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The National Garden of Athens: Right in the heart of Athens, between Syntagma Square and the Kallimarmaro (Panathenaic) Stadium, stands the famous National Garden of Athens, a beautiful area to escape the noisy city center and relax in a lush green environment. It is almost unbelievable that such an amazing garden is situated among the busiest avenues of the city and still it is so well-protected from noise.
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The National Garden covers a vast area of about 16 hectares and they have three entrances: from Amalias Avenue, Vassilissis Sofias Avenue and from the Zappeion Megaron. It is situated on the north of Syntagma square, right next to the Greek Parliament.
The National Garden was created between 1838 and 1840 by order of Queen Amalia, the first queen of Greece. The German agronomist Frederick Schmidt was responsible for planting this garden. He imported more than 500 plant species from Greece and around the world, including many tropical plants. Unfortunately, with the passage of time, some of these plants didn't survive the Mediterranean climate, but those who have survived, create a lovely environment to relax.
Initially, it was named Royal Garden because it was fenced and only the royal family had the right to walk there. The people were only allowed to stroll around in Zappeion, another small park next to the Royal Garden. However, after the restoration of democracy in Greece in 1975, the park was named National Garden and it opened to the public. Today, it remains open from sunrise to sunset.
The National Garden distinguish for the narrow labyrinth paths, the wooden benches and the small lakes in between. It hosts a small zoo with wild goats, peacocks, chickens, and other animals, a Botanical Museum, a children's library, a playground, and an open coffee shop. Particularly popular is also the duck pond, where visitors throw bread and food leftovers for the ducks.
Henry Miller wrote for the National Garden of Athens, The Colossus of Maroussi, 1939:
It remains in my memory like no other park I have known. It is the quintessence of a park, the thing one feels sometimes in looking at a canvas or dreaming of a place one would like to be in and never finds. Seeing lovers sitting there in the dark, drinking water, sitting there in peace and quiet talking in low tones gave me a wonderful feeling about the Greek character.
The dust, the heat, the poverty, the bareness, the contentedness of the people, and the water everywhere in little tumblers standing between the quiet, peaceful couples, gave me a feeling that there was something holy about the place, something nourishing and sustaining. It is lively in the morning, too, as I was to discover. But at night, coming upon it from nowhere, feeling the hard dirt under your feet and hearing a buzz of language which is altogether unfamiliar to you, it is magical.
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Discover some of the most popular tours to the National Gardens:
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There are many ways to reach the National Garden, from any location in Athens.
Tours: Discover the National Garden with an organized tour, starting from 125 euros.
Private transfers: We recommend using an online pre-booked Athens transfer service, which provides transfer by taxi, minibus or private VIP car and arranging a pickup directly from the port, airport or your hotel. Alternatively, there’s the option of arranging a pickup by a local driver directly at the following numbers: 0030 693 881 8288, 0030 694 597 2090, 0030 690 943 9292 or book your taxi online.
On foot: As the National Garden is located in a central area of Athens, it can be easily reached on foot from Syntagma metro station, in approximately 2 minutes.
By metro: The closest metro station is “Syntagma” on lines 2 and 3. Get a map of the metro here.
By bus/trolleybus: The closest bus stop is “Syntagma”. There are many buses and trolleybuses that make a stop there. Check the routes and the official timetables on OASA Telematics.
Ferry to the islands: Book your ferry to to Santorini, Mykonos and other islands.
Hotels: Discover our selection with the best hotels and accommodation in Athens.
Tours and Activities: Explore the city with some amazing tours and activities.
Sports Activities: Discover sports activities in Athensv.
Car rentals: Discover the the surroundings on your own by booking your car.
Island hopping packages: View packages from Athens including multiple islands like Santorini, Mykonos and more.
Tailor-made trip: Do you want to customize your trip according to your needs? Contact us!
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