7 things to do with kids in National Garden of Zappeio Athens! How to spend a beautiful relaxing afternoon in the gardens with your family. A beautiful place to visit in Athens centre!
The city of Athens has to many beautiful places to visit. Especially during August with most of the local people to be on holiday, Athens is an amazing city to walk around. Low traffic, nice weather, big day are reasons to have a walk in the center of the city or discover more places. Do not afraid to take your kids with you. Yesterday we spent our afternoon in the National Gardens with the kids and there were too many things to do.
The National Garden (formerly the Royal Garden) is a public park of 15.5 hectares (38 acres) in the center of the Greek capital, Athens. It is located between the districts of Kolonaki and Pangrati, directly behind the Greek Parliament building and continues to the South to the area where the Zappeion is located, across from the Panathenaiko or Kalimarmaro Olympic Stadium of the 1896 Olympic Games. The Royal Garden 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 a variety of animals including peacocks, ducks, and turtles. Unfortunately for many of the plants, the dry Mediterranean climate proved too harsh and they did not survive.
So what to do in the gardens with kids? Join me…
- Discover the plants in the garden with the kids
The National Garden currently has more than 7000 different types of trees and more than 40.000 bushes. During Summer is not that easy to discover plants with flowers, but again there are a few with amazing colors. Imagine how the place will be during Autumn and Spring! For our information there are labels on the trees with details about the name, the type of the plant, where it came from and many more!
2. Enjoy your walk and the gazebos available
Such a big place always hides small treasures and surprises. Queen Amalia was in love with this place and she was spending most of her daily time here. As you may guess, because of that, there are many beautiful gazebos available with a different decoration. Some of them have small statues and fountains, while other have amazing small pools with gold fishes!
3. Visit the small Zoo
Trees and plants without animals is not considered as garden. Every time we visit the place, this is our main priority with the kids. To visit the small zoo in the center of the garden and admire the cute animals. So, visit the small lake with the ducks, the gooses and the small turtles. Do not forget to visit also the baby goats and the sheep and also the birds like the peacock , parrots, pigeons and many more.
4. Explore the place and discover the statuses
The National Garden has too many statuses like of famous Greek poets and politicians or authors or people who loved and supported Greece and of course small Gods from the mythology! Dionisios Solomos (author of the Green National Hymn), Aristotelis Valaoritis, along with Lord Byron are in harmony with the god Eros, Satyrus and many more!
5. Have fun in the kindergarten
Walking around in the garden is something amazing, but also you can easily get tired. Have a small stop in the kindergarten. The kids will enjoy playing around while you can have a small rest under the trees! The place is close to the zoo, so can find it easily!
6. Visit of the Greek Parliament
When the sun goes down, the gates of the National Garden are close, and none is allowed to enter. This is the perfect time to have a small walk close to the gardens. First stop is the Greek Parliament. The building was actually the first palace of Othonas and Amalia and now it holds the Greek politicians. Outside of the building in Syntagma Square, is the Monument of the Unknown Soldier. Two soldiers dressed with the folklore costume, are next to it all the time. If you are lucky you can even admire their replacement from other guards!
7. Visit of Zappeio and have a coffee break
Last place to visit with kids (yes, they are tired now) is of course the Zappeion Megaro. Unfortunately we were unlucky and the building was closed. However it was amazing to admire it from outside with the amazing lights. We spend a few moments there, we learned about the statuses next to it and we also visit the big fountain in front of it. A stop in the coffee shop is needed and then if you have time, just enjoy a cinema night, next to the coffee shop!
7 things to do with kids in the National Gardens in Athens! Just do not forget to visit the place again the first week of September, for the Book Exhibition!