Syntagma Square (Plateia Syntagmatos)
Dating to the turn of the 19th century, this square was built on what was, at the time, the eastern edge of town. It was originally known as Palace Square because it was to be the site of King Otto's palace, after the Greek capital was shifted to Athens. Today it attracts locals and tourists alike, owing to its central location and proximity to many of the most important attractions in Athens. Many city tours pass through or stop at the square.
Things to Know Before You Go
Note that demonstrations are occasionally held here; they were frequent during the Greek financial crisis.
There are wheelchair-accessible restaurants directly on Syntagma Square.
Remember sun protection, particularly if you’re visiting in the summer, as the square offers little shade.
How to Get There
Situated across the street from the Athens National Garden, Syntagma Square is a major transport hub, with plenty of buses stopping at or near the square. The Syntagma Metro Station is accessible from a few different points across the square; lines 2 and 3 of the Athens Metro and line 4 (Aristotle) and line 5 (Plato) of the Athens Tram stop here.
When to Get There
The square is a 24-hour attraction, though it’s most interesting in the day or early evening. In front of the parliament building, the elite Presidential Guards (Evzones) guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier around the clock; watch the official Changing of the Guard at 11am on Sundays. On other days, the guards march and change places hourly.
The Old Royal Palace
The neoclassical parliament building at one end of Syntagma Square was built as the Royal Palace around 1843 for the unwelcome King Otto of Bavaria. It was temporarily vacated after a fire in 1909, though some royals lived here until the monarchy was abolished in the 1920s. Before becoming the headquarters of parliament, it served a variety of purposes, including as a refugee shelter, a museum, and a World War II hospital.
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- Parliament Building (Vouli)
- Syntagma Station
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Mnemeíon Agnostou Stratiotou)
- Ghika Gallery (Pinakothiki Ghika)
- Numismatic Museum of Athens
- National History Museum (Ethnikó Istorikó Mouseío)
- Kolonaki Square (Plateia Kolonaki)
- Frissiras Museum
- Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens (Mitropoli)
- Academy of Athens (Akadimía Athinón)
- Benaki Museum
- National Gardens of Athens (Ethnikos Kipos)
- Dora Stratou Greek Dances Theater
- Church of Panagia Kapnikarea