Palace of Knossos

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Palace of Knossos: 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.

Crete: Palace of Knossos Ticket with Audio Tour

3. Crete: Palace of Knossos Ticket with Audio Tour

Enjoy an exciting visit to Knossos, Crete’s most famous historical attraction with a skip-the-line e-ticket, which includes a compelling audio tour downloadable on your phone and a detailed map of the site. Visit the grand capital of Minoan Crete, located just south of Heraklion, and see the evocative setting, complete with impressive ruins and brightly-colored frescoes, come alive through an engaging narrative that sheds light on various elements of Minoan culture. The cupbearers and procession frescoes at the South Propylaeum, which depict scenes from everyday life and the ceremonial activities in Minoan Crete, provide a great insight into the aesthetic ideals of the time. Follow the evolution of Minoan fashion, learn about the popular hairstyles of the people, and discover the beauty products locals used to touch up their look. At the West Magazines, where the storage facilities of the palace are located, gain an understanding of the well-organized bureaucracy that supported the palace organization, the earliest forms of linear writing, as well as the Minoan economy and trade networks. Discover the copy of the “Prince of the Lilies” at the South Entrance Corridor and gaze out on Mount Juktas, perfectly framed by the eroded walls of the palace. Visit the Queen’s Megaron, embellished with famous blue dolphins fresco and equipped with a bathroom and a toilet room, where you can find out everything about the bath habits in the Minoan era.

Heraklion: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Sightseeing Tour

4. 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 Skip-the-Line Ticket & Private Guided Tour

5. Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Ticket & Private Guided Tour

Settlements in Knossos date as far back as the Neolithic period. Neolithic remains from around 7000 BC are found throughout Crete. Explore the ruins of the ancient Minoan civilization and enjoy a skip-the-line tour of the Knossos Palace. The Knossos Palace was built from 1700 to 1400 BC. Advanced architectural techniques were used in its construction, and sections of the palace stood up to 5 stories high. It featured 1,300 rooms connected by corridors, and a theater and extensive storerooms, which held large clay containers of oil, grains, dried fish, beans and olives – often with gold hidden beneath.

Knossos Palace & Archaeological Museum Private Tour

6. 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

7. 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.

Crete: Palace of Knossos Archaeological Site Entrance Ticket

8. Crete: Palace of Knossos Archaeological Site Entrance Ticket

Benefit from skip-the-line access to the Palace of Knossos. Once inside, you are free to explore this Minoan archaeological site at your own pace, including the Grand Palace which dates back to the year 2000 B.C. As you wander through the site, discover what remains of living quarters, workspaces, and storerooms that have stood for centuries. Learn more about the city which is thought to have been the capital and political center of Minoan civilization and culture. Get a sense of what the building was like originally from the extensive restorations that have taken place throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. See colorful restored murals, which were typical of the time, and the throne room of the legendary King Minos, which is still intact.

From Rethymno: Knossos & Heraklion Archaeological Museum

9. 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. 

Heraklion: Palace of Knossos 3D Virtual Audio Tour by Tablet

10. Heraklion: Palace of Knossos 3D Virtual Audio Tour by Tablet

Rent a mini iPad tablet and make the most of your visit to Knossos Palace. See how the site looked in ancient times while learning about the Palace's history via audio guide. Immerse yourself in Greek history with a special virtual and augmented reality application. Pick up your rental tablet to see a representation of the archaeological site in its original state in 3D and 360°. The reconstruction is based on studies supervised by a team of globally renowned archaeologists. Feel peace of mind knowing that the tablet is fitted with a shockproof protective case, and purpose-built sun shield allowing you to use it seamlessly under the summer sun. It also features a carry strap, and disposable earphones sealed in a small bag. Take advantage of the audio guide, allowing you to listen to recorded spoken commentary in your choice of language. Hear fascinating facts and learn about the Palace's history as you walk around its ancient ruins.

Frequently asked questions about Palace of Knossos

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How can I visit Palace of Knossos?

Possible ways to visit the Palace of Knossos:

To enter Palace of Knossos, you need to have a ticket or be part of a guided tour.

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What people are saying about Palace of Knossos

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 1,414 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.

Our tour with Vangelis was great. He handled my mobility issues with skill and ensured we had an excellent and informative tour. His knowledge was high and he integrated what we were learning with what we going to see at the Museum later that day. Our thanks for his contribution to our visit to Crete.

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!