We ended up just getting to have one day in Athens on our trip to Greece. :( We are staying in Monastiraki. Never been to Athens. What are the crucial 2 or 3 things we should do? It will be mom, dad, and 2 boys 11 and 13. We’re all fit and the boys benefit from lot of physical activity due to the usual boy energy. We’ll be there in early June. Any suggestions for an itinerary?? We would really appreciate your thoughts. Bummed about our short time.
Book a guide and tour The Acropolis, Acropolis Museum & The archeology Museum, have lunch in the Placa between the last two. You will need to get an early start, hope this isn’t the day you arrive on an overseas flight!
We will be there for a full day also with two young teens (and a tween), and plan to do exactly the above, although without a guide :)
Thanks for this input! It is our last day :) so no jet lag.
Do the Acropolis as soon as it opens, gets you up there ahead of the crowds.
Then walk around the base of the hill on a pedestrian roadway to the Stoa of Attalos and the archaeological area which houses some of the ancient city of Athens. This will meet the need for physical activity. Continue walking through the Plaka, good place to grab lunch, to the Acropolis Museum. I think the boys will be intrigued by the glass pavement which covers the archaeological site uncovered when the museum was built.
If more letting off steam is needed there are walking trails on nearby Filopappou Hill with great views over the area.
If you do the Acropolis Museum, several super things:
(1) the front walkway to the entrance is ALL-GLASS!! and you look down at an entire STREET of ruins of houses, from ??2,500 years ago?? discovered during excavations for the building. Fascinating!
(2) Many people start on main floor then go up escalators. For you guys, I say escalate immediately to top floor, because that is where there's a SUPERB 20-minute video (part animated, part people) that gives action-packed, enthralling (and witty) history of Acropolis and Parthenon ... its building, the conquests, the damages, the repairs etc. Really helps understand its major importance to the Greek identity & heritage... Then u can look up at the ceiling where the wonderful remaining sculptures & plaques are mounted ... AND plaster copies of the ones looted to the British Museum... makes it very clear the extent of that pillaging.
(3) when u go down to 2nd floor, there are the original carytids (maidens) holding up the roof of the Erycthion ... plus other artifacts of lesser interest -- AND the all-glassed restaurant and open terrace where you can have a snack or lunch llooking right up at the Parthenon towering overhead. Prices are VERy decent.
All wonderful tips. Thank you.