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Athens with Baby
Athens is attractive all year around but I would avoid visiting in the hot summer with a very young baby. Spring or fall would be best. March is a period between winter and spring. The temperature is getting higher, with an average daily temperature of 12 degrees C, but the nights are still cold. Typical March weather includes rain as well (Find out more on what to do with kids on a rainy day in Athens here). I personally found traveling with a baby under 6 months old the easiest period. The baby sleeps most of the day, the baby drinks (mother) milk and doesn’t need food yet, the baby cannot walk yet (no running away either), the baby wears diapers and doesn’t need a toilet yet. A well organized diaper bag is important. If the baby drinks formula milk than check if your brand is available in Greece. Athens center has many pharmacies selling formula milk and it should never be a problem to buy milk. These pharmacies also sell baby foods. What is important to take into consideration is transportation: If you are renting a car in Greece, make sure that you book a car seat for the baby. The same applies for taking taxis: only use reliable companies that offer baby car seats. Train, tram and metro are accessible with stroller. Inside the city it is best to use a baby carrier or sling. The Athens roads and pavements can be difficult to manoeuvre with a stroller. Some of the roads are cobble stone and not very smooth. Having said that, some of the important tourist areas are car free and offer stroller friendly roads. These are Plaka, Monasteraki, the area around the New Acropolis Museum and the Acropolis, Syntagma and Ag. Irine square.
Eating in Athens with Baby
As said before, young babies are relatively easy as far as eating. They drink milk or just started weaning and they do not eat in a high chair yet. Any restaurant in Greece will provide you with boiled water for formula milk and from my personal experience I believe that breastfeeding is very well accepted anywhere in Greece. Baby food can be found in any supermarket and pharmacy in Greece. If you need to order some soft boiled veggies or fruits for your child, it is usually not a problem in Greek restaurants, they are flexible and they generally welcome children.
Here are some ideas for visiting Athens with your baby. I suggest walks and museums or site visits around the city’s centre. Each day you can choose a different itinerary suitable for strollers and babies. In the summer season, divide the day by two: Start your visit around 8am the morning, have a break around 2pm and continue around 5pm until night. Yes, you can explore Athens with your baby!
– Syntagma Square and the Greek Parliament: Begin your journey at the main fountain square. Across the street you can see the Greek Parliament, where Evzones, an elite ceremonial unit that guards the Greek Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, change every hour by following a very precise saluting choreography and an incredible synchronization. It’s absolutely worth seeing!
– The National Gardens: The National Gardens are an oasis in the middle of the city, located behind the Parliament, you will no longer hear cars but enjoy the nature. You can take a blanket with you and find a spot where you can roll it out on the grass, seat, and relax with your baby. There are large grass areas where you can sit and babies can walk and crawl, and experiment walking barefoot on the lawn. Inside the park you’ll also find a playground.
– Restaurant Avocado (+ bio shop): This is a small vegetarian restaurant (reserve a table at avocadoathens.com – phone: +30 2103237878). Avocado Restaurant serves healthy Mediterrean food. The tables are low and you can seat on pillows too. There is a changing table in the toilettes.
– A walk from Ermou street to Monastiraki square: Ermou, one of the first streets to be designed in modern Athens, is a pedestrian zone that connects the Parliament with Kerammeikos, by passing through Monastiraki and Psyri. The first part of the street is full of shops and just before reaching Monastiraki, you’ll have the chance to see one of the oldest churches of Athens, the Byzantine Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea, originally built around the 11th century that stands right in the middle of the street.
– Acropolis (no stroller access, it is possible to leave the stroller at the entrance). Acropolis is the most spectacular sight of Athens, but families can access it only by carrying babies in their arms. Keep in mind that the major part of marble/stone steps are slippery and steep.
– Acropolis Museum Cafe (for a snack or coffee). You can enter the museum, buy tickets and if you want to relax before visiting, go to the 2nd floor to take a snack or cafe with the amazing view of the Acropolis Museum Restaurant. There is a changing table on the toilet on the first floor.
– Acropolis Museum. The visit duration is approx. 1 hour. There is an elevator, and it is stroller friendly.
Walk Aeropagitou Street, a pedestrian walk zone, located in front of the Acropolis Museum gate to Thiseio Square.
– Buy a snack at Jacqueline de Romilly Square (and playground) with an amazing view of Acropolis
Alternative activities: Bus City Sightseeing (from Syntagma square) offers a chance to have ride through the city. More information: www.citysightseeing.gr.
Metro Tip! The Athenian Metro is new, clean and pleasant to use.