Top 12 things to do in Plaka and Monastiraki with Kids
Exploring the streets
Walking through the streets of Plaka and Monastiraki is an adventure full of sounds, colours and scents away from the city noise. Kids will love exploring the streets in Plaka because many of them are pedestrian areas without cars. The beautiful marbled streets host many handicraft shops and traditional Greek restaurants. The quieter narrow alleys reflect the historical Athens with beautiful old houses and buildings in authentic Mediterranean colours. Your family will love strolling through these areas. Have a look at our Plaka – Monasteraki self-guided walking tour leading you into the most picturesque corners.
Visit the museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments
Housed in an elegant nineteenth-century mansion near the Roman Agora, the Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments displays nearly 1,200 unusual instruments. This small museum is especially interesting for children because they can listen to the various instruments with headphones. The instruments are grouped by family (brass, strings, woodwind, percussion, keyboard). Some are very special such as percussions made of dried mud, the bagpipes and the Greek shepherds’ flutes made of goatskin, cane flutes covered in snakeskin and flutes made with the eggs of birds of prey. Your family will also learn more about Greek culture through its instruments such as the baglamas, a traditional Greek string instrument made of wood or tortoiseshell.
Try traditional Greek sweets
On 21 Eolou street, right of Monasteraki square, you can find the traditional Greek doughnuts called Loukoumades. These mouthwatering dough balls are oil-fried sweets covered with honey and cinnamon. You can also combine them with chocolate or ice-cream. A guaranteed family treat and must-try when in Greece!
The Roman Agora
Even young kids will be fascinated by the Roman Agora in the heart of Plaka. While the Romans were in Athens, they added their own agora, or marketplace. This was once a hub of activity for the Ancient Romans. Unlike the Greek Agora, the Ancient Romans used it as a market with actual shops. Kids will be fascinated by the ruins of the stores as well as the impressive white entrance gate columns. Show your children the Tower of the Winds, the most important monument at the Roman Agora. This tower is the oldest weather station in the world that could calculate the weather and time with a water clock, sundial and wind indicator. It was built for the merchants on the market.
Plaka and Monasteraki are great for Greek souvenir shopping. Kids will love the souvenir shops on Plaka’s Vyronas street with its wooden toys, olive oil, soap, magnets, pottery and leather sandals. Plaka also has many traditional Greek jewellery stores and art galleries. In Monsteraki you can find vintage shops with affordable art and old instruments and the flea markets with colourful products and people.
The Museum of Greek Children’s Art
If your kids like art and would like to get inspired, take them to the Museum of Greek Children’s Art. This Plaka located museum is a pioneering Museum, one of the very few worldwide that exhibits exclusively drawings and three-dimensional artworks created by children 5 to 14 years old. The Museum’s collections include more than 10,000 drawings and 3D artworks created by children, enriched each year.
Step into Fairytale land at Little KooK
Hidden away in a side street in Monasteraki (between Monasteraki and Thission metro stations) lies themed café Little KooK. In this fairytale haven, your kids will meet Jack and the Beanstalk, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella or other fantasy figures. Even the staff dress as characters from popular children’s books of the past. The café changes the themes according to the season. Little KooK is a coffee and cake shop serving cupcakes, crêpes (sweet and savoury), ice cream and other sweets. The café is a bit pricey but the beautiful surroundings and entertainment make up for that. Kids will love the menu provided on a scroll (only in Greek). Little KooK is very popular amongst locals and tourists and gets very busy on the weekends. It is wise to visit during weekdays or Saturday morning.
The picturesque Anafiotika neighbourhood is located in Plaka on the footsteps of the Acropolis. It is a very special place with whitewashed houses and blue doors resembling a Greek island village. The first king of Greece wanted to build his palace and invited the best builders from the country. These builders came from the island of Anafi along with their families. They built their houses at the slope of the Acropolis, looking exactly like their houses back on their island. Kids will love the labyrinth of alleys and corners and watching the view from above. There are many steps in Anafiotika and that is why it is not stroller friendly.
Cool off with ice cream
The best place to enjoy a cool artisan gelato is at Hans and Gretel on Adrianou Street in Monastiraki. A true fairytale experience, this candy stores offers countless types of handmade caramels and candies, 9 slush flavours, cotton candy, waffles and more. Let your kids choose the most colourful sweets and take a selfie photo with the sweet witch Emily and the well-groomed Hans & Gretel staff in fairy dresses.
Enter a world of illusion
Right of Monasteraki square is the recently opened Museum of Illusions. This small but unique museum is entertaining for the whole family. In the playroom of the museum, kids can tricker their brain with quality games and brain teasers such as puzzles, impossible knots, tricks and mathematical games as well as other educational concepts. The several rooms with illusions are great fun and perfect for some Instagram photos. Imagine shrinking your kids or walking upside down!
The Hellenic Children’s Museum
The small innovative and interactive Hellenic Children’s Museum is located inside Plaka. It has a variety of exhibits that aim to help children experiment and understand the world around them in his or her own way. Kids will learn about the concept of geometry and in the playground are building materials to create different constructions. At the marketplace, they are taught about the concept of supply and demand, and in the kitchen, they experiment with food ingredients and recipes. While the programmes are in Greek, they can also be conducted in English upon special request. The museum is closed in July and August but if you are travelling to Athens before or after the summer months, this museum should be on your list of things to do with kids!
If you are traveling with older children, take them to the escape rooms at Mindtrap Monasteraki located in a beautiful building on Mitropoleos street. The many game rooms take 2 to 6 players and have intriguing names such as El Patron and Da Vinci Code. Can your kids escape on time?!
Kids will love
- The fairytale candy and ice cream shops
- Running around the car-free streets of Plaka
- Challenging their brains with illusions and escape rooms
Parents will love
- The colourful bottles at Brettos in Plaka, the oldest distillery in Greece
- Enjoying a drink on Lysicrates square whilst children play around safely nearby
- The educational opportunities at the museums in Plaka
Best season to visit
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