THE 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 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, Vasilissis Amalias and Vasilissis Sofias and the street Irodou tou Attikou. Zappeion Mansion is located on its grounds and, on its northwest corner are the Parliament and the Monument of the Unknown Soldier.
The garden was planned by the German architect Gärtner who was invited to build the KingĘs 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. During this same period, the Royal Guards were installed in the Garden. In 1923, the Garden was declared public. In 1927, by legislative decree, was named "National Garden", as it is known now. Until 1997, it used to belong administratively to the Commission of Public Gardens and Tree-lines, since then it belongs to the District of Attica.
Many people blame the Ministry of Agriculture - that was previously responsible for the GardenĘs maintenance - for the deserted picture that it presents today: dirty and distinctively uncared for. The National Garden 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 ChildrenĘs Library and a quaint 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.
HOW TO GET THERE
BY BUS: 103, 108, 111, 206, 208, 209, 237, A4, B4
TROLLEY: 1, 5, 15
HOT SPOTS - What we propose
CAFE IN THE NATIONAL GARDEN
Following your stroll in the National Garden, a Greek coffee in the garden café will relax and refresh you. Enjoy the birds singing! (Garden Café at the entrance of Herod of Attica)
Churches and Monasteries
Walking in Athens
NEAR BY THE NATIONAL GARDEN
ShoppingROYAL ORIENTAL CARPET
Make a treasure hunt out of it and discover this basement store in the most ancient area of the city... more
One of the most famous patisseries from Thessaloniki finally made its way down to Athens to give you a taste... more
Vintage and Contemporary Design for the 70s nostalgic in a very interesting environment.... more
Established by the Yannoukos family in 1952, Antiqua has a sterling reputation amongst experts and lovers of art. The client... more
TO KOMBOLOI TOU PSIRI
Worry beads of every kind and size with value of 5 Euro to 5,000 Euros in an exceptional store.... more
BENAKI MUSEUM SHOP III
A beautiful space filled with unique souvenirs from the Benaki Museum – such as ceramics, silver vessels, reliefs and sculptures,... more
Bar-Restaurant on the pedestrian walkway of Aiolou Street with nice music choices.... more
Snack bar on the pedestrian walkway of Romvis with fantastic tastes and a very friendly atmosphere.... more
JAMES JOYCE IRISH PUB
Original Irish pub with traditional dishes and an impressive range of whisky and spirits.... more
Has a variety of pies, such as the all-time classic, cheese pie. ... more
A neoclassical building that functions as events multi-space. Café, bar, club, exhibitions, live music, theater and seminars... more
Nice snack bar in Plaka, away from noise and the overcrowding, with tasty dishes.... more