Syntagma square and the surrounding area

changing of the guard, Athens
changing of the guard

This walk starting from Syntagma square will take you to the Parliament, where you will watch the Change of the Guards, then through the National Gardens, the Zappeion Mansion and finally the Panathenaikon (Kallimarmaro) Stadium.

 

The Parliament, Syntagma square, Athens
The Parliament, Syntagma square, Athens

Syntagma square is the main square of Athens. The big building dominating the square is the Parliament. It used to be the residence of the first king of Greece Otto. In front of the Parliament is the Monument of the Unknown Soldier. The monument is guarded around the clock by two men called Evzones, wearing a traditional uniform. The ceremony of the changing of the guard takes place every hour. If you happen to be in Athens on a Sunday morning at 11 am you will witness the change of the guard accompanied by a military band and a group of Evzones. A ceremony not to be missed.

 

changing of the guards at Syntagma square, Athens
Changing of the guards at Syntagma square
Changing of the guards at Syntagma square Athens
Changing of the guards at Syntagma square
Changing of the guards at Syntagma square
Changing of the guards at Syntagma square

Your next stop will take you through the National Gardens, where you can have a picnic. The National Gardens, covering an area of 160.000 m2 is an oasis in the centre of the city. It is open from dawn to sunset. It has many different kinds of plants from around the world labeled, so that you can recognize them. It also home of many birds, ducks and turtles. Inside the garden you will find small lakes with ducks, ponds with fish, a playground for the children, the botanical museum, a small zoo, a children’s library and a coffee shop. Also spread inside the park are monuments of antiquity and the busts of important Greek personalities like poets and politicians.

National Gardens, Athens
National Gardens, Athens
Botanical Museum, Athens
Botanical Museum, Athens
National Garden, Athens
National Garden, Athens
National Garden, Athens
National Garden, Athens

Your walk through the Gardens will take you to Zappeion Mansion. It is a beautiful building where many important events of the country’s history have taken place like the announcement of the election results. Now the building is used for exhibitions and conferences. Next to Zappeion there is a restaurant where you can have coffee, lunch or dinner. In the summer months you can also find an open air cinema.

Zappeion Mansion, Athens
Zappeion Mansion, Athens

The final stop to our walk is Kallimarmaro Stadium. It is the only stadium in the world made of white marble. With a capacity of 60.000 spectators the stadium was the venue of the first Olympic Games in modern history held in 1986. If you want to get inside the stadium normal ticket costs 3€ and reduced ticket 1.50 €. This entitles you with an automatic audio guide tour, the chance to run on the track and entrance to the Vaulted passage.

Kallimarmaron, Athens
Kallimarmaron, Athens
Panathinaikon Stadium 1
Panathenaikon Stadium

For more Athens inspiration you can read my posts: Things to do in Athens and Free things to do in Athens

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