The cobblestone shopping streets in central Athens are closed to all motor vehicles, making it easy to stroll and shop. Here’s what to look for while you’re shopping in Athens.
When to Shop
Shopping hours in Athens are not standard. Private shops are open Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:00 to 3:00 and 5:00 to 9:00. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday hours are 9:00 to 5:00. Department stores open non-stop from 9:00 to 9:00 on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and 9:00 to 6:00 Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Shops are closed on Sundays, except Monastiraki Flea Market.
Ermou Street, a.k.a. Hermes Street
The longest shopping street in Athens, Ermou Street connects Syntagma Square and Monastiraki. Ermou is much like any crowded shopping avenue or mall throughout the world, and you should shop Ermou if you’re looking for mid-range fashion brands or department store apparel, souvenirs, off-brand items, or costume jewelry. Halfway down the street, Kapnikarea Church, built in the 12th century, stands out from the surrounding commercial buildings.
Monastiraki is the anti-Ermou Street. The Monastiraki Flea Market, sprawled out before Monastiraki Square, is one of the more colourful districts in Athens. Much of the flea market’s attraction comes from the eccentric characters hawking their wares. You can purchase nearly anything imaginable in the market, however it’s particularly notable as a great place to buy music and movies.
Sunday is the flea market’s busiest day, but even on a mid-week afternoon you can have a fascinating shopping adventure around and through a variety of idiosyncratic little bazaar-style shops carrying designer fashion, local crafts, or just downright junk, with all sorts of odd bits and pieces in between. Maybe the best part? All the prices are negotiable!
No trip to Athens is complete without a visit to the Plaka. Plaka is a hotspot for shopping and people-watching at night in Athens. Vendors set up blankets in the middle of the avenue and lay out designer knockoffs for sale. You should carefully inspect the quality of items from these vendors.
You’ll find a lot of souvenir and specialty shops in the area along with folk art, paintings by local artists, fine jewlery, musical instruments, and clothing. In Plaka, shop around and compare prices if you want to get the best deal. Some vendors are open to negotiation and bargaining while others are not.
This small neighborhood has most of the expensive designer stores. If you have the money, it’s a must for shopping.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Athens shopping.