5 Funniest Looking Guards in Europe

Posted on 12. Oct, 2011 by in Europe Travel

Europe is a continent that’s defined with its traditions, whether it’s food, architecture or… guard outfits. While for some it’s only a uniform, for others it’s an attraction of its own. I’m kind of in the second group and always like to have a little laugh at the ridiculous garments these man wear for the love of their country and its traditions.

1.   Brits

Everyone remembers their sky-high stuffed animal they wear as a hat and this ridiculously high-waisted belt that really doesn’t flatter anyone. But despite their big gun and bulky shoes, I kind of find them truly endearing. Are they still in function for the sake of tourism or do they have a real purpose? I’d also be curious to know if they have a permanent mark on their chins due to the hat’s strap. Anyone knows?


2.   Swiss

Now that requires an explanation. Is there even anything remotely good-looking and flattering about this? The stripes, the colours, the poofinness, the collar, the beret? Nope, I just can’t bring myself to find anything positive, other than the giggles I have every time I look at them. And isn’t there some great irony in having Swiss guards protecting St. Peter’s Basilica? The Swiss guards they might be the funniest looking guards in Europe, no doubt about that!


3.   Greeks

Greek guards, called Evzones,  are very famous amongst the foreigners, and for a reason. I think their outfit looks more like a Halloween costume than an official guard uniform. I’m not sure what’s worse: the pompon shoes, the hat, the full skirt or the dance. I don’t know about you, but I have a very hard time keeping a straight face watching the changing of the Greek guard! The choreography is all very gracious… until the pompon shoe comes in.


4.    San Marino

The overall outfit really isn’t that bad. Noble colors, clean straight lines, it’s all good… until you take a closer look at the hat. Is there a super secret technological device hidden in there or is it just really a puffy pompon on top of a very serious looking man? Quite ironically, I also noticed that the gun is almost as tall as the guard himself - whatever you do, you don’t want to mess with this guy (granted you are one of the few people who can actually point San Marino on a map).



5.   Beefeaters

Decidedly, traditional British garments are not the flattering kind! The Beefeaters, also known as the Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London (for the intimates), are one of the oldest traditions in London, going back to 1485. They actually live within the Tower of London! However, my favorite part of the outfit is the oversized flat hat with striking red trimmings.



Have you ever ran into one of these funny looking guards in Europe? What’s your favorite? Do you think these outfits are outdated?


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18 Responses to “5 Funniest Looking Guards in Europe”

  1. Laura

    12. Oct, 2011

    The Swiss are the funniest indeed. Their outfits look like pajamas, if they don’t mind me saying that. However, these uniforms are steeped in history and they shouldn’t be changed for more modern ones. They also look very good in photos :)

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      29. Nov, 2011

      I wouldn’t change them for the world :-) Such a striking sight when you catch a glimpse of them with the St Peters Basilica!

      Reply to this comment
  2. Lora

    13. Oct, 2011

    Brits ones are awesome! But I like Beefeater as well!

    Reply to this comment
  3. JoAnna

    20. Oct, 2011

    I love the Greek guard! Is he doing some sort of dance?

    Reply to this comment
  4. Javier lorenzo

    23. Oct, 2011

    One of The Funniest Looking Guards in Europe is in Madrid at the Palacio Real

    Reply to this comment
  5. Javier lorenzo

    23. Oct, 2011

    The beefeaters are funny and lovely with tourists, I love them

    Reply to this comment
  6. Amanda

    24. Oct, 2011

    Oh my, these are all fantastic! Haha. I think the Swiss guards at the Vatican will always be my favorite, though. Whoever thought those uniforms would be imposing and important-looking was clearly insane.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Michael

    24. Oct, 2011

    What an awesome idea for an article. The Swiss and Greeks are the funniest.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Melvin

    02. Nov, 2011

    Hahaha… The Greek one looks funny! Look at what he’s got on his shoes. :)

    What’s that for?

    Reply to this comment
  9. Ross Corbett

    20. Nov, 2011

    From what I understand the ‘Brits’ are actually there as guards and the guns are loaded.

    Hard to take them seriously though :)

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      29. Nov, 2011

      Not the most credible guards, indeed. I wonder if they get some sort of coaching class on staying still or something.

      Reply to this comment
  10. Charles

    11. Dec, 2011

    Ridiculous garments? You have no knowledge of history and are clearly a parochial. Rome exiled men in pants in AD 393 because the Romans viewed pants as “ridiculous garments.” The word “pants” comes from Pantalone, the top clown in the middle ages Italian Comedy of the Arts. This “ethic” that men should dress like undertakers in plain unadorned clothes is quite the demon inspired sexual repression, considering that women are encouraged to look like tropical fish.

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