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Attiko Parko Athens Zoo and Bird Park
Attiko Parko Athens Zoo and Bird Park
Giraffes in Athens? Really!

When my husband and friends were growing up in and around Athens, they and their peers had the opportunity to see wild animals only in a couple of not very well maintained places. This all changed a few years ago, when a Frenchman decided to open a real zoo in a valley outside Spata, near the airport. His admirable work has brought a new weekend activity for those now grown up Athenians, who as parents have found a new way to entertain their young (and young at heart) and for the first time experience the view of a grey-crowned crane taking a bath in the shade of an olive tree.

My friend Yorgos, one of those children growing up animal and bird deprived in the suburbs of Athens, recently paid a visit to Attico Parko, and sent me his impressions of Athens’ first and only proper zoo.

Although it takes some time (75+ minutes) to travel by bus to the Attica Zoo, (speed up you journey by taking a rental car or a taxi – which shortens the trip to about half an hour from downtown Athens), but the trouble is worth it to take a long stroll and find the cacatua that says “yiassou”, gaze at zebras as they chase each other on a vast plain among cooing antelopes, nosy ostriches and friendly giraffes, visit lemurs that will only hesitate a little to lie on your lap and check out the Park’s newest residents, the few months old brown bears, Aris, Artemi and Ariadne. This zoo stands apart from others in that it offers its animals more space to run and play and its guests more interesting information about the various species, where they live, what they eat, if they are endangered.

Aris, Artemi and Ariadne

One would expect that a zoo would not be much more than a certain number of animals. But this ingenious Frenchman had more in mind: numerous picnic sites, a special reptile area, a heated walk-in shelter for tropical birds and a farm where children can actually walk and come in direct contact with rabbits and goats, only these peaceful, funny-looking goats have come from farms in Africa! As for the rabbits, they are the freeest of them all and you’ll find them at almost every turn. Lucky for them, the holes of the wire at the white lions’ and the tigers’ cages are just not wide enough for them to cross.

You can bring your own food and have a picnic on the grass or on the picnic sites (we liked the one across from the reptiles and the bears) or you can buy packaged but very fresh sandwiches and tiropitas at the zoo café for more or less 5 Euro for a sandwich and a little bottle of water. From its shady veranda you can see the “African savannah” beyond the grassy yard. Various types of candy bars and sodas/drinks are sold both at the café as well as at the numerous vending machines around the park.

UPDATES: The sea mammals have arrived!!!

Opening Hours:

The Attica Zoo Park is open 365 days of the year!

Daily from 9 am to sunset.


Adults €15, children 3-12 €11, children under 3 free

Groups over 25 people and people over 65 €11

Family ticket (2 adults + 2 children) €48

Family ticket (2 adults + 3 children) €58

Primary schools, junior high and high schools: €9

Students (with ID) €11

Disabled people free

Annual pass €50 (adults) €40 (children)

Marine Mammals Educational Presentations:
Adults and children: €3.00, in addition to zoo ticket

Getting there:

By public transportation: take blue metro line 3 to Doukissis Plakentias, then bus 319 or 321 to the Spata Municipality and then local bus 320.

By Athensguide

How does a little girl from Skokie, Illinois find herself in historical Athens, leading curious explorers through the winding streets of Plaka, down "pezodromos" to hidden ouzeries for tempting mezedhes and homemade barrel wine? The journey began more than twenty years ago, and regardless of whether the wanderlust comes from the spiritual and culture DNA flowing through my veins, or the alignment of the stars on that cold mid-December day this Sagitterian came into the world, I never seem to tire of exploring my adopted homeland of Greece. Here you'll join me as I explore Athens: be it the back streets of Psirri and Gazi, or through the National Gardens and Zappeio where a family of turtles makes their home, or down wide, treelined Imittou Street in Pagrati, which pulses with Athenian life 24 hours a day. And while Athens has stolen my heart, the rest of Greece vies for my curiousity and wanderlust. My two guys (that'd be the Greek God, Vasilis and our Greek dog, Scruffy) and I can often be found settling in for a long weekend in some charming mountain village, or a quaint fishing port on a nearby island, or learning how Greek vitners are producing wines that rival some of Napa Valley's finests productions, or celebrating a panayeri in Epirus or sharing in the festivities as a family of Cretan sheepherders come together to sheer their 1500 sheep in the spring ... And if you happen to find yourself heading to Athens, consider finding yourself a real home for your stay. Living amongst the locals, be it for 3 nights or 3 weeks, will offer you the chance to experience true Athens, beyond the Acropolis. Choose from one of our 5 beautiful penthouse and historical homes, and who knows, I may be leading you down that winding "pezodromo" to our favorite hidden ouzerie!