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. 

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Heraklion: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Sightseeing Tour

2. 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

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Heraklion: Archaeological Museum & Knossos Ticket with Audio

3. 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.

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Crete: Heraklion Archaeological Museum Ticket & Audio Guide

4. 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.

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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.

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From Rethymno: Full-Day Knossos and Heraklion Tour

6. From Rethymno: Full-Day Knossos and Heraklion Tour

Depart from Rethymnon at around 8:30 AM, heading eastwards along the north coast. Pass the city of Heraklion and continue towards the inland of Crete until you reach the tour's highlight – your visit to the Palace of Knossos. This is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the world, a cradle of European culture and the center of the Minoan civilization. You will be guided (for about 2 hours) through the fascinating story of the Minoan period and hear about both the Minotaur and Ariadne.  Afterwards the bus brings you to the heart of the capital city of Crete – Heraklion. There you have the chance to visit the archaeological museum, where you can see and learn about the Minoan period while accompanied by your guide. Finally you will have two hours of free time to enjoy the busy and lively city of Heraklion, have Cretan lunch and drink raki. Time will pass before you know it, and at around 6:00 PM the bus will depart on its return journey to Rethymnon.

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From Rethymno: Knossos & Heraklion Archaeological Museum

7. 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. 

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Heraklion, Knossos & Minoan Culture Show

8. Heraklion, Knossos & Minoan Culture Show

Immerse yourself in the history of Crete and visit one of the most famous archeological sites. The Minoan Palace of Knossos, first built in 2000 B.C., was the residence of the legendary King Minos. The building, with an estimated 1,300-1,400 rooms, was excavated around 1900 by Sir Arthur Evans and partially reconstructed. Afterwards, embark on a short journey into more recent history and discover the old town of Heraklion with the well-known Morosini Fountain in Lions Square, the Loggia and St. Mark's Basilica. Immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere, hike through the narrow streets, visit the market, browse the local shops, or visit the Venetian port with its fortress. Explore small parks, street cafés, and many historical buildings and fountains from Venetian and Turkish times. After visiting the excavation site see a very special performance. Once more experience Minoan culture with 3D video and traditional dancers wearing original costumes. Eat small appetizers prepared according to traditional Minoan recipes to bring history back to life.

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From Heraklion: Knossos and Lasithi Plateau Full-Day Tour

9. 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.

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Heraklion: Historic Walking Tour

10. Heraklion: Historic Walking Tour

Crete is known for beaches, mountains, and famous archaeological sites. The capital city of Heraklion is home to a well-known Archaeological Museum that you will visit on this walking tour. It houses Minoan civilization treasures and artefacts from Knossos dating back to the Bronze Age. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is one of the best and complete collections of artefacts from this great civilization. You'll learn about the mythical labyrinth of Knossos, why Venetian and Ottoman monuments are found in Heraklion, and why ancient Knossos is one of the country’s most important archaeological sites.  With your professional guide, you will also visit an archaeological site, the palace of Knossos, as well as the 16th-century Koules Fortress. Built by the Venetians in the early part of the century, the fortress stands at the entrance to the old port and is still in great condition.

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What people are saying about Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 887 reviews

Knossos was amazing, and our guide brought to life the history inside the myths! I had previous knowledge about both the Minoan civilization and general Greek mythology, but our tour taught me a surprising amount! This is a testament to the quality of our guide!

I can't imagine visiting Knossos without a guide to help bring it to life. My guide was waiting for me at the entrance with my name on a sign - couldn't have been simpler! Worth the extra money to get the most out of this incredible place.

Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. She made the experience so enjoyable and gave us insights into not just history but the mythology and facts behind the myths. Awesome!!

Very useful to have access to two different venues. Really worth the price. Interesting audio stories and easy to use the map of the app. I would recommend it!

This combo activity, saves up time and makes you enjoy visiting both sites. Just using my own headphones, I got all these interesting info.