Syntagma Square (Constitution Square)
There’s always plenty going on at Syntagma (Constitution) Square, in the center of Athens. Walk up the marble steps and take a seat at one of the cafes to people watch, or go see the changing of the guard in front of the Greek Parliament. Pay your respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and experience the pride that the locals have in their heritage.
This isn’t necessarily a prime tourism spot, but you’ll inevitably wind up here, since it’s close to the Acropolis and other tourist attractions. The square is a popular meeting place for locals, and a great place to spend a few hours during a hot afternoon. Relax on one of shady lawns located at the north and south ends of the square. Or, find a seat at the center near the water fountain. The locals enjoy feeding the pigeons which congregate here during the warmer months.
The highlight of your visit here may be the changing of the guard at the Parliament Building, which takes place hourly every day. The full ceremony with official costumes takes place each Sunday at 11 a.m. Be sure to arrive a bit early to get a good viewing spot. Children in particular will enjoy watching the synchronized movements. The guards wear tunics and kilts, white tights and eye-catching footwear decorated with pom-poms. The same type of kilts, or fustanellas, were worn during ancient Minoan times, four thousand years ago.
Syntagma Square is bordered by Vassileos Georgiou A’ Street to the north and Othonos Street to the south. The Syntagma metro station will take you right there. In fact, it’s the hub of public transportation in the city: buses, trolleys, trams, and the metro all stop here.