How to Get from Heraklion to Knossos Palace

How to Get from Heraklion to Knossos

How to Get from Heraklion to Knossos: The Minoan Palace of Knossos is surprisingly close to Heraklion for such an ancient wonder. As a result, there are multiple ways to get there, including taxis, private transfers, buses, and even walking if you dare. Want to learn more? Here is all the information you need to get to Knossos from Heraklion.

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How Far is Heraklion from Knossos Palace?

How to Get from Heraklion to Knossos
Parking area near the entrance of Knossos Palace.

The city center of Crete’s capital is about 5.5 kilometers away from the archaeological site of Knossos. That means you can reach the palace by car within 15 minutes, a bit more if you travel during rush hour. Besides, getting to Knossos by car is pretty straightforward, and there are enough parking areas around the Palace.

> This guide with tips for driving in Crete has essential info about renting a car and driving on the island.

Which car rental service is the best to choose? If you want to rent a car for your trip, consider Discover Cars, a worldwide car rental booking service.

Taxi or Private Transfer

How to Get from Heraklion to Knossos
Private transfers are a common option to move around in Crete.

The most convenient way to reach Knossos from Heraklion is by hiring a taxi or private guide. Of course, the easiest is a taxi, which you can hail almost anywhere in the city.

If you want to plan, ask your host or hotel reception to arrange a transfer at a predetermined time. Depending on your point of departure, the cost will be around €15 to €20.

How to Get to Knossos by Bus

bus, souvenir shop
Bus to Knossos.

The most affordable way to get from Heraklion to Knossos is by bus number 2, which connects the old public station of Heraklion with the famous Minoan Palace.

Three to five buses pass every hour, so you won’t have to wait until one arrives. If you’re curious, scan the QR code at any bus station to learn when the next vehicle comes. 

Bus Stops 

How to Get from Heraklion to Knossos
Get your tickets before getting on the bus.

There are 22 bus stops from where you can board the Bus #2 between Heraklion and Knossos. The starting point is the port, followed by Bus Station A (the older bus station and the most popular stop for the bus to Knossos), right opposite the Venetian Walls and the famous Megaro Hotel. Another stop is Astoria Liberty Square.

It then passes by Averof Street and Evans Square before reaching the suburbs and the Heraklion Hospital. If you want my advice, I’d recommend hopping on bus #2 from Heraklion Archaeological Museum.

If you want to make the most of your visit to Knossos, you’ll have to spend a few hours exploring the museum’s exhibits first. After all, the majority of the finds from Knossos are on display here.

Where Can I Buy Bus Tickets to Go to Knossos?

How to Get from Heraklion to Knossos
People at the bus stop in Knossos. The kiosk sells tickets to get back to Heraklion Center.

If you’re in the central bus station, there is a ticket machine near the entrance gate. Similarly, you’ll find other ticket machines scattered around Heraklion.

However, don’t worry if they’re hard to find; I’ve always arrived late at the station and bought them from the driver. And so can you! Get them once you board the bus. The only difference is that it will cost 50 cents extra from the standard €1,50. 

Heraklion to Knossos: Bus Timetable

Minoan Horns, Minoan Palace, Crete
Knossos Palace.

Although the bus company regularly publishes its timetable, the times are not always reliable or accurate.

However, all you need to know is that bus services run every 15 to 20 minutes from six in the morning until midnight. Once aboard, you’ll be in Knossos in 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the traffic.

Bus Stop at Knossos Palace

How to Get from Heraklion to Knossos
Bus to Knossos.

The final bus route #2 stop is at Knossos Palace, where you’ll notice everyone leaving the vehicle. Even if you’re alone, the driver will announce you have reached the end of the line.

The Knossos bus stop is less than 100 meters away from the archaeological site entrance, where you can purchase your Knossos tickets. 

Knossos Opening Hours?

archaeological site entrance
Entrance to the archaeological site.

Although the bus to Knossos runs until late, the archaeological site closes earlier, so plan accordingly. In the summer, the last admission is by 7.45 p.m. since it’s open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Realistically, you should arrive by at least 6 p.m. to have enough time to explore Knossos. You must come earlier in the winter since the opening hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. instead.

Can You Walk From Heraklion To Knossos?

How to Get from Heraklion to Knossos
The main road opposite the palace.

In short, yes, but I wouldn’t advise it. Not only will you be walking under the sun for about 5 kilometers, but you’ll also have to deal with the ongoing traffic. Taking a taxi or a short bus ride is safer and more accessible. 

To Conclude, How Should You Get from Heraklion to Knossos Palace?

How to Get from Heraklion to Knossos
(Google Maps 2023).

Taxi, car, or bus are the main ways to go from Crete Heraklion to the Palace of Knossos within 15 to 30 minutes.

If you want to save money, take bus number 2, which runs every 10 to 20 minutes from the city center or the Archaeological Museum.

>>The return bus from Knossos is bus #20. It takes you back to the city center, and its final stop is Heraklion Port

Tips For Visiting Knossos

How to Get from Heraklion to Knossos
It can get pretty crowded at the entrance.

Go as Early as Possible

Since the Greek sun can be intense, you should visit Knossos as early as possible. Ideally, you would go to the Archaeological Museum the day before and head to Knossos early the next day, 8-9 a.m. would be perfect! 

Bring Solid Flat Shoes

Forget your beach outfit and dress like you’re about to descend the Samaria Gorge. Exploring the archaeological site entails lots of walking on uneven terrain, so hide your slippers and wear your sports shoes.

This guide to what to wear to visit Knossos (and other archaeological sites in Crete) will help plan your outfit for the day.

Plan at Least 2 Hours at Knossos Palace

When planning your day, reserve at least two or three hours for the Knossos archaeological site. You don’t want to rush through all the sculptures, frescoes, and other wonders of Minoan Crete. And you’ll discover that there’s a lot to see in Knossos!

How to Get from Heraklion to Knossos
Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.

Get a Combined Ticket Including the Archaeological Museum

Since visiting both destinations is necessary, purchasing a combined ticket at €20 makes sense, or you’ll pay €15 plus €15 for each.

The combined ticket is valid for three days, so you’ll have enough time to visit both. You can also purchase the tickets online, which is especially handy if the queues at the ticket office are long.

Tours

To maximize your visit, I recommend hiring a private guide or joining a small group. For instance, consider this Private Guided Tour with Skip-The-Line Entry or this top-rated Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Guided Walking Tour.

If someone explains what you see, you’ll quickly appreciate the majesty of the Minoan civilization. Otherwise, you’ll miss many fascinating details on the way. This article has a list of the best tours available online.

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More resources to enhance your Crete adventure

Start by checking out my ultimate guide to planning your trip to Crete, packed with helpful essential information. Explore the articles on prices in Crete, common mistakes to avoid, and insider secrets for an unforgettable experience.

Use this comprehensive Crete packing list to ensure you have everything you need. Explore the best places to visit on Crete Island, discover my tours and activities, be amazed at Crete’s incredible beaches, and check out the best times to experience its beauty.

If you are exploring specific areas like Heraklion or Rethymnon, I’ve got detailed guides to help you make the most of your time.

Suggested accommodation in Heraklion

No time to read all my accommodation guides? Check out these hotels in the city:

More useful travel resources

  • Check out all the digital travel guides I’ve specifically written about Crete. They are affordable and practical to check from your mobile.
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  • To book adventures, tours, and cultural experiences, I recommend Get Your Guide.
How to Get from Heraklion to Knossos

Written by Dimitrios Tsevremes
Passionate about travel, spirituality, and sports, Dimi divides his time between Chania (Crete) and other countries. Writing is a way for him to express himself and his creativity. You can find out more about him and his work here.

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About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the Crete. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

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