Monday, July 23, 2012

The National Garden

[locate on map]

National Garden Although Athens is not a city renowned for its green spaces, there is at the center of Athens a large park of 15.5 hectares known as the National Garden. Originally, the garden was part of the old palace (current Parliament building) during the rule of the monarchy. It was known then as the Royal Garden. The name of the park changed after a plebiscite to abolish the monarchy in 1974.

The park today is very well maintained with a small lake in the middle, a space for ducks and birds and a children playground. In summer, green parrots fly freely near the lake area. Their sounds combined with those of the frogs give a small sense of a tropical forest.

The National Garden is a very attractive destination for tourists and locals especially in the hot summer season. There are also a lot of joggers in the area taking advantage of the multiple tracks in the park. Within the park there is a coffee shop where you can sit in the shadow of big trees. For children, apart the playground there is a children's library.


Nearby the garden there are the following attractions:
  • The tomb of the unkown soldier which lies just in front of the Greek parliament. The change of the guard that takes place every hours is a major attraction for tourists.
  • The Panathinaiko Stadium (Panathenaic Stadium) where the first Olympic games took place.
  • The Zappion hall which is used for major political events and as an exhibition hall. Nearby Zappion there is the well known Aigli restaurant, coffee shop and lounge bar. In summer there is an open air cinema also by the name of Aigli.
  • The Megaro Maximou (the office of the Prime Minister) and the Presidential Mansion which is the official residence of the President.
The garden is open to the public daily till the sunset.


National Garden

National Garden

National Garden

National Garden

National Garden

National Garden

National Garden