A visit to Athens with children will certainly be enjoyable for all the family, with entertaining activities and interesting experiences. Depending on the season and the kids' preferences, a day at the beach or in the park is ideal. Museums with exhibits specifically for children, amusement parks, animals, are also high on the list of youngsters favourites. I have created this comprehensive list of the top activities to see and do in Athens Greece. I hope you find it useful and interesting!
*Updated blog post*
Athens with children
Athens with children is great! I am very passionate about Athens. It is such a historic place and there is lots to do for families. With perfect weather, good family hotels and easy to visit activities for children, Athens is a great destination for family vacation or city break. In summer, Athens can easily be combined with the beaches along the Athens Coast or the islands nearby. In winter time, Athens is an ideal destination for a weekend escape. So take the kids, put on some comfortable shoes and explore one of the oldest cities in the world.
Climb up the Acropolis
On top of the list and a definite must see when visiting Athens with children is the Acropolis. Travel back to ancient Athens and show your kids the birthplace of democracy. If you enter the Acropolis archaeological site from the main entrance on Dionysou Areopagitou street, you will see not only the world-famous Parthenon but also the Theatre of Dionysus and the Odeon of Herodes. The Acropolis is suitable for children starting from 3-4 years old; it is not allowed to use strollers inside the Acropolis.
In a list of things to do in Athens with children, the New Acropolis Museum cannot be left out. Maybe not our monthly visit but at least a couple of times per year. In summer because it is nice and cool and in winter because we don’t get wet or cold. The New Acropolis is a new and spacious museum. One of my greatest passions is History and Archeology and my daughters seem to follow me. The museum makes it very easy for children to get excited! The New Acropolis museum offers family backpacks with an educational program for families, it organizes family tours, there is a children’s lab, there are children guides and a number special family events throughout the year. In summer we love visiting the so-called ‘museum night’. Check out the family programs of the New Acropolis Museum here. With young, kids you can check out the Lego Acropolis model on the top floor. Older children will appreciate the movie about the history of the Acropolis and the book corner. The first-floor museum shop is next to the book corner and sells games, books, toys and other educational materials for kids in several languages. The museum offers strollers free of charge at the cloakroom. There is also a parents room on the first floor that can be used for changing and (breast)feeding your baby. At the second floor restaurant, there is a children’s menu’s available. Check out the gorgeous view from the balcony (safe for children because surrounded by a wall). Finally, children from the EU under 18 years of age with a current identification card are entitled to free admission.
Stroll around Plaka
The oldest residential neighbourhood in Athens, Plaka sits in the shadows of the city’s ancient ruins, a labyrinth of pedestrian-friendly streets and notable examples of Neoclassical architecture. It is a picturesque tourist-driven area with trendy shops, upscale restaurants, and sidewalk cafes. A walk around the historic Plaka area is a favourite excursion when friends or family are visiting from abroad. Winter and summer, any time of the day, my kids love it here. The neighbourhood is car-free and kids can run safely around. My favourite place in Plaka is Lisikrati Square. The children love playing around the ancient monument there and we sit and have lunch in one of the restaurants around this little square. For drinks, we go to the historic Brettos Bar in Plaka. Kids love the colours in this old distillery.
Family-friendly Tours in Athens
Get a glimpse into the life of a young Athenian by joining one of the Young Explorers tours offered by Discover Greek Culture. The tours engage children of ages 5-12 in a fantastic range of cultural experiences which encourage them to delve deeper into the rich mythological past of one of the world’s oldest civilisation. From visiting the renowned historical sites such as the Parthenon and Ancient Agora, the little travellers will be up for a unique learning adventure. But there are more family-friendly tours. You can find our experience with this tour on the blog. We also tried another tour, a tour with the emphasis on Mythology highlights of Athens. Families can get a wonderful feel of the fascinating stories related to the most imposing landmarks. From how Athens got its name, to the legends of the almighty Zeus and the intriguing truth behind the tales told by the Ancient Greeks. Finally, a great way to get to know is a city is through a food tour! And food is a vital part of any Greek holiday experience. Spend the morning visiting the bustling central food market, sample some of Greece’s traditional dishes and travel through a world of exquisite aromas and tastes. An educational and delicious experience for the whole family! We tried several food tours, have a look at Tours on this blog.
My daughter and I recently tried a self-guided audio tour in Athens by Clio Muse. Clio Muse offers self-guided tours by top local expert storytellers in multiple themes in Athens, Greece and Europe. History, mythology, gastronomy, art or kids and more! The Clio Muse Family tours are suitable for young children or teenagers. In the Kids section, you will find tours with charming titles such as “Meet the Queen” or “Fish in Love”! Clio Muse is available for Android and iOS devices and in many languages. Each tour indicates the distance, the number of stops and the duration. You need a smartphone or tablet to download the Clio Muse app. From there, you can access the tours. You can activate the tours at any moment you wish, even if you are offline. You can also repeat the tour at any time. An interactive map on your screen will guide you step-by-step as you explore all points of interest along your route. Each stop comes with a selection of stories. Use headphones to best enjoy! Are you excited to try a self-guided audio tour? Clio Muse offers a 15% discount on any Clio Muse tour to the readers of this blog. To receive your discount you need to use the code celeste2019. For more information and on how to claim your discount, please click here
Visit the Panathenaic Stadium
Teach your children everything about the Olympic Games by visiting the Panathenaic Stadium. This classical and cultural monument of Athens is one of the most significant places not only for Athens but for all Greece. Its history is directly connected to the Modern Olympic Games as from their revival in 1896 until the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. It is also the place from where the Olympic flame sets up its journey to the cities of the Olympic Games. The Panathenaic Stadium is located on the site of an ancient stadium that hosted athletic games in antiquity. In Roman times and the following periods, the stadium had different functions. The first Modern Olympic Games were also held here. It was in the Panathenaic Stadium that the Olympic Hymn was heard for the first time and throughout the twentieth century the Panathenaic Stadium hosted diverse events, among them pan-Hellenic and, international games. In the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, archery contests were held here and the stadium is also the finishing line of the yearly Athens Marathon race.
The stadium is open March until October from 08:00 – 19:00 and November – February 08:00 – 17:00. Tickets can be purchased outside the stadium (General Admission tickets 5 Euro, children under 6 years old free entrance). It can get very hot during the day here and there is no shade so an early visit is recommended. The stadium and the square in front of it are great for getting energy out. My kids love running on the tracks and feeling like an athlete. From the stadium, you will also enjoy a beautiful view over both the Acropolis hill and the Parthenon as well as the Lycabettus hill, two of Athens’ most important landmarks. More on this unique marble Stadium: www.panathenaicstadium.gr
National Archaeological Museum
Another must visit when holidaying in Athens with children. Because this is one of the world’s most renowned museums and the largest in Greece. The National Archaeological Museum houses a remarkable collection of excavations from all over Greece. Children will be delighted to discover more than 11,000 artefacts which provide a unique panorama of the Greek civilization and its developments over the centuries — from Prehistory to Late Antiquity.
Greek dancing at Dora Stratou Dance Theatre
Children can learn the art of Greek dancing at the living museum of Greek dance which was founded in 1953. At this exceptional garden theatre located on the Philopappou Hill, opposite the Acropolis visitors can enjoy a series of daily performances. The Theatre houses the largest collection of its kind of over 2,000 traditional Greek costumes which have been acquired over a course of 30 years. The theatre offers dance classes for all ages as well as a selection of workshops such as traditional embroidery.
Museum of Illusions
The Museum of Illusion is a new attraction in Athens with children. It brings you into a world of illusions, suitable for all ages. Be brave enough to jump in an illusion created by the Vortex Tunnel that will drive you crazy and make you believe you’re heavily struggling just to make a step forward through a rotating cylinder – on a surface so stable and flat! Deform the image of yourself in a Mirror Room, let yourself free in an Infinity room, resist the laws of gravity and size ratio, and take pictures of yourself in all sorts of situations. Anastasia tried and tested the optical illusions, holograms and installations.
The National Gardens
The National Gardens, formerly called the ‘Royal Garden’, is a public park of 15.5 hectares in the center of Athens. It is located directly behind the Greek Parliament building (the old palace) and in between the famous monuments of the Zappeion and the Panathenaiko Stadium. We always stop here when we are in Athens with children. My kids love it because of its huge and impressive palm trees at the entrance of the park, for its animals and its paths. Inside the National Garden, you will find, a little farm with animals and birds and a pond with turtles. There is also a nice playground with a large sandbox in the shade. There are impressive botanic gardens, a labyrinth of rare plants and trees and plenty of open grass areas and benches to have a picnic. The National Garden also features a botanical museum, a small cafe, and a children’s library. The main entrance is on Amalias Avenue but you also enter the garden from Vasilissis Sophias Avenue, Herodou Attikou street, and the Zappeion park area.
Little Kook Cafe
Kids will love the fairy tale theme cafe Little Kook in Psyrri. This season, the cute cafe brings to live the magical world of Alice in Wonderland. A unique F&B concept in Athens takes the Greek cafe culture to a whole new level, making it a wonderful place for a great day out with family. Now your kids can enjoy a Mad Hatters Tea Party right in the heart of Athens.
Athens Coast with Children
This recent addition to the Athens’ cultural scene is housed in an impressive 19th-century villa on the Athens coast. A fairy tale like castle houses a remarkable collection of over 20,000 toys, books, clothing and various ephemera associated with childhood from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. The museum is suitable for children starting from 6 years old. Younger children can join but may not be as fascinated.
National Observatory of Athens
Founded in 1842 the National Observatory of Athens is housed in the historic Sinas building, perched on a hill of the Nymphs, facing the Acropolis. At the Visitor Centre in Thissio, guests can discover the alluring world of astronomy and explore the historic library of the Observatory which houses a wealth of rare scientific books dating back to the 17th century. Discover the history of the Greek Astronomy by observing the Athens starry sky through the Doridis telescope. Various tours are organized in Greek and English.
The Visitor Centre is open Monday to Friday from 9am until 2pm.
Flisvos Park Playground
Athens with children will take you to outdoor playgrounds. One big public playground one can be found in the South part of Athens. It is called Palio Faliro Park Flisvos and offers a full day out all year round and for the whole family. It is one of the best and largest playgrounds in Attica and located next to the sea and Poseidonos Avenue. The park is divided into 2 sections with toys suitable according to age. Outside of the playgrounds are several family-friendly cafes, picnic tables, a bike route, a dog park and an open-air cinema. You can also rent family bikes. My children love the large spider web and the slides. Don’t forget to try a typical Greek streetfood snack: roasted corn.
Marina Flisvos Volta Amusement Park
In the marina of Flisvos is a small entertainment park with a soft play area (with an entrance fee) that is suitable for the 1-4 years old.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre offers a series of interactive sailing events which feature both — on the Canal and on shore activities. The program has been designed for children in Athens in cooperation with the Kalamaki Yacht Club. Admission is free. For more details and program dates click here.
Beyond Athens with Children
Attica Zoological Park
We have been visiting the Attiko Parko ever since our kids were babies. The sounds, scents, and colors in an animal park will appeal to even the youngest children. The Attiko Parko is very stroller friendly. The stroller can come up close to the animals. I used to love ‘parking the stroller’ in front of the bird cages and let my toddler watch the colorful birds for hours. We still try to go to the Athens Zoo at least once per month, my two children never get bored going there. In summer it can get hot in the park but there are plenty of animals to see in the shade. Our most recent visit was in December 2016 to see the latest addition to the park: the Asian elephants! Children under 3 years old do not pay and on the so-called ‘Stroller Friday’, every mom or dad who will come with a baby stroller will pay a discounted price. The zoo regularly makes special deals and there are various discounted packages for (large) families and special prices for seniors and disabled persons. Perfect for winter inside the reptile house cool in summer at the dolphin educational center. Are you travelling to Athens with children via Athens airport: the Athens zoo is nearby!
If you are looking for more animal parks in Athens city that are suitable for children, have a look here at my blog post about animals and animal parks in Athens.
Do you love to be active with your kids outdoors as much as I do? Then you cannot miss a visit to the Adventure Park. I have been so often that I have dedicated a post to this park called The Adventure Park great for kids and teens. The park is outside the city, located near the national road Athens – Lamia at about 40 kilometres from Athens center but worth your visit when in Athens with children. It is easiest to reach by car but there is a public bus stop at the park as well. It is a nice excursion for anyone staying either in Athens, South Evia island or the coastline of East Attica. The park is set in 50 acres of forest with enormous pine trees and impressive mountains. It is a climbing park where you can enjoy the trees, challenging ropes, swings, platforms and more. Kids are assigned to groups according to their age and there is a little test and training for them before they start. The staff is super child-friendly and fun to be around with. I find the park safe, clean and great fun for a family day out. The budget the day out you can bring your own picnic basket. Adults (‘the Eagles’) and children can start flying through the trees as early as 3 years (‘the Squirrels’) old. (the little ones need supervision from the parents) But even younger ones will enjoy the park. There is a garden for gardening, there are balls and free play areas. The park is stroller friendly and even with the baby I used to visit the park, she was enjoying the nature around her. The park is cool in the summer because of the trees and in the mild Greek winter, the climbing will get you warmed up.
Athens with children is great. Don’t hesitate to start exploring! Need more family-friendly ideas for Athens with children? Have a look at the below posts.
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