Changing of the Guard Ceremony

Changing of the Guard Ceremony

Changing of the Guard Ceremony
4.5
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< 1 hour
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Syntagma
Perhaps the best place to get your bearings is Syntagma Square, crowned by the imposing Parliament building on its upper side and surrounded by other large structures, such as the exclusive Hotel Grande Bretagne. The grand avenues that lead towards Omonia are also full of massive Neoclassical edifices like the Numismatic Museum and those around smaller Platia Kolokotroni. Here you will find lots of travel agents, bookshops and fashion shops, especially on Ermou Street. Just south of Syntagma Square, you can take a breather in the lush National Gardens, which extend into the grounds of the Zappeio palace and beyond to the ancient Temple of Olympian Zeus.
How to get there
  • Syntagma • 1 min walk
  • Nomismatokopio • 4 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
196 reviews
Excellent
117
Very good
62
Average
12
Poor
3
Terrible
2

Kevin S
Pontypridd, UK5,707 contributions
Jun 2022
The main changing of the guard is only every Sunday at 11.00. Not many people are in Athens for a week to ensure that, but the hourly change of the two guards gives a view of the unique marching style. Three guards march in, two to replace those who have been on duty and one to be the escort in and out. So you will get to see a group of up to five strutting their stuff in their colourful uniforms.
Written July 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lawrence V
High Point, NC445 contributions
Aug 2022
One of the few things that are free! The major changing of the guard is on Sundays, but they do a change of guard hourly. So you have an opportunity to see a smaller version even if you are not there on a Sunday.

They March in from the street with high leg kicks, stand at attention and get inspected then do the ceremony. They show great body control as they stand one leg fully extended and completely still. They then proceed to do a very interesting march involving leg kicks and arm movements, As I was watching, it struck me that Monty Pythons "Ministry of Silly Walks" skit must have had its origins here.

A good show, lasts about 15 minutes
Written September 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

joewoj1964
O'Fallon, IL69 contributions
Sep 2021
This was an amazing event to see. The guards high-stepping marches were really amazing to watch given the balance they required while holding a rifle on their shoulders.

We attended at 11AM on Sunday morning which included a full band and a platoon-sized cadre of guards marching down the street to the tomb.
Written September 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Thomas G
Amsterdam, The Netherlands1,091 contributions
Jan 2022
Every hour of the day the guards change, but on Sunday at 11am (or a bit earlier) the big changing of the guards start. There are a lot of guards that will walk and scream and it is pretty cool and impressive. Only 2 guards will actually change on Syntagma but around 30 guards will be present. The outfits and 'dances' are very interesting and spectacular to see it up close. There are also people that make music. If you are in Athens on a Sunday this is a place you should visit!
Written January 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

phat_dawg_21
Alpharetta, GA12,916 contributions
Aug 2021
We arrived about 5 minutes before the top of the hour and were able to get a place to stand with a good view. The whole process takes less than 15 minutes, so it is not big investment in time.

We had a guide for the day. He explained that there was historic significance and symbolism attached to all the elements of the ceremony. The different parts of the uniforms have special meaning. There is symbolism in the way they move their legs like houses and a reason why they move in slow motion. The loud stomping sound the guards make with their boots had special meaning, and it was not to remind a king of his homeland.

The background added to the experience.
Written October 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

permia
Ireland37,875 contributions
Mar 2020
We luckily saw the famous Evzones a few times and in differing uniforms.

Undoubtedly the grandest is their Sunday morning apparel for this ceremony, the kilt-like Foustanella that feature 400 pleats, one for each year of Ottoman occupation.

It’s a great enjoyable sight seeing them march and stride.

Other symbols of their uniform include the red cap calling to mind blood shed during the long arduous struggle for Independence and the black tassels signifying tears cried under Occupation.

Distinctive footwear is also outstanding. Reddish leather with large black pompons, they are surprisingly heavy with about 60 nails at base to replicate the sound of battle when they march.
Written January 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

130Doug
Navarre, FL1,232 contributions
Nov 2019
November 2018 (not 2019)

OK, so not to be rude, but the first thing I thought while watching the guards lift their legs high into the air every alternate step and then slooooooowwwwly moving their leg back down while marching in slow circles around the inner reach of Syntagma Square was the Monty Python sketch 'The Ministry of Silly Walks'. Funding here (aside Defense, Social Security, Health, Housing, Education) had obviously been quite well-spent.
Definitely get here early! It's quite a fascinating and lengthy display to watch, but it does take some time to get all the way through it. One wonders how they come up with the choreography for displays like this. I'm sure every step is dripping with meaning, but it would be fascinating to learn!
Written June 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

I W
Barrow Upon Soar, UK192 contributions
Oct 2020 • Family
I would recommend watching the changing of the guard at the Presidential palace rather than the Syntagma square. It's not on a major road junction and it's a lot quieter, so you don't have to compete with other tourists to get a good view. It's free and happens every hour.
Written October 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Karl B in Spain
Segur de Calafell, Spain13 contributions
Feb 2020
The changing of the guard is fun. But even in February the crowd was quite large and arriving at 10:30 is much too late to get a great view. We did ok for viewing but arrive closer to 10:00 if you want to really be able to see and take unobstructed pictures.

The guard change happens every hour, though with much less fanfare. Go to one of those before the Sunday morning change, just to get a sense of what they do. Sorry, no music during those other changes - that's Sunday 11:00 only.
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KarinnaCraig
Brisbane, Australia815 contributions
May 2022
Wow! What a great experience. We got to see this amazing Changing of the guards ceremony whilst in Athens
It was so good, and so unique. Like no other changing of the guards we have seen anywhere else!
Highly recommend this.
On daily around 11am
Written August 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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