Planning a trip to Athens, Greece, with kids and wondering what things there are to do in Athens with kids? I’ve got you covered!
Greece has always been on my bucket list of places to visit. While Santorini was my top choice, I skipped it as, from all reports, it’s overcrowded with tourists. The over-tourism of a city is not something that I’m down for.
In October, kids in the United Kingdom generally have a half-term break, and fortunately for us, Madison’s school gave us a 2-week break. By knowing the dates in advance, I was able to book us a 4-day trip to Athens, Greece, flying out of London’s Heathrow and into Athens International at a steal.
While we booked four days, we realized that three days is the perfect amount of time to explore Athens with kids and decided to spend another day visiting another island. Here are 15 things to do in Athens, Greece, with kids.
1. Visit the Acropolis and Parthenon
The Acropolis is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Greece, and for good reason! It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is definitely worth visiting. You can explore the ruins of the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Erechtheion.
It’s an ancient citadel that sits high above Athens and offers amazing views of the city below. The Parthenon, built in honor of Athena, the patron goddess of Athens, was completed in 438 BC.
There is a lot of history surrounding the Acropolis, and it’s definitely worth learning about before your visit. I would highly recommend doing a guided tour so that you can get the most out of your visit. Once you’re done exploring the Acropolis, take some time to walk around the archaeological site and visit the other buildings, like the Temple of Zeus.
2. Check out the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Another must-see when in Athens with kids is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It is in front of the Parliament building on Syntagma Square and is watched over by members of the Greek Evzones in traditional clothing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The changing of the guard happens every hour on the hour and is definitely worth seeing. It’s an almost 10-minute ceremony full of pomp and circumstance.
The guards wear traditional Greek clothing, including the foustanella, which is a skirt-like garment with 400 pleats that represent each of the 400 years that Greece was under Ottoman rule. They also wear red pom-poms on their shoes and carry rifles with bayonets. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded byEvzones because they are considered to be the best soldiers in Greece.
3. Visit the National Gardens
Located near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and in the center of Athens are the National Gardens, and they’re definitely worth a visit. This is a great place to take a break from sightseeing and let the kids run around and explore. The gardens are beautiful and full of flowers, trees, and sculptures. located The gardens are beautiful, and it’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. With over 15 hectares of gardens, there’s plenty of space to explore.
There is also a playground, a duck pond, and a café if you need to grab a bite to eat. The National Gardens are open every day from dawn until dusk and are free to enter.
4. Visit National Historical Museum, Athens
The National Historical Museum is a great place to learn about the history of Greece. It was founded in 1882 and is located in the Old Parliament House in Athens. The Hellenic Parliament would meet here from 1985 – 1932 until they relocated to the current Parliament building on Syntagma Square.
The museum has over 11,000 artifacts on display, and it is definitely worth taking the time to explore. It covers the Bronze Age all the way through to the 20th century. The museum is huge, and there is a lot to see, so I would recommend spending a couple of hours here. The museum is open every day except Monday, with free admission on Sundays.
5. Wander Around Monastiraki
Monastiraki is a neighborhood in Athens that is full of narrow streets and small shops. It’s a great place to wander around and do some shopping. The main square, Monastiraki Square, is full of cafes and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat. It’s also a stop on the train for those wanting to use public transport in Athens.
On Sundays, the square turns into a flea market where you can find all sorts of treasures. If you’re looking for souvenirs, this is definitely the place to go.
5. Explore Plaka
Plaka is the oldest neighborhood in Athens also full of narrow streets and quaint shops. It’s definitely worth taking some time to wander around and explore. There are many restaurants and cafes where you can stop for a bite to eat or a refreshing drink.
If you’re looking for something to do with kids, there is also a playground located in Plaka. It’s the perfect place to take a break from sightseeing and let the kids run around and play for a bit.
6. Visit the Temple of Olympian Zeus
The Temple of Olympian Zeus is one of the largest temples in Greece and is definitely worth a visit. Construction on the temple began in the 6th century BC, but it wasn’t completed until the 2nd century AD, almost 600 years later! It’s one of the largest temples ever built, and today only a few columns remain. Nevertheless, it’s still an impressive sight to see. The temple was built in honor of Zeus, the king of the gods, and once had 104 huge columns, only 15 of which remain today.
7. Go on a Guided Tour of the Acropolis Museum
The Acropolis Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Athens and is definitely worth a visit. It’s located at the base of the Acropolis and houses many artifacts from the site, including sculptures, pottery, and jewelry.
I would highly recommend taking a guided tour of the museum before visiting the Acropolis so that you can learn more about the history of the Acropolis and see all of the artifacts up close. The tours are offered in English and last about 1 hour.
8. Explore Ancient Agora
Ancient Athens revolved around the Agora, which literally translates to “meeting place.” The ancient agora was the center of public life in Athens and was the site of many important political, philosophical, and religious discussions. It’s definitely worth taking some time to explore the ruins of the agora, which include the Temple of Hephaestus, the Stoa of Attalos, and the Monument of the Eponymous Heroes.
9. Explore the Roman Agora
The Roman Agora was built in the 1st century AD and is located just north of the Ancient agora. It was the center of public life during the Roman period and is home to many well-preserved ruins, including the Tower of the Winds, the Gate of Athena Archegetis, and the Library of Hadrian.
10. Visit Kerameikos Cemetery
Kerameikos is an ancient cemetery that was used from the Bronze Age all the way through to the Roman period. It’s a fascinating place to visit and see how people were buried in ancient times.
There are many different types of tombstones and monuments, including stelae (upright stone slabs), lines (stone benches for mourners), and cist graves (stone boxes).
11. Visit Hadrian’s Library
Hadrian’s Library is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built in 132 AD by Roman Emperor Hadrian. It was the largest library in the ancient world and housed over 200,000 scrolls. The library was destroyed in 267 AD, but you can still see the ruins of the columns and walls. It’s one of the most well-preserved ancient buildings in Athens and is definitely worth a visit.
12. See the Panathenaic Stadium
The Panathenaic Stadium is a must-see for any sports fan and another thing to do in Athens with kids. It’s the only stadium in the world made entirely out of marble and was originally built in 330 BC. It is considered to be one of the most significant monuments of ancient Greece. The stadium was used for the Panathenaic Games, which were held every 4 years to honor the goddess Athena.
In 1896, the stadium was renovated for the first modern Olympic Games and has since been used for both the 1896 and 2004 Olympic Games. Today, the stadium is still used for sporting events and can seat up to 80,000 people. It is open to the public, and you can even run around the track!
13. See the Athens Trilogy
The Athens Trilogy is a group of 3 plays by the Greek playwright Aeschylus. The plays tell the story of the Persian Wars from the perspective of the Athenians. This is also another great thing to do with kids in Athens.
The trilogy consists of “The Persians,” “Seven Against Thebes,” and “Suppliant Women.” If you’re interested in Greek history or theatre, then I would definitely recommend seeing one or all of these plays.
14. Climb Lycabettus Hill
Lycabettus Hill is the highest point in Athens and offers stunning views of the city. It’s definitely worth taking the time to hike up to the top of the hill, which takes about 30 minutes. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Athens and the Acropolis.
If you don’t feel like hiking up the hill, you can take the funicular railway, which takes about 5 minutes. The funicular is located at the base of Lycabettus Hill, next to Kolonaki Square.
15. Take a Day Trip
Athens is surrounded by amazing places to visit! Some of the most popular day trips from Athens are to Delphi, Mycenae, Epidaurus, and Cape Sounion. Greece is known for its stunning islands, so if you have time, I recommend taking a day trip to one of them. My favorite island is Hydra, which is just a short boat ride from Athens. Hydra is a car-free island, so it’s a great place to relax and enjoy the Mediterranean atmosphere.
Whether you’re looking to explore Greek history or just relax on the beach, Athens is a great destination for families. There’s something for everyone to enjoy, and you can easily spend a week or more here without getting bored. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Athens today!