WHAT'S ON

National Garden | Athens | All Year

TAGS: City Life, Outdoors

Open from sunup to sundown, seven days a week, the National Garden is a 24-hectare park in the center of Athens offering a delightful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Created on the orders of Queen Amalia in 1836 and nationalized in 1974, the garden features some 7,000 trees and 40,000 bushes and shrubs, both native and imported, and many of which bear signs identifying their species. There are various ancient ruins around the garden, as well as strategically placed statues and busts of prominent figures, including Greece’s first governor, Ioannis Kapodistrias, philhellene Jean-Gabriel Eynard, poet and writer of the Greek National Anthem Dionysis Solomos, and Lord Byron. There are ponds complete with turtles, fish and ducks, as well as a small collection of goats, birds and rabbits. There’s also a sundial near the park’s west entrance on Vassilissis Amalias Street. Adjacent to the park on the south side along Vassilissis Olgas Street, the neoclassical Zappeion Hall was built to host officials and guests at the first Modern Olympic Games of 1896. It was designed by Danish architect Theophil Hansen and opened in 1888. There’s an entrance to the garden behind Zappeion Hall, while other gates are located on Irodotou Attikou and Vassilissis Sofias.

Online