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Erectheion in Athens
Erectheion in Athens | Thomas Gravanis / © Culture Trip
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An Architecture Guide to Athens

Picture of India Doyle
Updated: 28 April 2018
Lovers of architecture will find themselves at home in Athens, where the rich array of ancient and modern design is unique to the city. Whether you’re interested in experiencing the best historical monuments or engaging with contemporary Athens, Culture Trip’s architecture guide to the Greek capital will ensure you see the best.

Ancient architecture to visit in Athens

Temple of Athena Nike

Building
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TEMPLE OF ATHENA NIKE-ATHENS-GREECE
Athena Nike in Athens | Thomas Gravanis / © Culture Trip
Dedicated to the goddess of victory, the Temple of Athena Nike, constructed in 420 BC, is a smaller temple on the Acropolis. Built in the Ionic order, the elegant columns with fluted grooves pay homage to the feminine elements of the goddess. A continuous frieze around the Temple depicts victorious narratives. It was designed by the architect Kallikrates and is a beautiful example of designs from the High Classical Period.
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Mon:
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tue:
8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Wed:
8:00 am - 1:00 am
Thu:
8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Fri:
8:00 am - 1:00 am
Sat - Sun:
8:00 am - 8:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Outdoors

Parthenon, Athens

Building, Ruins
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PARTHENON-ATHENS-GREECE
Parthenon in Athens | Thomas Gravanis / © Culture Trip
Perhaps the most famous of Athens’ ancient temples, The Parthenon on the Acropolis is one of the earliest designs that remains today. A tribute to the goddess Athena, the architecture is majestic and imposing. The 46 Doric columns are perhaps one of the best examples of this kind and feature a slight narrowing as they move towards the top.
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Mon - Sun:
8:00 am - 7:30 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Touristy

The Erechtheion, Athens

Building, Ruins, Shrine
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ERECTHEION-ATHENS-GREECE
The Erechtheion | Thomas Gravanis / © Culture Trip
Dedicated to the goddess Athena and the god Poseidon, the Erechtheion was one of the temples commissioned by Pericles after the Persian Wars and completed in 406 BC. Key features include the six women on the southern portico. In front of the temple is the famous olive tree that was said to have appeared during Athena’s fight with Poseidon. The original tree was destroyed during the Second World War but a cutting was preserved and a new tree planted in 1952.
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Mon - Sun:
8:00 am - 8:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Touristy

Panathenaic Stadium

Stadium
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PANATHENAIC STADIUM-ATHENS-GREECE
Panathenaic Stadium in Athens | Thomas Gravanis / © Culture Trip
The Panathenaic Stadium, constructed in 338 BC, remains the only stadium in the world to be built entirely from marble. The Panathenaic Stadium is most famous for its association with the Olympics. In 1896, the stadium hosted the first Olympiad and played historic host to games in Athens in 2004.
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Mon - Sun:
8:00 am - 7:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Family Friendly, Kid Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Architectural Landmark, Instagrammable, Photo Opportunity, Historical Landmark, Touristy

Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Building, Theatre
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ODEON OF HERODES ATTICUS-ATHENS-GREECE
Odeon of Herodes Atticus | Thomas Gravanis / © Culture Trip
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a theatre built in 161 AD, which was then fully restored again in the 1950s. The design was once said by Marcus Aurelius to be the finest of its kind, reflecting the traditional style of open-air theatres of the time. The staggeringly steep and majestic space, which operates a no-heels policy, continues to host captivating performances to this day.
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Modern architecture in Athens

Domestic modernism

Neo-classical architecture abounds in the centre of Athens, but in areas such as Koukaki, the contrast between the 18th century and 20th century is especially exciting. Apartments reflect Bauhaus and modernist influences, with geometric design, box balconies and brightly coloured façades. Other areas such as Neapoli and Kolonaki also offer this unique hybrid between more contemporary styles and traditional Athenian buildings.

Koukaki-Athens-Greece
Modern architecture in Koukaki | Thomas Gravanis / © Culture Trip
PANATHENAIC STADIUM-ATHENS-GREECE
View from Panathenaic Stadium in Athens | Thomas Gravanis / © Culture Trip

The Acropolis Museum

Building, History Museum, Art Museum, Architecture Museum, Ruins
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Acropolis Museum
Acropolis Museum | © Scott McLeod / Flickr
Created by Bernard Tschumi and Michael Photiadis, the new Acropolis Museum is a testament to the dream of modern Athens. The space is engineered to optimise natural light, with wrap-around glass windows that allow the light to stream in and illuminate the top floor. The design concept pays tribute to Ancient Greek values, with a precise and futuristic space rendered in glass, concrete and marble.
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Mon:
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tue - Thu:
8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Fri:
8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sat - Sun:
8:00 am - 8:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair)

Atmosphere:

Touristy, Photo Opportunity, Architectural Landmark, Indoors

Hilton Athens

Suite Hotel, Business Hotel, Chain Hotel
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The Hilton in Athens, finished in 1963, was a deeply divisive building in the city when it was first built. The original structure was designed by four Greek architects – Emmanouil Vourekas, Prokopis Vassiliadis, Spyros Staikos and Antonis Georgiades – who together worked on it for five years. Such a bastion of modernity was considered to be a serious eyesore, though today the Hilton is undeniably an Athenian landmark. Alongside the industrial, modern design, visitors should also note the road-facing relief by Greek artist Yiannis Moralis.
Hotel Amenities
Free Wifi
Restaurant
Bar
Swimming pool
Spa
Gym
Hot tub
Bathtub in
Pet Friendly
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About this place:

Pet Friendly, Business, City
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The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens

Building, Art Museum, Art Gallery
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Thomas Gravanis / © Culture Trip
National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens | Thomas Gravanis / © Culture Trip
It was decided that the former FIX building should be converted into The National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) in 2000. However, the economic crisis meant that the gallery space only began to function again in 2018, after a long hiatus where it was closed. Nevertheless, it remains a captivating modern building, with two contrasting façades layered to create a sense of energy and purpose. In keeping the original building, the tension between functionality and creativity offers an invigorating atmosphere, with large, open-plan interiors.
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Tue - Sun:
11:00 am - 7:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Entrance Fee

Atmosphere:

Indoors, Architectural Landmark