Last Updated on August 2, 2022 by Celeste.
Nafplio (also called Nafplion/Greek: Ναύπλιο) is a beautiful town in eastern Peloponnese in mainland Greece, only 2-hour drive from Athens. This beautiful town offers everything that you need for a fun day trip from Athens, a weekend escape, or a winter or summer vacation! In this post, we will describe where to stay and what to do in Nafplion with kids!
Nafplio with Kids
Nafplio is the first capital of Greece and has played an important part in history. That is why Nafplion offers many historic monuments. Nafplio is a mix of castle walls, museums, galleries, green parks, and a historic old town. But it is also a great place for outdoor activities (such as biking) or relaxation (on the beaches nearby). Nafplio is considered one of the most beautiful towns in Greece. Nafplio town is small and easy to navigate with kids. The streets and pavements are well-maintained and easy for strollers to get around. There are many zebra crossings in Nafplio and a large part of the town is car-free. Kids will love the many playgrounds in Nafplio, traditional toy stores, and lots of ice cream places.
We updated this post in 2022. For an impression of our most recent trip to Nafplio, check our Stories on Instagram under the Peloponnese highlight
How to get to Nafplio from Athens
The best way for families to reach Nafplio from Athens is by car. Nafplio is 138 kilometers, or one hour and 40-minutes away from the Greek capital. The first part of the trip is on the national highway. The second part of the trip is the main road through a mountainous area. Once you arrive in Nafplio, it is best to park at one of the many public parking places near the port. Here you can leave the car and discover Nafplio on foot.
If you do not want to drive yourself, the best solution for a trip to Nafplio with kids is an organized bus excursion from Athens, such as this Full Day Trip to Nafplio and Epidaurus.
Nafplio is a great base to discover the rest of the Peloponnese. If you are planning on exploring the Peloponnese, we recommend you to stay in Tolo. This is a small beach resort outside Nafplio. You can find more information in Tolo, Greece. A Travel Guide for Families.
Is Nafplio a family-friendly destination?
Is Nafplio a relaxing and interesting destination to visit with children? I believe that it is. That is why we often visited the town. Young kids can run around freely and let go of their energy at the playground. Older kids will enjoy visiting the naval museum or the archaeological museum. Teens, on the other hand, will love the many pretty shops and boutiques. Parents will be able to relax at the pretty cafés while their kids walk around the square or in the car-free alleys.
What is the best time to visit Nafplio?
Nafplio is an all-year-round destination, suitable for each season of the year. The town has beautiful palm trees and landscaped gardens, as well as impressive mountains and hills in its surroundings.
In the summer, the waterfront at the port is full of life and the boulevard is excellent for a stroll and an ice cream. In the wintertime, Nafplio offers cozy taverns and cafés. You can also organize mountain excursions from Nafplio.
What to see and do in Nafplio with Kids
1. Explore beautiful Nafplio old town
Nafplio is a very pretty little town with lots of colorful streets, picturesque alleys, and corners. The old town is made up of Venetian buildings and neoclassical mansions. A walk around is wonderful for young kids and children in a stroller. Most streets and squares are smooth, many paved with marble and car-free. It is very easy to explore Nafplio on foot.
Show your children local architecture and discover the many ways of building houses and balconies. The classic residences with wooden shutters are fascinating, and all children will love wandering around the streets and experiencing the colors and shapes of the buildings.
After two hours on foot, you will have seen most of the old town. History is very visible everywhere in Nafplio. Even if you decide not to visit any museums or sites, the statues, arches, and historic buildings in Nafplio will remind you of the town’s important historic role. Nafplio with kids is fun just wandering around and looking up.
Other attractions in Nafplio are the beautiful cathedrals and the square of Saint Spiridon, the ‘Vouleftikon’ – the building that housed the first parliament of the Greek State – and the Old Mosque. All these are located in the Old Town.
2. Hop-on Hop-Off Bus
Another great way for kids to explore Nafplio by Hop on Hop off Bus. See various key sights of Nafplio on this bus tour while relaxing and enjoying the fresh air. Tickets are valid for one day so that you can explore many places of interest at your own pace. Click here to book your tickets.
3. Visit the Palamidi castle
The most important attraction in Nafplio is the Palamidi castle. Families with older children can climb the famous 999 steps up to the fortress. But you can also go by car and park right outside of the entrance to the castle. The drive up is easy and parking is free. A good alternative to the climb! The view from the Palamidi castle is stunning. The castle is NOT stroller friendly.
4. Explore Bourtzi Fortress
From the central Syntagma square you will need 15 minutes on foot to reach the beautiful Nafplio port. All kids love the buzz of ports with ships passing by. A visit to the Venetian fortress of Bourtzi, the trademark of the city, built on the island of Agioi Theodoroi across the port is interesting for older children. The fortress can be reached by a small boat from the port.
5. Discover Museums in Nafplio
There are several museums in Nafplio that are suitable for children. The Archaeological Museum of Nafplio was our favorite. In the museum, the time periods are explained via maquettes and children can really grasp the essence of what is on display. Even the youngest will be fascinated by the ancient artifacts, toys, jewelry, and more. The museum is stroller friendly, and the museum staff was helpful. Some ancient pots and stones are not protected by a glass wall, and therefore supervision is needed. No touching!
The war museum of Nafplio is located in the beautiful building of the Army Cadet School. The canons outside of the museum will fascinate your children. The museum shows the contemporary history of the Greek state, the participation of the citizens of the Argolida prefecture in revolts, from the Greek Revolution against the Ottoman Empire to the liberation from the occupation troops. There is a big collection of weapons and uniforms.
The Folklore Museum “Vasileios Papantoniou” collection covers over 45,000 artefacts related to modern Greek culture, with the emphasis on ethnography, fashion, and children. There are traditional clothes, toys and tools. Kids can see and learn about life in the Peloponnese and in Greece in general.Horseback Riding in Nafplio
6. Enjoy the city by family bike or street train ride
If your kids are old enough to handle a family bike, a city tour with one of these is a great way to explore! The children and I took the little street city train instead. The train is slow, but passes from most of Nafplio’s highlights. It is covered with plastic windows and it was not cold in the wintertime.
7. Syntagma Square
My favorite child-friendly place in Nafplio? The Syntagma square in the Old Town. It is large and car-free. It is surrounded by the Archaeological Museum, many cafés and a restaurant. You can relax and have a coffee while your kids are playing near you. This photo was taken at night, I loved the fact that there were still lots of families and children
8. Beekeeper for a Day in Nafplio
For children older than 9 years old, we found the Beekeeper for a Day Trip a very nice activity. Together with a guide, you will visit a bee farm where your family will attend a beekeeping workshop and gets to taste the honey too. For more information and booking, please click here.
9. Visit Mycenae and Epidaurus
If Nafplio is your base, you really need to visit Epidaurus. This tour is ideal for families based in Nafplion who want to explore the most famous archaeological site of the Peloponnese. Explore the ruins of Mycenae and Epidaurus and learn about their rich history with the help of a local guide. Transport from Nafplion is included. Click here for more information and booking this bus tour from Nafplio to Mycenae and Epidaurus
Where to stay in Nafplio with Kids
Nafplio has many hotels and guest houses. It is a popular destination for both foreign visitors and locals and rooms fill up fast. Generally speaking, there are two locations to stay; in the Old Town or in the New Town. If you decide to stay in the new part of Nafplio, you will need your car or transport to get to the center. In the Old Town, you will mostly find boutique hotels, many in old mansions (without elevators). Some are located around the main square and others are uphill. Check this before you book your hotel, because some places have stairs (not easy with a stroller!).
Family Hotels in Nafplio
999 Luxury Hotel Nafplio
During our first visit with kids in Nafplio, we stayed at the boutique hotel 999 Luxury Hotel Nafplio. The hotel is centrally located on the Staikopoulou main street of the Old Town. There is a staircase at the reception area, but I left our stroller downstairs and my kids were able to walk the stairs. The hotel was very inspiring, clean with family rooms (without balcony) and also baby cots and high chairs. I shared a large double room with my kids and baby cot. My friends had a spacious family room for 5 beds.
Amphitryon Hotel has great views out over the bay and the Bourtzi with 5 * facilities and family rooms. Other family-related services include babysitting and childcare by request. Click here for more information and to book your stay.
Ippoliti Hotel is another very centrally located luxury hotels with family rooms and excellent breakfast choices. Click here for more information and to book your stay. Click here for more information and to book your stay.
Grand Sarai has a large choice in family accommodation, excellent for large families. The rooms are modern with lots of daylight and high ceilings. Great breakfast and family-friendly staff. Click here for more information and to book your stay.
Kyveli Suites are of similar modern design with eye for details and lots of colours. Located in a quiet alley nearby all the main Nafplio attractions. Click here for more information and to book your stay.
Another favourite of mine is the hip boutique hotel Adiandi. Lovely family rooms, jacuzzi, films and art. Very creative decor and surroundings!
Amymone hotel has the same owners and is another great creative and uplifting boutique hotel. Great for teenagers who will love the decor and hip vibe. Click here for more information and to book your stay.
This is the most well-known hotel in Nafplio frequently visited by me without kids. It is a family luxury hotel with wonderful views over the Bay of Argolis and the Bourtzi. It provides a range of room types, from double rooms to luxury villas. The hotel facilities include a gym, swimming pool, and a beauty center. Nafplia Palace is family-friendly with children’s menus in the restaurant, as well as baby-sitting and child-care services. The kids will love using the lift to go down through the rock to reach the town of Nafplio. Click here for more information and to book your stay.
3Sixty Hotel and Suites
For families with older children, I recommend the pretty 3Sixty Hotel and Suites in the Old Town. A very hip and innovative space offering a full trendy Nafplio experience. Lots of gourmet cuisine, wines and trendy decor with a classical twist. Click here for more information and to book your stay.
For information in English about Nafplio you can visit the website of the Nafplio municipality or send me a message! Have you been to Nafplio and what is your favourite family activity or hotel? Let me know in the comments box below!
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Celeste was born and raised in the Netherlands but lives in Greece for 25 years. She studied at the Dutch Institute of Athens underneath the Acropolis and currently lives with her family in an Athenian suburb. Celeste is the founder of Family Experiences Blog. Whether you and your family live in Greece or are visiting, this blog will show you the very best ways in which to celebrate family life here.