In Athens, the temptation of shopping lurks everywhere. Dedicate a day to walking around the huge malls and well-known shopping areas, then check out the bazaars, second-hand shops, street vendors and kiosks.
Athens has got shopping spots for all tastes, offering unique bargains. How could you resist?
Amongst the great high streets of the city, pedestrianized Ermou is definitely the one that stands out with an abundance of shops belonging to well-known clothes franchises, as well as historic Greek businesses. The bottom end of Ermou is Monastiraki. Don’t miss out on a walk in its flee market. There you will find clothes, shoes, accessories, leather goods and the world-famous Greek leather sandals. On Sundays, there’s a bazaar with collector’s items such as books, old coins, vinyl records and antique furniture. Also, take the opportunity to walk around the gorgeous picturesque antique shops of the street.
Go on to the colourful Central Market of Athinas street, as well as the alleys along Evripidou, Apollonos and Praxitelous Streets, full of the aromas of spices and cured meat products. Athenians choose to buy produce for their everyday needs there. Besides the famed Varvakeios meat market there is a market for fish, vegetables and other Greek products in a large variety and at excellent prices.
Walk in the opposite direction away from Ermou and you’ll find Kolonaki, one of the most salubrious neighbourhoods of Athens. No wonder the biggest fashion designer studios have gravitated there, specifically on Voukourestiou street.
Second only to Ermou are the shopping areas of the northern and southern suburbs of Athens. Another neighbourhood with luxurious shops is Kifisia. All the famous commercial brands are there, together with small, elegant boutiques. Not to be outdone, the Athenian Riviera boasts the shopping area of Glyfada, also among the best-known shopping destinations. It is gorgeous and combines a shopping centre and the opportunity to get to the sea within a few minutes.
Of course the city is not lacking in great shopping centres. The Athens Mall and Golden Hall in Maroussi, Athens Metro Mall in Agios Dimitrios, Athens Heart in Pireos street, Mc Arthur Glen Designer Outlet Discount Village in Spata and Avenue Shopping Centre on Kifissias Avenue.
It is also worth keeping in mind that Athens has a lot of second – hand clothes and furniture shops. Protogenous street in the area of Psirri is full of such little shops stuffed with little treasures. You will find stores with a window on decades past in Athinas Street, Ermou street at Thesion, on Agias Irinis street, in Exarhia and Mavili Square.
Shopping spots in Athens are not restricted to the high streets bursting with famous brand chains. Don’t forget the flea markets in Athens which often turn into open-air bazaars. One of the best-known flea markets in the centre is the one on Kallidromiou street in Exarhia where, besides fresh produce, you will find clothes at outrageously low prices. Also in streets adjacent to the historic centre, such as Aiolou and Agiou Markou, are street vendors selling a large variety of products. Perhaps, however, the most characteristically Greek of all is the kiosk. Who could possibly imagine that in so small a space such an abundance and variety of things is stored. Apart from the obvious, the kiosks of Panepistimiou Street and Athinas Street are jam-packed with handbags, wallets, sunglasses, hair bandanas, fancy jewellery, even CDs and, on occasion, that increasingly rare find the audio cassette.