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Our most recommended Palace of Knossos History & Heritage

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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Knossos Palace: Pre-Booked E-Ticket & Smartphone Audio Tour

2. Knossos Palace: Pre-Booked E-Ticket & Smartphone 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.

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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

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Knossos Palace & Heraklion Full-Day Tour from Chania Area

4. 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

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

6. 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.

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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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Knossos Palace: Private Guided Tour with Skip-The-Line Entry

8. Knossos Palace: Private Guided Tour with Skip-The-Line Entry

Explore the Labyrinth and Palace of Knossos. Skip the long ticket line upon arrival and you meet your own exclusive guide. This site is home to: the Minotaur, the oldest throne in Europe, elegant wall paintings that inspired art Nuevo works centuries later, huge clay earns, advanced draining systems, and quarters sunk into the earth. Together you will see the oldest civilization unfold before your eyes and you will be able to get the best out of your visit to this magnificent structure. Knossos, a complex of more than 1500 interlocking rooms, was an astonishing palace, built for a mighty king of the Bronze Age. As you wander through the labyrinthine ruins, you will have the chance to see the original throne of Minos, the mystifying sanctuaries, the luxurious domestic quarters of the royal family, that were, once upon a time, bursting with Crete’s treasures. Knossos is considered Europe’s oldest city. The first palace of Knossos was erected soon after 2000 BC. In 1700 BC, a catastrophic earthquake destroyed the Palace. A new palace was then immediately built and for more than 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 across four storeys, impressive storage areas, specialized workshops, and spacious courts hosting ceremonies and feasts.

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Knossos Palace and Heraklion Town: Private Guided Tour

9. Knossos Palace and Heraklion Town: Private Guided Tour

Start your day visiting the most important archaeological site on Crete and the second-most visited archaeological site in Greece, the Minoan palace of Knossos. Explore the sprawling 5-acre site as you traipse through the mythical Labyrinth of Homer. Take in priceless historical insight from your personal tour guide into the prehistoric settlement, where the oldest European civilization started and flourished some 5000 years ago. Afterwards, you’ll set off on a sightseeing tour of Herklion, Crete’s capital. Wander through the port town, focusing on the unique Venetian monuments such as the Venetian fountain of Morosini, The Basilica of St. Marc, The Venetian Loggia, St. Titos church, the Venetian Port, and more. Marvel at the ancient city walls and the towering Koules Fortress. Cap things off with a walk inside the town's open-air market for a true multi-sensory experience. Take in the vibrant smells, tastes, and sights, as your guide tips you off to the best stands to sample local Greek street food and produce. Sated in mind and body, your tour will end at the Morosini Lions Fountain.

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From Heraklion: Day Trip to Knossos and the Lasithi Plateau

10. From Heraklion: Day Trip to Knossos and the Lasithi Plateau

Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Lasithi Plateau on a day trip from Heraklion. Admire the remaining windmills and the drainage system that dates back to the Venetian Empire. Pass through traditional villages such as Psychro. Visit the Dikteon Cave, where Zeus is said to have been born. Continue to the village of Tzermiado and enjoy lunch in an authentic tavern before going to the Keras Kardiotissas Monastery, known for its remarkable murals. Next, visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos and learn the legend of the settlement at sites such as the Throne Room and Royal Chambers.

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What people are saying about Palace of Knossos

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 530 reviews

It was a great experience, the audio really brought the site to life. Very easy to use and the skip the line feature is great. Would definitely recommend!

It was a great experience, the audio really brought life to the site and the whole process is very easy. Would definitely recommend!

Really enjoyed all the experience. Very interesting info and helpful to have the audio guides on your phone.

Easy to use app, interesting stories for the site. I totally recommend it!!

Fascinating site, really helpful stories and easy app.