Exploring the retail scene during your trip to Athens is a must as there are a number of Greek fashion designers that are worth checking out. However, fast fashion is increasingly becoming less and less popular among fashionistas and Millenials. While looking for answers to fast fashion, apart from individual local boutiques consumers can opt for, flea markets and thrift shops are your best bet. Let us guide you through the flea markets and thrift shops in Athens and help you navigate your way around the hidden treasures that are looking for a new home!
Monastiraki Flea Market
Monastiraki Flea Market - credits: ilolab/Shutterstock.com
The biggest, best and most popular flea market in Athens is without a doubt the acclaimed Monastiraki Flea Market, a shopper’s paradise located right in the heart of Athens, at the legendary Monastiraki Square. The Monastiraki Flea Market is arguably one of the best places for second-hand shopping in Athens and where you can find the top Greek souvenirs to take back home. Inside Monastiraki’s Flea Market, hidden in Avissinias Square lies the famous Antique market, which comes to life every Sunday. From gorgeous antiques to vintage jewelry and various other accessories, you can find the most eccentric and bizarre of items, and a few treasures in between. Additionally, if you grow tired of trying to find a bargain, you can take a coffee break Cafe Avissinias, which happens to serve delicious traditional dishes as well. A big advantage of the Monastiraki Flea Market besides its central location, which is right by the famous Ermou Street and close to the neighborhoods of Thisseio and Plaka, is the fact that it is also easily accessible, with the ‘Monastiraki’ metro and railway station located right outside its entrance; there is no excuse left for you to miss the experience of visiting it!
Piraeus Flea Market
Vintage items found in a flea market in Athens - credits: Oscar Espinosa/Shutterstock.com
Significantly less prestigious, the Piraeus Flea Market takes place every Sunday morning from 7 am to 2 pm and it is located along the trail of Piraeus metro station. Despite its no so glamorous layout, this ongoing tradition has become emblematic for the city of Piraeus and has a distinctive old-time charm to it that is hard to resist. The street the flea market takes place on becomes a colorful and cheerful place, where one can mingle with the locals and find anything their heart desires, including clothes, home goods, jewelry, and accessories. As with all flea markets across Athens, Greece, and the world, don’t be hesitate to drive a hard bargain when buying the item of your choosing; the street vendors expect it and are ready to lower the prices significantly. If nothing tickles your fancy, however, don’t despair! You can always forget your sorrows with lunch in a nearby seafood taverna.
To Pazari Rakosyllekton – Scavenger’s Flea Market
Musical instruments and miscellaneous items in a flea market in Athens - credits: FTiare/Shutterstock.com
Less known even amongst the locals, Scavenger’s Flea Market is being hosted by the Scavengers Association on a weekly basis on Salaminias street, in Petrou Ralli district. Here the vendors set up their benches before down and wait for the collectors to arrive. The diversity and multiculturality among the people in the Scavenger’s Flea Market are brilliant and translate to the offerings of the market as well. The Scavenger’s Flea Market is a kind of immediate recycling, but not just for material goods, but also for history and ideas. From clothes and shoes to yarn and threads. From radios, cd-players, irons and all sorts of gadgets to bicycles and car wheels. From video games to old books and magazines. All kinds of vinyl, CDs, DVDs, and cassettes -yes, we’re old as dirt-. Housing supplies, cosmetics, and fancy jewelry. Old cell phones and watches. You can find it all. Once again, there are no fixed prices so negotiate the price with the seller with confidence; they smell fear from a mile away! Even if you don’t manage to find an incredible buy, you will probably be able to find an uncommon souvenir from Greece.
Smart thrifting in Athens
Monastiraki - credits: Milan Gonda/Shutterstock.com
Moving away from the cult-classic flea markets, let’s move to thrift shops. A fairly new addition to Athens’ shopping scene, thrift shops are yet to become as popular as they are in most other countries. Nevertheless, an increasing number of thrift shops have popped up during recent years and their popularity continues to rise. Kilo Shop is one of the most favored thrift stores in Athens with several shops spread across the city. Take your time, look through the unbeatable variety of clothing and accessories, and you’ll find vintage shoes, branded jeans, among others, which you will then pay by the weight. Awesome, right? Reset is also an excellent choice for vintage shopping. Located in the alternative and creative neighborhood of Exarcheia, home to most of the best vintage and thrift shops of Athens, despite its tiny size, in Reset you can find an impressive selection of quality clothes, shoes, and accessories that won’t break the bank! If your budget allows you some luxury shopping, Closet to Closet is an absolutely gorgeous secondhand shop located in the beautiful neighborhood of Pagkrati, where you can find prestigious luxury brands such Balenciaga, Dior, Louboutin, and Manolo Blahnik in top condition and in excellent prices. Staying in the thee of luxury shopping, SWAP, located in the south suburb of Glyfada, offers a variety of preloved items from luxury brands including Gucci and YSL at reasonable prices.
Shopping is a favorite pastime of many, especially when exploring the shops of a new country. However next time you’re in Athens, don’t cross out flea markets and thrift shops out of your list; there is a world of hidden treasures waiting for you to discover it! You can always check our Athens travel guide and the visiting the Acropolis guide too!