Athens, the capital city of Greece, is full of fascinating historical landmarks, cultural experiences, and fun activities that are suitable for children of all ages. Here are some of the best things to do in Athens with kids:
- Visit the Acropolis: The Acropolis is the most iconic landmark in Athens, and it’s a great place to visit with kids. Children will be fascinated by the ancient ruins and the stories behind them. Be sure to bring water and snacks, wear comfortable shoes, and plan to spend several hours exploring.
- Explore the Acropolis Museum: The Acropolis Museum is located at the base of the Acropolis and is a great place to visit after exploring the ruins. The museum has many interactive exhibits that will appeal to children, including touch screens, virtual reality experiences, and a children’s corner.
- Walk through the Ancient Agora: The Ancient Agora is another important historical site in Athens that is worth visiting. It’s a great place to take kids for a walk and teach them about ancient Greek democracy. There are also several interesting ruins to explore, including the Temple of Hephaestus.
- Visit the National Archaeological Museum: The National Archaeological Museum is one of the largest and most important museums in Greece. It’s a great place to take children who are interested in history and archaeology, as there are many fascinating artifacts on display.
- Go to the Athens Planetarium: The Athens Planetarium is a great place to take kids who are interested in space and astronomy. There are several shows that are suitable for children, including a virtual tour of the solar system.
- Play at the Allou! Fun Park: Allou! Fun Park is an amusement park that is located just outside of Athens. It has several rides and attractions that are suitable for children of all ages, including a roller coaster, a water park, and a mini-golf course.
- Visit the Attica Zoological Park: The Attica Zoological Park is located in the suburb of Spata and is home to over 2,000 animals from all over the world. Children will love seeing the animals up close and personal, and there are also several playgrounds and picnic areas in the park.
- Go to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center: The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is a modern cultural complex that has several facilities, including a library, an opera house, and a park. Children will love playing in the park and exploring the many different areas of the complex.
- Visit the National Garden: The National Garden is a beautiful park in the heart of Athens that is home to several different species of plants and trees. Children will love playing in the playgrounds and seeing the many different animals that live in the park.
- Go to the Athens War Museum: The Athens War Museum is a great place to take older children who are interested in military history. There are several fascinating exhibits that focus on the history of the Greek army, including a collection of weapons and uniforms.
- Visit the Hellenic Children’s Museum: The Hellenic Children’s Museum is a hands-on museum that is designed specifically for children. It has several interactive exhibits that teach kids about science, art, and history in a fun and engaging way.
- Explore the Athens Central Market: The Athens Central Market is a bustling marketplace that is full of fresh produce, seafood, meats, and spices. Children will love the sights, smells, and sounds of the market, and it’s a great place to introduce them to new foods and ingredients.
- Take a tour of the city on a hop-on, hop-off bus: A hop-on, hop-off bus tour is a great way to see the city and learn about its history and culture. Children will love riding on the open-top bus and seeing the many different landmarks and attractions that Athens has to offer.
- Go on a food tour: Athens is known for its delicious cuisine, and a food tour is a great way to sample some of the city’s best dishes. There are several food tours that are suitable for families with kids, and many of them include stops at local markets and bakeries.
- Explore the Athens Riviera: The Athens Riviera is a beautiful stretch of coastline that is located just outside the city. Children will love playing on the sandy beaches and swimming in the clear blue water. There are also several seaside restaurants and cafes that offer delicious food and drinks.
- Visit the Goulandris Natural History Museum: The Goulandris Natural History Museum is a great place to take kids who are interested in animals and nature. It has several exhibits that focus on the flora and fauna of Greece, as well as interactive displays and a planetarium.
- Go to the Olympic Stadium: The Olympic Stadium is a historic venue that was used for the 2004 Olympic Games. Children will love seeing the stadium and learning about the history of the games. There are also several interactive exhibits and activities that are suitable for kids.
- Take a day trip to nearby islands: Athens is surrounded by several beautiful islands that are great for day trips. Children will love exploring the beaches, swimming in the sea, and trying new foods. Some of the most popular islands for families include Aegina, Hydra, and Poros.
- Visit the Benaki Toy Museum: The Benaki Toy Museum is a unique museum that is dedicated to toys and childhood. Children will love seeing the many different toys from different eras and cultures, and there are also several interactive exhibits and activities.
- Go on a street art tour: Athens has a vibrant street art scene, and a street art tour is a great way to see some of the city’s best murals and graffiti. Children will love the colorful and imaginative artwork, and it’s a great way to teach them about art and creativity.
Where to stay in Athens with kids
When it comes to choosing a place to stay in Athens with kids, there are several factors to consider, including location, amenities, and budget. Here are some options to consider:
- Plaka: Plaka is one of the oldest and most picturesque neighborhoods in Athens, and it’s a great place to stay with kids. It’s located in the heart of the city, close to many of the major attractions, and has a variety of hotels, apartments, and vacation rentals to choose from.
- Syntagma Square: Syntagma Square is the central square of Athens and a popular area to stay with kids. It’s close to many of the major attractions, including the Parliament building, and has a variety of hotels, apartments, and vacation rentals to choose from.
- Kolonaki: Kolonaki is an upscale neighborhood in Athens that is known for its high-end shops, restaurants, and cafes. It’s a great place to stay if you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, and there are several hotels and apartments to choose from.
- Glyfada: Glyfada is a seaside suburb of Athens that is popular with families. It’s located about 20 minutes from the city center and has several hotels and apartments that are close to the beach and other family-friendly attractions.
- Vouliagmeni: Vouliagmeni is another seaside suburb of Athens that is popular with families. It’s located about 30 minutes from the city center and has several hotels and apartments that are close to the beach and other family-friendly attractions.
- Airbnb: Airbnb is a great option for families who are looking for more space and flexibility during their stay in Athens. There are many apartments and vacation rentals available throughout the city that are suitable for families with kids.
Here are some examples of family-friendly hotels in each of the recommended neighborhoods:
- Electra Palace Athens: This hotel is located in the heart of Plaka and offers spacious family rooms that can accommodate up to four guests. The hotel also has a rooftop pool with stunning views of the Acropolis, as well as a kids’ club and a children’s pool.
- Hera Hotel: This boutique hotel is located in a quiet corner of Plaka and offers family rooms with balconies and Acropolis views. The hotel also has a rooftop terrace with a hot tub and a restaurant that serves Mediterranean cuisine.
- Acropolis Hill Hotel: This hotel is located in the residential neighborhood of Koukaki and offers family rooms with kitchenettes and balconies. The hotel also has a rooftop terrace with views of the Acropolis, as well as a children’s play area.
- AthensWas Hotel: This design hotel is located near the Acropolis and offers spacious family rooms with balconies and city views. The hotel also has a restaurant that serves Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, as well as a rooftop bar and a wellness center.
- King George, a Luxury Collection Hotel: This luxury hotel is located on Syntagma Square and offers spacious family rooms with city views. The hotel also has a rooftop restaurant with panoramic views of the city, as well as a spa and a fitness center.
- Athens Diamond Plus: This boutique hotel is located near Syntagma Square and offers family rooms with kitchenettes and balconies. The hotel also has a rooftop terrace with views of the Acropolis, as well as a restaurant that serves Mediterranean cuisine.
- Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso: This luxurious beachfront resort is located in Glyfada and offers spacious family rooms with balconies and sea views. The hotel also has a private beach, a spa, and several restaurants and bars.
- Congo Palace Hotel: This family-friendly hotel is located in the heart of Glyfada and offers spacious family rooms with balconies and city views. The hotel also has a rooftop pool, a restaurant that serves Greek and international cuisine, and a fitness center.
- Margi Hotel: This boutique hotel is located near the beach in Vouliagmeni and offers family rooms with balconies and garden views. The hotel also has a spa, a restaurant that serves Mediterranean cuisine, and a private beach club.
- Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens: This luxurious resort is located on the Athens Riviera and offers spacious family rooms with sea views. The hotel also has several restaurants and bars, a spa, and several swimming pools.
Where to eat with kids in Athens
Athens has plenty of family-friendly restaurants and cafes that cater to children’s needs. Here are some recommendations for where to eat with kids in Athens:
- Ta Karamanlidika tou Fani: This deli and restaurant is located in the historic center of Athens and offers traditional Greek dishes, such as meze and souvlaki. The atmosphere is casual and welcoming, and the staff is friendly and accommodating to families with children.
- Nikitas: This seafood restaurant is located in the upscale suburb of Glyfada and offers fresh seafood dishes, as well as traditional Greek cuisine. The restaurant has a playground and a small beach for children to play, and the atmosphere is laid-back and welcoming.
- To Kati Allo: This family-friendly restaurant is located in the residential neighborhood of Kypseli and offers traditional Greek dishes, such as moussaka and pastitsio. The restaurant has a children’s play area and a garden, and the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming.
- O Kostas: This small sandwich shop is located in the historic center of Athens and offers delicious Greek-style souvlaki sandwiches. The shop is popular with locals and tourists alike, and the atmosphere is informal and friendly.
- Pitta tou Pappou: This family-owned restaurant is located in the residential neighborhood of Pangrati and offers traditional Greek dishes, such as souvlaki and gyros. The restaurant has a playground and a garden, and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.
- Smile Cafe: This cafe is located in the upscale suburb of Kifissia and offers healthy and delicious food options for kids and adults alike. The cafe has a children’s play area and a garden, and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly.
- Nolan: This family-friendly restaurant is located in the residential neighborhood of Nea Smyrni and offers traditional Greek dishes, such as moussaka and souvlaki. The restaurant has a children’s play area and a garden, and the atmosphere is informal and welcoming.
Three-day Athens itinerary with kids
Here is a sample Athens itinerary that is suitable for families with kids:
- Visit the Acropolis: Start your day early to beat the crowds and the heat. The Acropolis is the most famous landmark in Athens and includes the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and other ancient ruins. There are plenty of tour guides available, or you can explore the site on your own.
- Visit the Acropolis Museum: After exploring the Acropolis, head to the Acropolis Museum, which is located at the base of the hill. The museum contains artifacts and exhibits from the Acropolis and provides a fascinating insight into ancient Greek history and culture.
- Lunch in Plaka: After visiting the museum, head to the charming neighborhood of Plaka for lunch. This historic district is full of traditional tavernas and cafes serving delicious Greek cuisine.
- Afternoon at the Athens Children’s Museum: In the afternoon, head to the Athens Children’s Museum, where kids can explore interactive exhibits and participate in workshops and activities.
- Visit the National Archaeological Museum: Start your day at the National Archaeological Museum, which is the largest archaeological museum in Greece. The museum contains a vast collection of ancient artifacts, including sculptures, pottery, and jewelry.
- Lunch in Syntagma Square: After visiting the museum, head to Syntagma Square for lunch. This is the main square in Athens and is surrounded by cafes and restaurants.
- Afternoon at the National Garden: In the afternoon, head to the National Garden, which is a large park in the center of Athens. The park contains a zoo, playgrounds, and plenty of walking paths, making it a great place for kids to run around and play.
- Visit the Temple of Olympian Zeus: Start your day by visiting the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which is one of the largest ancient temples in Greece. The temple is located near the National Garden and the Hadrian’s Arch.
- Lunch at Monastiraki: After visiting the temple, head to Monastiraki for lunch. This is a lively neighborhood full of street vendors, shops, and restaurants.
- Afternoon at the beach: In the afternoon, head to one of the beaches near Athens. The closest beach is the Athens Riviera, which is about 30 minutes from the city center. You can rent sunbeds and umbrellas, swim in the sea, and enjoy some family time at the beach.
Note: This itinerary can be adjusted to suit your preferences and schedule. It’s always a good idea to check opening hours and book tickets in advance to avoid long lines and wait times.
Fun facts for kids about Athens
Here are some fun and interesting facts about Athens that kids might enjoy:
- Athens is the capital city of Greece, and it has been around for more than 3,400 years.
- Athens is named after the goddess Athena, who was the goddess of wisdom, war, and crafts. According to Greek mythology, Athena and Poseidon competed to become the patron of the city, and Athena won by offering the city an olive tree.
- The Acropolis is a famous landmark in Athens and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built in the 5th century BC and contains several ancient buildings, including the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Erechtheion.
- The Olympic Games originated in Ancient Greece, and the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896. Athens has hosted the Olympic Games twice, in 1896 and in 2004.
- The National Archaeological Museum in Athens is the largest archaeological museum in Greece and contains thousands of artifacts from Ancient Greece. Some of the most famous exhibits include the Antikythera Mechanism, which is an ancient Greek astronomical calculator, and the Mask of Agamemnon, which is a gold funeral mask from the 16th century BC.
- Athens has a Mediterranean climate, which means it has mild winters and hot summers. The average temperature in Athens during the summer is around 30°C (86°F), and the city is known for its beautiful beaches and outdoor cafes.
- The Athenian Agora was the center of political and social activity in Ancient Athens. It was a marketplace and meeting place, and it was also the site of the Stoa of Attalos, which was a covered walkway that contained shops and offices.
- Greek cuisine is famous around the world, and some popular Greek dishes include moussaka, souvlaki, tzatziki, and feta cheese. In Athens, you can find a variety of restaurants and street vendors selling delicious Greek food.
- The Greek alphabet has 24 letters, and it is the oldest alphabet still in use today. The Greek language has influenced many other languages, including English, and some English words have Greek roots, such as “telephone” and “philosophy.”
- Athens has a rich history and culture, and it is home to many museums, theaters, and festivals. Some popular festivals in Athens include the Athens Festival, which is a summer festival that features music, theater, and dance performances, and the Athens Epidaurus Festival, which is a theater festival that takes place in the ancient theater of Epidaurus.
The Athens Children’s Museum
The Athens Children’s Museum is a popular attraction for families visiting Athens with kids. Also known as the “Children’s Museum of Athens”, it is located in the center of the city and offers a variety of interactive exhibits and activities for children of all ages.
The museum is designed to encourage creativity, imagination, and learning through play. The exhibits are hands-on and interactive, and they cover a range of topics, including science, technology, art, and culture. Children can explore a mock city, experiment with water and bubbles, create their own music, and learn about the human body and the environment.
One of the highlights of the museum is the “Mathematics Playground”, which is an outdoor area with giant puzzles, mathematical games, and activities that teach children about geometry and spatial reasoning.
Another popular exhibit is the “Kitchen Workshop”, where children can learn about healthy eating and food preparation through hands-on activities such as cooking and gardening.
The museum also offers workshops, classes, and special events throughout the year, such as science experiments, art classes, and storytelling sessions. These activities are designed to engage children and encourage their curiosity and creativity.
Overall, the Athens Children’s Museum is a fun and educational experience for families visiting Athens with kids. It is recommended for children aged 5-12, but younger children can also enjoy some of the exhibits with adult supervision.