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What Not to Miss in Athens with Kids (for 2024)

Athens was made for history lovers. It is Europe’s oldest capital city, has one of the 12 wonders of the ancient world, and a museum boasting the largest collection of ancient sculptures and Greek architecture. But what is there to do in Athens with kids? Depending on the amount of time you have, you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find. Use this to help plan your Athens itinerary.

Family Guide to Athens Where to Stay and What to Do - Kids Are A Trip

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How to plan a trip to Athens with kids

Arrival at Athens Airport

If you are traveling to Greece with kids from the United States, odds are you will fly through the Athens airport at least once. It is a very easy airport to navigate, and some airlines offer special check-in lines for families.

The Athens airport (ATH) is approximately 30-45 minutes from the popular tourist area in downtown Athens, Plaka. This is where you will find most of the must see attractions and archaeological sites in Athens.

You will also want to check out our Greece packing list for families before your trip!

Transportation in Athens

Since we are a family of 5, we needed two taxis in Athens every time we went anywhere. The metro was also an option, but we spent most of our time walking everywhere. If you stay somewhere central like Plaka, you can walk to everything.

Monastiraki Square Athens with kids

If you need a reliable transfer service in Athens, I highly recommend Stavros: +30 697 490 6763 or go to his website, Geo Mediterra (he also offers tours). He drove us from the airport to the city multiple times (upon arrival and departure). Taxi rates are set by the government and currently the cost is approximately 40 Euros from the airport to the city center (55 Euros during the evening).

What to do in Athens with Kids

1. Mythology Tour of Athens

We booked a guided tour with Alternative Athens called Athens Highlights Mythology Tour. This one was relatively short (half day) and covered the mythology aspect of Athens’ ancient sites. I’m a huge Greek mythology geek and my kids loved the Percy Jackson books, so I knew this was the right tour for us.

Olympian Zeus Temple

Our tour started early in the morning (definitely a good idea to head out before the crowds and heat during the summer months), meeting our guide at Olympian Zeus Temple.

All of the guests received audio guides, purchased combo entrance tickets for the Olympian Zeus Temple, Ancient Agora, and the Acropolis (the entrance fee is about 45 Euros/adult, reduced rates for younger children), and after quick introductions we set off. 

Acropolis Tip: Be Prepared!

This tour involved a lot of walking and climbing up the hill to the Acropolis. If anyone has mobility issues or difficulty climbing or walking long distances, this might not be the right tour.

If anyone in your party needs assistance, there is an elevator on the northwest side of the Acropolis, but it is strictly limited to those individuals. Everyone else will need to walk up the hill.

The Temple of Olympic Zeus is not much to look at since it is ancient ruins (and currently under construction). What is impressive here is the view of the Acropolis high above the city.

We strolled through the Plaka neighborhood and then started our ascent towards the Acropolis. Along the way we learned about the different Greek gods and goddesses and their roles in Greek culture. 

The Acropolis of Athens

As you make your way to the top of the hill are some unique historical ruins along the way, including the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a Roman theatre dating to the 2nd century AD. Our guide was very good about pointing out significant ruins and sharing their stories and ties to Greek Mythology.

Odeon Athens-Kids Are A Trip
Odeon of Herodes Atticus

After the climb, we arrived at the dramatic entrance to the Acropolis, the Propylaia. There are no words to describe the massive columns, steps, and gateway. We all took a minute to rest and soak up the view of the city below.

Hidden Gems in Greece You Don't Want to Miss!

Adjacent to this is the Temple of Athena Nike and passing through the gates we headed for the Parthenon, Erechtheion, Old Temple of Athena, and the sacred olive tree of the Pandroseion.

Our guide shared the rich history of Athens, the building of the Acropolis, and the mythology behind these famous structures. We took a break from the tour at this point and explored the ruins on our own for a bit.

Greece vacation with teens

Ancient Agora

From the Acropolis we headed to the Ancient Agora of Athens, the center for politics, commerce, and gatherings in ancient Athens. It is said many of the great minds of Ancient Greece would congregate in the Agora, including Sophocles and Socrates.

Our tour with Alternative Athens was just over four hours and worth every minute. The kids were engaged and our guide was an amazing story teller. If you have limited time to explore Athens, this is the tour for you.

Other Athens Tours We Recommend

2. The Acropolis Museum

After a visit to the Acropolis, don’t miss a chance to see one of the most important museums in the world. Everything within the museum was found at the archaeological site of the Acropolis and the exhibits are fascinating.

Acropolis Museum in Athens

Kids will love the family programming in the summer, and don’t forget to pick up “family backpacks” at guest relations. These offer trails through the museum for the kids to follow. It’s the perfect scavenger hunt. There’s also a LEGO Acropolis built of 120,000 bricks that shouldn’t be missed! GET YOUR TICKETS HERE

3. Stroll through Plaka neighborhood

This Athens neighborhood has charming cafés and traditional tavernas, tree lined cobblestone streets, and shopping. Most children won’t love the shopping part, but they can enjoy playing in the squares, sampling Greek food, and engaging with local families.

Place Athens Greece-Kids Are A Trip

4. Syntagma Square Changing of the Guard

Syntagma Square is located in the heart of the city and most days is perfect for people watching and letting the kids burn off some energy. On one side of the square is the Parliament building where visitors can take tours and learn about the history of the Hellenic Parliament. 

Changing of the guard Athens Greece

At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier you can watch the changing of the guards every day. On Sundays, the guards wear traditional uniforms of the Greek freedom fighters from the 19th century. It’s worth a quick visit to watch the official ceremony.

5. Ride the Cable Car to the top of Mount Lycabettus

If you are looking for a great place to see the Acropolis from a different point of view, head to Mount Lycabettus. This is the highest place in the center of Athens and a ride on the mountain’s funicular will provide a beautiful perspective of this ancient city. There’s a bar/restaurant at the top and it’s the ideal place for sunset watching.

Greece Guide

6. The National Garden

Next to Syntagma Square is the National Garden of Athens. It has 38 acres of fountains, ponds, and stunning plants and flowers. The garden is a surprising oasis of calm in the middle of the noisy and chaotic city.

7. Panathenaic Stadium 

The Panatehnaic Stadium was the location for the first Olympic Games in the 4th century BC. During the Roman occupation, the stadium fell into disrepair and most of its materials were removed to build other structures in the city.

Panathenaic Olympic Stadium

In 1895 a renovation began with private funding, and the goal was to host the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. The project was a success and today the stadium seats 50,000 spectators and is the finish line of the annual Athens Marathon.

8. Hellenic Children’s Museum

If you need a break from the historical sites, head to the Hellenic Children’s Museum. It’s filled with hands-on activities, games, and play areas. This is best for children ages 12 and under.

9. Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

This might not be at the top of your “must do” list when visiting Athens with kids, but the complex is home to the National Library, the Greek National Opera, and Stavros Niarchos Park.

Add this to your family vacation if you are looking for a great place for kids to relax and run around. Grab some local delicacies and head out for a picnic in this impressive park which includes a great lawn, Mediterranean garden, and playgrounds.

10. National Archaeological Museum of Athens

The National Archaeology Museum is easiest to reach via metro (Omonia or Victoria metro station) or taxi as it isn’t close to the other main attractions. There are collections from various civilizations, including the Egyptians, Cycladic, and Mycenaean. This is a good option for those visiting Athens with teens who can appreciate the historical aspect, but might eventually have statue and artifact fatigue. 

National Archaeological Museum Athens-Kids Are A Trip

11. Head to the waterpark

As we mentioned, Athens can get quite hot and dry in the summer. If you want a city break, head to Aquapolis Waterpark where the kids will have a great time splashing in the pools, floating on a lazy river, or zooming down the water slides. 

Athens Day Trips

Whether it is your first time in Athens or your fifth, we always recommend a day trip away from the city. These are some fun things to see and do on a day out.

Temple of Poseidon

This Ancient Greek temple is located in Sounion, about an hour by car. It was built in the 5th century BC and is completely made of white marble. If you don’t want to deal with the Acropolis crowds on your family holiday, this is a great alternative.

Athens Riviera

If you don’t have time to visit the beautiful beaches of neighboring islands, consider taking a day trip to the Athens Riviera. It’s about a half-hour drive with a private driver or rental car. You can use public transportation, but it will take a bit longer.

Glyfada Beach has options for shopping and dining and beach clubs with umbrellas and chairs available to rent.


This UNESCO World Heritage Site has some of the most beautiful archaeological ruins in the world. It’s a longer day trip from Athens at just over 2 hours, but worth a visit if. your family loves Greek history and mythology.


The monasteries in Meteora are a must-see for families seeking hidden gems in Greece. These monasteries date to the 14th century and sit on top of dramatic cliffs overlooking the countryside. There are several tour companies offering day trips, but this is the one we recommend.

Meteora hidden gems in Greece

Where to Stay in Athens with kids

If you are staying longer than a couple of nights, consider a vacation rental in Athens. They come in all shapes and sizes. Centrally located neighborhoods include Plaka, Kolonaki, Syntagma, Koukaki, and Monastiraki.

For family friendly hotels in Athens consider: 

Hilton Athens

If you need a traditional “American style” hotel, Hilton Athens fits the bill. The property has the largest outdoor pool in the city center, restaurants, and a spa. There’s even a Pilates studio and fitness center.

Some rooms have Acropolis views from a distance and some rooms on the higher floors have views of the sea. Located in the Illissia neighborhood, suites can sleep up to 4 people (2 adults and 2 children).

Hilton Athens with sculpture
You can’t miss the Dramas statue near the Hilton Athens hotel.


Ava Hotel and Suites

Located in the Plaka neighborhood, Ava Hotel and Suites has suites that can sleep up to 4 people. Charming boutique hotel and suites have fully equipped kitchenettes and views of Plaka or the Acropolis.


Electra Palace Hotel

Also in the Plaka district is the Electra Palace Hotel. The 5 star property is walking distance from many of the city’s main attractions. There’s a roof top pool, a restaurant with views of the Acropolis (and some rooms as well). There are suites suitable for families and babysitting is available as well.


Hotel Grande Bretagne

This 5 star landmark hotel has been in the heart of Athens since 1874. Hotel Grande Bretagne is a Marriott property, and rooms have views of the Acropolis, Syntagma Square, Lycabettus Hill, or the Olympic Stadium. Interconnecting rooms allow families to stay together. Child care is available and there are two swimming pools!

Acropolis View Hotel Grand Bretagne
Photo credit: Hotel Grand Bretagne


St George Lycabettus

Close to the Kolonaki neighborhood on the slopes of Lycabettus Hill, St George Lycabettus is a family friendly hotel has a roof top pool and stunning views of Athens. There’s a movie theater for the kids and a playroom they will enjoy as well. There are large connecting rooms so families can stay together.


Coco-Mat Hotel Athens

Located in Kolonaki, Coco-Mat Hotel is a stunning boutique property is close to major tourist attractions. Some rooms can accommodate up to 2 adults and 2 children. There’s a roof top garden and terrace with stunning city views, and they claim to have the best sleeping experience in Athens!


After visiting Athens with kids, we can easily say it was not our favorite destination in Greece, but we are glad we visited for a couple of days to enjoy what the city has to offer.

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