Athens is not an obviously natural beauty, but that is what makes it so special. Its astonishing archaeological sights and rightful claim as the cradle of modern civilisation make it a truly unique city destination, while a new breed of quirky, creative neighbourhoods offer a very modern take on Greece. This is a great city to explore with children, as the combination of culture and outdoorsy, child-friendly lifestyle make it fun and easy. Add to that the proximity to the beach resorts of the Aegean, and Athens offers the perfect two-centre family holiday.
Head first for the old town of Plaka, where you’ll stumble across an ancient ruin or tiny church at every corner, with the Acropolis looming above it all. Thissios Apostolou Pavlou Street or Iraklidon pedestrian zone are good places to stop in one of the cute cafés and tavernas for a typical cold coffee – a freddo cappuccino – with more views of the Acropolis and ancient Agora.
The artsy neighbourhood of Kerameikos has been named “one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world” by Forbes, offering little boutiques and hip galleries. Foodies will find souvlaki heaven in its inventive restaurants and bars.
Niche Junior says
We value our kids opinions - which is why we introduced Niche Junior, giving our little travellers a platform:
"I loved Athens in October! I could wear my summer dress! I hiked up to the Acropolis and played in Parco Niarchos. I got to stay up late when my parents had dinner in a taverna. The waitress took me to the kitchen, where I watched the chefs!"
– Louise, 6
Why is Athens perfect for families?
From the smallest shops to the chicest hotels, you will find children welcomed with open arms, a broad smile and perhaps a treat, which is why travelling here is so relaxing for families. The ancient myths are also a huge attraction for children, so dive into thrilling Greek mythology at the modern Acropolis Museum or the ancient Agora, where they can switch between discovering ruins and running in the shadow of old trees, overlooked by the Acropolis. Help them light a candle in one of the many churches and treat them (and yourself) to a plate of fluffy, honey-drenched loukoumades at the trendy LUKUMAΔΕΣ café. Or watch the spectacle of the pompom-shoe-wearing guards change at Syntagma Square, before feeding ducks and goats in the National Garden just next door.
For a break from city life, head to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center where you can walk through gardens of olive trees, thyme and lavender while admiring the modern opera and library. Kids will enjoy the musical garden, a lovely wooden playground and – bring towels and bathing suits – dancing fountains. If you’re up for a day trip, drive 20km to Paralia Limni Vouliagmenis for a swim in the natural thermal waters.
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Where to stay in Athens?
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