You may be transiting through Athens for a day before heading to the islands or simply planning a relaxing day out in the city with your little ones in tow. Don’t worry, there are plenty of things to see and do with the whole family without anyone losing their cool.
Finding accommodation for a family trip may be daunting. Our favorite spot in the heart of the city is Inn Athens in the heart of the city. The stunning boutique hotel is less than five minutes from Syntagma Square, where you and your family will have a great time.
After breakfast at your hotel, head to the Parliament building on Syntagma Square. There you can enjoy the changing of the guards, which happens every hour. The unique evzones “dance” will certainly entertain the children.
From the parliament, head to the National Garden for a leisurely stroll under the trees. The garden, which used to be the royal family’s private garden, is home to a variety of animals, including goats, canaries, ducks, water turtles and peacocks. The park also includes a playground and a small café by the Irodou Atikou entrance.
A day in Athens wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Acropolis. Head to the ancient site through Plaka, the oldest district in central Athens. A guided tour might be too much for younger children, but there are plenty of ways to make a trip to the Acropolis kid-friendly. Kids Love Greece offers a three-hour long Percy Jackson Tour of the Acropolis and its museum, which will make Greek mythology entertaining. Alternately, bring the Greek heroes to life through a hands-on activity with a comic book illustrator, courtesy of Alternative Athens. The two-hour workshop includes learning about the Greek myths with a professional storyteller.
For lunch, your best bet is Plaka, where there is a plethora of restaurants and tavernas. Our first choice is Taverna Saita on Kidathineon Street. They serve delicious Greek food at a decent price. Plus, you’ll be right next to your next stop.
A pioneering museum, the Museum of Greek Children’s Art exhibits over 8,000 drawings and 3D artworks created by children. It aims to familiarize children with art while raising their awareness of their own rights, and to encourage the younger generation to be interested in culture and arts. Bilingual activities are held according to different themes.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) was built by Italian architect Renzo Piano. It’s home to the National Library and Opera, plus an extensive park where children can run around, ride bikes and even learn how to sail in the artificial canal. During the summer the center offers many fun and free activities for young and old, with fun workshops, activities and open-air concerts.
Pro tip: The SNFCC offers a free shuttle service, which connects Syntagma to the center (with an additional stop at Syggrou-Fix Metro Station) every hour on week days, and every 30 minutes on weekends.
If you have enough energy after the afternoon at the park, take the shuttle bus back to Syntagma and walk down Ermou Street to reach Agias Eirinis Square, right before Monastiraki. The square is filled with bars and cafés, including Manas Kouzina Kouzina, a restaurant serving delicious home-cooked meals. For dessert, Lukumades nearby is perfect for a serving of mouthwatering loukoumades.