Family Trip to Athens: Explore Activities, Cuisine, and Accommodation

Athens, the capital of Greece, is a destination that blends ancient history, vibrant culture, and delightful cuisine. It’s an ideal place for a family adventure where parents and children can explore Greece’s rich heritage together and enjoy unforgettable experiences. In this guide, we will take you through a variety of exciting activities, tempting gastronomic options, and family-friendly accommodations in Athens.

Family-Friendly Activities in Athens

The perfect place to kick off your family vacation in Athens is undoubtedly the Acropolis. Not only is it one of the most awe-inspiring ancient structures, but it’s also the backdrop for thrilling legends of Greek mythology. An expert tour guide specializing in entertaining young minds will unveil all the mysteries of the Parthenon and the Acropolis Museum. You can even indulge in tours dubbed “Acropolis Museum with Surprises,” where kids can get to know the Caryatids and engage in an exciting role-playing game with Athena and Poseidon! 

Alternatively, consider combining your Acropolis visit with a mythology and pottery tour. Or maybe you’d prefer a fun climb up Pnyx Hill, where the little ones can sketch the Parthenon. In any case, don’t forget to bring a hat, sunscreen, and a water bottle. Your family vacation in Greece is about to begin in an unforgettable way.

Another great option is to spend a day at The Panathenaic Stadium. It’s time to explore the greener side of the city by strolling along the banks of the ancient Ilissos River, which still flows underground. Start your journey at the Zappeion and the Panathenaic Stadium, where the Modern Olympic Games were revived in 1896. This horseshoe-shaped stadium was built on the site of an ancient hippodrome and is the only stadium in the world made entirely of marble (also known as “kallimarmaro” or beautiful marble).

Visiting Athens with your children offers more than just historical and archaeological experiences. One of the most delightful family activities is a leisurely walk through the National Garden, a lush oasis nestled in the heart of Athens, boasting a rich variety of over 500 mature tree and plant species. This expansive 160-acre garden is a testament to the vision of Queen Amalia, Greece’s first queen in the 19th century, who had a deep love for nature. The soothing sounds of birds, particularly peacocks (as you’ll soon discover), accompany you year-round.

Another natural treasure in the city is the Diomides Botanical Garden, situated in the Haidari district in northwest Athens. Here, you can relish a picnic in a natural setting while acquainting yourself with Greek gods, muses, and mythological heroes represented through herbs and flowers during an informative mythological and botanical guided tour.

Stargazing at the Digital Planetarium in Athens is a great plan for the little ones. Both kids and grown-ups will find Athens’ digital planetarium utterly enchanting. It boasts an enormous 25-meter dome screen, which is as large as two basketball courts, and a specially inclined floor designed for stargazing. State-of-the-art 3D animation graphics captivate visitors of all generations, providing an ideal means to explore the enigmas of the nighttime sky, including its constellations and planets. You’ll gain a newfound appreciation for how science and technology can be perceived with an artistic perspective.

You can also visit The Hellenic Children’s Museum which is an interactive museum specifically designed for children in Athens, Greece. It offers a variety of exhibits and activities designed to stimulate children’s imaginations and critical thinking while having fun. The museum focuses on educational and cultural themes, making it an ideal place for children to explore and learn hands-on.

Family-Friendly Dining in Athens

You can’t leave Athens without savoring Tzatziki (yogurt sauce with cucumber and garlic), Spanakotiropites (spinach and feta cheese turnovers), Saganaki (fried cheese), Horiatiki (salad with tomato, cucumber, onion, peppers, olives, and feta cheese), Patsas (tripe soup similar to tripe stew), Keftedes (fried meatballs with oregano and mint), Melitzanosalata (eggplant salad), and grilled octopus.

Gyros and Mousakka are iconic dishes of Greek cuisine in Athens. Gyros consists of pita bread filled with roasted meat (chicken or lamb), tomato, onion, french fries, and sauce, and you can enjoy it at many tavernas and fast-food restaurants in the city at an affordable price, for less than €3. One of the most famous places to try it is Kostas, although please note that it has limited hours from 12:00 to 18:00 and is closed on weekends. As an alternative, we tried it at Tzatzini, also in the tourist district of Plaka.

Greek cuisine shares many similarities with the Mediterranean diet but often surprises with its exotic touch, influenced by Ottoman cuisine and the use of aromatic herbs such as fennel, dill, oregano, and mint. Especially noteworthy is the use of distinctive spices in lamb and vegetable dishes.

The warm and family-friendly atmosphere in their tavernas is remarkable. Here, meals are leisurely, similar to the Spanish style, allowing you to enjoy coffee or a homemade dessert, which is often a courtesy of the restaurant. Meal times also resemble those in Spain, with lunch served from 13:00 to 16:00 hours, and dinners typically starting between 21:00 and 22:00 hours.

You can also try Barbadimos Syntagma, an authentic Greek food restaurant near Syntagma. They stand out for their delicious moussaka and child-friendly service. They offer high chairs and a bathroom with a changing table for babies.

One of the best restaurants in Athens with homemade Greek food that you must try is Atitamos. Their specialties include lamb and pasta dishes for children. If you like sushi you can’t miss Sushi Mou. It is a small Japanese restaurant with excellent reviews. They offer fresh and affordable sushi, with surprise gifts such as freshly made sushi rice, and reservations in advance are recommended.

Family-Friendly Lodging in Athens

Plaka, the city’s oldest neighborhood, seamlessly blends 19th-century buildings with Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman archaeological remnants. On the other hand, Monastiraki exudes a pronounced Eastern influence and hosts an open-air bazaar every Sunday, where you can stumble upon the most unexpected treasures.

Strolling through these neighborhoods is a must for families visiting Athens. Here, you’ll find pedestrian streets, shops, markets, and our personal favorite – terraces offering incredible views of the Acropolis, perfect for enjoying the sunset and witnessing its illuminating transformation as night falls.

Exploring these neighborhoods allows you to savor both the ancient and modern sides of Athens. On foot, you can easily explore the city’s top attractions, and there’s no shortage of bars and restaurants where you can savor Greek cuisine. Many hotels in Athens offer family rooms and amenities like pools and play areas:

  • Hotel Novote
  • Athenes Electra
  • Palace Athens
  • Hilton Athens
  • Athens Lotus Hotel
  • Airotel Parthenon

Apartments or rental homes can provide more space and flexibility for families. Websites like Airbnb offer a variety of options. Some resorts on the Athens Riviera offer family-oriented facilities and activities. Enjoy the beach and on-site amenities. Another option is the boutique hotels in Plaka and Monastiraki, that offer unique accommodations in the heart of Athens. Family-friendly hostels with private rooms are available for budget-conscious travelers.

Tourist cards in Athens

Finding discounts for families in Athens can help make your trip more affordable while still enjoying the city’s attractions. Often, cities offer tourist cards that include discounts at various attractions. In Athens, the “Athens City Pass” or “Athens Card” are examples of such cards, which can provide significant discounts on multiple sites and transportation for the whole family. Here are some common options for family discounts in Athens:

Child Pricing: Some attractions and museums in Athens offer special discounts for children. Make sure to check child pricing and the applicable age ranges when planning your visit.

Public Transportation: If you plan to use public transportation in Athens, such as buses or the metro, there may be reduced fares for children or family cards available.

Family Packages: Many tourist attractions in Athens offer family packages that include group discounts. Inquire about these offers when purchasing your tickets.

Online Discounts: Before visiting any attraction, check if there are discounts available online through travel websites or online coupons. Often, you can find special family offers this way.

Free Entry for Children: Some attractions in Athens offer free admission for children below a certain age. Make sure to review the age policies for free entry.

Off-Peak Season Specials: If you have flexibility in your travel dates, consider visiting Athens during the off-peak season. During this time, you’re more likely to find discounts and special offers.

By taking advantage of these discounts and offers, you can make the most of your family trip to Athens without breaking the bank. Enjoy exploring this historic city with your loved ones while saving some money along the way.

Conclusion about family plans in Athens

In conclusion, traveling to Athens with your family and children is an adventure that combines history, culture, and entertainment. The city’s rich heritage and welcoming atmosphere provide an excellent backdrop for educational experiences and memorable moments. So, pack your bags, immerse yourselves in the wonders of ancient Greece, and create lasting family memories in this enchanting city.

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