So you want to plan your family holiday to Greece and visit the historical capital and birthplace of modern democracy with the kids? If so, don’t worry. Millions of families from around the globe visit Athens each year, and you’ll find plenty of activities to keep everyone happy and interested. There are several mansions in Greece to choose from if you want a luxurious trip as well as other more affordable options. Here are the essentials about travelling to Greece’s capital with kids.
What You Must Do Before Visiting Athens:
So, you’re going to bring your family to Athens, the centre of Ancient Greek. One of the best things to do before getting on the plane is to spend some time trying to educate your little ones about the city and why it’s significant. There are lots of videos available online and kid-friendly books that can start to pique their interest in the subject. An interested kid is a happy one when they know what they’re looking at and can relate to the ruins. Take the time to make the history engaging and fun, and you’ll find your trip to Athens will be more pleasant.
A Treasure Hunt of Athens:
As a follow on from the point above and especially for younger kids, is to plan a treasure hunt-kind of day. Get a free map from one of the tourist information centres and circle the attractions. Or, ask the kids to choose the places they want to visit themselves. Now, when you go sightseeing around Athens, the kids can tick off the ones that they see. Some families take this a step further and bring a clipboard and offer a prize when they complete the task. Not only is this a fun way to explore the city, but it’s also very educational and sure to keep young children entertained.
But, this probably won’t work quite as well with teenagers. Instead, give them a map and ask them to plan the next day’s sightseeing. If you give the kids the freedom to choose what they what to see and where to go with a little responsibility in finding the route, even the most stubborn teenager will be interested.
The Kids are the Top Priority:
Here’s a quick tip that many parents often forget when they visit a historical destination such as Athens or Rome. And that’s to remember your kids are the number one priority. What six year old wants to walk around all day looking at ancient ruins while you take photographs or sit in the street-side restaurants? You should also consider their level of fitness and not to spend too much time walking and sightseeing on the first day. When you keep their priorities above your own, everyone is going to have a more pleasant and less stressful trip.
Use the Hop On Hop Off Bus:
What’s the fastest way to see all of the attractions? Join the Hop on Hop Off Bus. You can buy tickets that are valid for either 24 or 48 hours and entitles you to unlimited travel on the big, red bus going around the main sites. Pick up a leaflet and ask the kids to say which places they want to visit and take advantage of this service. The most significant benefit is getting to multiple sites in a relatively short amount of time without the need to rely on the metro. And, you have a chance to involve the kids and provide them with some responsibility in planning the trip.
What are the Best Kid-Friendly Activities in Athens?
There are two ways to approach planning your activities. The first is to get a private guide and the second is by exploring Athens independently. Consider doing both when you’re in Athens to fully appreciate the historical importance of this great city.
Guides are a great way to see and experience a new city, and they all have a wealth of knowledge and insights. In Athens, you need someone to explain the importance of what you’re seeing. The best piece of advice, however, is to find a private tour guide rather than joining a group. If you take the time to research online, you should be able to see child-friendly guides who can make a trip around the city fun. Some create a quiz and hand over pieces of pottery to complete a puzzle. Others make even the most boring of descriptions engaging for children.
When you go exploring Athens independently, the top attractions to visit are Acropolis, the Agora and walking through Plaka. The first is the most prominent structure sat high on the hill in the centre of the city whereas the second is where the concept of democracy was developed. Plaka is a charming district full of ruins, traditional Greek buildings and lots of souvenir shops. If you have young children, take the Happy Train around the city and check out the Planetarium, Zoological Park and Reptile Centre. Older kids and teens will appreciate spending the day at either Vouliagmeni or Varkiza beach too.
Having an Unforgettable Family Holiday in Athens:
Now you know what to do, it’s time to put everything into practice and have an incredible trip to Athens with your family. Regardless of the age of the kids, try to get them interested in Ancient Greek and give them some role and responsibility in planning daily activities. If you follow the suggestions here, you’re much more likely to have the time of your life in Athens.