reated and designed by Queen Amalia in the 19th century, the National Gardens provide a pleasant green haven in the heart of bustling downtown Athens. Its meandering bench-laden paths, cool trees and popular ponds, make up a favourite stroll for everyone. Feeding the ever-hungry water fowl at the ponds is a must, while you may also visit the Botanical Museum and, for the young (or young at heart) there is the dedicated Childrens’ Museum. A pleasant coffee-shop is also located in its grounds.
Botanical Garden (Diomidous Gardens)
Extending over a vast area of 1,800 hectares in Athens’ western suburbs of Korydallos, Dafni and Agia Varvara, it makes for a lovely and invigorating, if impractically situated, scenic stroll. Within its expansive serene grounds you can find an overwhelming abundance of flora (more than 3000), some of which are exceedingly rare, as well as a dedicated botanic section with pharmaceutical plants.
It can be reached on foot for the adventurous via a beautiful pedestrian walkway surrounded by pine trees, by the funicular or by car, offering excellent views of the entire city and the Saronic Gulf. There is an open-air theatre atop the Hill that regularly hosts concerts during summer months. Also on the Hill is the small gleaming-white picturesque church of Saint George. A coffee-shop and restaurant (see our restaurant pages) are also to be found here offering the same breathtaking views of the capital.
Pedion tou Areos
lovely park located within easy walking distance (just five minutes) from the National Archaeological Museum, its expansive tree-lined vistas make for a pleasant stroll during the day - there are also numerous impressive statues of Greek War of Independence heroes.
Situated right next to (and actually forming an extension of) the National Gardens, the Zappeion Garden generously provides a serene get-away from the hustle and bustle. There are wonderfully crafted statues to be seen, while the café and restaurant are well worth a visit. These Gardens harmoniously combine the grand (imposing architecture of the Zappeion Hall) with the pristine, in its cool shady vistas and green corner get-aways.
Do not miss the opportunity for a stroll in the gardens of a historic Royal residence-now the Presidential Palace. The magnificent gardens became accessible for the first time last March after President Karolos Papoulias decided to open their gates to the public every Sunday 10:00 - 14:00.