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Visit to the Palace of Knossos

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The Palace of Knossos is the most important archaeological site in Crete and the greatest witness to the Minoan civilization.

It is definitely a must-see during a vacation in Crete!

What can be seen today, is the reconstruction of the largest Minoan palace in Crete which was destroyed in an earthquake around 1700 BC.

The main political, economic and religious center of Greek civilization, the original Palace of Knossos was replaced by a second, much more sophisticated palace with drainage systems and frescoes adorning the walls of the dwellings.

It is thought to have been the residence of Minos but in fact there is no certain evidence of the king’s presence in this palace.

According to legend, this was the site of the famous Labyrinth of Knossos wanted by Minos to lock up the Minotaur, the being with a human body and a taurine head!

Below is all the information for visiting the Palace of Knossos also with children in town.

visit to the palace of knossos with children

Visit to the Palace of Knossos: what to see

The Palace of Knossos can be regarded as a true citadel or palace-city in that not only the royal family lived within the complex but also the rest of the population of Knossos. It is estimated that it was inhabited by 100,000 people.

It was the center of Greek civilization until its conquest by the Mycenaeans, who sacked and destroyed the palace, which was later abandoned.

The archaeological site covers an area of about 22,000 square meters; at one time it contained about 1,300 rooms centered around a main courtyard.

It is assumed that Knossos had no enemies, as the area was not protected by any walls.

What to see

Along the way you can find various explanatory signs, including in English.

During the visit to the Palace of Knossos, you can admire the royal apartments, the throne room of Minos, and the very precious frescoes.

The colors and style of the frescoes, are reminiscent of Egyptian art, but unlike Egyptian art, the frescoes of Knossos are not symbolic but depict scenes of everyday life.

Some of these frescoes are faithful copies; the originals can be admired at the nearby Heraklio Archaeological Museum.

The most famous fresco at Knossos is surely the Bull in a Landscape with Olive Trees found on the western balcony wall. The fresco, which depicts a bull surrounded by a typical Cretan landscape, helped fuel the famous legend of the Labyrinth of Knossos.

In the Queen’s Megaron, the most poetic frescoes of the Palace of Knossos have been found such as, for example, the Dolphin Fresco. Sea animals were considered sacred, and dolphins may have been chosen for therapeutic purposes.

In the lower part of the palace, however, one can find what were once storerooms where there are huge amphorae dug into the ground.

dolphin fresco

How long to stay

For the visit to the Palace of Knossos, count on an hour to an hour and a half depending on your interest and the age of the children.

If the children are not too young, you can consider taking the tour with an experienced guide lasting 1h30. Up to 5 years of age, the tour is free👇

Ticket times and costs for the Palace of Knossos

Ticket times

Open daily with hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Knossos Palace skip-the-line admission ticket

Knossos Palace + Heraklion Archaeological Museum priority entrance ticket: 16€ adult, children get in free – Buy here.

When to visit the Palace of Knossos

The Palace of Knossos can be visited at any time of year but, if possible, it would be best in spring or fall when it is less hot.

In summer it would be best to prefer early morning or late afternoon when there is less heat and fewer crowds.

Knossos Palace with children: information for the visit

Walking through the ruins at the palace of Knossos with children

The Palace of Knossos can be visited safely even with a stroller.

Do not let children touch the ruins or monuments as the natural oils in the skin can be extremely harmful to the archaeological remains.

There is little shade inside the site so remember to bring a supply of water, a hat and sunscreen.

Restrooms (for a fee) and a cafe are located near the entrance.

Where to sleep in Heraklion

Galaxy Iraklio Hotel

Family rooms with excellent continental breakfast included.

Well-maintained and clean rooms, swimming pool and small free parking lot.

Book here.

piscina al galaxy iraklio hotel di heraklion

Interested in an organized tour to the island of Santorini or the island of Dia? Click on the banners👇

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▶ If you need to rent a car, you can compare offers and save 70% by booking the car on the DiscoverCars portal.

Continue reading:

1. Santorini

2. Athens

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