Best of Athens with Kids: Enjoying the National Gardens & Zappeio  

Playgrounds, trampolines and a huge variety of plants, flowers, trees and animals make this a wonderful area to take your children to.

Throughout the year, but especially during the hot summer months, Athens’ National Gardens are a wonderful leafy getaway. Kids can feed the ducks, watch swans, peackocks, parrots, goats and turtles in action, play at the large playground and play among a unique variety of plant, tree and flower species. They can explore the grounds and enjoy a picnic on the grass, playing in a gazebo, looking at ancient ruins and mosaics, crossing bridges over ponds, throwing twigs into running streams and admiring the sundial at the park’s entrance.

The National Gardens were created in 1880 as a commission by Queen Amalia of Greece, and has an impressive array of plants from all over the world. Located between Kolonaki and Pangrati, behind the former Royal Palace (now the House of Parliament), it’s a great place to visit in between stops to other child-friendly areas. There is also a café here if you’d like to stop for a refreshment.

Next to the Gardens is the Zappeion Megaro, the first building to be built in honour of the modern Athens Summer Olympic Games of 1896, where kids can enjoy scootering, running and playing in the large green grounds. Between the Zappeion and the National Gardens is Fokianos Sports Park, a fun and relaxing stopover for children as it has a seated outdoor café area as well as several features to keep children active: a climbing wall, basketball courts and trampolines. There is also a nice café serving child-friendly meals like homemade pizza and club sandwiches as well as adulty-friendly offerings like Aperol Spritz, salads and wines.

While in the area cross over Vas. Konstantinos Ave to see the Panathenaic marble stadium, originally constructed as a racetrack in 330 BC, rebuilt in marble by Emperor Herodes Atticus in 144 BC and renovated fully in 1896 to host the Olympic Games. Once here, visit the museum where all the Olympic torches from past games are housed.