Athens International Airport (AIA) has been ranked third in AirHelp’s 7th annual listing of the world’s best airports and airlines for 2019 with an overall score of 8.38/10 based on the quality of service, on-time performance, and choice of food & shopping. I have always enjoyed travelling from and to this airport since it opened its doors many years ago. It comes as no surprise to me that it has ranked so well. I am very satisfied with its facilities and services but mostly, the available assistance and help towards me and my kids.
Updated blog post 2019
Athens airport with kids is easy to navigate. I have been flying with my kids from and to Greece countless times since they were both newborn babies, so I believe my tips can be valuable. If you are visiting Greece from abroad, you are likely to arrive at one of Greece’s 15 (!) international airports or (mostly in summer) one of its 27 (!) national airports. The busiest is the Athens International airport (or AIA) called “Elefthérios Venizélos”. It operates since 2001 and serves as the hub and main base of Aegean Airlines as well as other Greek airlines.
Athens airport with kids
Here are 10 reasons why I believe Athens airport is easy with kids:
1. Location: AIA is located in Spata area and can be reached within half hour from every part of Athens town. It is also near several beaches and holiday destinations in the South and East Attica area. If you have the time before your flight, you could have a swim at the nearby beach or visit one of the many retail parks and designer outlet in the area.
2. Easy to reach by road and public transport: We usually go to the airport by train or car. The train arrives at a 5-minute walking distance from the departure terminal. We can also be dropped off right outside the departure terminal and only need a 5-minute walk to the check-in counter. If we park at the ‘short-term parking area’ (the first 20 minutes are for free) we need 10 minutes more by feet to arrive at check-in.
3. Design: The terminals of the Athens airport are modern, spacious, clean, safe and there is lots of daylight coming in.
4. Size: Athens airport is relatively small and people are spread out. (In comparison with big hub airports elsewhere in Europe) In the summertime, you will find waiting lines at some check-in counters, but in general, this is not a busy airport because people are spread out before security checks.
5. Airport staff: very helpful! In no other airport have I been helped at security check-in as much as I have here. Athens airport with kids is comfortable, children are approached with respect, and we are always accompanied by a staff member through a priority lane. During all our flights in the busy summer of 2019, we have not waited in line for security but were helped to pass from a separate entrance where our passports and boarding cards were checked manually.
6. Kids club makes Athens airport with kids fun: The playroom is located on the first floor and is designed for children from 1,5, until 8 years old. The children have to be accompanied by a parent at all times and you will need to show your passport and boarding passes. There is a soft play corner for the little ones and toys, books, handicrafts for the older children.
7. Babies: Clean baby changing rooms in both public and passenger parts of the airport and there are fountains everywhere to fill our water bottles
8. Museum: There is a small exhibition on the first floor (next to the play area). It is always a nice distraction while we are waiting for our flight. The collection houses many ancient artefacts which were uncovered during construction work at the site of the airport
9. Great views: We love visiting the fast food restaurant on the first floor for its beautiful panoramic views over the runway. Seeing planes landing and taking off is the perfect start of our vacation.
10. The sun is always shining in Greece. Arriving back at Athens airport makes us feel happy: its sunny, and we are home!
Stay at Athens Airport
There are 2 good family hotels near the Athens airport, both with family rooms and kids’ facilities.
The first one is Athens Sofitel Hotel, located at the airport at a 2-minute walk from the departure hall. A luxury choice with many open spaces, restaurants and bars for a very relaxed stay. My kids love the desserts and sweets at the ground flour lobby. The best choice if you don’t want the hassle of leaving and arriving at the airport. Click here for more information and to book your stay.
The second one is the Athens Holiday Inn. The Holiday Inn requires a 10-minute taxi ride from the airport but it is actually really close. The hotel features an indoor pool and gym, many family rooms, and is in close proximity to the major Athenian shopping malls. Beautiful views over the Athenian landscape from all rooms! Click here for more information and to book your stay.
How to get to Athens Airport with Kids?
A railway station is immediately adjacent to the airport terminal, accessible by an elevated walkway. Athens Metro line 3 and the suburban railway service Proastiakos run trains to and from this station.
The airport is accessible by the Attiki Odos toll highway from the center and northern Athens, Varis-Koropiou Avenue from the western part, Lavrio Ave. from the South, and Spata-Loutsa Avenue from the East. A variety of parking options are available on-site at the airport in three different parking lots. Located at the arrivals level, opposite the airport terminal, the airport offers short-term parking for maximum five hours with 1,357 parking spaces available in lots P1 and P2. Long-term parking is located across the airport’s main access road (Attiki Odos) with 5,802 parking spaces in lot P3. A free shuttle bus is available there to take you to the terminal. Premium valet service is also offered at the Departures.
Upon your arrival, taxis are available at the designated Taxi waiting area located by exit 3 of the arrivals level. Limousine service is also available upon request by the inner curbside of the arrivals level between exits 3 and 4. Taxis can drop you off at Departures right outside of the check-in counters.
Families with older kids may opt for the airport bus. Four bus lines connect directly to the Athens greater area, the intercity bus stations (KTEL Kifissos Bus Terminal and Liosion bus terminal) and Piraeus. Buses disembark passengers at the departures level, again, right outside of the check-in counters and depart from the arrivals level between exits 4 and 5.
What is your experience of Athens International airport?
Did you like this post? Pin it for later!