Amusing children in Athens is easy as there is lots to do including a children’s museum, planetarium, beaches, and easy excursions to the nearest islands.
Here's our A-Z Guide (well, B-S to be accurate) on how to amuse children in Athens.
While adults are attracted to Athens for its cultural sites, your visit can be turned into a family holiday by choosing a hotel in one of the coastal suburbs. Places like Glyfada provide sea and sand, and it's easy to get to and from the city centre using buses or fairly cheap taxis.
At Astir Beach there are plenty of watersports to amuse all the family, plus good shopping and numerous places to eat. The suburbs of Varkiza, Voula and Vouliagmeni also have good beach facilities, and the area around Cape Sounion is becoming known as the Athens Riviera.
A journey to Kifisia should keep children happy for at least half a day, as it not only combines a ride on the metro but can include a visit to this excellent museum. There are good displays on environmental problems, some of which are caused by tourism – a lesson that travellers are never too young to learn.
There are also extensive collections on Greek flora and fauna, including some of the larger birds of prey and mammals such as bears and wolves, which few visitors will ever see in the wild. https://www.gnhm.gr
Contact the museum for details of current activities. Although some of the staff speak English and welcome children of all ages and nationalities, advance notice for visits by non-Greek speaking children is advisable. https://www.hcm.gr
Though children are not normally gripped for long by panoramic views over cities, such as you get from the top of Mount Lykabettos, they will probably enjoy the journey up there if you take them on the funicular. The only drawback may be that they will want to come straight back down again, without allowing you time to enjoy the view. Persuade them to stay with a drink in one of the cafés at the top.
This small, lively museum has displays of art that includes imaginative sculptures, as well as tables and materials for children to use. http://www.childrensartmuseum.gr
While it isn't possible to actually play any of the instruments in this valuable collection, you can listen to most of them on headphones provided at each case. Videos are also shown, illustrating how various instruments are made and played. We once saw the lovely sight of a Greek boy with a big smile on his face while dancing to the music only he could hear on his headphones. athensmuseums.net
In addition to simply exploring the gardens, perhaps looking for small ponds where fish and terrapins live, there is also a Children's Library in the centre of the gardens: signposted from the main entrance on Amalias. Adults are not admitted, and there are books, toys, tapes, and games in Greek, English and other languages.
The running track of the 1896 Olympic Stadium is open to anyone to use during the day, and children might enjoy races around the track or even up the steep seating and down again. See our full page all about the Olympic Stadium.
A good day out is to make a day trip to one or more of the Saronic Gulf Islands. An early start will mean a ride on the metro to Piraeus, the sight of the huge harbour there, and then the excitement of a journey on one of the ferries to Aegina, Póros, Spétses or Hydra.
Although it's a little way out of the city centre, the Athens Planetarium has some very enjoyable shows, including programmes about the ancient Greeks which have joint Greek-English voice-overs. https://www.eef.edu.gr/en
The Changing of the Guard is a dramatic precision routine that fascinates young and old alike. It takes place hourly on the hour, with a fuller ceremony with a marching band on Sunday mornings, in front of the Parliament Building at the top of Syntagma Square. While waiting, younger children will probably enjoy chasing the pigeons!