Syntagma & Plaka

Built between 1836 and 1842 by Bavarian architect Friedrich von Gärtner, Greece's Parliament was originally the royal palace. From its balcony, the syntagma (constitution) was declared on 3 September 1843, and in 1935 the palace became the seat of parliament. For history and politics geeks, the building is open by guided tour a few months of the year; book at least five days ahead.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Syntagma & Plaka attractions

1. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

0.02 MILES

In front of Parliament, the traditionally costumed evzones (presidential guards) stand by the tomb and change every hour on the hour. On Sunday at 11am, a…

2. Plateia Syntagmatos


Generally considered the centre of Athens, this square is a transport hub and general hang-out spot, especially on warm summer evenings when young people…

4. National Garden

0.13 MILES

The former royal gardens, designed by Queen Amalia in 1838, are a pleasantly unkempt park that makes a welcome shady refuge from summer heat and traffic…

5. Numismatic Museum

0.18 MILES

The collection of coins here, dating from ancient through to modern times, is excellent, but of more general interest is the dazzling 1881 mansion in…

6. Church of Sotira Lykodimou


First built in the 11th century and now the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, this is the only Byzantine church with an octagonal plan. It's quite small but…

7. Presidential Guard

0.21 MILES

Get a close-up look at the evzones, the traditionally dressed Greek soldiers, standing in front of their main barracks and, further down Irodou Attikou,…

8. Benaki Museum of Greek Culture

0.21 MILES

In 1930 Antonis Benakis – a politician's son born in Alexandria, Egypt, in the late 19th century – endowed what is perhaps the finest museum in Greece…