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National Garden: an oasis in the heart of Athens

Athens ● 10 October 2017

Athenians sometimes don't appreciate the small oases of their city. Lost in the daily routine, we forget to see the jewels of Athens that can offer us amazing moments. Yesterday, I was in Athens Center, and only because I had an hour free I decided to go to the National Garden of Athens, at Syntagma Square, near the building of the Greek Parliament. I hadn't been there since I was six years old, although the National Garden is located in the heart of Athens. And I was impressed.

Everybody says that the National Garden is the best park that Athens has to offer to its residents and travellers. And that is true. Of course, the National Garden is not as big as Hyde Park in London or Stadtpark in Hamburg. But when you go there, you have the exact same feeling: like having left everything behind and being lost in a heaven far away from the crowded city with the traffic and the people in rush. Nature, flora and fauna are literally on your feet, and everybody seems charmed by this magical space.

National Garden 

A stand of tall palm trees at the main entrance resembles an exotic colonnade blocking the outside world from the garden. 7,000 trees, 40,000 shrubs and other plants grow around the garden's network of shaded paths. There are also small lakes with ducks, a café and ancient remains dating back to Roman period. Can you imagine something better for relaxing after a tiring day full of work or sightseeing?

People walk around, others do an exercise, such as jogging, and parents with their babies and children enjoy the calm scenery. Kids love the National Garden because it has a lake with ducks, which you can feed with nuts and seeds. There is also a bird and animal collection where you can see geese, swans, parrots and ibexes play with each other and lie under the shade of trees in large fenced spaces. You can also watch turtles strolling around in the narrow paths of the garden!

Alley in the National Garden

In the National Garden, there is also Zappeion conference hall, one of the most famous landmarks of Athens. Zappeion conference hall is a typical sample of Athenian Neoclassical architecture of the 19th century that stands imposing with a fountain and a courtyard with beautiful flowers in front of it. Near Zappeion conference hall, there is a café and a luxury restaurant as well as an open-air cinema, which is ideal for the warm summer nights.

Where to Stay

Hostel in Athens, Greece Student and Travellers Inn
8.9 10
Student and Travellers Inn
16, Kidathinaion str., 10558 Athens, Greece

Student and Travellers Inn – the first hostel in Greece since 1977 is located in the heart of Plaka, right below the Acropolis. Traditional cobbled streets full of taverns, shops, cafes are right at our hostel's doorstep. The main square of Athens, Syntagma, is at 600 m, while the lively Monastiraki square is at 800 m. The nearest metro station and the bus stop for the X95 Airport Bus can be reached within a 7-minute walk.

Hotel in Athens, Greece Phidias Hotel
8.9 10
Phidias Hotel
39, Apostolou Pavlou Str., 11851 Athens, Greece

Built in the historical centre of Athens, Hotel Phidias is just a 10-minute walk from Acropolis. Thission Metro station, which connects you directly to Piraeus Port, is only 150m away.

Hotel & Hostel in Athens, Greece Lozanni
8.2 10
54, Kapodistriou str., 10432 Athens, Greece

Hotel and Hostel Lozanni is located in the heart of Athens, 400 meters from Omonoia Square and from Omonoia metro station. Syntagma, the main square of Athens is 20 minutes on foot. Piraeus Port can be reached within 25 minutes using the electric railway. Elefthérios Venizélos Airport is 36 km away.