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Platia Syntagmatos, Athens

3.9
#26 of 655 in Things to do in Athens
In the center of Athens, Platia Syntagmatos has been an important site of Greek politics and history. The square's name references a military uprising in 1843, which resulted in Greece's first King, Otto, being forced to sign a constitution. A trip to the capital will inevitably have you passing through the square, but it's worth taking the time to appreciate the history that has unfolded here. See the Greek Parliament, housed in the Old Royal Palace, and catch the changing of the guard ceremony, which takes place just in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Stroll the massive National Gardens just behind the Parliament. Grab a bite to eat at one of the cafes lining the square and settle in for some people-watching. Use our Athens trip maker tool to add Platia Syntagmatos and other attractions to your Athens vacation plans.
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  • The changing of the guard is impressive and has a retro charm to movements, clothes, context. Go see it if you're passing, there is every hour.
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  • 11am watched 2 soldiers swap with 2 others. The marching and clothes were interesting and lasted about 10 minutes. Lots of opportunity for photographs.  more »
  • This changing of the guard is all hours, arrived 10 minutes before because the tour buses arrive them 5-3 minutes before the reading. The statement is a well know ballet and takes about 5 minutes. To do.
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Where to stay in Athens

If you come to Athens for its ancient history, stay in Plaka, a lively neighborhood located within walking distance of the city's major archaeological sites. Although relatively expensive, hotels in this part of town offer spacious rooms, private swimming pools, and rooftop cocktail bars. For less expensive but equally comfortable lodgings, consider boutique hotels and family-run inns in the quiet residential neighborhoods just a short drive south of Plaka. Good rooms fill up early in the season, so plan ahead and book in advance.
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