Courtesy: Smart Park

You don’t put Athens on your bucket list to come hang out at a shopping mall. Then again, it’s great to know that they’re there if you need them.

Golden Hall

Luxury shopping is the name of the game at Golden Hall.

Courtesy: Golden Hall

The Mall Athens

Where is it? In the northern suburb of Marousi. 
Best features: The Mall is a sprawling leisure hub with ten movie theatres (including Gold Class cinema), an enormous food court, a dizzying roll call of European and American brands, a bowling alley and games arcade. There’s even a post office, should you feel inspired to send an old-fashioned postcard home.
Caffeine hit: An iced coffee in one of the top-floor cafés overlooking the Olympic stadium. 
Keep it Greek: Folli Follie for pretty rose-gold-plated baubles or Terkenlis bakery to taste the traditional Greek tsoureki (a buttery brioche loaf best when coated with gooey white chocolate icing). As well as upscale brands like Balmain and Missoni, Simple Caracters stocks more affordable fashion by Greek designers.
Family fun: Throw a strike at the bowling alley, let the kids battle it out in a car race at the arcade, grab some local fast food, then catch a movie. There’s also a Lego Play Factory and Athens’ only Confuzio toy emporium. On weekends, fun activities like obstacle courses or maxi puzzles appear. 
For a good meal: Gourmet Burger Kitchen, founded by three burger addicts from New Zealand, on the third floor. Not just mean burgers but healthy options like pear and cranberry salad too. 
Top tip? If you don’t like crowds, avoid Saturdays. It’s when Greeks flock to the stores because shops are closed most Sundays. 
How to get there? There’s an overground train stop—Neratziotissa—right at its entrance on the Piraeus to Kifissia line.

"A leisure hub with ten movie theatres, an enormous food court, a dizzying roll call of brands, a bowling alley and games arcade."

An open-air shopping experience that the whole family will love.

Courtesy: McArthur Glen

McArthur Glen & Smart Park

Athens Metro Mall

Handy size, handy location.

Courtesy: Athens Metro Mall

Family fun: Volta Fun Town on the second floor has an indoor soft play and outdoor games terrace. Park your toddler in the supervised soft play and dash off to shop solo, or take a break in the café while they wear themselves out. There’s also a teeny rollerskating rink on the third floor and a shop selling movie merchandise next to the Village Cinema complex. 
For a good meal: TGI Fridays may be strictly for the tourists in London or New York, but here in Athens, the franchise is a popular go-to for young couples and families craving American-Tex Mex and lurid cocktails. Too manic? La Pasteria next door does cracking pizzas.
Top tip? Currently the only place in Athens to indulge in a cinnabon, a ridiculously delicious American import. For novel gift ideas, Flying Tiger Copenhagen will tempt you with everything from chickpea chips to llama-shaped plant pots—all at knockdown prices.  
How to get there? Six stops from Syntagma on the red metro line towards Elliniko.  

"Park your toddler in the supervised soft play and dash off to shop solo."