Parliament, Tsoliades & Syntagma
A coffee break in the central square of Athens, also known as Syntagma Square, is a must. If you are lucky enough to see the change of the guards or Tsoliades (members of the Presidential Guard) at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, you will have the perfect ending to your family stroll.
Enjoy a coffee in one of the cafes of the square while you watch the passers-by, walk around the square or sit on one of the benches beneath the shade of the trees and enjoy the breeze. Though located in the heart of the centre, the crowded Syntagma square is always a pleasant stop.
The Parliament building is just beside the square, a well maintained building that unfortunately is not open to the public. We recommend watching the Tsoliades or Evzones next to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Parliament.
The Tsoliades or Evzones are members of the Presidential Guard and wear the traditional outfit that was worn by the so-called Kleftes (Greek rebels) during the uprisings against the Turks.
It is impressive to notice that they have to stay completely still during their watch. Visit with your children on a Sunday at 11 a.m. when the change of the guards takes place. It is your only chance to see them moving.
Families should know
- The tomb of the Unknown Soldier can get crowded on Sundays during the change of the guards
- During summer, temperatures in the centre can be quite high. Pack refreshments and snacks… There are plenty of kiosks where you can buy water, juice, biscuits etc.
- There are a lot of benches in the shade of the trees, where there is a pleasant breeze, if you want to relax for a bit in Syntagma square
- The cafes in Syntagma square have plenty of space for buggies outside
- Visit: all year