Almost every european city has a large public park in its centre. Athens' public park is the so-called National Garden, a 38 acre green park right behind the Parliament building.
The National Garden was formerly known as the "Royal Garden" because it was commissioned by the first Queen of Greece, Amalia. It was completed in 1840 and it was actually a private refuge for the Queen and her spouse King Otto.
There are more than 510 species of plants and a variety of animals such as peakocks, ducks, turtles, goats etc. There are also a duck pond and a very small zoo!
Almost 400 species of plants were imported from all over the world! You can gather a lot of information on the plantation and the history of the National Garden visiting the Botanical Museum near Herodou Attikou Street. Inside the Garden there is also a Children's Library , a playground and a lot of benches to relax and listen to the bird's singing! An oasis in the centre of the Greek capital!
Walking around the National Garden you will see a lot of ancient ruins and mosaics. You will also see a lot of statues and busts of governors and poets such as Dionysios Solomos, the poet who wrote the Greek National Anthem.
My thing to do when I visit the Garden is to enjoy a glass of chilled beer at the traditional "Kipos" café.
Don't forget you can stay at the National Garden all day long! It opens every day from sunrise till sunset!!!