Maybe seeing the Acropolis and enjoying the landscape is not all that you came to Greece for. Maybe, your materialistic tendencies need to be fulfilled with a little bit of Greek shopping. Well, we are not here to judge. What we are here for, is to help you and inform you about the best places to shop in Athens, whether you're into the high end or high street fashion.
The basics: Ermou street
Ermou Street - credits: Nataliia Sokolovska/Shutterstock.com
Let’s start from the basics, cue Ermou Street. Below Syntagma Square a delightful pedestrian street spreads, full of shops of all kinds. There, you will find -mainly- the biggest commercial chain stores, as well as cute little independent shops scattered in between. From Sephora and Mac for cosmetics to Foot Locker for athletic gear, Zara for clothing and Flying Tiger for quirky bits and bobs, Ermou St. combines a large variety of stores with a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.
The nostalgia of Monastiraki
Monastiraki flea market - credits: Milan Gonda/Shutterstock.com
Walking a little further down, you can find the famous market of Monastiraki. The Monastiraki market is a dreamland for travellers, since it is full of tourist memorabilia and leather accessories that carry the Greek signature. A great advantage of this place is also that, unlike most markets in Greece, it remains open on Sundays as well. For trifles, Greek souvenirs, leather goods, and bohemian accessories the market of Monastiraki cannot be beaten. What’s more, within the area, you can find the antique market of Avissinias square. There, genuine vintage treasures at incredible prices await for you to discover them. The variety of the antique market is truly outstanding, extending from jewelry and records to decoration and furniture!
The posh neighborhood of Kolonaki
Kolonaki - credits: Yasemin Olgunoz Berber/Shutterstock.com
If you are a fan of luxury, then the district of Kolonaki, located in the center of Athens, along with the famous Voukourestiou St. will without a doubt meet and surpass your expectations with their out-of-this-world creations. Along the whole length of Voukourestiou St. you can shop at the world's biggest fashion houses, with Prada, Gucci, and Cartier being only a few of the luxury brands you're going to come across. Moreover, with the aesthetic of one of the richest neighborhoods of Athens, Kolonaki is ideal for unbridled shopping that is not prohibitive for people on a budget, due to shops like Pre-loved. Whether you are looking for something simple or something more sophisticated, something from the 50s or something of the glorious 80s, Preloved will provide it. In this underground shop, you will find everything: Hermes, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney, Gucci and Prada, second-hand, but in superb condition.
Vintage shopping in Exarcheia
Skoros, a second-hand shop in Exarcheia - credits: popaganda.gr
If vintage shopping is your thing, look no further than the municipal of Exarcheia. In this artistic neighborhood, vintage and second-hand shops will make vintage enthusiasts revel in the choices. Yesterday’s bread, with its hilarious name, is one of the most popular vintage shops in Athens. In its tiny space, you can find unlimited bags, accessories, shoes, coats, shirts, jackets, dresses and jeans at very good prices (2-90 €), mainly from Amsterdam and Paris. Despite the shop being so small, you might find yourself devoting a lot of time searching through a large variety of stock. Skoros and Execute Fashion, in close proximity to one another, are also some of the most prestigious second-hand shops in Athens, located in one of the city's most vibrant streets. Skoros means 'clothes moth'; you have to admit that when it comes to naming their second-hand shops, Greeks don't lose their humor! In any case, one thing is for sure: there is no way that you won’t find something that tickles your fancy among the many interesting offers!
Aiolou and St.Markou Street - the locals' favorite
Girl shopping in Athens - credits: Chubykin-Arkady/Shutterstock.com
If you're on a budget but still want to treat yourself to some retail therapy, in Aiolou and Agiou Markou Str., located near the historic center, you will find a number of vendors with a wide variety of budget-friendly products. Those streets have been favored by the locals for decades and the love is still strong, judging by the sheer number of people that visit them daily. From shoes, bags, clothes, and accessories to furniture and homeware, the streets of Aiolou and Agiou Markou won't disappoint you! Even if you don't find anything to buy, you can mingle with an enthusiastic crowd of locals, which will give you an insight into true Greek culture!
The big malls
Athens Metro Mall - credits: www.athensmetromall.gr
Another effective way to do your shopping without having to wander around the whole of Athens is to visit a mall. Malls are in fact a relatively new discovery for Greeks as they came to be in Athens only a few years ago. The first and largest mall is The Mall Athens, located at Maroussi, with Athens Hearts, Athens Metro Mall and Attica following. Malls provide convenience and comfort while potentially protecting you from the unbearable heat in the summer and chilling cold in the winter. You can find most things you're looking for in the same well-kept place and you can also stop for a coffee, a bite or a drink.
A few kilometers north of Athens, one will find the municipality of Chalandri, with one of the most beautiful markets of the northern suburbs. Offering a wide variety of local shops, one can wander around the pedestrian streets of Chalandri, combining shopping with coffee and snacks in a beautiful urban landscape. Our favorite shop there is the bookshop Evripidis, which is cultural heaven on earth for all the bookworms out there, with nothing short of impressive stationery and book selection, both Greek and foreign. Evripidis offers at the same time the comfort of a modern bookshop and the intimacy and warm environment of a cozy coffee shop. Two tasteful coffee rooms, one in the bookshop on the 1st floor and the other in the courtyard, offer sweet and savory delicacies, putting a literal twist to the expression 'food for thought'.
Athens offers, among many things, the opportunity for great shopping no matter your taste or budget. What better way to explore a new city, discover her streets and take in the local vibe than indulging in a little retail therapy? Whether you’re looking for something for you or your loved ones, the city is full of independent stores and much loved high street brands, providing plenty of hours worth of browsing. The shopaholics amongst you will not be disappointed.
Tip! Looking for a truly local experience? Why not try shopping in the vibrant and lively Central Market of Athens, with us, on our Athens for Foodies Tour!