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Athens Aug 15-20

We will be arriving to Athens via a 17 hour flight. We arrive at 10 am in the morning and staying in Plaka area. Arrival day is planned to see The Parliment, changing of the guards, national Gardens of Athens, presidential palace and lykavitos Hill. We are with our 5 and 7 year old girls. We will have one stroller with us. is there anything else near the Lykavitos Hill that we should consider, we will do the church on top of the hill and perhaps dine at the restaurant for the views.
Second Day - we plan to see the acropolis, acropolis hill, Ancient Agora, temple of Olympian Zeus... now which one should we do first, since we would get a combo ticket at one of the sites. do the famous scenic walk.
Third Day - visit islan Aegina

this is what i have so far, please be kind and let me know what else i should plan, restuarants that are a must....

Posted by
5934 posts

When you are on Lycabettos Hill you are in the vicinity of an excellent local taverna, in the upscale Kolonaki neighborhood ,To Kafeneo, Loukianou Street,26.

Posted by
5010 posts

My only tip is, consider that...

We will be arriving to Athens via a 17 hour flight...

and...

We are with our 5 and 7 year old girls.

For most of us, after flying 17 hours, we are not in very good shape to do much of anything, never mind going out and spending a busy day sightseeing in a strange land. And that goes for adults, who can rationalize that this is a special event so they need to "tough it out" and get through the day when all they really want to do is go sleep somewhere. Preferably somewhere cool - because in Athens in August, I'd expect it to be uncomfortably hot outside and I'd probably be grouchy even if I hadn't been awake for two days upon arrival. Your young children will probably not be so easy to rationalize the discomfort as an adult might.

In your group of four, don't be surprised if someone is not feeling very enthusiastic about sightseeing after flying 17 hours. Remember, any group can only move as fast as the slowest member (usually the least happy member).

If it were me, I would not plan very much for my arrival day. Sure, stay outside and try to move around in the sunshine and fresh air (to help stay awake) but don't expect miracles, especially from your kids. Try to stay awake until after local dinner time, then get some sleep. Plan a more full, active day the following day - which is really the first real day of your trip. Your arrival day is actually just a travel day (no matter what time your flight arrives), and is not really usable. Your trip starts the day after you arrive.

Hope that helps.

Posted by
173 posts

David, while you are right about many things for the arrival day, please consider that we are flying first class and the little ones will get plenty of sleep. They are used to traveling as this is not the first time on a long flight.

in any case what else would you guys add to my planned day, even if it means it will be the first day of the trip and we will rest the arrival day...

Posted by
6513 posts

After 17 hours in a dry air conditioned metal tube, even 1st class, you are quite likely to find the August heat of Athens to be oppressive. Unless you are accustomed to being active in 90+F temps, you are likely to wilt in the heat more quickly than you might imagine

Posted by
173 posts

our city gets about 100F through most of the months of the year, the hot weather is something we are very used too. the flight is 5 1/2 hours and then connecting to another 11 1/2 hours. we will have about an hour break. we will relax once we go to Mykonos and Santorini for the next 12 days. I think we are trying to do as much as we can while in Athens, as we will depart Santorini to our next destination of London U.K

Posted by
4304 posts

On your second day, go up the Acropolis first and visit the Parthenon. Then down to the ancient Agora, then any other sights you have in mind. The Parthenon is the real "blockbuster" sight of Athens, you'll see it at a distance from many other places including your arrival day. The Temple of Olympian Zeus doesn't take long to visit and is less interesting (I think), but it has enormous columns, some fallen down, that ought to wow the little ones.

You know best how your kids would handle museums. I'd recommend the Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum to any adult visitor who's interested in ancient art. The Acropolis Museum is right at the foot of the Acropolis, on the opposite side from the Agora, and is very well designed. The NAM is farther to the north, in a different part of the city, more of a "traditional" art museum layout and much bigger. Its collection covers the whole sweep of Greek art from the Cycladic through the Hellenistic periods. If the kids do OK at the Acropolis Museum, and time allows on that or another day, try the NAM too.

There's a little "train" for tourists below the Acropolis on the north side. I forget just where it starts and ends, but it's a fun way to see a lot. The kids might like it.

Posted by
1189 posts

If you are in the National Gardens then you are very close to the Olympic Stadium. It’s worth crossing the road to have a look.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panathenaic_Stadium

You already have a fairly full day but, if you want to give your girls a run, the woods surrounding the stadium have recently been opened up as a park. The entrance is behind the stadium: follow a footpath to the left of the stadium, go up the stairs and continue round. Turn right when you reach the road and then immediately in through some double gates.

The advantage is you get great view back across to the Acropolis.

Alan

Posted by
91 posts

Just in case you haven't already realised - August 15th is a big National Holiday in Greece. Most places will be closed.

Many Athenians leave the city this week to try to get out of the oppressive heat a little. Those who are in the city will likely be having very long, late dinners out, so you may find yourselves in the midst of a late night party.

Posted by
173 posts

I understand that Aug 15 is a Big National Holiday, now I'm wondering will the major sites in Athens be open and what about the restaurants, what should we be concerned about. Will the restaurants in Plaka area be open and what about taxis, will they be running?

Posted by
394 posts

We attended a performance of the Dora Stratou dance company last week in Athens. They perform traditional Greek music and dance from all areas of the country. It was one of the highlights of our two week trip. The theater is located on Philopappas Hill, in the Acropolis area, and the performances are in the evening. Your girls might enjoy the bright beautiful costumes, dance and music. There is an intermission if need to leave early and want to avoid disturbing others, The performance was about 1 1/2 hours. You would need to check their schedule in light of the holiday.