Athens International Airport is voted among the best in Europe for 2017. I have been enjoying traveling from and to this airport since it opened its doors many years ago. I have always been satisfied with not only its architecture and set up but with its facilities and service too. With kids, Athens airport is definitely one of my favorites in Europe.
Athens airport with kids is easy! 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 on 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. As it was reported in GTP News, Athens airport was recently voted among the best in Europe and I understand why.
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 two terminals of the Athens airport are modern, spacious, clean, safe and there is lots of daylight coming in.
4. Size: Athens airport is small. (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. Walking distances to the gates are small and everything is very straightforward, we can easily find our way around
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
6. Kids club makes Athens airport with kids fun: A free of charge play area run by qualified personnel. 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. Open from 09:00 – 21:00.
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 artifacts 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!
There are 2 good hotels near the airport, both with family rooms and children facilities. They are the Sofitel and the Holiday Inn. The Sofitel is located at the airport. The Holiday Inn requires a 10-minute taxi ride.
How to get there?
Railway and Metro
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.
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.
Regional bus services by KTEL Express operate to the airport, currently connecting the airport to Rafina, Markopoulo, Lavrio, Kalyvia, and Keratea. Passengers disembark at the departures level and depart from the arrivals level between exits 2 and 3.