Finding a cool oasis in the center of Athens during a hot summer day might be a challenge. The shades offered by the green trees and other plants in the National Garden will probably give you that much needed cool.
A Bit More About the National Garden
The National Garden (in Greek Εθνικός Κήπος) has previously also been known as the Royal Garden. The garden was commissioned by the queen – Amalia of Oldenburg – in 1838. Amalia was the spouse of King Otto and by so the queen consort of Greece between 1836 and 1862. The garden was completed in 1940 with over 500 species of plants. It was, however, at that time the private garden of the royal family.
The garden got its current name in 1920 when the park was finally opened to the public and not only royalty. It is today not only housing plants, it is also home to birds as well as a few goats and rabbits.
Visit the National Garden
The garden is quite easy to find on the map of Athens, it is one of a few large green spots in the center of the city. In regards to opening hours, the gates are open for very specific times – from sunrise to sunset.
The main entrance is located at Vasilissis Amalias Avenue, just a bit south from the Syntagma Square. At the main entrance, you are greeted by some huge palm trees that should have been planted by Amalia.
There are also three other entrances to the park, one of which connects the park to the Zappeion in the south.
Other sights in the vicinity are the Zappeion, as well as Panathenaic Stadium, Temple of Olympian Zeus as well as Hadrian’s Arch. All of these are within just a short walk from each other and easy to include during the same walk.