Bustling Athens can be challenging for families, with its urban pace, late dinners, and scorching summer temps. That doesn’t mean you should skip Greece’s capital city if you’re traveling with kids, however. With planning and family-friendly guides, young travelers will be enthralled by this city’s ancient treasures and contemporary neighborhoods.
On our first family trip to Athens, we underestimated the June heat and had to reschedule our tours for early in the day and add extra stops for a cool drink and rest. With this adjustment, the city (and all of Greece) became one of our favorites, and we've visited many times over the years. Here’s how to fall in love with Athens in three days.
There is no heat like the heat on the shade-less Acropolis in summer.
If you only have time for one thing, make it Monastiraki flea market.
Take a touring break and explore a historic neighborhood. There's Plaka, with ice cream shops and shady squares, Anafiotika with its twisting lanes and steep staircases, and Psiri with street art and teen-pleasing alternative vibe. Finally, head to a dinner theater where local artists perform folk music and dance while you tuck into classic Greek dishes.
Today, get to know the rest of Athens. A hop-on hop-off bus tour is good if you want to avoid long walks, or opt for a family-friendly city center walking tour. Stop at the Agora, another top ancient site.
Next, visit another neighborhood. Kids love the lively Monastiraki quarter, especially its treasure-trove flea market. Teens can explore the city’s street art scene with a local insider guide. As the sun sets, catch the funicular to the top of Mount Lycabettus, the highest point in Athens, for sweeping views across the city, including of lit-up major landmarks like the Acropolis.
If your family has hit its culture limit, dedicate the day to straight R&R with a cruise to the islands of Hydra, Poros, and Egina. Admire views of the coastline as you sail to the islands and stretch your legs on land stops. Onboard lunch takes the guesswork out of arranging meals.