Syntagma Square (Greek: Πλατεία Συντάγματος, pronounced [plaˈtia sinˈdaɣmatos], “Constitution Square”) is the central square of Athens. The square is named after the Constitution that Otto, the first King of Greece, was obliged to grant after a popular and military uprising on 3 September 1843. It is located in front of the 19th-century Old Royal Palace, housing the Greek Parliament since 1934. Syntagma Square is the most important square of modern Athens from both a historical and social point of view, at the heart of commercial activity and Greek politics. The name Syntagma (Greek: Σύνταγμα) alone also refers to the neighborhood surrounding the square. The metro station underneath the square, where lines 2 and 3 connect, along with the tram terminal and the numerous bus stops, constitutes one of the busiest transport hubs in the country.
The square is bordered by Amalia Avenue (Leofóros Amalías) to the east, Otto Street (Óthonos) to the south and King George I Street (Vasiléos Georgíou Prótou) to the north. The street bordering the square to the west, connecting Stadiou Street with Fillelinon Street, is simply named “Syntagma Square” (Plateia Syntágmatos). The eastern side of the square is higher than the western, and dominated by a set of marble steps leading to Amalias Avenue; beneath these lies the Syntagma metro station. The stairs emerge below between a pair of outdoor cafes, and are a popular city-centre gathering place. Syntagma also includes two green areas to the north and south, planted with shade trees, while in the centre of the square there is a large mid-19th century water fountain.
The Old Royal Palace neoclassical building, housing the Greek Parliament since 1934, is immediately across Amalias Avenue to the east, and surrounded by the extensive National Gardens, which are open to the public; the Parliament itself is not open to the public, even when not in session. Every hour, the changing of the guard ceremony, performed by the Presidential Guard, is conducted in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on the area between the Syntagma Square and Parliament building. On certain days, a ceremonial changing of the guard occurs with an army band and the majority of the 120 Evzones present at 11 am.
Distance: 3.3 km.
Access (preferred route from the hotel): Take any of the trolley-buses from the street above the hotel (Kypseli Street) and get off at Syntagma stop.
Another route is the electric railway again to Monastiraki Station and then the metro for one more stop to Syntagma.
Estimated time to arrival: Depends on the traffic, it can vary from 15 to 30min.