Athens is not known for its large green parks. However, that doesn't mean that the city doesn't have any; on the contrary, there are impressive parks in the heart of Athens full of lush vegetation, where people go in order to relax and enjoy their spare time. Here, you can learn about three of the best parks in Athens that will provide you with the perfect shelter from the summer heat.
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1. National Garden of Athens
National Garden of Athens - credits: http://en.protothema.gr
The entrance of the largest garden of Athens is located downtown, just two minutes away from the Greek parliament. All you have to do is walk the parliament´s pavement on the right, and you will stumble upon it.
This park used to be the king´s yard back in the day until 1974, which is the reason why it was known as 'Vasilikos kipos', which translates to 'the king's yard' in Greek. Nowadays, people who want to take a break from the hectic city life, breathe some fresh air and enjoy reading their newspaper under the trees' shadow, find what they are looking for in this beautiful park. When the weather is warm and the sun is shining, families, friends, and couples of any age enjoy walks in the National Garden of Athens, while fitness enthusiasts prefer the location for running. What's impressive, is the fact that even though many citizens visit the garden every day, only a few of them know about the sundial which is located 10 meters from the park’s main entrance. Don’t pass by this one-of-a-kind clock; you can try to 'read' the time like the ancient world used to.
2. Garden of the Athens Concert Hall
It is regularly said that this garden’s refinement is equal to the elegance of the Concert Hall. The access to this garden is easy enough, with the metro station called 'Megaro Mousikis' being right outside the Concert Hall and the garden’s entrance being on the left side of the music hall’s entrance. Visitors of this garden love it not only because it is a beautiful place for relaxing walks, but also because it hosts live concerts during the summertime. More information about this park is available on the Athens Concert Hall's website. If you happen to be there, don’t miss the chance to have a picnic in the park just next to the Athens Concert Hall. There, one can lay on the grass and watch teenagers practice their skate and BMX feats down the little grassy hill.
3. Alsos Ktimatos Syggrou (Syggrou Park)
Syggrou Park - credits: http://ecologygreece.blogspot.com
This park is better described as a forest near Athens! It stretches across about 950 acres in the borders of 3 municipalities; Marousi, Kifissia, and Melissia. It is undoubtedly the ultimate spot for a picnic! There are large areas consisting of trees, grass, colorful flowers, as well as lakes and picnic tables, basketball and football courts and anything else one might need, just 10 km away from Athens' center. This park is home to the Institute of Agronomic Studies and the church of Saint George; the one and only Gothic church in Greece, designed by Ernst Ziller, a student of Theofilus Hansen and an outstanding representative of neoclassicism.
The garden of the Athens Concert Hall opens at 10:00 and closes when the sun sets, whilst the other two parks have similar opening hours; they are open to the public from sunrise to sunset. Don’t hesitate to wear your t-shirts, go out in parks and savor the heat of Greek summer with your loved ones.