The main attraction in Athens is obviously its antiquities. You don't necessarily need to traipse around endless archaeological sights to enjoy them – you'll literally stumble upon fallen columns and half-excavated sites as you wander around. But it's absolutely worthwhile spending a day or two really investigating some of the ancient landmarks. Preferably, do this in the company of a guide – they should really does bring the ancient world to life. Be sure to buy a €12 pass that gives you access to all the major archaeological sites if you plan to visit more than one.
Be warned: most archaeological sites still close at 3pm in winter. So go early to avoid disappointment. Many museums are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Athens isn't the most family-friendly of cities. Parks are scarce and pavements that you can navigate with a pushchair even scarcer. The beaches are obviously a bonus for kids, but you might have trouble finding a spare sunbed at weekends during the summer. In general, the best and cleanest beaches (by far) are those not accessible by public transport. So it's worth hiring a car if you plan to hit the seaside.
How I’ve picked my things to do:
Athens is a curious mish-mash of the ancient and resolutely modern. So I've picked a selection of sites that combine a taste of history and a flavour of the city's contemporary scene. Of course, the conviviality everyday life is as much a part of the capital's laidback appeal. For more on the city's café culture, nightlife and vibrant arts scene, check out my insider tips in those sections.