Parks and Squares in Athens
If you are a nature lover, or just looking for a moment of respite from the city’s vibrant pulse, relaxing in and exploring one of the city’s secret gardens is one of the top things to do in Athens!
A pine covered hill and the highest point of the city, Lycabettus is widely known for its open theater that hosts various performances and concerts of both Greek and international artists, ranging from B.B. King and Black Sabbath to Massive Attack and Radiohead. Reach the top of it to stop by the 19th-century picturesque chapel of St. George before enjoying some incredible views over the whole city and the surrounding mountains.
According to Greek mythology, this used to be the home of the nine muses. A visit to Filopappos will not disappoint you, since apart from the extinct turtles and over a hundred species of birds, it offers breathtaking, panoramic views over Acropolis and the Saronic Gulf.
In case you are interested in Ancient Greece, walk to the nearby Pnyx, the meeting place of the Democratic Assembly in the 5th century BC. Take a stroll around the hill where renowned orators such as Aristides, Demosthenes, and Pericles delivered their speeches and enjoy the unique, peaceful atmosphere.
This is probably the most well-known and favorite park for locals. Located in the heart of the city, just behind the Greek Parliament and the central square of Syntagma, the National Garden is the perfect spot to go for a picnic, go for a jog, or discover the duck ponds and the small zoo. Take some time to sit by the impressive fountains and watch some of the city’s senior citizens play chess.
Right next to the National Garden, Zappeion is another lovely oasis. Get the chance to admire the Megaron; a beautiful neoclassical building originally built to host the first contemporary Olympic Games in 1896, later to be transformed into a center for international conferences, political events, and exhibitions.