Syntagma, Parliament & Tsoliades
Syntagma square is one of the main squares of Athens and the center of the city. Here you can enjoy a coffee in one of the cafes while you watch the passers-by, admire the large fountain or sit on one of the benches beneath the shade of the trees. Crowded Syntagma square is always a pleasant stop!
The Greek Parliament building is located next to Syntagma square. This former Royal Palace is a beautiful building where free guided tours take place in June, July and September, providing fascinating insights into the history of the building. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the grand rooms such as the Assembly Hall and the debating chamber and learn more about Greece’s modern history.
In front of the Parliament building are the Tsoliades also called Evzones. These elite soldiers are a ceremonial unit that guards the Greek Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Parliament.
The impressive Tsoliades are members of the Presidential Guard and wear traditional Greek uniforms from the Greek War of Independence. The Tsoliades, known for their distinctive uniform with its white kilt-like skirt and red caps, are a unique part of Athens and Greek culture.
The Tsoliades stand completely still during their watch. Each hour, every day of the week, they are being replaced by a fresh team of soldiers. This changing of the guards is an impressive ceremony to watch and a must-do when in Athens. On Sundays, at 11 a.m., the changing of the guards’ ceremony takes place in a more official way with a marching band and festive uniforms.
Families should know
- The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier can get crowded on Sundays during the change of the guards
- During the summer, temperatures in the centre can be high. Always bring water. There are also kiosks where you can buy water and snacks
- Syntagma square hosts the central metro station of Athens
- English language guided tours are held at the Hellenic Parliament every Friday and Monday at 15:00, during June, July and September.
- To visit the Hellenic Parliament, please follow this link: https://www.hellenicparliament.gr
Kids will love
- Feeding the pigeons in front of the Parliament building
- Watching the impressive Evzones
- Running around and playing in the square
Parents will love
- The fountain in the middle of Syntagma square
- The impressive Parliament building and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
- The archaeological excavations in the metro station under Syntagma square
Best season to visit
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