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The reconstructed north entrance, with the charging bull fresco.

Visiting the Archaeological Site of Knossos – Knossos Palace, Crete

Knossos is the most well known archaeological site on the island of Crete. It is more commonly known as ‘Knossos Palace’. An interpretation by the archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, who believed he had discovered King Minos’s palace. Although archaeologists today interpret the ruins differently, this is still a spectacular archaeological site, and one of a number of stunning Minoan sites on Crete that should not be missed.

Recommended Skip-the-line Entry to Knossos

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Knossos Palace is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, and the most visited attraction on the island of Crete. Excavations began here in 1900 AD by Sir Arthur Evans and carried on for 35 years. Evans believed he had unearthed King Minos’s palace and the legendary labyrinth, a very large maze, which had been built to contain his son the Minotaur. And so Evans set about reconstructing certain features with this in mind.

Today many of his reconstructions and interpretations are questioned. Rather than being the ruins of a palace, Knossos was a ceremonial centre that was at the heart of Bronze Age communities on Crete.

Evans's reconstruction of the Throne Room at Knossos.
Arthur Evans's interpretation of the Throme Room at Knossos - note the alabaster throne to the right.

Buying Tickets for Knossos Palace

How to Get to Knossos

The archaeological site of Knossos is about 5 km south of the city of Heraklion, on the north coast of Crete. 

Visiting Knossos by bus

Visiting Knossos with private transport

Many people holidaying on Crete for a week or more arrange to have their own rental car during their stay. Getting about the island is very easy, as is getting to Knossos. There is a large car park at Knossos.

Transport to Knossos included with guided tours

Visiting Knossos ARchaeological Site

Opening Hours

1 November to 31 March: daily from 08h30 – 17h00 (last admission 16h45)
1 April to 31 August: daily from 08h00 – 20h00 (last admission 19:45)
1 September to 15 September: daily from 08h00 – 19h30 (last admission 19:15)
16 September to 30 September: daily from 08h00 – 19h00 (last admission 18:45)
1 October to 15 October: daily from 08h00 – 18h30 (last admission 18:15)
16 October to 31 October: daily from 08h00 – 18h00 (last admission 17:45)

Closed on the following days: 1 January, 25 March, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, 1 May, Easter Sunday, 15 August, 28 October, 25 December, 26 December.

Ticket Prices

Full: €15
Reduced: €8


A replica of a Minoan fresco depicting dolphins.
Knossos is known for its wonderful frescoes, here in what has been interpreted as the Queen's Hall there is a fine replica of a fresco depicting a school of dolphins.

Add Knossos to Your Itineraries & Travel Lists


Knossos is an important archaeological site that figures prominently in the history and development of archaeology. Excavations began in 1900 by Sir Arthur Evans and carried on for 35 years. Although many of his reconstructions and interpretations are now questioned, it is thought that the ruins are those of a political and ceremonial centre that was at the heart of Bronze Age communities on Crete. There is also archaeological evidence at the site for Neolithic and later Classical occupations.

Archaeology Travel WRITER

Thomas Dowson

With a professional background in archaeology and a passion for travel, I founded Archaeology Travel to help more people explore our world’s fascinating pasts. Born in Zambia, I trained as an archaeologist at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and taught archaeology at the universities of Southampton and Manchester (England). Read More