Athens - The tour of abundance
Athens - The tour of abundance
Starting point: Syntagma Square
Ending point: Monastiraki Square
Approach distance: 2 km
Ideal time: Saturday or working day morning
Our tour starts at Syntagma Square. One of the busiest places in Athens. The park opens up before us for a grand view of the Hellenic Parliament and the majestic National Garden. At the upper part of the square you will find, not difficult to see, the Hellenic Parliament. Here the most important political decisions of Greece are made. Notably, it was also the place where the big demonstrations took place at the height of the Euro crisis during the years 2012 - 2016.
◇ Memorial of the Unknown Soldier
The Memorial of the Unknown Soldier is located directly in front of the Parliament, which used to be the royal palace of King Otto. Here, every full hour, the changing of the Presidential Guard (Evzones) takes place, which we eagerly recommend to attend. The change of guards takes 10-15 minutes. On Sundays and public holidays, there is a larger ceremony at 11:00, with a parade and a military chaplain.
△ Cross the street
Cross Vasilissis Amalias Avenue. Opposite the memorial of the Unknown Soldier is a prominent staircase leading down to the square. This is one of the biggest squares in Athens, with trees, several benches, a beautiful fountain, and cafes. It is a very popular meeting place for both young and old.
◇ Hotel Grande Bretagne
The building on the right corner is the famous Grande Bretagne Hotel (1 Vasileos Georgiou Street A), one of the most luxurious hotels in Greece. If you have some money saved in the piggy bank, you can stay here in the Royal Suite including butler service, the price starts from € 30,000 per night.
◇ Pallis Mansion
Give special attention to the Pallis Mansion building (Karageorgi Servias Street 1). It was built in 1910–1911 based on designs by the esteemed Anastasios Metaxas. This mansion is a sample of late (French) neoclassicism with many eclectic (neo-baroque) elements and considered very excessive by many architects. On October 18th, 1944, Georgios Papandreou, the Hellenic Prime Minister of the National Union Government, having only recently returned from the Middle East, gave his liberation speech from the 1st-floor balcony.
△ Go to Ermou Street
This is the largest and most important shopping street of Athens center. Ermou Street was among the first to be incorporated in the modern city of Athens and one of the main pillars of the first urban plan that was created by the architects Kleanthis and Schaubert in 1833. It takes its name from the ancient god Hermes, the patron of commerce. Full of music from street musicians, few hand organs (laternas), many lights and almost always a festive atmosphere crossed daily by thousands of people. It is a regular image to see tourists with maps on hand and many Greeks who like the downtown area.
▶︎ Walking Tours in Athens
▶︎ The tour of abundance
▶︎ A neoclassical walk back in King's Athens
▶︎ Walk and... Shop a little bit history