Athens, Greece is a beautiful destination that offers endless possibilities for a family vacation! With its ancient ruins, winding streets, and vibrant bazaars, Athens is an absolutely fascinating city! If you’re looking for a place that you and your kids will enjoy and remember for years to come, then Athens is the perfect destination.
The stunning landscapes and vibrant culture make it an ideal place to explore. From the Acropolis to the Parthenon, there is so much to do and see! We loved our trip to Athens with our kids and I have all kinds of helpful information to share with you to help you plan your trip!
Things to Do Before You Go to Athens Greece with Kids
- Familiarize yourself with the local currency, the euro. Make sure to exchange your US dollars for euros before you travel.
- Be sure to bring a map or GPS with you so you can get around easily. Here’s a link to the Athens City Page
- Make sure your travel documents are in order. Everyone in the family will need a valid passport. Visa are NOT required for stays less than 90 days.
Getting to Athens
We happened to be traveling in the Greek Islands when we took our trip to Athens, so getting there by ferry was fairly easy. Getting to Athens with kids from another country will require some planning, but I have a few tips to make it easy!
When you’re traveling internationally, flights can be pricey. Even with discount airlines, you’ll be paying more than you would be to travel domestically. Your best bet to save money is to book your flights and accommodations in advance. When you book as early as possible, you can save big.
Want to learn how we earn free flights with points? Read all about it here.
Consider a Layover
Long international flights can be a little much for kids. A short layover can be a great way to break up a long flight and let the kids move around for a little bit and have a change of scenery.
Make the Flight Comfortable and Entertaining
If you can book overnight flights, that can help with both jetlag and the boredom of a long international flight. Either way, be sure everyone is wearing comfortable clothing and has their favorite blanket and pillow for the flight. Bring along good snacks and electronics to keep the kids entertained while they’re awake.
Transportation from the Airport
Once your flight arrives in Athens, you will need to arrange transportation from the airport to your accommodation. You can use the public transportation system, take a taxi, or arrange a private transfer if your hotel offers it.
Book your Athens Airport Private Shuttle Here
Transportation in Athens Greece With Kids
While you can take advantage of the public transportation system in Athens, and it is the most efficient and cost-effective way to get around the city, it may be too crowded and chaotic to use with kids. The metro is the easiest and fastest public transportation in Athens. It connects you right to the most popular spots in town. It also connects to the airport of Athens, so depending on your accommodations, it might be the best way to get from the airport to your hotel. If you’re visiting Athens at a busy time of year, you may want to avoid the metro.
Book your Hop on Hop Off Tour Here
Another option is to consider renting a car, hiring a private driver, or using a ride share service.
The Best Time To Visit Athens Greece with Kids
The best time to be in Athens is between March and June. Late September to early November is also a good time. The weather is pleasant, and the crowds have filtered out a bit. You can easily enjoy the outdoors without the blazing heat and noise.
Where to Stay in Athens Greece with Kids
There are plenty of options for accommodations in Athens. You can opt for a hotel or book an apartment through a site like Booking.com. The most important thing to consider is the neighborhood you stay in. The neighborhood you choose should be considered safe, have plenty of food options, and be convenient to either the main attractions you want to see or public transportation to easily get you to those attractions.
The Best Neighborhoods for Families to Stay in Athens
Athens City Centre
It’s all about priorities and budget in this department, so we picked the Historic District of Central Athens. It was a very quiet family-friendly neighborhood with plenty of accommodation options. It was a good location for public transportation availability and an easy walk to some of the best landmarks. If you’re looking for a place for the kids to have fun, the Zappeion Gardens and Playground is a short walk and has a great park.
Here’s a link to the Athens City Centre.
Apartment Kleio had all the amenities and it was incredibly cozy!
This neighborhood is a popular and lively place in the heart of the city. It has plenty of restaurants, shops, cafes, and other amenities, making it an ideal spot for families who want to get a taste of local culture. Its proximity to many of the city’s most famed historical sites, such as the Acropolis and its many temples makes it a good choice. It is also close to other popular attractions, like the Panathenaic Stadium, the National Archeological Museum, and the National Garden.
Here’s the link to the Thissio District page.
Here’s a spacious studio apartment with a rooftop in Thissio.
Known as the “Neighborhood of the Gods,” Plaka is a charming neighborhood with narrow streets and traditional Greek architecture. This is a great part of town for walking and it’s centrally located, close to many of the city’s main attractions, like the Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum. You’ll find a variety of family-friendly restaurants and shops in this neighborhood as well.
Here’s a link to the Plaka District.
Here’s a cozy 2 bedroom Apartment in the Plaka area.
This is a more upscale neighborhood. It has a good variety of trendy shops and restaurants and it’s located close to the city center, with easy access to public transportation and the main tourist sites. The area is also home to several parks and playgrounds, which is perfect for families with small children.
Here’s a link to the Kolonaki District.
Here’s a fun city apartment in Kolonaki.
Monastiraki is one of the most popular and vibrant neighborhoods in Athens. It is known for its colorful street market, medieval architecture, and beautiful churches. There are a lot of restaurants and cafes in the area, as well as shops with antiques, souvenirs, and traditional Greek items. Monastiraki is an ideal place to stay for families, because it’s close to several major attractions, including the Acropolis and the Plaka district. The area is easy to get around on foot and it’s easy to get to the rest of the city by public transportation.
Here’s a link to the Monastiraki District.
Here’s a luxury suite in Monastiraki.
Places to See in Athens Greece with Kids
There is so much to see in Athens! I suggest you try to have at least 3 full days set aside to explore the beauty of Athens. Here are some things you just can’t miss!
This is the largest archaeological museum in Greece and it’s a great opportunity for kids to learn about ancient Greek culture and history. The museum has a variety of engaging exhibits that will interest kids, from pottery and jewelry to sculptures and frescoes.
This beautiful spot is a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city, with plenty of greenery and playgrounds for kids. The garden also has a small zoo where kids can see animals that are native to Greece and get out of the city for a little while.
This is a really cool shopping area where you can find souvenirs, clothes, and handcrafted items. Kids will enjoy browsing all the shops and it can be a great way to introduce them to the culture of Greece.
This is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Athens, that has narrow winding streets that are perfect for exploring with kids. You can easily and safely walk through this neighborhood. It’s full of souvenir shops, traditional Greek restaurants, and colorful buildings that the whole family will enjoy.
This is a traditional Greek village that is built into the slope beneath the Acropolis. It is a very nice walk up to Anafiotika and you and your kids will all enjoy seeing the winding streets, the cute houses, and the flower-filled courtyards.
Start your journey from the Acropolis and its citadel, spread out over three hills – the Acropolis, Areopagus, and Philopappos. Next, explore the ruins of the temple – The Parthenon, Erechtheion, and Temple of Athena Nike.
Also be sure to visit the Acropolis Museum as an addition to the grounds for some more history.
Take a walk in the Plaka, the oldest part of Athens. Stroll on its cobbled streets, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by traditional restaurants and souvenir stores. There’s lots for the kids to see and taste along the way!
Visit the Ancient Agora
Take a day to explore the ruins of Ancient Agora, the site of Athens’ first public square. See the Temple of Hephaestus, Stoa of Attalos, and the Ancient Agora Museum to learn more about ancient Greek civilization.
Experience the sunset from Lycabettus Hill, one of Athens’ highest hills. You can enjoy a spectacular view from the top.
Pro Tip: Aim to arrive as early as possible to the Acropolis and Agora to beat the crowds. Most go late morning.
Where to Eat in Athens Greece With Kids
Athens is brimming with places to eat and we stopped at a few restaurants. Its culinary scene is a mix of traditional and modern. There’s a wide range of family-friendly restaurants for all budgets. Whether you’re looking for traditional Greek or something more contemporary, here’s a good list to get you started.
Alice in Wonderland comes to life at Little Kook – a whimsical café serving delicious ice creams. Unfortunately, we only had dessert here, which was a little too sweet. Plus, they don’t take reservations or allow long wait times. So, you’ll have to reach early. The pictures here will turn out magical. FOR SURE!
We also really liked Fairytale. It’s a gorgeous pastry boutique in Athens offering beautiful pastries and artisan coffee.
Ellyz has specialty coffee and really beautiful sweet and savory food – delicious cakes, cookies, and other delicacies. They even have pink coffee!
Taverna tou Psirri
This is another family-friendly restaurant is located in the Psirri neighborhood. The menu offers Greek dishes like souvlaki, moussaka, and pastitsio. The restaurant has a play area for children, making it easier for a longer sitting.
If you’re looking for a more traditional experience with breathtaking views, Cafe Avissinia is the place for you. My kids gave Mousaka, Fava Bean Dip, and Tzatziki a green flag.
Mama Tierra (Vegetarian)
This is a great vegetarian restaurant for families who prefer plant-based food. They offer a very range of vegetarian and vegan dishes like falafel, lentil burgers, and veggie wraps. The atmosphere is very warm and friendly, great for families.
This rooftop restaurant has really great views of the city. It’s a really nice option for families looking for a unique dining experience. The menu includes fresh seafood and meats. They have a good kids’ menu with something for everyone!
This restaurant is right in the center of Athens and is a great for families. There’s a really relaxed atmosphere with friendly staff and a large menu. The Greek-style pizza is delicious!
Kouzina is in Plaka and is perfect for families looking for a traditional Greek dining experience. The menu is full of classic Greek dishes like moussaka, souvlaki, and spanakopita that our kids all love.
The restaurant is located in the trendy neighborhood of Psirri. They offer kind of a contemporary take on traditional Greek cuisine. The atmosphere is very fun and laid-back, perfect for families with children.
For families looking for a seaside dining option, Nikita’s is the place. Located in Glyfada near the coast, they offer an abundance of fresh seafood, including octopus, calamari, and shrimp. If your kids like seafood, they will really enjoy this one!
Here’s another great restaurant in the Plaka neighborhood.They also have lots of traditional Greek dishes, including lamb chops, grilled feta cheese, and Greek salad. There’s some good options for the kids here as well.
You can also Book a Gourmet Food Walking Tour Here
Things You Should Know Before Eating in Athens Greece With Kids
Breakfast isn’t a big deal in Greece. So, if you’re looking for an all-day breakfast, head to a bakery. Lunch usually starts around 1:30 PM, and dinner can start as late as 10 PM. Of course, tourist-centric places start serving early and close late. But there will hardly be any locals.
Eat Like a Local
Food is an integral part of Greek culture, so enjoy it with all your heart. Look for family-run tavernas. They offer great value and delicious traditional Greek cuisine. Feta cheese, Dolmades (rice-stuffed vine leaves), Souvlaki, Gyros, and much more.
Eating with Hands
While many people believe that everyone in Greece eats everything with their hands, it’s not entirely true. You can’t cut the lamb and pork chops, so they can be picked with your hands. But at nicer restaurants, people usually use utensils for most of their meals. Even when they want to dip bread in something, they use a fork!
Water at Restaurants
Greeks usually don’t put water on the table, so you’ll have to ask for it. Bottle or tap – your choice. Either way, you’ll have to pay for it. Besides water, the wine here is worth trying. The white wines, especially! YUM!!!!
Tipping in Athens
Tipping isn’t mandatory in Athens, but it’s customary to round up the bill to the nearest Euro for small purchases. Usually about €2 to €5 for a meal, or maybe more in an expensive restaurant.
Reservations aren’t necessary at the majority of Athens’ eateries, which are typically casual tavernas and street food stalls. BUt it’s a good idea to book ahead for finer dining experiences or if you’re hoping to get a table with a view at one of the city’s best rooftop restaurants and bars.
Traditional Dishes to Try in Athens Greece with Kids
One of the most popular traditional Greek dishes, souvlaki is a skewer of meat that’s grilled and served with toppings like tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce.
This is another really popular Greek dish, which you may have heard of or tried in the US. The gyro is a type of meat that is cooked on a vertical rotisserie and shaved off as it cooks. Then the meat is wrapped in a pita bread with tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce.
These are stuffed grape leaves, usually filled with a mixture of rice, herbs, and sometimes ground meat. Grape leaves are interesting and you may be hesitant to try the, but they’re actually really good!
A traditional Greek pie made with spinach and feta cheese, wrapped in flaky phyllo dough. This is a delicious dish!
A sweet pastry made with layers of phyllo dough and chopped nuts and held together with honey syrup. This is typically served as a desert and we loved it!
Greek coffee and Baklava
The traditional Greek coffee, which is strong and made with a copper pot called briki, it’s great after a meal. Baklava is the perfect pairing with Greek coffee.
Last but not least, Greek salad is a must-try when in Athens. This is another one you’ve probably heard of or even tried in the US but you have to try it in Greece! The salad is made with ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese, all dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.
Things to Do in Athens Greece with Kids
Don’t let the old-world look of many parts of Athens fool you; there’s plenty to do here for tourists.
Take a Hop On, Hop Off tour to check out the city, beach, and Piraeus. The buses are bright red and so lively. This tour is really a great way to see the sites because it’s so convenient! It covers a wide range of sites and must-see landmarks and you can get on and off at any location so you don’t have to plan a specific itinerary.
The Hop On, Hop Off tour has live guides or you can choose to use an audioguide on your own! It’s a great way to learn more about the sites and landmarks you get to see. Speaking of seeing things, the tour bus has an open-top deck that gives you great views of the city as your travel through it! I highly recommend doing this tour!
Climb Lycabettus Hill
If you want to get a unique perspective of the city and explore its history, this is the way to do it! The hill is full of ancient monuments, sites, and shrines, so it is a great place to learn about the city’s past. You’ll find stunning views from the top of the hill, which can be seen from the Acropolis and other parts of Athens. Lycabettus Hill has a number of restaurants and cafes to visit as well.
The Temple of Poseidon
Take a boat ride to the temple and enjoy spectacular views along the coast. The temple was built around 440 BC in honor of Poseidon, the God of the Sea. It has stood for over two and a half millennia, through earthquakes, wars, and invasions, making it one of the oldest surviving structures in Athens.
See the official residence of the Greek President. The palace is one of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks in the Greek capital. It’s a magnificent building that’s full of history and has been the official residence of the President of Greece since 1935.
Athens Olympic Sports Complex
Be an Olympic athlete for a day. One of our favorite souvenirs was a replica of the original medal. The kids never want to leave this place.
Take a fun food tour
Athens is known for its delicious food and there are many options that kids will enjoy, like Gyros, Souvlaki, and Greek Salad, plus traditional Greek yogurt with honey, Baklava, and Galaktoboureko as dessert options. A Food tour is a great way to experience the local cuisine, and it’s something that kids will enjoy.
Things You Must Know when Visiting Athens Greece with Kids
When we’re aiming to have the best time, here are a few things that you must know.
- People in Athens are passionate about their sports – show respect for local teams and players if you don’t want any trouble.
- Taxis are always yellow and are metered, but they also work with Uber.
- The airport is about 30 minutes from Athens City Center – plan your travel accordingly.
- Carry lots of water, especially on all your Acropolis tours.
- Plan for food and drink when traveling to Athens with kids. Greek cuisine is delicious and healthy, but it can be very different from what your kids are used to. A lot of Greek dishes are made with seafood or other heavily seasoned meats and are heavy on olives, olive oil, and feta cheese. You can check with your hotel to see if they have suggestions for restaurants with kid’s menus.
- Wear comfortable shoes! This is always a must when doing a lot of site seeing.
We had an amazing time in Athens! From the Acropolis to fairy tale cafes, it definitely won us over! We hope this guide has helped you plan an epic trip to Athens Greece with kids!