Where to shop in Athens
The most important shopping spots in Athens:
If you’re a designer clothing fanatic, this historical upper-class area is the place for you. Giorgio Armani and Gucci, DKNY and Tommy Hilfiger.
In the narrow streets of these neighbourhoods that criss-cross around the base of the Acropolis there are many cafes and tourist shops-selling sponges, pots of honey, leather bags and sandals, bags of oregano, Athens2004 memorabilia etc.
This is Athens’ equivalent to London’s Oxford str or New York’s Fifth Avenue. On this bustling high street a number of multinational chains are represented, including Marks&Spencers, Zara, Mango, NafNaf etc. There are also dozens of shoe shops.
If you get a chance to escape out of the center, take the train or bus up to leafy Kifissia, a northern suburb where rich athenians used to build magnificient summer houses. Stroll around on the wide pavements, have a light lunch at one of the expensively furbished cafes and make sure you take the time to visit the shops.
Down on the shores of the Saronic gulf, Glyfada is an entirely different proposition. Most of the shops are situated along a wide, Miami-style promenade lined with shopping malls (Glyfada is the only place in Athens where malls survive). In between browsing, pop into To Bakaliko Ta Kala (Giannitsopoulou&Kyprou str), a tempting deli full of traditional Greek eats just as yiayia used to make, to enjoy a bite of lunch. Before leaving, stock up on traditional eats (olives, chesses etc) from the capacious tubs to take the tastes of Greece home with you.
What to buy: Delicacies to take from Athens:
The pure, fine thyme honey of the region of Attiki is considered the best in the world. Buy also rigani (oregano) and thymari (thyme).
No name but really great!: Traditional Greek sandals
I was searching for the Mellissinos shop that was supposed to be at Pandrossou srt 89 but I find out after my coming home it moved a couple of years ago. Walking down the street i found this very little shop full of only traditional Greek sandals. The lady who own it speak a good english and have been very nice and helpful. I encourage you to buy your sandals in this kind of old traditional shop, sure they doesn't look shiny and clean like the modern one, but they keep the old traditions alive and this is VERY important!!
What to buy: Sandals of every shape and colors, with leather on botton or also with rubben. This is real traditional Greek sandals, they don't come from China.
What to pay: 15-25 euros every pair.
I still like to buy (and listen) vinyl records. I almost hate the small covers of cds and I think they wont exist they next years. Record Companies tried to cut down their cost by set away the vinyls but now that mp3 are everywhere they dont know what to do... Hopefully, small indepented labels still release vinyls...
Anyway, at Monastiraki you can find many stores that sell second hand vinyls and cds. ZAXARIAS is the most famous but there are many more around the small alleys at Ifaistou street (main street when getting out of the metro station) like Mr.Vinylios, 7+7 MUSIC STORE(Ifaistou 22), WX AMAN etc
ACTION Records(51 Mayromixali& Arahovis str) 60s psychedelic/garage rock etc
ANAZITISI Records(online store), I use to buy some great vinyl rereleases of 70s greek rock bands
ART NOUVEU(23 Solomou stre) psychedelic rock/progressive/jazz
ART RAT(48 Zoodoxou Pigis str)
BOWEL OF NOISE(George 6, Kannigos sq) extreme metal, death/black/grind
EAT METAL Records(84 Akadimias str) release some albums from heavy/epic/power metal
JUNK(46 Mayromichali str, near Omonoia) experimental, avant garde
METAL ERA(17 Em.Benaki str) new h.metal cd/vinyl releases
MUSIC CORNER(Panepistimiou 56, near Omonoia) greek, traditional greek, jazz, mostly cds
MUSIC MACHINE(Didotou 16, Eksarcheia) rock, jazz, blues
NO REMORSE(4 Gamveta street, off Em.Benaki) new metal releases and second hand vinyls/cd
RHYTHM Records(74 Em.Benaki str) ska/punk/indie rock but also a lot of stoner/heavy rock vinyl records.
ROCK N ROLL CIRCUS (21 Sina str) mostly jazz, soul, funk
A STRANGE ATTRACTOR(Valtetsiou 31, Eksarcheia) free jazz, psychedelic, electro
VINYL CITY(Ippokratus 131) second hand from 50s to 80s
If you like big stores that look like super markets and the stuff doesnt care even to say "hello" you could visit Metropolis (Panepistimiou), HMV and Virgin Megastore (Stadiou) but all of them are now closed. Perhaps you can try Public at Syntagma square, not so good prices but convenient location for the average visitor.Related to:
Pantopolio peri Lesvou: Lesvos (Mytiline Island) Products
I was passing the other day heading towards Monastiraki.
I came across this beautiful shop that sells all kind of products coming from the beautiful island of Mytiline or Lesvos.
What to buy: It is worth visiting, and most of the products are home made things.
(marmelade, past, cheese, ouzo, spices and herbs, soaps and all kind of other things).
Here you can buy the well known Pitsiladi ouzo which many believe it is one of the best in Greece.
Personally, I don't like it so much, but the shop has many other brands to choose from.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Road Trip
Matsoukas: local wine & beer
This is a very big wine, spirits sweets and candies shop. It is on Apollonos street so I used to pass in front of it on my way back to hotel and every day stopped to buy a bottle of beer or wine to taste or some local sweets. The variety is good and prices are affordable.
What to buy: Local wine and beer, among beers I must say mytos was my favourite one.Related to:
- Beer Tasting
- Wine Tasting
The century.... but it is wrote in greek!: Antiques and Greek handmades
I found this little tiny shop strolling in Plaka neighboorhod. What first attracted me was the huge old camera they have on show! it is really antique and very well kept. They have some antiques to buy and also many handmade souvenir very nice and well done. The owner is helpful and not oppressive and she will be glad to help you decice what to brought home or give to your friends and relative.
What to buy: Well.. the huge camera is maybe too expensive, but the handmade souvenir are all good and sure you will find something you like.
Stavros Melissinos sandal's shop: Buy your sandals made by a poet
I read about this old sandal's shop in my Athens' guide book, I searched a lot for it but the book had the old address on it so I can't find it while in Athens. When I came back i search on the net... yes, I know, I should have done it before!!! and I find out he moved to a new address!
I am so sorry I miss to meet him, I was very interested in his work, both poems and sandals.
I hope I will have the opportunity to go back in Athens and this time, I will check the address in time!
What to buy: Sandals! This man built sandals for celebrity and he is a famous artist and poet.
Kaissa: Toys and games, anyone?
I stopped by a toy store in the better part of town to get some Matchbox police sets for my collection. I didn't think of taking a photo when I was there, so I had to rely on my friend AndyRG to take the photo for me. Thanks, Andreas. The shop was nice and air-conditioned and the lady who tended to me seemed educated and spoke nearly flawless English.
clothes and shoes
At Themistokleus Str(between Panepistimiou and Akadimias Avenues, 1’ from Omonoia Square) you will find many shoe stores with a big collection of shoes, especially sport shoes, for walking etc Many of the stores have football tshirts etc
At Monastiraki you will also find a lot of shoe stores and especially those sandals that a lot of tourists love (but I hate…)
Women will probably love Ermou Street, the most expensive street for shopping in Athens although there are some low cost stores like Glue, Zara etc
Some good districts for high class shopping is Glyfada and Halandri.
Close to Syntagma square, at Stadiou street you will find Attica, a huge nice building full of shopping stores that some women will stuck for hours!
There are also some stores that offer clothes of the previous season in better prices:
I’ve been some times to FACTORY OUTLET (Pireos 76) but there are some more:
STOCK HOUSE (Earos 2, Agia Paraskevi) for female clothes of the previous season
TAGS (Pentelis Avenue 103, Halandri) for male/female clothes
BUBBLES (Agiou Georgiou 4, Lourou square, Halandri or Aharnon 325, Agios Elefterios)
SHOP & TRADE OUTLETS(Mesogion Avenue 10)
EMPOLI OUTLET(Ifigenias 73, Nea Ionia)
EMPORI OUTLET (Konstantinoupoleos 35)
ARTISTI ITALIANI (Thivon 281)
BALOON (M.Alexandrou 10-12, Dafni)
MARKET (Axarnon 44) they have signs with prices from 5-7 euros
EURO OUTLET CENTER (Petroupoleos 41, Ilion or Vouliagmenis 47, Elliniko)
Finally there are some stores with second hand stuff:
SECOND HAND SHOPPING(Perikleus 50&Rombis 17)
YESTERDAY’S BREAD(Kalidromiu 87-89) a lot of clothes and shoes from Europe
NEW AMERICAN MARKET(Athinas 30 or Ermou 48, 10th floor)
AMERIKANIKI AGORA 2 (Sofokleous 19)
TROCK (D.Soutsou 39, Ampelokipoi)
Brettos: Greek liquors
This was the oldest ldistillery in Athens, lately the owner changed but the athmosphere here is still great. They have all the different traditional Greek liquors and if you are afraid to break the bottles flying home they also have metal canister.
The different colors bottle they have make it an interesting plave, their bar is comfortable and perfect to taste all their different speciality!
What to buy: Ouzo, Raky, Cytron and all the other Greek liquors specialty.
Next to Omonoia Square, you don’t have to worry if you are out of tape/dvd or whatever for your camera etc I buy all my recordable discs here many years now and I think its one of the cheapest in Athens also.
Everywhere in Athens, if you are hungry or thirsty you can find a street seller that will help you feel better. They are usually old people trying to find a way to gain some money. They sell fruit, nuts, dryed fruit and often nuts brittles.
What to pay: Few euros.
Last minute shopping
There are some buys you can leave for the last minute. This way, you won't have to carry that all the way there.
Ouzo is a good choice. There is a wide choice and the prices are OK. Metaxa cognac is another good option if you like alcoholic drinks.
What to buy: If you like ouzo, that anis-like greek aperitif, take some bottles with you. You won't be able to find it easily outside Greece (at least, not in Spain). You can buy it anywhere: in souvenir shops, in supermarkets or even at the Duty Free of the airport...
National Archaeological Museum Shop: Shop the museums...
The shop at the National Archaeological Museum has a lovely range of reproductions of ancient artifacts. And not all are expensive.
What to buy: This little "psi" figurine, named so for its resemblance to the Greek letter of the alphabet, was probably used in religious cult rites. It is about 3 inches high. The orginal dates from 2400-2000 BCE.
What to pay: This one was 22 euro.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
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