Changing of the Guard Ceremony

Changing of the Guard Ceremony

Changing of the Guard Ceremony
4.5
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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
See what travelers are saying
  • TWal1
    Canberra, Australia2,950 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Early Morning Stop
    We viewed the changing of the guard at 9am, which avoided the hot temperatures in the middle of the day. This precision ceremony is captivating with the deliberate military drill movements. The other noticeable feature is the impressive statue of the guards who look fit and must be at least 6 feet 4 inches tall. Traditional military culture at its best.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 5, 2023
  • David T
    Whitley Bay, United Kingdom960 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must see when in Athens!!
    We were told that the best time to see the changing of the guard was 11.00 on Sunday morning. We duly arrived with several hundred others. The pomp and ceremony was quite unique and interesting to observe. However, with the numbers watching, we missed a lot. So having realised the event happens one the hour every hour we went back at 15.00 on the same day. There were no crowd's anndd we got a much better view and it really was worth going back. Would recommend ass a must do when Inn Athens.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 21, 2023
  • Ali921
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom1,475 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unique ceremony.
    Unique ceremony. Get here early at least 30min beforehand. Stand on the left as you face the tomb. No one is allowed on the right and those facing the tomb directly are pushed back across the road.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 26, 2023
  • andrewjenny
    Hervey Bay, Australia619 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unique experience
    Was lucky enough to be in area when guards were changing. Great experience to see this unique part of Athens culture. Happens everyday at 1pm. Get a little bit early so you can be at front to view.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 7, 2024
  • JohnRegoPark
    Rego Park, New York1,244 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Precision and poise
    We made the mistake of appearing at the bottom of the hour. The ceremony at the top of the hour is a lot more interesting and formal. There is a lot of slow motion posing and stepping to an unheard rhythm. I would suggest going for the spectacle.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written May 4, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles268 reviews
Excellent
159
Very good
87
Average
16
Poor
4
Terrible
2

Lawrence V
502 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

letsgoazcardinals
Anthem, AZ356 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
Going on Sunday to see the changing of the guard is a whole different experience. It starts off around 10:30am, the best viewing spot is from the median straight in front of the parliament. Realize that the crowd will be backed up away from being in front for this special event. Hold your spot at the front of the median. Get ready for the marching band and all of the guards marching toward the parliament from your left…and watch the rest of the show that finishes right at 11:00am. Get there a bit early to get a spot 10:15am latest unless you are really tall ;)
Written April 30, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thomas G
Amsterdam, The Netherlands1,828 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

phat_dawg_21
Alpharetta, GA15,215 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paantha
San Diego, CA185 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Family
Very fascinating and interesting to watch this ceremony. We were here on a Sunday at 11 am and it was very crowded, if you want to get the first row, definitely come around 10:15-10:30am. We got there at 10:45 am and it was packed. The ceremony started at 10:50 am and was done around 11:05 am. We perched our kids on our shoulders and they could see the ceremony and they enjoyed it.
Written April 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

permia
Ireland63,220 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Karl B in Spain
Segur de Calafell, Spain16 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

I W
Leicestershire, UK344 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TWal1
Canberra, Australia2,950 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
We viewed the changing of the guard at 9am, which avoided the hot temperatures in the middle of the day. This precision ceremony is captivating with the deliberate military drill movements. The other noticeable feature is the impressive statue of the guards who look fit and must be at least 6 feet 4 inches tall. Traditional military culture at its best.
Written September 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RM
London, UK140 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Friends
The guards arrive from the left when you face the building from the path next to the road. Then they walk through the middle to their allocated places.
Maybe you want to move around if you want to take every step they do but you will be surrounded by people.
It's good to go in winter as there are not that many people.
Written February 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Changing of the Guard Ceremony - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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