Athens with Kids on a budget
Destinations,  Europe,  Greece,  Travel

A One-Week Itinerary for Athens with Kids- on a Budget!

We are big fans of Greece, from the weather to the food and the history. Greece has something for everyone. We visited Athens for one week when making our way back to Europe after 10 months in South East Asia. To add to this, it was in November…winter! 

Want to know how we adapted to the weather and most importantly, the prices in Europe? 

We travel on a budget at the best of times but Europe will always be a challenge to stretch the budget so here are all our tips for visiting Athens with kids for one week.

Where to stay

When researching places to stay, more often than not is a list of places to NOT stay. We felt incredibly safe in Athens, sure we clung onto our bags on public transport but that was the only real thing we noticed.

Finding a place to stay will often be the biggest part of your budget so we always start with accommodation. We use Airbnb and mostly but we are not averse to if it saves money. Luckily, you can find many nice neighbourhoods in the centre of Athens or within easy reach with cheap hotels

Areas such as Koukaki (close to the Acropolis and the National Museum of Contemporary Art), Exarcheia (edgy art scene and budget-friendly food), and Psiri (trendy hood) offer plenty of affordable accommodations that promise an authentic Greek experience.

Choosing accommodation close to transport will save money and time too.

Pro Tip: Find hotels that have a Free Breakfast included with the price.

Athens on a budget with kids
An Athens sunset is a must, weather permitting of course.

Athens Cheap Eats

Greek street food is delicious and is an economical way to taste local cuisine. Our ever so slightly picky eater (big fan of carbs and cucumbers, but that’s about it) took a total transformation on our most recent trip to Athens. From devouring feta to sampling green peppers and raw onions, we have a Greek food convert in our family.

Greek street food items you should try in Athens:

Gyros Pita: A pita bread wrap filled with either pork or chicken, tomatoes, onions, tzatziki sauce, and the best bit…chips (fries for our international audience). 

Souvlaki: Grilled skewers of pork, chicken, or sometimes lamb, often served with pita bread, tzatziki, and a side of salad. 

A Gyros and a Greek salad please.

Spanakopita: A savoury pie made of phyllo pastry and filled with spinach and feta cheese. 

Tyropita: Similar to Spanakopita but filled with cheese instead of spinach. 

Bougatsa: A sweet or savoury pastry made with phyllo dough and fillings like cheese, meat, or custard. 

Loukoumades: Small, fried dough balls drizzled with honey syrup and often sprinkled with cinnamon or chopped nuts. 

Falafel: Deep-fried chickpea balls are typically served in a pita wrap with veggies and sauces. 

Saganaki: A pan-seared cheese dish, usually served with a squeeze of lemon juice. 

Dolmades: Stuffed grape leaves typically filled with rice, herbs, and occasionally ground meat. 

TIP- Tap water in Athen’s is drinkable so take your reusable water bottle and fill up.

Budget-Friendly Ways to Get Around in Athens

The cheapest way to get around Athens if you are trying to stay on a budget is by using public transit! The best bit, it is super easy!

Athen’s is a great walkable city, there are some hills though! 

Walking Athens with kids
Walking with kids? You might not get very far with a cat on every corner the kids were easily distracted.

Metro Line

The metro is often the quickest way to get around the city and the three lines covers a huge area. 

Line 1 (Green): Piraeus – Kifisia

Line 2 (Red): Anthoupoli – Elliniko

Line 3 (Blue): Nikaia – Douk. Plakentias – Airport

A lot of the main tourist sites have their own stations making it very easy to navigate.

From the airport, walk directly to the station to purchase your ticket into Athen’s centre.

Buses and trams

Athens public transport is generally pretty easy to navigate. Bus stops announce which bus is coming and when to make the process simpler. The trams connect the centre to the coast making a trip to the beach easy (and recommended).


Public transportation in Athens uses a unified ticket system, meaning the same tickets can be used across the metro, buses, trolleys, and tram.

Tickets can be purchased at ticket machines found at metro stations and major bus stops, or at kiosks throughout the city, NOT ON THE BUS! 

When you validate your ticket, it will activate your journey. There was a little confusion about validating. Lots of people seem to not validate their ticket, we opted to validate on leaving the transport to make the most of the time limit. I’m not 100% sure if this is correct but we did.

  • 90-minute ticket costs €1.20
  • 24-hour ticket costs €4.10 
  • 5-day ticket costs €8.20.

Another FYI, it seems there are a lot of people who don’t buy tickets for the metro and instead will wait behind someone else and sneak through.

Athens Transport Apps

There are several mobile apps, like OASA Telematics or Moovit, which provide real-time updates on public transport in Athens, including routes, timetables, and ticket information. We got by with google maps with no problems.

As with all cities, rush hour gets busy!

Also, keep an eye on your belongings, as pickpocketing can occur.

Things To Do in Athens on A Budget

While it’s certainly possible to spend a fortune experiencing all the main attractions that Athens has to offer, there’s also an abundance of affordable and even free activities for the budget-conscious traveller.

Explore the Acropolis

Surely, if there is one activity you have to do when you visit Athens, it is to visit the Acropolis. But there are several options to make this cheaper.

Opening hours: April 1st to October 31st: 8 AM – 7 PM / November 1st through March 31st: 8 AM – 5 PM


  • 6 March (Memory of Melina Mercouri)
  • 18 April (International Monument Day)
  • 18 May (International Museum Day)
  • The last weekend of September (European Days of Cultural Heritage)
  • October 28th Oxi/Ohi Day
  • Every first Sunday of the month, from November 1st to March 31st annually

Option 2 – Buy a combined ticket that includes access to other archaeological sites in the city.

  • Athens Acropolis + 6 Archaeological Sites Combo Ticket

Experience the best of Athens by skipping long ticket booth queues and gaining direct access to iconic sites such as the Acropolis and the Roman Agora, as well as Aristotle’s School and the Keramikos Ancient Cemetery.

The Combo Ticket for Athens’ archaeological sites can be purchased at the office for €30 or online via Get Your Guide for €36 with skip-the-line access.

TIP: Check out the ticket prices when you are travelling. The combi ticket offers a good discount with peak season ticket prices but the saving is smaller in the off-peak season.

Wander The streets Plaka

As one of the oldest districts in Athens, Plaka offers narrow streets filled with neoclassical buildings, artisan shops, and local tavernas. Get ready for the kids hassling you to by every other thing they see.

Visit the National Gardens

Hunt for tortoises or spot the noisy birds, The National Garden is a moment of quiet in the bustling city.

You will find it located behind the Greek Parliament, close to the city centre.

The garden offers a lush green space ideal for relaxation or a leisurely stroll. The entrance is free.

Climb Lycabettus Hill

For a panorama of Athens’s highest point, climb up Lycabettus Hill.

Visiting Lycabettus Hill on foot is free, but if you want to ride the cable car from Ploutarchou Street it will cost 10 Euros roundtrip or 7 Euros one way.

We didn’t do this, it’s a super small area up the top which gets really busy. Instead head up P Hill at sunrise to get a great view over the Acropolis.

Visitor Information

 Address: Lycabettus Hill, Kolonaki, Athens 114 71

Hours: The hill is open 24 hours. The cable car runs from 9:30 am to 2:30 am

hill, athens, greece-5162897.jpg

Stroll Around Monastiraki Flea Market

Monastiraki Flea Market has a buzzing market atmosphere. Check it out for vintage clothing, rare vinyl, or antiques.

Haggling is part of the fun, and even if you don’t buy anything, it’s a unique cultural experience.

Want to teach the kids how to haggle? Check out our advice here.

This market is free and is open 7 days a week from 10 am to 10 pm.

Visit the Ancient Agora:

Opening hours: April 1st to October 31st: 8 AM – 7 PM / November 1st through March 31st: 8 AM – 5 PM

While there’s a fee to enter the Ancient Agora, it’s another must-visit archaeological site in Athens. This was the heart of ancient Athens, where political, commercial, administrative, and social activities all took place.

Enjoy the Changing of the Guards

Don’t miss the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

You will find the Changing of the Guard located in front of the Hellenic Parliament in Syntagma Square. This ceremony happens every hour and is free to watch.

The Changing of the Guards: Every hour on the hour, 24 hours a day.

Experience Athens’ Street Art

Athens is known for its vibrant street art, which you can discover as one of the free things to do in neighbourhoods such as Metaxourgeio and Psyrri.

Panathenaic Stadium

This stadium is the only one of its kind in the world as it is constructed entirely of marble and for many centuries hosted athletic gaming events. 

We visited Athens in November, just as it enters into off peak season.

Here is our 7-day itinerary for Athens with kids.

Day 1

We were all a little jetlagged from a flight to Singapore so today we took things easy.

Taking the metro from the airport to our Airbnb next to Megaro Moussikis station, we settled into the accommodation. Heading out for dinner we sampled our first gyros and Greek salad.

Day 2

Oxi Day

This national public holiday meant that all archaeological sites in Athens were free to the public. Wahoo! We decided to visit the Acropolis Museum as we had visited the Acropolis last year (which you can read about here). 

Usually, the museum hands out backpacks of interactive activities for the children to make the visit more interesting for the younger ones in your party! Instead, we got stressed out guards telling our daughter off for having a pencil out when she was sketching things, she found interesting,

We took a walk over to the Panathenaic Stadium for the afternoon but this wasn’t included in the free entry and the kids felt they had walked a marathon already so we headed to the park to search for tortoise.

Day 3

We headed into the Plaka area for an explore and a window shop, enjoying searching for cats and listening to the local hustle and bustle.

In the afternoon we walked over to Philoppapos hill to watch the sunset over the Acropolis.

Day 4

We walked over the Hellenic Children’s Museum but the activities were for much younger kids so we gave it a miss. And jumped on the tram and headed to the beach. This being November, we thought it would be a pleasant stroll but it was an absolutely beautiful day and we all went swimming in our underwear! The beaches are on the bus/tram line and are an easy 20 minutes out of the city. Definitely recommend breaking up your city visit with a trip to the beach.

Day 5

This is our favourite find in the city. The SNFCC calls itself a multifunctional, environmentally sustainable centre of education, arts, sports and recreation. We had a great time exploring here outside the busy city. With bikes to hire for one Euro, giant chess, a park and a huge library. Our kids loved it here.

Day 6

Visit the Technopolis

A converted gas works, Technopolis is one of Athens’ largest and most vibrant cultural venues. There’s always something going on here—from live jazz to lindy hop, kids’ workshops and craft fairs—and much of it is free.

Day 7

Food tour- admittedly, we did this one on our own and honestly it was heavily desert based but it might possibly be the best food tour we ever did!

Athen’s is a fantastic city to visit as a family and has so much more to offer than the ‘old stuff’. Hopefully you found this useful in planning your budget friendly stay in the Greek capital.

Happy Travels!

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Meet the author

Lisa is the founder of Boston Tribe Travels. She has lived and travelled abroad for the last 15 years, visited more than 30 countries and has done most of that with her husband and two children. As a full time travel family, they like to travel slow, worldschool and seek new adventures. From living in Borneo for 5 years to backpacking South America, Lisa shares a wealth of travel experience to empower more families to travel and learn together.