I’m looking forward to our first family trip to Athens. We’re going to celebrate my husband’s 50th birthday by spending a few days in the Greek capital. He said that he didn’t want a party but would like us to go on a family trip. As I was going to Athens anyway for a travel blogger conference (TBEX), he and the kids are going to join me there.
We’re going to stay in a very swish looking apartment which HouseTrip have kindly arranged for us. With views of the Acropolis, three bedrooms (so the kids won’t have to share), a balcony and the all-important wifi I think we’re going to love staying there. I’m hoping for warm weather – apparently the average maximum daily temperature for October in Athens is 23.7°C and the average amount of daily sunshine is seven hours.
Of course we’ll be visiting the Acropolis and the main sites in the city (as well as eating, shopping and relaxing) but I’ve been researching family-friendly things to do in Athens and this is what I’ve found so far.
We love trying the food and browsing the stalls at local markets when we’re travelling (the street food tour we tried in Palermo was great). I’m looking forward to tasting olives, cheese, bread and whatever else we fancy at Athens’ central market, the Varvakeios Agora.
This looks like a fascinating place. The Haridimos Shadow Puppet Museum and Workshop is a collection of around 900 displays of shadow puppets. There’s also a performance space for puppet shows. It doesn’t seem to have a website so we’ll have to just check it out when we get there.
The Hellenic Cosmos Cultural Centre is a living museum where you can learn about Greek history and culture through interactive exhibits and virtual reality displays. This sounds like a good place to go before you head off to the Acropolis and the city’s other ancient sites.
You can take a tram or a train from Athens to one of the many beaches along the coast nearby. Vouliagmeni, 10 miles south of the city, sounds like a lovely seaside town. Alimos beach, just six miles from Athens, is sandy and has lots on offer for kids. The Flisovos Marina would also be interesting to visit as it hosts mega yachts from around the world .
You can visit the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Glyfada on the coast south of Athens to learn about their work to protect and rescue these amazing creatures. You can also see turtles that have been rescued. I’d really like to do this.
If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city the National Gardens are an oasis and have a great playground, a duck pond and a small zoo.
Attica Zoological Park is the largest zoo in Greece and is home to more than 2000 animals from 350 different species. There are animal feeding times scheduled at different times of day, birds of prey displays and guided tours on offer.
The Happy Train is one of those irritating, brightly-coloured sightseeing trains which young children seem to love. This one starts from Syntagma Square and goes through the historical city centre and past the main sites of the city. The commentary is in Greek and English. You can get on and off at any of the stops so a trip on the Happy Train could be a good way to get an overview of the city.
Have you ever been to Athens? I’d love your recommendations if you have any to add to the list.
Sounds like you’ll have a fantastic time. I spent a week in Athens – on a training course! I managed to see the Acropolis but hardly had time for anything else so will need to go back one day. #MBPW
Gretta Schifano says
I’m really looking forward to going there – I love exploring new places. It sounds like you definitely need to go back!
We are recent expats to France and Greece is at the top of our go-visit list. I was wondering how tourist-friendly Athens currently is for families, in light of recent political challenges, but your article encourages me! Are you going to any of the islands while you are there?
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Gretta Schifano says
Glad to have encouraged you! I’ve spoken to people who have been to Athens recently and it sounds like it’s all fine there now. I’ll be writing all about the trip when we’re back so I’ll let you know how it goes. We may take a day trip to one of the islands but we’re basing ourselves in the city.
I’ll look for your trip notes! Thank you!