One of the great things about Greece is that “family” is still a special strong bond that holds the Greeks together. “Paidiá, kalosírthate!” (Children, welcome!) is what you and your kids will hear when you come to Athens. One of the challenges of family travel is finding the balance of your desire to see the glories of Athens and your kids’ eagerness to play.
First things first, make sure to stay at a hotel that has everything for everybody, such a swimming pool and free WiFi. Stay in the neighborhoods of the Plaka, Monastiraki, Syntagma or Kolonaki – all are walking distance to top historical sights. We suggest staying at Pallas Athena with its family suites, A for Athens because of its price and St. George Lycabettus Hill for its amazing view. We especially love the rooftop pool at St. George. Kids could cool off there all day while the parents enjoy the view of Lycabettus Hill AND Acropolis of Athens.
To see the heart of Athens, walk around the Plaka and Monasteraki neighborhoods. Yes, they are very touristy, but they also have a lively and friendly vibe. Plaka is a pedestrian-friendly warren of ancient streets nestled at the base of the Acropolis. Climb the hill to see Areopagus, also known as Mars Hill. Be careful of the “slippery rocks,” due to centuries of high volume foot traffic in the area. The kids actually liked sliding down them. Read Apostle Paul’s famous speech spoken on that very spot from Acts 17:22-31, as your kids can see the Bible come to life. Afterwards stroll up to the Acropolis, where fans of Percy Jackson will love to see where Percy, Annabeth and the rest of the demi-god gang spent their time in Athens. After your family has explored the Acropolis of Athens, head back to shop in Monasteraki with more antique, arts, crafts and clothing shops than Plaka. It’s also home to a large Flea Market every Sunday morning.
Now that you have worked up an appetite, walk back to Kolonaki neighborhood to Omorfo. This family-owned restaurant is filled with mostly locals savoring traditional Greek favorites like veal with zucchini in egg and lemon sauce, pastitsio and stuffed tomatoes. Your family may also want to try Philos Athens and Zoe’s Premium Latteria in the same neighborhood. What better way to end the days of shopping and exploration that enjoying some ice cream?! Conveniently at the the Monasteraki Square, The Ice Cream Shop easily serves the tastiest ice cream in town. They also serve milkshakes, which are hard to find in Athens, and the parents’ favorite frothy, freddo espresso-cappuccino.