National Garden

National Garden

What we probably do not know about the formerly "Royal" Garden of Athens is that it has existed since the ancient times as part of the greenery near the river bed of Ilissos.

Of course, it took thousands of years and the initiative taken by King Otto to remodel the city of Athens in 1834 to enable the garden to reach its present shape.

The National Garden is today one of the largest green area in Athens (excluding the outskirts of the mountains around it) with a total of 158 acres. It is surrounded by the avenues of Vasilissis Olgas Avenue, Vasilissis Amalias Avenue and Vasilissis Sofias Avenue and the street Irodou tou Attikou.


Zappeion Mansion is located on its grounds and, on its northwest corner are the Hellenic Parliament with the Monument of the Unknown Soldier.

The garden was planned by the German architect Gärtner who was invited to build the Kingʼs palace (the current Parliament), in 1836. Its 120 tree-planted acres were developed gradually under the supervision of the German and the French agriculturalists from 1839 until 1886.

The National Garden of Athens surely deserves better treatment, if for no other reason but its rich flora and fauna - which has decreased considerably but definitely has worked on refining itself. One will find there, lakes, a sundial, the Botanical Museum, the first hothouse in Greece, the Childrenʼs Library and a quaint historical coffee-house (café).

The garden remains open daily from sunrise to sunset. It is estimated that 2 to 3 thousand people cross it every day, a number that increases during the summer months.