Top Things to Do In Athens With Kids
Last Updated: March 23, 2018
We spent five days in Greek capital with Marcello, Maya, and Mia and I was amazed to learn how many interesting things to do Athens has to offer for kids and families. The city of the violet crown sees plenty of sunny days all year round and almost any trip there can be combined with the beaches along the Athens Riviera or the islands nearby. Check my top things to do in Athens with kids if you’re planning a trip there.
As you start searching for top things to do in Athens, it may not seem like a very family-friendly city with its hectic traffic, big crowds during high season and an overwhelming number of Greek tourist attractions. In fact, one of the oldest cities in the world – Athens – is a lovely city for family holidays.
For this post, I listed the places that we have visited during our 4-day stay. These attractions are great for both children and adults, so the kids won’t feel like they’re being dragged from one ancient site to the next all day. These places bring a lot of fun for kids and parents, most of them are stroller friendly and they can be combined with classical tours. So buckle up: I’m taking you on a ride through the most fun things to do in Athens with kids.
1. Explore the Athenian Riviera
I got it – you’ve seen pictures of a few of the best beaches in the Cyclades islands, checked out my post on how to plan a family trip to Greece, and you’re ready to take a break from sightseeing by visiting the area, informally called the Athenian Riviera.
Most of the beaches near Athens offer free admission but the cost for sunbeds, umbrellas, and deckchairs typically start at €4 per day. We often ordered drinks from a beach bar that owns sunbeds and umbrellas, to get these seats for ourselves for the entire day. Many of the local beaches were awarded Blue Flags, which makes a family trip here more enjoyable. Some beachside places often have playgrounds for kids.
When it comes to beach cleanliness, there is a general pattern. Both public and private beaches are much cleaner, the farther southeast you go from Athens. While we hadn’t enough time to explore all the beaches around Athens, we spent most of it hanging out at Anavissos. The beach is very family-friendly with clean and shallow waters and plenty of eateries around. The only downside is that it can get packed on weekends and is quite far from the city center.
2. Flisvos Park Playground
Situated in the South of Athens, Flisvos park is a place to spend the entire day playing and having fun. You can reach the park by car or use the tram or bus. While there are plenty of cafes and picnic tables all around, we visited the park on a tight budget. Thus, bringing your own snacks is always a good idea.
The public part of Flisvos Park is one of the best in Attica. Not only your kids can play there for free, it also has several designated picnic areas, large lawn areas, and an open-air summer cinema. As you visit the park you will notice that the entire territory is divided into three different sections depending on the child’s age. Older kids play separately from younger ones. Maya and Mia spent an afternoon there, running around, climbing the rope tower and enjoying the sea breeze.
In this list of things to do in Athens with kids, Plaka can’t be left out. Whether you’re in Athens for a couple of days or a week, chances are you will start exploring the city in Plaka. This is one of the most charming neighborhoods in Athens to visit with kids. Stroll its numerous pedestrian streets, admire the handsome neoclassical buildings and let your kids run safely around. From Hadrian’s Arch to the Ancient Agora, Plaka and Monastiraki are filled with stunning ambience and mouthwatering flavors.
Plaka is home to countless cafés, tavernas, and restaurants along the way up to Acropolis. And while the neighborhood can get packed with tourists, you can spot some off the beaten track places here. Almost every time I visit Athens I make a visit to Anafiotika. This scenic village just under the Acropolis hill is a tranquil sanctuary in Athens. We spent a great afternoon in Anafiotika, wandering the cobblestone streets. Entering Anafiotika feels a little like stepping back in time as the warm Athenian sun goes down while the streets get quieter to get you in the right mood.
4. Attica Zoological Park
With more than 300 animal species and 170 endangered species, the Attica Zoo Park was established more like a conservation park rather than a conventional zoo. Originally built as an Ornithological Park, it is now home to one of the largest bird collection. Later on, several other sections were added to introduce animals from Africa, such as white male rhinos, cheetahs, and camels.
The entire place can get really packed during the peak hours. We were unlucky to get there close to noon on weekend, so we had to spend around fifteen minutes in a line. They also have a special offer for moms and dads who visit Attica Zoo Park with a baby stroller. One of the parents gets a discounted price while kids under 3 years old visit for free.
Here are some tips on how to pack a suitcase efficiently from my friend Anete.
Attica Zoo Park is located not far from the airport, so it may take some time to get there. The entire zoo is huge and was one of the items to tick off my bucket list. The zoo can keep you busy for the entire day. Apart from animals, it also offers interactive educational programs, visual presentations, and games. You can expect to find special deals and discounted packages for large families. Wide brim hats and suncream are highly advisable during the hot summer days.
5. Panathenaic Stadium
When it comes to picking things to do in Athens with kids, it is hard not to mention the Olympic Games. No, you don’t have to become an Olympian, but visiting the Panathenaic Stadium is a great way to learn a lot of new facts about the Olympic Games. Ancient Athens’s largest building, the Panathenaic Stadium is the place where the first Modern Olympic Games were held. If you want to see the starting point of the Olympic flame, I can’t recommend visiting this site enough. Let your kids run on the tracks and feel like an athlete.
6. Malakasa Adventure Park
We visited the Adventure Park in Malakasa on a lovely sunny day and it was one of the best experiences we had in Athens. Located in a pine tree forest just outside the city, the Park can be reached either by car or bus. If you travel by car, they have a spacious parking lot that was almost empty when we came there. The bus line stops right outside the park. With plenty of adventure activities, like climbing, crawling and swinging from tree to tree, ziplining through the woods was a highlight of our trip there.
Ziplining is available for kids as early as 3 years old under the supervision of parents. The climbing levels are respectively called the Squirrels, the Foxes, the Wolves, and the Eagles. The staff members were very friendly and always were there to help with a climbing harness. While different routes are separated from each other, the highest point is 15 meters and is only available for the Eagles (i.e. the kids that are at least 14 and 1,60 m high).
7. The National Garden
No trip to Athens is complete without visiting the National Garden. I included the National Garden in my list of things to do in Athens with kids because Mia was fond of it. Located a stone’s throw away from the Hellenic Parliament, it is home to more than 500 species of plants and animals. As a result, you can find a little farm with animals and a pond with turtles inside the Garden.
This is also a great place if you want to introduce your kids to a Greek culture. Spend some time here enjoying changing of the guard Evzones. These are traditionally dressed soldiers that guard the Greek Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
8. Allou! Fun Park
I will be honest – I haven’t visited this park personally but since it is the biggest fun park in Athens, it can bring a lot of fun. The park is divided into two smaller sections: Kidom that entertains kids up to 12 years old. The second section is Allou!, which is great for teenagers over 12. Kids can visit both sections with a day pass. It covers multiple rounds on most rides throughout the day. Food isn’t covered. There are a number of open-air cinemas in Athens that often show movies for kids.
9. The New Acropolis Museum
You can and probably should visit the exhibits near the Acropolis when visiting Athens with kids. It has long been on my bucket list, and I finally managed to visit it during our trip. This imposing and family-friendly museum has a something for everyone. While there you will discover the Lego Acropolis model, reading corner for kids, and a bookshop. There is no better way of quenching kids’ thirst for knowledge other than attending one of the family tours.
10. Discover Street Art
I know, discovering street art may not be that cool when pushing a stroller. But when you travel with teenagers and got tired of ancient rocks, Athens can offer a surprising street art scene. Street art in Athens is very diverse – from posters to installations and kiosks. Many of the city’s neighborhoods have transformed into an open-air art gallery that was created by street artists from the Athens School of Fine Arts. Street art is a less explored side of Athens. So if you want to get a glimpse of modern Greek culture, stroll through the streets of Athens to explore areas with a passion for public art.
Athens is a great city for a weekend trip with kids or family holidays. It has a convenient metro system, plenty of accommodation options, mild winters and longer shoulder season than the Balkans.
That was my list of things to do in Athens with kids. Did I miss something? Let me know in comments.