Greece is one of Europe’s premier family travel destinations, featuring sunny islands and dramatic inland mountain ranges that provide endless activities for kids to enjoy.
Athens, Greece’s capital city, is an ideal holiday spot for families with kids of all ages. It is secure, has excellent public transport services, hotels to suit any taste and offers plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy.
1. Visit the Acropolis
The Acropolis is one of Greece’s most iconic landmarks and its ancient ruins must-see. It’s ideal for kids to learn about Greek history while having a fun family holiday experience in Athens. Make sure not to miss it on your next family vacation!
For optimal sightseeing at the Acropolis, visit it during early opening hours or late in the day when crowds are minimal. Unfortunately, summer months can be very crowded with tourists at this iconic monument.
To beat the crowds at the Acropolis, consider purchasing a skip-the-line ticket or tour in advance. These will enable you to bypass the line at the site and enter directly, saving time in line.
For a more immersive and interactive experience, upgrade to a 3D version of the Acropolis. Here, you can see all of its monuments in full detail plus have fun playing educational games and puzzles that will challenge everyone in your family.
2. Visit the War Museum
The War Museum is an excellent opportunity to gain insight into Greece’s military history. Though the building itself remains a stark relic from the junta years, the exhibits inside provide a captivating reminder of how Greeks have fought and triumphed in numerous battles throughout time.
In addition to its permanent displays, the museum also hosts exhibitions on a range of topics from ancient Greek wars to modern conflicts like World War II and the Korean War. Spend a few hours here learning about Greece’s history as well as the struggle for independence.
In the museum, there are ten rooms devoted to different eras of Greek history. The first floor covers antiquity while rooms 3 and 4 cover Byzantine and Frankish domination respectively. After that comes floors dedicated to Balkan Wars and World War I; finally there are rooms dedicated to Greek Resistance during WWII.
3. Take a cable car up Mount Lycabettus
Lycabettus, Athens’ highest mountain, is a popular climbing destination. Soaring 277 meters above sea level, it provides stunning views of the city and its environs.
Hiking uphill can be a real challenge, especially during summer when temperatures may soar. If you’re not an experienced hiker, taking the funicular or cliff railway may be more suitable.
Families with kids often opt for the cliff railway or funicular as a convenient way to avoid the steep climb up Lycabettus Mountain. Running from its base at Lycabettus’ base to its summit, this railway offers an enjoyable alternative.
The funicular departs every 30 minutes throughout the day, and more frequently during peak usage times. The 210-meter ride takes only three minutes.
4. Feed the pigeons
Since ancient times, man has been domesticating pigeons for food, sport and as messengers. These intelligent birds can pass the’mirror test’ – being able to recognize their own reflection in a mirror – with ease.
Pigeon domestication can be traced back to around 3000 BC when an excavation of an Egyptian tomb revealed pigeon bones used as food. Subsequently, in 1100 BC, God Ammon sacrificed one at Thebes – further proof that these birds had become widely domesticated both for food and religious rituals.
Millions of pigeons are killed each year by the pest control industry for commercial gain, yet their presence continues to be felt as an increasing problem in towns and cities around the world. Killing pigeons only increases their flock size, further compounding this issue.
5. Watch the changing of the guards
Families visiting Athens with kids must experience the changing of the guards at Syntagma Square, an enchanting ceremony requiring precision and timing.
The Evzones (presidential guard) are hand-picked from within the military and renowned for their discipline. Furthermore, they stand incredibly tall and physically fit.
These soldiers guard Greece’s historic monuments, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma Square. Stationed there 24/7, they perform a changing of the guard every hour on the hour with an official ceremony taking place on Sundays at 11am.
Due to its busy nature, it is best to arrive early in order to beat the crowds and get a great view of the guard change. Children are allowed to observe this ceremony provided they remain quiet and don’t disrupt any guards.
6. Visit the Flisvos Battleship
In 1984, the decommissioned armored cruiser Georgios Averof was restored as the Floating Naval Museum-Battleship Georgios Averof and opened her four decks to the public – including officer and crew quarters, engine rooms, kitchens etc.
This ship, constructed in Italy during the early decades of the 20th century and serving in the First Balkan War, served as a flagship of Greece’s fleet until 1952 when it was decommissioned. Today it lies berthed at Flisvos Marina and provides a picturesque backdrop to walking or e-bike tours along the coastline from Athens to Cape Sounion.
Battleship is a board game with no apparent narrative arc, yet it nonetheless delivers an exciting sci-fi spectacle with plenty of violence to go along with it. Director Peter Berg – known for his work on war films such as Hancock and Friday Night Lights – brings his experience in military filmmaking together with Marvel movie-style over-the-top action to create an energetic adventure sure to please families alike.
Flisvos Marina not only boasts the quays and docking stations, but it also has a variety of shops, offices, restaurants and cafes to keep your kids occupied during their visit. Plus you can take them for a leisurely walk along the landscaped promenade to explore nearby maritime tradition such as the battleship “G. Averof”, destroyer “Velos” Museum of Anti-Dictatorial Struggle, Athenian trireme “Olympia”, cable-laying steamship “Thalis o Milissios”, Perama-type sailboat “Evangelistria”.
7. Take a tourist site-seeing bus
If you’re short on time in Athens or would rather skip the lines at some of the city’s top attractions, taking a Tourist Site-seeing bus is an ideal solution. They have multiple routes where passengers can board and hop off at any time to give themselves plenty of chances to see all of Athens’ top sights.
These open-top double decker buses offer an enjoyable way to see Athens’ most iconic sites. You can select your route and itinerary, while audio commentary in 16 languages provides informative commentary throughout the city.
Families with children will love taking a sightseeing bus, as you’ll have the chance to see some of the most important sites without spending hours waiting in line. Plus, most companies provide discounted tickets for senior citizens and kids under 1.2 meters tall so you can save on entrance fees.
8. Visit the Byzantine and Christian Museum
Established in 1914, the Byzantine and Christian Museum is one of Greece’s most captivating attractions. With an expansive collection that showcases both religious and secular artwork from Byzantine and post-Byzantine cultures, visitors are sure to leave with lasting memories.
The museum’s exhibits are spread out over two levels and span centuries of art and culture, such as a reconstruction of a fifth-century Christin basilica and Byzantine church from the ninth century. Additionally, there are religious documents, mosaics, sculptures, frescoes, pottery pieces, textiles – you name it!
The Byzantine Empire reigned for over 1000 years, from 330 to 1453, and was the most powerful empire in Europe at that time. Artifacts from this era show us the gradual dissolution of Roman rule, conversion to Christianity, and formation of an intricate social and political system in Eastern Mediterranean.