along the route are: • Old port square • Historical Museum of Crete • Knossos Palace • Heraklion Archaeological Museum • Grave of Nikos Kazantzakis • Venetian Walls • Port bus station • Jesus Gate

Knossos Palace & Archaeological Museum Private Tour

4. Knossos Palace & Archaeological Museum Private Tour

Enjoy a tour of the mythological Labyrinth with your own licensed guide who will take you through Knossos, focusing on the highlights of the area and its most prominent features. Afterward, the driver will take your group to the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion where your private tour will continue. Discover Knossos, the capital of Minoan Crete, considered Europe’s oldest city. Hear about the islands long history from your guide and learn about the peak of the Minoan culture in 2000 B.C. Later visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion where you can marvel at the findings of the first civilization of Europe, the Minoans. The tour will guide you through the ages, in a period of time that extends over a 5.000 years, from the neolithic to the roman era.

Knossos Palace & Heraklion Full-Day Tour from Chania Area

5. Knossos Palace & Heraklion Full-Day Tour from Chania Area

Depart from Chania at around 7 AM and head eastwards along the north coast. Pass the city of Heraklion and continue towards inland Crete until you reach the Palace of Knossos. The palace is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the world, a cradle of European culture and the center of the Minoan civilization. Follow your guide on a 2-hour tour through the fascinating story of the Minoan period and learn about the Minotaur and Ariadne. Afterward, rejoin the bus which will bring you to the heart of the capital city of Crete, Heraklion. Take the chance to visit the archaeological museum, where you can see and learn about the Minoan period while accompanied by your guide. Finally, enjoy 2 hours of free time to explore the busy and lively city of Heraklion, have Cretan lunch, and drink Raki. At around 3:30 PM, the bus will depart on its return journey to Chania.

From Rethymno: Knossos & Heraklion Archaeological Museum

6. From Rethymno: Knossos & Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Following pick-up from your hotel in Rethymno, travel along the northern coast of Crete by comfortable bus. Make your way to the archaeological site of Knossos, where King Minos built his palace. Get a 2-hour guided tour of the monument, designed by Daedalus in such an intriguing way that no visitor was said to find their way out without the help of a guide! Journey through the incredible history of King Minos and the Minoan civilization, and hear about some of the legends of Crete at what was once the island's largest palace. Then, drive to the ancient city of Heraklion to take a guided tour of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Learn more about the island at what is considered to be one of the finest museums in the world dedicated to Minoan art with its many galleries of historic frescoes, jewelry, statues and more. Get some free time for coffee or lunch, and shop for souvenirs in the city center before the return journey to Rethymno. 

Crete: Heraklion Archaeological Museum Ticket & Audio Guide

7. Crete: Heraklion Archaeological Museum Ticket & Audio Guide

Experience the Heraklion Archaeological Museum at your own pace with a skip-the-line e-ticket and a fascinating self-guided audio tour on your smartphone. Receive your ticket by email, download the app, and the audio tour on your phone, prior to your visit, and travel back in time to experience the masterpieces of Minoan art. Put on your headphones and explore representative artifacts from all periods of Cretan prehistory and history, covering a chronological span of over 5,500 years from the Neolithic period to Roman times through the power of storytelling and learn historical information and uncommon stories and anecdotes from the ancient times. Get an engaging and informative visit with in-depth research, squeezed into brief original stories. The audio tour can be used repeatedly and anytime, before or after your visit. Gain valuable insights into one of the oldest and most important museums in Greece that is rightly considered as the Museum of Minoan Culture par excellence.

From Heraklion: Knossos and Lasithi Plateau Full-Day Tour

8. From Heraklion: Knossos and Lasithi Plateau Full-Day Tour

Depart from your hotel in the Heraklion Area (Malia, Stalis, Hersonisos , Anissaras, Analypsi , Gouves, Gournes, Heraklion, Ammoudara, Agia Pelagia / Lygaria, Fodele), heading eastwards along the north coast. Stop first at the historical monastery of Kera Kardiotissa, inhabited and run by nuns. Here you can admire the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary, plenty of frescoes and a variety of other icons, dating back to the 14th century. Next, head to Lasithi Plateau, situated 850 meters above sea level. Enjoy views surrounded by the Dikti Mountains and quaint villages, and admire the famous windmills and the Venetian ditches. Then, stop in the village of Psychro. Visit the Dicteon Cave with its fantastic stalactites and stalagmites, where according to the myth God Zeus was born. Encounter Tzermiado, the capital of the villages on the plateau with its natural beauty, traditional architecture, and breathtaking views. Enjoy lunch in one of the local taverns (own expense), before moving onto the Palace of Knossos, the capital of the Minoan state which was the first European civilization. Take a guided tour and learn about King Minos, the Minotaur, the Labyrinth, and other interesting mythologies.

Crete: Knossos Palace & Heraklion Guided Tour

9. Crete: Knossos Palace & Heraklion Guided Tour

Start your day with pickup from selected regions in Crete and first head to Heraklion for a guided tour of Knossos Palace. Walk through this Minoan palace with your guide and find out how people lived here 4,000 years ago. The Throne Room, the frescoes, and the Minoan columns will allow you to imagine how the Minoans once lived. Continue towards the city center of Heraklion where you can visit the Archaeological Museum and the town itself. The Archaeological Museum brings together findings from all over Crete, covering over 5,500 years of the island's history.   Head to the Heraklion town center and walk through Daidalou Street to Lion Square and the famous Morosini Fountain of the Venetian era. Explore the permanent outdoor market of the town and the Valide Mosque, a remnant of Turkish influences. Explore the Venetian Loggia and head to the sea and the Koules Fortress before being dropped back off at your hotel.  

From Chania: Full-Day Heraklion Highlights Tour

10. From Chania: Full-Day Heraklion Highlights Tour

Explore the oldest civilization in Europe on a full-day tour from Chania. Enjoy a tour of the Minoan Palace of Knossos, visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, and wander through Heraklion Town. Begin your tour from your accommodation in Chania, and as your drive, learn about the myths of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur or the story of Daidalos and Ikaros. In Heraklion, head to the Palace of Knossos and explore the ruins. Next, visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion and admire over 15,000 ancient Greek artifacts. Afterward, enjoy a walking tour of the town of Heraklion. Discover a Venetian fortress at the entrance of the harbor, gorgeous Neoclassical buildings and Byzantine churches.

Other Sightseeing Options in Heraklion Archaeological Museum

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What people are saying about Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 873 reviews

This is a must-do! The line was incredibly long when we got to the site in the morning, but we were able to skip it as our guide, Akrivi, had our tickets. She laid out a ton of history that really allowed us to appreciate the site even more than if we were by ourselves. She engaged with my young son which was highly appreciated as well. We were able to skip another line once inside, as well. Overall, the site is amazing, and it was really fantastic to have such a knowledgeable and kind tour guide leading us.

Very interesting and fun tour. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable. Skipping the line and having a private guide was definitely a good call

Knossos is really impressive and Akrivi is a fantastic guide, she let us immerse ourselves in history in a very entertaining way.

Brilliant experience of the ancient seat of Minoan power and the shockingly advanced technology of the period.

It was one trip that everyone should do while on Crete!