Top Things to Do In Athens With Kids
Athens is a nice place for family vacations. In addition to more than 250 historical sights and museums, kids would find numerous types of entertainment like planetarium, zoo and dolphinarium, water parks, an observatory, a lot of amusement parks and game centers. Besides, if you get tired of the bustling capital city, you can always escape to one of the nearby Greek islands of Aegina, Hydra and Poros. After 30-50 minutes of boat riding you will discover wonderful places where you can stroll through the narrow, cozy streets and enjoy the quiet island vacation.
Local people are very sociable and loyal to travelers. Many of them speak English. For 1 USD I would recommend buying Athens map where all sights are described so you can easily navigate through the city when searching for the most appropriate route. But if you manage to get lost, keep calm as Athens is always full of travelers and info signs are everywhere.
Allou Fan Park
Funfair is divided into two sections and has two separate entrances. First one is for older kids and adults, the second one for visitors with kids from 2 up to 10 years old. The best time to visit is evening, when lovely lights shine and the nice music plays.
Entrance to the amusement park is free, but riding any attraction once is around 2-3 USD. Another way is to purchase a Day Pass for 16 USD. Search for an Aigaleio subway station if you decided to get there.
Entertainment Centers in Athens
A right way to take a break and let your kid have some fun on his own is to visit entertainment centers. PAIDOTOPOS is the sign you should be looking for. While paying around 7 USD you can expect having your child is under professional supervision. Another option is to pay 12 USD to leave your kid for several hours and be free to do anything you want.
Athens zoo one of the best in Europe. A unique collection of birds introduced here. It was originally a bird zoo so the variety of birds there is strikingly high. Zoo works from 9am till late evening. This zoo is a real playground for kids: crawling turtles, live shows, excellent Dolphinarium. For parents relaxation there is a cafe offering lunch or sandwiches. Adult ticket is around 16 USD, ticket for children over 3 years is 12 USD, visiting for kids under 3 years is free of charge. Check here for details.
It is better to visit the zoo on Sunday not in the early morning because ticket queuing may take about half an hour in this case. Prefer casual and sports wear during your visit. Next to the zoo, there is a cave with stalactites and stalagmites, that is open until 3pm Cave entrance occur every 30 minutes and costs 6 USD. To reach the zoo head for the Dakissis Plakentios station, then use bus №319, departure every 30 minutes, ticket cost around 2 USD.
The planetarium is a great place to explore recent scientific researches and discover the mysteries of the Universe. The planetarium is open daily from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm On weekends open from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm, the ticket price is around $7 USD. Planetarium address is Siggrou, 387. Check here for details.
Reptile Centre is another place to visit with kids. All sorts of exotic creatures. Ticket price is 5 USD for adults and 4 USD for children. The Reptile Centre address is 23 Spyrou Moustakli.
Athens is a quiet city, police strictly monitors the safety and the locals are very friendly to travellers, so you can move around the capital without fear for you or your child. Meanwhile be very careful while crossing the road – local drivers do not hesitate to violate traffic laws. Most of the stores are closed on Sundays. During the holidays it is necessary to specify the timetable for the museums.
HOW TO GET TO ATHENS CENTER
Single ticket for in-city transport is around 2 USD and valid for 70 minutes. The ticket should be punched once as time is counted from the first validation. If you plan to move a lot around Athens, I would recommend daily ticket for 5 USD or 5 day ticket for 11 USD, that would allow you to save significantly.
It takes 27 km from Athens airport to city center and the cheapest way to go is subway. Ticket price is around 9 USD. The subway entrance is located in front of the airport, while tickets are sold at the box office or you can use vending machines. After a 40-minutes ride you find yourself in the city center. By the way, it’s possible to save time as well, instead of waiting direct train, you can reach “Dukissi Plakentias” station and catch the train heading for the center. Bus №95 is also available from Syntagma Square, ticket price is 5 USD.
To see much in Athens, start from central district where major hiking trails are located. Monastiraki can be reached by underground or ground transportation that works fine all around the capital. Once you are at Monastiraki square roam around and explore the sights you want. There are a lot of cozy taverns that perfectly complement leisurely walks.
From Monastiraki you may proceed to the Zeus Temple. Kids may find interesting visiting gorgeous architecture and bas-relief. Zeus Temple is popular among young mothers as it is believed to be giving protection of the saints. The temple is open daily from 7am to 7pm
After visiting the temple visit Irodio theatre, where you may find quite interesting theatrical performances, or Dora Papastratoy theatre with its national dances. Weekends are the hottest time here. Flea market start working, so it’s possible to find anything you want, whether it an ordinary souvenir or antique furniture.
Turn to the left after Monastiraki station and climb up passing the taverns, you will get to a place called big metropolis ruled by the Archbishop of Athens. This is an amazing place so I think teenagers will certainly enjoy it. The relic ark of St. Agnes Filoteyi and sarcophagus of Gregory V can be seen in the temple along with works of art made by means of carving and gilding.
On its way to the Acropolis, road goes through Plaka. This is a district of small cafes that allow to take a break, try out Greek cuisine and admire the picturesque view of Athens. A very special place can be found here. Anafiotika village that just touches with its white, toy like houses.
By passing narrow streets you may reach the very heart of Athens – the Acropolis. The Acropolis is located on a hill and also called the “Upper Town”. I would recommend wearing comfortable shoes as city sightseeing might be really prolonged and beware of slippery steps here. Acropolis tickets cost around 14 USD, but do not throw it away right after visiting. During the next four days you can visit even more sights using the same ticket. The full list of sights can be found on the reverse side of the ticket.
The Acropolis center is Parthenon temple, built on the former site of the goddess Athena sanctuary. Entrance to the temple is prohibited. Next to the Acropolis, the New Acropolis Museum is situated. Visit this museum with kids and have lunch in a cozy roof cafe, where you can relax and enjoy the views of Athens. Check the working hours here.
Use underground to get to the Syntagma station, where the Greek Parliament is situated. Kids will enjoy seeing the colourful guardians. Men dressed in national guard suits, wearing white tights and slippers with large pompons. Changing of the Guard is another reason to get there and enjoy this beautiful and fascinating show.
Using underground to get to Syntagma station is a good idea because by doing so, you may visit a small archaeological museum right at the station.