Visiting Athens with kids: all you need to know to plan a visit. Where to stay in Athens with kids, best kids’ attractions in Athens, our favorite family friendly Athens hotel.
My family loves Athens.
I first visited Athens when I was a kid myself, and I had lasting memories of its beauty, history and upbeat personality.
It was one of the cities I’d most dearly wanted to show my children and when we finally did, they also fell in love with it.
During our last family trip to Greece, we used Athens as both a starting and an end point to our family trip to Peloponnese with the children and it has left such as positive impression on us, we booked one more trip to Athens before we had even left it!
So you see, when I see my family loves Athens, I really mean this!
Athens is beautiful, historically significant, welcoming, and has wonderful weather.
We also found it full of kid-friendly attractions and a very family-friendly place.
Before our trip, I had many questions about how to tackle such a large capital city with children and now that we’ve been, I am ready to share our findings with you.
Below, you will fin my guide to Athens with kids with answers to all the practical questions we had before traveling and what we discovered on the ground.
I hope you find it helpful!
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Table of Contents
Why visit Athens with kids
There are many reason why I recommend a family trip to Athens.
- Athens has some of the most beautiful and significant archaeological sites in the world, easy to enjoy at all ages
- Athens has great family hotels that make your visit with kids easy and pleasant
- Athens has plenty of kid-friendly attractions and museums
- The Athenians has a wonderful, family friendly attitude and make kids welcome everywhere
- It is easy to find kid-friendly food both in supermarkets and in tabernas
- Compared with other European capitals, Athens has decent prices that mean you can visit without breaking the bank
Why not visit Athens with kids
There is no reason to skip Athens, although I believe it is useful to know the following:
- In summer, Athens gets very hot.
The breeze tends to make the weather bearable but if you are not used to hot summers, the high temperature and intense sun can be hard to take and rally limit your ability to enjoy a day sightseeing. If you don’t like hot weather, it is best to visit in any season but summer.
- Athens’ modern city center has homelessness and poverty.
While this is very much in line with what you see in many other big cities, depending on what you are used to it may feel upsetting so it is good to be prepared, especially if it is a new experience for your kids.
Good to know: We found Athens to be safe, beautiful and welcoming. I share these observations about homelessness to give a more rounded account of our experience of the city. Still, I hope they don’t discourage you from visiting: Athens is too beautiful and interesting to skip!
Where to stay in Athens with kids
My biggest questions when planning this family trip to Athens was to pick the best place to stay in Athens with kids.
We knew we wanted to see the Acropolis but is close to the Acropolis the best place to stay in Athens with family or are other areas better?
In the end, we chose two different locations and both worked great.
Colors Hotel Athens – this is lovely, hip and fun hotel in Athens modern city center.
It has nice family rooms, a very fun, colourful decor, a good breakfast and it is in a good location to reach Syntagma Square and the National Archaeological Museums : we were able to walk to both.
The hotel is about 30 mins walk to the Acropolis but on the metro line. We found exploring from here easy and pleasant.
Plaka Hotel – this hotel is in the area called Plaka, close to all the archaeological sites and many cafes and restaurants.
While touristy, we loved this area the most: the proximity to the ancient sites was a real plus and the area felt safe and convenient
The hotel has good sized interconnecting rooms for families, a great breakfast and was very quiet, despite being in a busy area.
The ice cream and macaroon shop in front was a huge extra success with our kids!
We easily walked from here to the Acropolis, the two agoras, Anafiotika neighbourhood and Syntagma square.
TOP TIP! The hotel has a wonderful rooftop bar with stunning views of the Acropolis. The terrace is family friendly: I highly recommend you get a table for a drink and a juice after sunset to catch outstanding views of the Parthenon.
Good to know: We found both hotels to be great and would stay again. Of the two, we found the hotel in Plaka more convenient for a short stay especially if, like us, you want to make ancient site the center of your Athenian experience.
The best things to do in Athens with kids
As visitors, we found the best things to do in Athens with kids were the following.
Visit the Acropolis
The Acropolis is the most famous ancient site in Athens, the area above the city where you now find the ruins of several ancient temples and buildings, the most famous of which is the Parthenon.
The Acropolis is wonderful; visiting it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The ruins of the Propylaea (the monumental entrance to the ancient citadel), the Erechtheion (Temple of Athena) and the Parthenon are the star of the show.
However, the overall archaeological park is stunning and the views over the city, both ancient and modern are breathtakingly beautiful.
The Acropolis is not stroller friendly and I highly recommend you have a baby carrier with you, if visiting with a baby or toddler.
Our 10 and 12 year old loved the Acropolis: they found the views from the top of the hill exciting and enjoyed the story of the foundation of Athens and its Gods and Goddesses, set right on the Acropolis!
Access to the Acropolis is ticketed and kids go free. however, to avail of the free tickets kids need to show proof of age on arrival, which means you may need to queue, even if in possession of a ticket already.
I’ll share full info on ticketing below or you can secure tickets for everyone in advance here.
Visit the Greek Agora
The ‘Greek Agora’ of Athens is the archaeological site comprising what used to be the political and trade center of ancient Athens.
The Agora sits at the bottom of the Acropolis and is a wonderful site for kids and adults alike, dotted with ancient monument, trees and shaded areas.
The site includes a large outdoor part and a beautiful museum.
Both are worth visiting and have info panels that tell you what you see.
Our children loved it as the large open space: the Agora, a little like the Roman Forum in Rome, feels like a park, with the added beauty of the ancient breathtaking temples!
Access to the Agora is ticketed. Combined tickets also inclucing the Acropolis are available here.
Visit the Roman Agora
The Roman Agora is another stunning archaeological site in Athens, dating to Roman times.
The site is below the Acropolis and beside the Greek Agora and since it is rather small, you can easily visit them together (the ticket is combined).
Our kids loved it as there are some fascinating ruins, it is outdoors and gated, so they were able to explore independently and safely
Have as stroll in stunning Anafiotika
Anafiotika is a delightfully pretty neighbourhoods in Athens and one of my favorite places in the city.
This neighbourhood develops immediately below the Acropolis and it unique as it is built in Cycladic Style, which means the houses are small, whitewashed and embody that quintessential Greek style we always admire in photos of famous Greek islands!
Anafiotika is a residential neighborhood and there is not much to do as such: what you do here is wandering, taking photos, petting the stray cats and just admire the beauty of this delightful quarter.
Our kids adored it here and we came twice in two days.
The houses in this area develop along narrow lanes that create a maze of alleys and they had great fun opening the way exploring!
If you have tiny ones, bring a carrier and leave the stroller at home: this area is all steps so a stroller is impossible to manoeuvre.
Enjoy the pretty streets of Plaka
Plaka is a beautiful area in central Athens, below the Acropolis, and it is where you find the tourist heart of Athens.
Here, you have access to many of the most beautiful archaeological sites in the city, plenty of restaurants, shops, cafes and all tourist facilities.
While touristy, Plaka is wonderful.
As a visitor, this is very much the place you want to be in as it is where you have all the lovely tavernas and most of the attractions.
Depending where in Plaka you are, you have streets with rows of restaurants and souvenir shops or quieter streets with pretty and mellow cafes.
Our kids loved the buzz of this area and we were delighted to discover all restaurants and bar were welcoming to them (even those with rooftops terraces and music).
Visit the National Museum of Athens with kids
The National Museum of Athens is one of the most beautiful ancient art museums I have ever visited (I am from Rome and studied classics, so this is quite a statement!).
The museum has breathtaking statues and artefacts and it is well laid out and with good info panels.
We had read beforehand that the museum doesn’t have much for kids however, you really don’t need much to make them feel the magic of the place.
For our kids, the highlights were the treasures from Mycenae, the several statues of Heracles (a great opportunity to tell the again the myth of the Hero’s trials) and the wonderful statue of Poseidon /Zeus preserved here .
You can get tickets >>> here <<<
Visit the Acropolis Museum
The Acropolis Museum is where Athens preserved many of the findings from the area of the Acropolis, minus those that made their way abroad.
The museum is family friendly and is hosted in a beautiful building with incredible views and a good family friendly cafe.
It is most worth visiting in connection with the Acropolis as it complements what you see on location.
If I were to choose between this and the National Museum, I would choose the National Museum. however, if you have time for both, this one is also worth seeing.
Visit the Museum of ancient Greek Technology with kids
One of the best museum for kids in Athens is the wonderful museum of Ancient Greek Technology.
The museum is in several cities (we also loved the one in Olympia) and has been a highlight for our kids as it has incredible machines and mechanical wonders from ancient times the children are able to admire and, in most cases, operate!
The museum is great for all ages and we felt it came particularity into its own for primary school kids.
See the canning of the guards at Syntagma Square
A very popular and fun thing to do in Athens with kids is to admire the changing of the guard in Syntagma square.
Syntagma Square is a large, modern, and monumental square in Athens city center and the seat of teh Greek Parliament.
On the square, there are two guard towers and, at regular intervals, the guards perform a changing of the guards ritual which is wonderful for kids to see (and adults, too. It is quite a sight!)
The changing of the Gard only lasts a few minuets and it is interesting as you can admire the elaborate and peculiar uniforms as well as their precise and well rehearsed movement that make the change look like a dance!
Watching the changing of the guard is free.
How to get around Athens with kids
Since we stayed in Athens centre, we walked most places and found walking a great way to discover the city.
However, for longer distances you can also rely on the metro and taxis.
Athens’ taxis operate following a fixed fare on some routes (such as from the airport to the city center) and with a meter for inner city rides.
We found taxi drivers to be sometimes willing to use the meter and sometime trying to offer us a deal for a certain journey.
Good to know: Neither case turned out to be a very high cost but if you want to avoid this type of exchange, we found asking out hotel to book a cab for us eliminated all anxiety.
Taxis do not carry and do not require child seats: make sure you bring your own if you want to stay safe and not have to ride with them on your lap.
Another good transport option in Athens is the metro, which is safe and stroller friendly.
You can choose between a single ticket or more comprehensive transport cards, including a tourist ticket that is handy if planning on taking the metro from the airport on arrival.
In our case, we took a taxi from the airport as we arrived very late at night and found we couldn walk everywhere, especially when staying in Plaka.
I would recommend to have a look at the map and plan out where you want to go before buying transport cards as I may well happen you don’t need them.
Where to eat in Athens with kids + kid friendly Greek food
We fond all Athens restautans, cafes and tavernas to be family friendly.
A little bit like in Italy, we felt Athenians welcome kids everywhere, even on rooftop terraces with music, where in other countries you may expect a more grown up clientele.
Of the several places we tried, we particularly enjoyed dinner at Zeus Xenios near the Acropolis and an after hour drink on the top terrace of of our Plaka Hotel.
Food our kids enjoyed in Athens included Pasticcio (pasta), souvlaki (grilled meat on a stick), fried zucchini and all the lovely grilled fish and seafood.
How to get the best Acropolis tickets for kids
Access to the Acropolis is ticketed and you can choose between a single entry ticket of a package ticket that also include 5 more archaeological sites in Athens.
We fond the combines ticket to be the best option, by far.
You can get the tickets in two ways:
- On the spot: getting tickets on the spot is the cheapest way to visit the Acropolis with kids and also the other included archaeological sites as these tickets allow kids to go in for free.
Finding tickets on the day is not usually a problem; however, the line at the Acropolis ticket booth can be very, very long, so I highly recommend you don’t buy tickets there but rather choose a different site.
Good to know: The combined ticket is the same no matter where you buy it; buying it in a smaller site such as the Roman Agora usually means not having to deal with the long queues at the more popular sites, especially the Acropolis.
- The second way to get tickets is buying them online beforehand from the official site of the Greek Ministry for culture.
This is a budget friendly way to go about it and a good way to secure tickets in advance. However, free tickets can only be released by showing up to the ticket counter with your child on the day, which kind of defeats the purpose. F
- The third, more expensive yet easiest way to get tickets in advance and not have to queue is to buy them from Tiqets.com
Using Tiqets.com, you can secure in advance tickets for the date and number of people you need and skip the line at the ticket counter on the day, as you can just walk into the sites. However, you cannot avail of the discount for kids so you pay full price for everyone.
How to get from Athens airport to the city center with kids
We arrived late at night and therefore took a taxi from Athens airport to our hotel.
Taxis are stationed outside the arrivals terminal and operate a fixed fare into the city center (38 Euro until midnight, 55 later at night).
Taxis do not carry and do not require children car seats.
If you have children who need a car seat, I highly recommend you bring your own: the drive into the city is long and by motorway and not a stretch you want to do with a child on your lap.
If you have older kids or are on a budget, you can also get to Athens city center form the airport by:
Metro Line 3 (Blue Line): Municipal Theater (Piraeus) – Airport
You can find official transport info here.
Once in the city, we found exploring on foot was the easiest way, although the metro is handy for longer stays and when you need to cover longer distances.
Is Athens stroller friendly?
Parts of Athens are stroller friendly; others are very much not stroller friendly at all.
The modern city has large pavements and is reasonably accessible.
The areas of Anafiotika, large parts of Plaka and the Acropolis on the other hand are not: here, you find many steps, uneven terrain and narrow alleys so I highly recommend on the days when visiting this area to go with a baby carrier instead.
If going in summer, make sure you get a summer carrier as the heat is intense!
Public restrooms in Athens
I know finding public restrooms is always a priority with traveling with kids!
In Athens, we found pretty much all museums and attractions had good restrooms and also restaurants and larger cafes. In most cases, we did not find changing stations.
Good to know: you cannot throw toilet paper in the toilet bowl in Greece to any other waste. Make sure you bring an extra stack of diaper disposable bags so you can gather all the small bits and throw them all together in the bins provided.