If you are looking for things to do near Athens Aiport then you may be surprised to find out how many options you have. This is especially great for travelers who have 3-5 hours transit in Athens and not quite enough time to visit the Ancient Centre, or have visited it previously and are looking for other things to do.
There are things to cater to most interests and budgets including great activities for families. Here are our top suggestions:
Further reading: Athens Airport Hotels
Smart Park Shopping Mall
This Mall is made up of two main centers with plans afoot to expand and include more shops and a hotel. It is the largest outdoor shopping mall in Athens and is open every day with ample parking.
Altershops Designer Outlet is one half of the current complex which is home to a large range of fashion brands including Nike, Brooks Brothers, Tommy Hilfiger and several high-end Greek brands. Prices here are often well discounted even on current season stock and it is a very modern, and attractive complex that is well maintained.
The other half of the complex is called Smart Park and is full of more shopping brands and stores such as H&M, Marks & Spencer and Gap, as well as popular Greek department stores such as Hondos and Jumbo.
Connecting the two areas is a large promenade full of cafes and ice cream stores with big shady trees. A great spot for husbands parking whilst the ladies shop.
There is also a huge children’s play area with several small rides, a games arcade, and even Dodgem Cars.
This is a great spot to pick up some bargains before flying home and all members of the family will be happy to spend some time here.
Where is Smart Park?
It is located about 15 minutes north-west of the airport, near the town of Spata.
Be sure your driver takes the back road to/from the Aiport which is quicker and cheaper. A fare should cost no more than 20 euros.
The park is also right next door to the Athens Zoo and Aquaopolis Aqua Park ( see below)
Check the official website for opening times
Altershops Designer Outlet
Right next to the Smart Park/Designer outlet mall is the Attica Zoological Park.
Open year-round, this zoo offers visitors the ability to see a wide range of local and international animals as well as join an organized tour to learn more about their programs, including the Chimpanzee and African Penguin pens. There is also a ‘Meet the Animals’ activity that is suitable for children over 5. This does need to be booked in advance.
There are also various special events throughout the year such as World Animal Day, Halloween, and Easter so it pays to check their calendar to plan your visit.
Other facilities at the park include a cafe and Gift Shop and there are several shady picnic areas.
Daily from 9:00 am to 1 hour before sunset
There is a long price list with lots of concessions and package pricing. Check the official website for more.
Right across from the Zoo is Aquapolis Water Park. Open between May and October each year this a great activity to do with the family along with the Zoo and the Smart, or even just on its own.
Like most water parks it has a bunch of great slides, 17 in fact, and its main one is called King Cobra – a giant red snake that spits you out of its mouth. There is also an artificial beach zone and small slides for small children and novice swimmers.
There are several kiosks selling food and drinks including burgers and kebabs as well as coffee and ice creams. There are also lockers to rent to store your luggage and admission includes free wifi, sunbeds and umbrellas. There is a big free car park out the front.
In 2023 it was open Daily 10:00 – 18:00, closed Wednesdays
There is a rather complicated pricing schedule with different rates for May, June & September to July & August. There are also many concessions and family passes as well as combo passes with the Zoo. See the official site for more.
Where to stay near Smart Park
Given how much there is to do in the area you may want to stay a night or two. It’s also a great option if you are heading home on an international flight – you need to be back in or near Athens at least the night before anyway to allow for any delays.
The closest ‘hotel’ at this stage is Semelia’s Guest House which has a clean and comfortable apartment that can sleep 3 people in two beds.
In the town of Spata Deus Apartments have fantastic, spacious suites that can sleep up to 5 people and have a nice outdoor area and beautiful modern decor. We also like Dina’s House as it’s right where the main shopping street of the town is and has a number of great tavernas at the doorstep.
For more suggestions about places to stay near Athens Airport including the Riviera and East coast towns read our full article.
Other things to do near Athens Airport
Archeological Site of Brauron
Most visitors to Athens think that the major archaeological sites are in the ancient center but in fact, there are many located across Athens and its surrounding districts too.
Only a 15-minute drive east of the airport is the fascinating Site of Brauron which is made up of several attractions:
- the Temple of Artemis
- Archaeological Museum of Brauron
- a Doric Stoa and bridge
- Early Christian Basilica of Brauron and
- Holy Church of Saint George at Brauron
Brauron was one of twelve cities that made up ancient Attica and was notably a Sanctuary dedicated to the Goddess Artemis, twin sister of Apollo and daughter of Zeus. In Mythology, it is often suggested that this is where King Agamemnon sacrificed his own daughter to appease Artemis.
Today it is a well-preserved and cared-for site that is well worth an hour or two. Many people are quite surprised at the artifacts here, particularly in the small museum which houses a number of statues of children, something Artemis was the patron of along with childbirth, animals, and nature.
It is not well signed however and taxis may have trouble finding it. It is better explored with your own car so you can include a meal at the nearby Artemis Taverna overlooking the sea.
Tip: The tomatoes grown in this region are considered some of the best in Greece. You can often buy them at roadside stalls.
Summer (April 16 to October 31) – 8:30 to 15:30 daily
Winter ( November 1 to March 31) – 8:30 to 15:30 daily except Tuesdays
Adults 6 €
Children under 18 years – 3 €
EU Senior Citizens & Students – 50% discount (Personal Document required)
Temple of Artemis at Brauron
Temple of Artemis Brauron Museum
Located only 15 minutes by Taxi from the airport ( and halfway to the beach) is an award-winning winery!
Papagiannakos was the first bioclimatic winery in Greece and has been also recognised for the stunning architecture of the main building.
Stop by for a tasting and do a tour of the winery to learn about the winery and cellar and learn about their techniques and varieties. There is also a well-stocked shop so you can grab some special souvenirs to take home.
Weekdays & Saturdays 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. Sunday by appointment only.
The Margi Farm
In 2015 the owners of the renowned The Margi Hotel in Vouliagmeni bought their own farm, located between the hotel and the airport.
This is where they now grow their own produce for the hotel including a wide variety of fruit and vegetables and they raise animals such as chickens, donkeys, and goats.
If you are traveling in a group or staying at the hotel it is possible to book a tour of the farm where you can learn all about their farm-to-fork philosophy and enjoy a delicious gourmet Greek BBQ. This also includes feeding the animals and picking vegetables so it’s a great family activity.
Check the website for more information
Beaches near Athens Airport
Just a 10 to 20-minute drive from the airport are a number of great beaches and beachside towns and villages.
Porto Rafti is one of the most popular places for Athenians to hang out in summer and is a lot less expensive than places on the Riviera like Vouliagmeni and Glyfada.
There are a number of beaches around the town – Agios Spiridonos is the closest and Avalki and Erotospilia are a bit further afield. There are many tavernas, cafes bars and shops lining the coast in this area as well as sailing clubs, watersports, and even some good hotels such as Sea Sight Boutique Hotel.
Vravona is a sandy beach located very close to the airport. Part of the beach has big rocks and there is a free beach as well as an organized section with umbrellas and sun loungers run by the big Dolce by Wyndham Hotel. It is also very close to the Archaeological site of Brauron (see above).
Vravona Beach can get very crowded in July and August, given its proximity to Athens and Artemis’s center.
Artemidos is a nice sandy beach near the suburb of Artemida that is easily accessible by car and public bus. The clear and shallow waters here make it ideal for families with children. However, it is windy at times, and the sea gets rough if the Meltemi is blowing.
Artemidos Beach is organized with showers, toilets, beach cafès and restaurants from which you can rent parasols and sun loungers. There is plenty of parking available.
If you want to stay a night or three we highly recommend The Seasabelle.
Avlaki Beach, Porto Rafti