My favourite shop to buy dry fruit and nuts is the one in the corner of the central Public Market .
I can always find fresh products, and I buy walnuts and raisins, danes, and all sorts of different other things depending on the season.
The shop belongs to Mr. Athanasios Avgerinos
The historic neighbourhood of Plaka embosoms the Acropolis Hill on
all sides. Together with Monastiraki, they contain an endless variety
of antiquities of all eras. Plaka is the last remaining neighbourhood of
the city which retains the neoclassical architectural style of old Athens.
A walk through its winding streets is a glimpse in the way people lived
and interacted with one another in the geitonia (neighbourhood) when
everyone knew their neighbours and a daily stop at the café was a ritual.
Perched right under the Acropolis is the odd Anafiotika quarter, a quiet
area with whitewashed Cycladic-style houses. These small houses were
built by stone masons from the Cycladic island of Anafi in the mid 19th
century, who arrived in Athens to build the royal palace after the country's
independence. The beautiful white church of Agios Georgios marks the
area from afar. Walking towards the train lines, you enter Monastiraki,
the biggest open-air museum in the country. On Adrianou Street you
will find the Ancient Agora, the centre of government in ancient Athens,
while the amazing Temple of Hephestos, built in 449 B.C., is the best
preserved Doric temple in Greece. At the corner of Eolou and Adrianou
you see the Roman Agora and the octagonal Tower of the Winds that is
said to have been a sundial and water clock. The beautiful Fethiye Djami
(mosque) is one of the few examples of Ottoman temples that survive.
The Monastiraki Flea Market is one of more colourful districts in Athens. It is spralled out befor Monastiraki Square. As far as flea markets goes, it is one my favourite ones that I have come across anywhere in the world. Much of the attraction of the flea market is the array of characters who actually sell there wears here. I have posted below a link to the city of Athens' official guide to the Monastiraki Flea Market where you can read about some of the eccentric who hangout here.
To the west of the market I found several nice cafes where you can eat lunch and have a beer.
What to buy: It seems that you can purchase anything imaginable in the market however it is particularly notable for a great place to buy CD's and probably these days, DVD's. There more antique stores here than I could care to count and they seem to sell everything from furniture to old record players and phonographes. You can also get all kinds of clothing good throughout the market.
What to pay: Can be very cheap
Stavros Melissinos has been making sandals for years. He'll custom make any of hs many styles for you while you wait. He's also a poet. you can a pick up a packet of his poems, while you're there. He's one of the last of the real cobblers, and a real character.
What to buy: Hand mad leather sandals.
What to pay: They cost about 20 euros each.
Strolling in the streets of Monastiraki I came across one type of shop that I had never seen before: Byzantine Church Supplies.
There are several such stores, and all of them packed with Byzantine-style chandeliers, icons of all sizes and shapes, gold and brass tools and furniture.
So, if you want to see a whole Byzantine museum crammed into one shop, take a peek in one of these stores!
Athenians love to shop and a simple
walk around the city will reveal
stores selling everything from
antiques to high fashion and art.
The best way to discover the city’s
treasures is to begin with the flea markets of
Monastiraki and Thisio and make your way
towards Syntagma and Kolonaki, where you
can find luxury boutiques, great art, jewellery
and shops with traditional products. Streets in
the “old city” -Plaka, Thisio and Monastirakiare
mainly lined with touristy shops and street
vendors that stay open until late. Ermou
Street, radiating from Syntagma square, is
the main thoroughfare with big retail chains
alternating with small quirky shops and
international brands. Voukourestiou street is
the big spender’s pedestrianised paradise, while
Kolonaki features every type of store you can
Stores operate on irregular hours and many
close on midday, to reopen in the evening. As a
general rule, stores on Monday and Wednesday
are open from 9am to 3pm and on Tuesday,
Thursday and Friday from 9am to 2.30pm and
from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. On the weekends the
stores are open from 9am to 3pm while all are
closed on Sunday. In touristy areas such as Plaka
and Monastiraki, some shops stay open until
late, while only department stores are open all
day (8am to 8pm on weekdays, 9am to 6pm on
There are many small sovineer shops in the Plaka and on the Monistraka. Most of them are full of tourist junk souvineers that all tourist seem to love. If you just walk in and do a quick browse and leave you might be missing a wonderful experience. Mark and I took time to meet many local people while in Athens. Going into a souvineer shop gave us the opportunity to no only waste our money on cheap souvineers, but also to meet some fascinating and wonderful people. The shop pictured here had a very dear lady who owned the shop. We talked with her about Athens, about our country, about our experiences so far and found her to be charming and friendly. I noticed a picture of a handsome young man on the wall of the shop. I asked if it was her son. She answered yes. I then replied that I needed to send my daughter over to meet her handsome son. Her face suddenly changed to a very sad expression. She said Oh no no. You don't understand. I am wearing black because my son has died. He was only 20. I felt so bad. We continued to talk about her son for a few moments. Then she hugged us and thanked us for listening to her story. We all were near tears by this time. Then as we paid for souvineers she added several small extra items to our bags to thank us for sharing some time with her.
The "shop" is walking around, usually an illegal seller from Africa. I saw when they walk around and they are are afraid to get catched by the police. It is sad to see in Europe.
What to buy: Bags.
What to pay: Try to get so cheap as possible.
The anti-Ermou Street.
The cheap souvenir hunter's paradise.
Alleys and streets of colours, sounds and choices.
Walk all the way from Monastiraki to Syndagma (or vice versa) and let your eyes do the exercise!
Need I say more?
What to buy: Anything money can buy...as long as you have it!
What to pay: Anything money can buy...as long as you have it!
There are two favorite places to shop for me. One is the flea market in Monastiraki (sp). You can get anything you want, great place for souviners, at a very affordable price.
The second is Gylfada! This is where the rich shop, and the prices are high but they have every store you could dream of! It was like a shoppers paradise.
What to buy: I got some authentic slippers with the fuzzy balls on them for my friends from the flea market, they were about 5$. I also got many jars of Olive Pate, green and black and they are to die for, for about 3$ per jar. I got jars of nuts and honey for cheap as well as lots of little evil eye charms for 1$ a piece. Fun souviners!
Don't pass up any of these items!
What to pay: I spent a few thousand dollars in Gylfada but I got some very fine things. They sometimes have alot of the fashion before America and they also get some imported items that I have never found in America. I got a very lovely Gucci bag, exotic moonflower and rose oils, olive hand lotions and soap, Italian wool scarfs, Oliver sunglasses and some very beautiful Byzantine style jewelry.
By all accounts Sunday is the big day for the flea market here at Monistiraki but even on a mid-week afternoon this makes for a fascinating wander round with its variety of idiosyncratic little bazaar-style shops rangeing from designer fashion, through local crafts, down to downright junk with all sorts of odd bits and pieces in between. Whether looking for army surplus clothing or a silver chess set with a marble board, antique books and vinyl records, trendy sports wear or cheap sandals, restored furniture or perhaps a lost artwork, it's all here - there will be a travelog on my Athens page eventually. Just a great place to spend a couple of hours and drop into a local bar halfway!
What to buy: I suppose if you are looking for an Athens souvenir then this is as good a place as any to look, whether something tacky or upscale.
What to pay: Whatever you want to pay, but all prices are negotiable!
My friend Caroline, who decided to climb Olympus with me, decided after hiking Samaria Gorge that she needed some real hiking boots to make the climb. I had recently purchased some replacement sandles (My first pair were a casualty of La Tomatina!) and remembered that they had a good selection of athletic gear. Luckily, I had remembered that it was right outside the Monastiraki Metro station.
What to buy: Any athletic gear
The quarter of Monastiraki, at the westside of the citycentre is a true paradise for people who like shopping. It´s one big marketplace. The central Monastiraki Square is the base from which you can reach the narrow market streets to the west, the Odos Ermou (part with traffic) to the north, the streets next to the Roman Agora to the south and the bars and restaurants to the south-west.
Especially the marketstreets towards the west are a very good place to find good souvenirs, antique and rubbish. You can find anything here: clothes, leather, jewelry, cd´s, antiqities, pottery, and all the souvenirs you also find in the rest of the city.
Bargaining is normal here. Looking at the goods will assure you of getting a talk by the salesman, and don´t expect the things here to be original, but nevertheless it´s a cool experience to check it out.
What to buy:
Komboloy is a kind of toy for adults. Traditionally held by men, komboloy is something to keep your hands busy. Shift it, count the beads or hang it somewhere. It is one of the most popular souvenirs and very good for a gift. Shapes, styles and colors vary greatly.
What to pay: It's up to you. You can find as cheap as 2 € or very expensive ones depending on the material (e.g. silver)
Monastiraki has everything. Souvenirs, music, antiques, icons, jewelry, clothing, you name it. Just walking around and taking in the sights and sounds is worth it. Don't forget to bargain! There is no such thing as a "set price" in Monastiraki.
The best deal I got was on a bouzouki (Greek stringed instrument). Every time I threatened to walk out of the guys store, he would knock off 10%. It was too much fun. Unfortunately, I still haven't learned how to play it!