Gardens seem to be blooming! This totally worn out city, scorched by car fumes and petrol bombs does not opt often for green but at least it tries. A citrus tree here and there, evening primroses, some battered pine trees and a few poplars is all it has. Small groves in the suburbs give a breath of fresh air to the city but the city center is still struggling with what little green spots it possesses. Let's refresh our memory with the classic museum gardens and find out about the other secret idyllic ones.
Black Duck Garden – Athens city museum
At Klafthmonos square there is an oasis where the city's heart appears as it should be: blooming and peaceful. Among all this greenery you listen to classical music, you taste, you read, you relax and you drink without knowing that this is actually the first Athens National Garden (!). Otto and Amalia used to live here temporarily until the palace was built and the huge palm tree was planted by the queen herself. The later home of Stamatios Dekozis Vouros is now the Athens City Museum. You definitely need to visit the museum ending up at it's café where you can enjoy great food, brunch, homemade sweets or a drink at it's magnificent garden and you never want to go back to real life.
Ioannou Paparrigopoulou 5-7, 2103252396, Open daily 10.00 a.m. till late www.blackduckgarden.gr
Numismatic Museum Garden
You find yourself walking along Panepistimiou, sun in your eyes and aching feet, what do you do? Go straight into the Numismatic Museum Garden, in the green courtyard of an old neoclassical old Athens mansion (Ziller). You place your order and soon you will be having your refreshment where Heinrich Schliemann used to take his and the statues are there to keep you company. Before you leave get info about music events at the café.
Panepistimiou 12, 6970062599, 210 3610067, Café hours Monday - Saturday: 9:00-23:00, Sunday: 9:00-20:00, Fb: Nomismatiko Mouseio Garden
Byzantine and Christian Museum Garden
Through the back roads you end up in the shadows of the Doukissis Plakentias villa. The Duchess is long gone but her villa and the gardens are here to stay. There resides the Byzantine and Christian Museum. Besides all the exhibits there are birds chirping, flowers blooming, trees growing, kids running around the fountain, citrus trees, cypresses and the large sycamore tree. For a cool afternoon go to café - bistrot Ilissia.
Vas. Sofias 22, 2110120441-2, Café hours Tue - Fri: 09.00-18.00 & Sat - Sun: 09.00-19.00, Fb: Ilisia bistrot – cafe
Goulandris National History Museum Garden - Museum Cafe
Where did you have breakfast this morning? Well, we had ours next to the water lilies pond. Dimitris Skarmoutsos made it for us. He is the chef in charge of the Museum Cafe menu where you can choose your breakfast, lunch or dinner. Dionysis Alertas is the pastry chef and the museum gardeners have created a magnificent garden of spruces, pine trees, flowers, tables by the pond and the oleanders.
Levidou 13 Kifissia, 2108011170, Tue - Fri: 12.00-24.00, Sat – Sun: 10.00-24.00, Fb: Museum Restaurant
Archaeological Museum Garden
Full of surprises, renovated last summer so as to look like an ancient peristyle courtyard, it was transformed into a lively city spot. A hideout from the crowd buzz, summer heat and street traffic. Financed by Japan Tobacco International in collaboration with Ecoscapes, an architectural landscaping company, the garden received 700 new plants all mentioned in Greek Mythology and ancient Greek literature. After visiting the museum you can now really enjoy the garden where you will be coming back because once in this mythical surroundings is not enough.
Patission 44, 213214489, Mon – Sun 08.00-20.00, www.namuseum.gr
You do not have to buy a ticket to enter the Museum Atrium.
Kostis Palamas Building (Pink Building) – Kapodistriakon
Marble tables and flowers in the pots and the flower beds all around. You feel totally isolated from the Akadimias traffic thanks to the climbing trees wall. Romantic or business dates, important and refined meetings, they all take place here at Kapodistriakon, the Athens University restaurant where lots of important people dine.
Akadimias & Sina 48, 2103632537, Open Mon – Fri at 10.00 for coffee and 13.00-18.00 for food, Fb: Restaurant “Kapodistriakon” - “Kostis Palamas” Building