The National Gardens are an oasis in the center of Athens. Open from dawn until sunset, they feature many plants from around the world, as well as birds and turtles. As you walk around the gardens, you'll find small lakes with ducks, ponds with fish, a playground, a botanical museum, a small zoo, a children’s library, and a coffee shop. This natural haven is an ideal spot for a lazy stroll and a picnic.
Just behind the stately Greek parliament building on Syntagma Square are Greece's National Gardens—38 acres of groomed, lush greenery offering park benches for resting, colorful flowerbeds for looking and smelling, a café for relaxing, and a Botanical Museum for learning. Young people can enjoy the Gardens' small zoo, duck pond, archeological ruins, and a proper playground. Often bypassed by tourists and underutilized by locals, the Gardens—originally commissioned in 1838 by Greek Queen Amalia and opened to the public in 1920—are a place to slow down; a true oasis in Athens' city center.