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Palace of Knossos with Kids
Have you been to the Palace of Knossos with kids? If not stay tuned and read on how to make the most of your experience to this most famous attraction of Crete!
The Palace of Knossos
The Palace of Knossos is one of the most important ancient attractions in Crete and generally, in Greece. There is no other place where Greek ancient history and mythology are so visible and understandable as in Knossos.
The Palace of Knossos is located in the city of Heraklion. Knossos was one of the most advanced cities of ancient Greece and the center of the famous Minoan civilization.
The Minoan civilization emerged around 2000 BCE on the island of Crete, an island in South Greece and flourished for around 600 years (until 1400 BCE). It has an important place in world history, since it is believed to be the first civilization to appear on European soil.
The Minoan civilization was remarkable for its magnificent palaces, above all that of Knossos. The unique art and architecture of this civilization made a significant contribution to the development of the Western European civilization as it is known today.
Besides art and architecture, The Minoan civilization was famous for its strong navy and extended sea trade throughout the Mediterranean Sea, as well as its use of writing (the Minoans had their own written language which archaeologists call “Linear A”).
Part of what makes the Minoan civilization so fascinating is the important role of women in the local society. Minoan women enjoyed more freedom than women of any other civilization present at that time period. They were not inferior to men and had active participation in all aspects of everyday life including sports, hunting, festivities and parenting. The important role of women is also evident in the fact that the Minoans worshipped a Goddess rather than a God.
The excavations at Knossos reflect many myths of Greek mythology and even the youngest children will be able to fantasize about King Minos and the Minotaur. Older children will learn about ancient building techniques and have a chance to be educated about the cultural history of Europe.
Don’t hesitate to visit Knossos Crete with Kids when in Greece. The Palace of Knossos is partly restored. That is the reason why the features give a unique insight into the life of Minoan culture, one that no mere ruins could ever offer. Having said that, it is easy to recognize the original temple features and the archaeologists’ restorations.
Visit the Palace of Knossos with kids
When you visit the Palace of Knossos with kids, keep the following important tips in mind.
- The best time to discover the Palace of Knossos would be in the spring and fall
- It can get very busy and hot in the excavations in the summer. There is not much shade around the site, so I would recommend choosing the early morning hours for a visit
- Do not forget to bring water before you enter because inside there are no facilities to drink something
- The site is not stroller friendly, there are several steps, stairs, and unpaved paths
- To avoid long the lines at the entrance, you could opt for a guided tour, order skip- the- line tickets or combine skip-the-line-tickets with a self-guided audio tour
- A private tour guide will get your children engaged and show you the site at your own pace
- You can also consider group tours that are specially designed tours for kids
- For up to date official information about prices and timetables, please follow this link: http://odysseus.culture.gr
Palace of Knossos E-tickets
You can buy e-tickets for the Palace of Knossos and other monuments in Heraklion at the official website of the Greek Ministry of Culture and avoid waiting lines. You can purchase single-use tickets giving access to a specific site or museum or, where provided, combined tickets for use in several sites and museums.
Recommended Tours for Families in Palace of Knossos
This one hour tour is great for families with young kids. No need to wait in line because the official licensed guide will take you straight to the Minoan Palace. Your family will learn about the ancient civilisation in an engaging story-telling way. There is also the option to book a private transfer from and to your hotel in the Heraklion area. Click here for more information and to book your Family Tour with a private guide
If you want to skip the lines and join a guided tour in a small group, we recommend this Knossos Palace skip the Queue entry tour. This budget-friendly tour takes your family along the ancient palace, the royal residences and you will see the Minoan king’s throne. Your kids will be amazed by the House of the Frescoes and its colourful wall paintings. Click here for more information and to book your Knossos Palace Skip-the-Queue Entry with Guided Walking Tour
There are many combination tours available for visiting the Palace of Knossos and the famous Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. For families with young kids, we recommend a short, private tour in order to get the most out of both attractions without it to be overwhelming. This value for money 4- hour tour includes a pick-up with your own licensed guide. You will go through Knossos and after, the driver will take you to the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion where your private tour will continue. Click here for more information and to book your Knossos Palace & Archaeological Museum Private Tour
In this family tour and workshop, you and your family have the chance to learn more about the Palace of Knossos with kids and be creative together. This 4-hour family tour with an English-speaking kid-friendly guide is all about discovering the Labyrinth. With the help of stories and 3D tablets, kids will travel back to Minoan times. They will also learn about the process of creating pots and vases. Under the guidance of a local craftsperson, they will have the opportunity to make their own creations. If you’ve never tried pottery before, this activity will prove to be a memorable experience, and the kids will absolutely love it! Click here for more information, prices and to book the Palace of Knossos Guided Tour and Pottery Workshop
Local insider experience Palace of Knossos
Family Travel Blogger Anastasia in Crete has often visited the Palace of Knossos and is available to answer any questions you may have. Just leave a comment in the comment box below or write us at [email protected] Anastasia recently visited the Palace of Knossos with kids. She wrote about her experience for Family Experiences Blog in the blog post: Knossos, where myths are real.
Where to stay near Palace of Knossos with kids?
We recommend tried & tested family resort Out of the Blue Capsis Elite Resort in Agia Pelagia. The resort is located in Agia Pelagia and hosts family villa’s, babysitting services, swimming pools, a spa and a real-life Knossos entertainment park for kids including a Minoan Kids Club with a Palace of Knossos Minoan labyrinth! You can read our review here.
For an overview of all family hotels, prices and availability near the archaeological site of Knossos, click here.
Prepare your visit to the Palace of Knossos
Before your visit to Knossos, we recommend you to read a bit more about Greek Mythology with your kids. If you do so, they will have a better understanding of what they are going to see in the Palace of Knossos.
Books about Mythology for Kids
We have listed our favorite 20 best Greek Mythology books for kids.
Book about Knossos
For parents, we recommend The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code.
Description of The Riddle of the Labyrinth
In the tradition of Simon Winchester and Dava Sobel, The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code tells one of the most intriguing stories in the history of language, masterfully blending history, linguistics, and cryptology with an elegantly wrought narrative.
When famed archaeologist Arthur Evans unearthed the ruins of a sophisticated Bronze Age civilization that flowered on Crete 1,000 years before Greece’s Classical Age, he discovered a cache of ancient tablets, Europe’s earliest written records. For half a century, the meaning of the inscriptions, and even the language in which they were written, would remain a mystery. Can you solve the riddle?
Have you been to Knossos with your kids and what did you like most? Let us know in the comment box below or pin for later!
For more ideas about unique activities with kids in Crete, have a look at our Crete Category on this website and you will find our tried and tested family experiences at special places such as the Botanical Gardens or the Typography Museum in Chania.
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