A wellspring of history, culture, and timeless traditions, Greece offers endless family-friendly activities. Divided into sun-drenched, picturesque islands and dramatic forest-covered inland hills, the duality of Greece creates a landscape brimming with opportunities for adventures.
Whether you are exploring the sleepy coastal towns of Peloponnese or trekking across the weather-beaten temple ruins in Attica, Greece is filled with one exciting discovery after the next. So, keep every member of the family engaged with our list of the top 10 things to do in Greece with kids.
1. Explore Ancient Ruins
As one of the oldest republics in the world, Greece possesses many stoic reminders of the ancient world. From the perfectly preserved Acropolis overlooking the sprawling Athenian streets to the imposing, classical fortresses and cathedrals in Rhodes, Greece is a rich tapestry of history and culture. Among other impressive ancient sites, the Parthenon, Knossos Palace in Crete, Temple of Apollo in Delphi, and the crumbling city walls of Mycenae will more than stoke the curiosity of young history buffs.
2. Check out Museums
With a culturally-striking landscape moulded by myth, legends, and colourful deities, no visit to Greece is complete without stopping by its world-class museums and exhibits. Start by checking out the award-winning Acropolis Museum, home to over 4,000 ancient relics and artifacts on display in its modern halls. From Bronze Age to Byzantine Greece, the Acropolis Museum features an extensive catalogue of ancient civilizations. While other museums such as the National Archaeological Museum, Museum of Cycladic Art, and the Archaeological Museum of Delphi also offer a nuanced showcase of Hellenic antiquities.
3. Fun at the Beach
The extraordinary beauty of the Greek islands and coastlines are nothing short of legendary. Home to almost 500 Blue Flag certified beaches, Greece is ranked number two in the world for having the highest number of quality beaches. Choose from gold, white, pink, and black sand beaches for a family outing. Spend an unhurried day at Kapari, Lia, and Ftelia Beach on Mykonos or unwind on the stunning Elafonisi Beach in Crete, postcard-perfect beaches on Paros island, and the dramatic black sand Kamari Beach in Santorini.
4. Cool off at a Water Park in Rhodes
A village-size theme park located on the eastern coast of Rhodes, Water Park is the largest of its kind in Europe. With a playground covering more than 100,000 sq. m. of space, the park features massive wave pools, five different types of water slides, ranging from the spiralling “Black Hole” cyclonic water tubes to the high-speed, plunging “Kamikaze” chutes. Enjoy an action-packed day in the sun with rafting, bumper car rides, and other and traditional carnival-style attractions before taking on the thrilling rides.
5. Go Island Hopping
With thousands of islands speckled across the turquoise Aegean Sea, Greece is the only country in Europe where island hopping is essential for getting the full picture of the country. Expect diverse ambience, terrain, and quaint fishing villages when you travel between the islands. Stop by the charming white-washed townhouses on Mykonos that grace the cover of every travel brochure to Greece. Or, if you are up for a bit of history and adventure, visit Rhodes, Hydra, Patmos, Skiathos, and Crete.
6. Discover Mainland Greece
Although often overshadowed by the otherworldly beauty of its islands, Greece’s mainland is the beating heart of the country. Away from the coast and farther inland, you’ll find a landscape dotted by archaeological sites, traditional hillside villages with terra cotta roofs, and jutting cliffs overlooking vast tracts of forest. Venturing from the coast of Peloponnese, you’ll discover remnants of extinct empires alongside stories of famous mythical battles. Further north, bustling cities like Nafplio, Corinth, and Thebes bubble with culture and history. Meanwhile, deeper into the mainland, the rugged slopes of Mount Pelion, Epirus, and the cascading rock pillars of Meteora are considered the most scenic parts of the country.
7. An afternoon at National Gardens of Athens
A 38-acre public park right by the Greek Parliament, the National Gardens is a verdant sanctuary away from the hubbub of Athens. Commissioned by Queen Amalia in 1838, the garden evolved to encompass over 40,000 botanical species, arbour walkways along manicured courtyards, and includes a duck pond. With plenty of shades and grassy playgrounds, the garden is perfect for an afternoon picnic or for quiet strolls around monuments, ancient ruins, and stopping by its children’s library.
8. Visit neighbourhoods in Athens
A historic city with contrasting neighbourhoods, each with its own personality, Athens is a joy to explore on foot. Visit Palaka and Monastiraki to see old world monuments and buildings like the Roman Forum and Hadrian’s Library in the backdrop of sprawling flea markets, cafes, and boutique shops. Stroll along the trendy and upscale designer storefronts of Kolonaki, grab modern Greek cuisine or take the funicular up to Mt. Lycabettus for a panoramic view of Athens’ skyline. You can also swing by the Parliament Building in Syntagma and see the daily changing of the guards at 11 a.m.
9. Join a Food Tour
Enjoy authentic Greek staples and specialties along the historic streets of Athens with a food walking tour. Stop by traditional bakeries and delicatessens for a taste of the cream-filled filo pie, bougatsa, or try the sinful honey and syrup-laden fried donut balls, loukoumades, or the toasted koulouri sesame rings. For more rustic and savoury fares, swing by Varvakeios Market for deli, seafood, olive oil, and local wine, or dine at a taverna for hearty, full course Greek meals, souvlakis, gyros, meze dishes, and finish with a rich, aromatic, dark coffee.
10. Find Cool Street Art
Walk a few blocks in downtown Athens and you’ll encounter walls covered in swirling murals and vibrant, provocative graffiti. Both a social commentary and political statement, Athens’ street arts depict the collective ethos, woes and optimism of a nation shook by a decade-long economic turmoil. Now considered one of the largest street art scenes in the world, Athenian neighbourhoods’ walls, storefront shutters, and alleys are ever-growing canvasses for free expression. Spend the day exploring the city and find your favourite street art or join a walking tour and gain insight into a hidden side of Athens.
Ready for your favourite family moments in Greece?