Gardens and Parks in Athens
Looking for peace and quiet in Athens? Well, you’ve come to the right place, as I have a selection of the best gardens and parks in Athens for you to explore.
If you love nature, Athens has plenty to offer. The city is filled with beautiful gardens and parks perfect for an afternoon stroll, taking a picnic, avoiding the heat, or simply relaxing in the peace and quiet.
Most of the gardens and parks in Athens are located right in the city centre. Many have expansive green spaces featuring a huge variety of flowers and trees, places to sit and people watch, fountains and ponds. One garden even has a small zoo.
So, what are the best gardens and parks hills in Athens? Where are they, and how to get to them. Over the years, I’ve been asked these same questions many times.
Whether your plan to visit Athens for a day, a weekend or an extended holiday, my travel guide answers those questions and a lot more for your holiday plans.
So let’s begin the journey, shall we?
Read more about gardens and parks in Athens
First on our list is a garden directly behind the Greek Parliament Building and just a two-minute walk from the Arch of Hadrian and Syntagma Square. It is the National Garden Athens.
Formally known as the Royal Garden, it covers almost 38 acres (over 160.000 square meters). It was commissioned by Queen Amalia in 1838 and completed by 1840. It was designed by the German agronomist Friedrich Schmidt, who imported over 500 species of plants and various animals, including peacocks, ducks, and turtles. Unfortunately for many plants, the dry Mediterranean climate of Athens proved too harsh, and they did not survive.
A part of the upper garden behind the Old Palace was fenced off as the private refuge of the King and Queen.
Next on the list and located next to the National Garden Athens is the Zappeion Garden covering an approximate area of around 125,000 square metres. It combines woodlands, planted areas, atriums, patios, and paved walkways.
In 1869, the Greek Parliament allocated this public land between the Palace Gardens and the Temple of Olympian Zeus as part of the building works for the first ever modern Olympic games on the 6th of April 1896. One of the first buildings to be built for the Olympic Games was the Zappeion, which still stands today in the garden.
The first trees in the Zappeion Garden were planted back in 1857. Over the years, around 200 have been planted, including several eucalypti. The distinguished sculptor G. Dimitriades completed the decoration of the gardens with waterworks, statues and cast-iron lamp-posts.
In 2005, Athens introduced Organic Gardening methods for the Zappeion Garden. This means using natural fertilizers and pest control methods and recycling garden waste into compost. All products used in the Zappeion Gardens are environmentally safe and under international law.
Third on our list of gardens and parks in Athens is Stavros Niarchos Park. The park is located on the site of the former Athens airport, and at over 120 acres, it’s one of the largest parks in Europe. This urban oasis is perfect for a leisurely stroll, picnicking with friends, or simply soaking up the Mediterranean sun.
Stavros Niarchos Park is a haven for those who love plants. It has an area of 21 hectares and includes 16 different tree species as well 161 shrubs that blossom at various times throughout the year, along with olive trees, evergreen bushes like carobs (which produce valuable oil), laurels or cypresses – all planted to provide variety in colour schemes alongside other indigenous aromatic herbs such as Greek Thyme.
Greece’s rich tradition of horticultural design is celebrated in the open, sunlit Mediterranean Garden. Each month brings a new colour, and each season introduces exciting combinations of flowers and leaves to enjoy.
The plant palette alone makes a visit to Stavros Niarchos Park worth it.
Evergreen plants such as boxwood and other favourites like coronilla (Everlasting Vine) and cistus( burnished metal) lend depth; scenting fragrant skies over shrinking violets adds fabulousness levels climbing up toward limbo-like heights where lavender blooms among rosemary sprigs before settling down again.
The Great Lawn is the heart of Stavros Niarchos Park; it covers an area of 114 metres by 45 metres. Situated at the centre of the park, this is where all paths meet and cross in an extensive range of events, such as screenings or concerts during the summer months.
The Great Lawn grass is natural and, compared to other varieties, is drought-tolerant and hardy. Suitable for the Greek climate, it is low-maintenance and requires less irrigation. Olive trees thrive within these climate conditions, making them invaluable spaces providing shade from the sun and serving up fruit just waiting on your table whenever you want one.
Stavros Niarchos Park is home to some of the most beautiful playgrounds in Athens. The playgrounds and water jets at this urban oasis are open for playtime adventures for children of all ages. Designed by sustainable designers, these environmentally friendly facilities feature wood-based equipment from logging practices done ethically without sacrificing quality or safety standards while also catering towards different age groups with designated areas where children can explore safely.