Syntagma Square (Plateia Syntagmatos) is the heart of civic life in Athens, a popular meting place edged with the imposing Parliament of Greece (Vouli) and studded with fountains and shady trees, as well as the unique sight of kilted soldiers changing the guard outside the Monument to the Unknown Soldier with a flourish of the pompoms on their shoes. It is also a transport hub for trams and buses, and its metro station is one of the busiest in the city, where both Lines 2 and 3 stop.
Athens is built on foundations that go back more than 9,000 years to prehistory and so it was no surprise that when excavation started to build the city’s metro system, the digging produced a perfect chronological timeline of the past. These have been innovatively displayed in situ, creating the only underground metro-station museums in the world. Altogether seven metro stations in Athens have museums, with the most interesting discoveries displayed at Acropolis, Monastiraki, Kerameikos and – most spectacular of all – Syntagma. Thousands of ancient artifacts were discovered there, from Neolithic cemeteries to sections of Greek drainage systems, mosaics, funerary urns and skeletons, many displayed behind glass. In the entrance hall a cross-section of the substrata is uncovered, displaying a prehistoric necropolis, and moving ever upwards through classical Greek, Roman and Byzantine remains, charting the development of the city through the millennia.
Syntagma Station is open Monday through Thursday and on Sunday from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and on weekends until 2:30 a.m. Take the metro to Syntagma Square.