Iktinus and Kallikrates were the architects given credit for Athens' and humanity's most spectacular example of architecture. A lot can be done in three thousand years and Athens still continues to revel in the art of the building.
Lovers of buildings and architecture should be prepared to be able to swing between the very, very old and the very new. Of the old, besides the aforementioned Acropolis, don't miss the Tower of the Winds, an achievement in engineering and the world's first water-powered clock slash meteorological center. While there in the vicinity of the Roman Agora, appreciate the last remaining wall of what was the city's most important public building, Hadrian's Library.
Speaking of libraries, the National Library is the perfect example of the 19th-century neoclassical architectural style used to remind Greeks of their glorious heritage. The designers of the era included Ernst Ziller and Theophilos Hansen, both integral to the city's new development as the nation's capitol and responsible for the other two buildings next to the National Library, the old university and Academy of Arts and Sciences. The three together are considered "The Grand Trilogy" and represent Athens' dedication to higher learning.
Ziller stayed in Athens and completed dozens of inspired residences and official buildings, two of which are also on our list: the mansion of Heinrich Schliemann, now used for the permanent home of the Numismatic Museum, and the Stathatos mansion now used for the Cycladic Museum.
The latter is close to another jump in archaeological history, the Hilton Hotel, said to be a quintessential example of Bauhaus post World War II architecture in Athens.
The two most significant buildings to come out of the 21st century are the New Acropolis Museum and Onassis Cultural Centre, both incorporating the light of the Attic sky as a building element. While at the New Acropolis Museum, don't forget to wander farther down to the paths surrounding the Acropolis and an exceptional viewing point within the park of Philopappou built by the acclaimed Greek architect Dimitris Pikionis in the 1950's.
Dionissiou Areopagitou. Ticket booth, small post office, and snack bar are located slightly below the Acropolis entrance
The high city of the ancient Athenians... read more
Pelopida & Eolou Streets (east of the ancient agora)
32 Panepistimiou Street
107-109 Leoforos Syngrou
An architectural masterpiece for a prestigious centre... read more
16 Herakleidon Street
M.C. Escher fans: this place is for you... read more
4 Neophytou Douka
(off Vassilissis Sophias Avenue)
Robertou Galli Street
Strolling around the birthplace of democracy...