Starting Point: Syntagma Square (opposite of Hotel Grande Bretagne)
9.30 – 10:30
Special tour of the National Garden, accompanied by a landscape architect or a horticulturalist. Originally commissioned by Queen Amalia, the first Queen of Greece, as her royal gardens, the National Garden has provided the backdrop for much of the country’s modern history. Located just next to the Building of Parliament, once the royal palace, the gardens have witnessed much of the social and political history that forged the modern Republic of Greece. DGC’s field expert will provide guests with in-depth information about the site’s history and function, as well as the characteristics of its wealth of fauna and flora.
The National Garden is not just a green space, but a cultural space too. In 1939, Henry Miller wrote: “It remains in my memory like no other park I have known. It is the quintessence of a park, the thing one feels sometimes in looking at a canvas or dreaming of a place one would like to be in and never finds.”
10:45 – 11:30
Coffee break at the Numismatic Museum, a chic, hidden oasis in the center of Athens to whet your appetite, before visiting one of the most impressive coin collections worldwide.
11:30 – 12:00
Visit to Iliou Melathron & the Numismatic Museum. Iliou Melathron is a characteristic Athenian building from the late-19th century designed by Ernst Ziller and currently houses the Numismatic Museum. The Numismatic Museum is one the oldest public museums in Greece and boasts one of the greatest collections of coins in the world with over 500,000 items—coins, medals, lead bullae, gems, obeloi, talents, etc.—dating as early as the 14th century BCE.
12:15 – 13:00
Tour of the Museum of the City of Athens, Vouros-Eutaxias Foundation. Dedicated to the city of Athens, the museum is particularly focused on presenting the city’s modern history, from 1834 onwards. Having served as the first temporary residence of Greece’s first royal couple, the museum showcases a wealth of material culture objects from the 19th century and a range of rooms furnished and decorated in authentic 19th century aristocracy style, offering a rare glimpse into a fascinating period of modern Greek history.
13:00 – 14:30
Light lunch at Black Duck Garden, a hidden treasure in the gardens of the Museum of the City of Athens that Queen Amalia herself had created in the early 19thcentury. On colder days, you will enjoy your meal at Black Duck Multiplarte, an all-day multilevel hang-out restaurant with amazing decoration details. Once you finish with your meal, don’t miss out on the art and photography exhibitions in the basement.
14:30 – 17:30
Meet at Syntagma Square (opposite of Hotel Grande Bretagne)
17:30 – 18:00
Walk down Ermou Street (the street of Mercury). Hermes (Mercury), the god of commerce and protector of merchants, gave his name to the street where the heart of commercial Athens beats.
18:00 – 18:30
Walk in Plaka, a neighborhood at the foot of the Acropolis preserving the feel of a 19th century town. Plaka, is the capital’s most historic and picturesque district with labyrinth alleys, quaint neoclassical houses, and a generous number of monuments and excavated ancient sites.
19:00 – 20:00
Themed-tour of the Benaki Museum’s 3rd floor and the historical heirlooms collection, which recreates the history of modern Greece from the end of the 18th century onwards.
20:00 – 21:30
Dinner at the Benaki Museum’s restaurant. Dedicated to the Greek cuisine, the restaurant offers a wide range of Greek gastronomic selections, while featuring breathtaking views of the National Garden and wooded Ardittos Hill.
Ending Point: Syntagma Square
* In the event of rain, the tour will still go head and alternative activities/itineraries will be offered on the day.