The Ancient Agora is like a large park dotted with ruins, bordered by the Stoa of Attalos and the Temple of Hephaestus. Stef realised that there was a story behind every tree and every stone, after Vera asked him if he could recognise the mythological creatures in the columns standing beside us—the titans near the entrance to the Agora. Vera let Stef explore freely, stopping wherever she wanted to tell a story, but letting his curiosity guide us.
“What else happened here?” my boy asks Vera, his eyes perfectly round with excitement, as we come down from the Temple of Hephaestus. Vera suggests we take a seat in what seems to be a random assortment of ruins. Stef immediately runs to the area that is out of bounds. Vera pulls out a piece of paper, a pen, and a few little paper circles, luring him back.
“Do you know what democracy is?” she asks.
“It’s the system of government that doesn’t apply in our house,” I joke.
Vera hands me the paper and asks me to write down a law I’d like to pass at home.
“No eating on the couch,” I write and say out loud. Stef groans, not realizing we’re about to put it to the vote. To my child’s delight, the law doesn't pass. Stef, Vera and Thomas, our photographer, all vote against me.
“Can I take the little round things home?” Stef yells, as if he’s just discovered a new form of power.
Our cultural experience ends with a visit to the Museum of the Ancient Agora, which is great for little kids with a shorter attention span. It’s small and they get to see the artefacts that have been dug up from the place where they have literally just walked.
A week or so after the tour, Stef says to me: “I loved to learn about the 12 gods, but now I’ve forgotten about them. Can we go back to that nice lady so she can tell me again?”
What’s the verdict?
This tour is a fun way to introduce your kids to ancient Greece and to let them wander about in a natural setting, especially if they are restless types. It’s much better than dragging them around the ancient sites yourself. And even though I grew up in Athens, I learned plenty of new things myself.
- Duration: roughly 1.5 hours
- Cost: This is a private tour, starting at €45 per person, free for kids up to 10 years old. Tickets to enter the Ancient Agora is not included (€8).
- Time: Will be set when you book