In ancient times “agora” meant a public place where people met to discuss and socialize. Today it means “shopping” and Athens, just like in ancient times, continues to live up to its word! The hectic, boisterous and colorful Athens Central Market –a.k.a Varvakeios Market- is in the historic triangle of Athens, in the middle between Omonoia and Monastiraki. Walking around in the indoor market is a sensory and gastronomic delight, featuring an amazing range of herbs, spices, cheeses, olives and other tasty Greek foods. The historic meat market, with hanging carcasses of various animals put on full display is for many tourists an attraction of its own. The tavernas in and around the market are also worth seeing.
Ermou street is Athens’s main shopping street. A long pedestrian road which connects Syntagma square with Monastiraki, you’ll find brand name department stores, quality souvenir shops and quaint local shops.
For high end shopping, try the Kolonaki district and Voukourestiou street. Expensive jewelry, exclusive boutique hotels and avant-garde fashion stores are all here, spread out around the steep streets of the district.
If it’s a more Anatolian street-bazaar experience you’re looking for, Monastiraki is the place for you. Shops here sell everything from trinkets to combat army boots, second-hand books to rare zippo lighters and knock-off designer glasses. Some of these stores look like they are nothing more than a tiny room but don’t hesitate to walk inside. You’ll be surprised to find that they lead to spacious back rooms with tons of great shopping deals.
Athens also has its fair share of shopping malls to visit. Attica is the most centrally located on Panepistimiou street, others are further away from the center but accessible via the Metro or train: The Mall Athens by Neratziotissa station, The Athens Metro by Agios Dimitrios station and Athens Heart by Tavros station.