Athens Shopping Guide
The keyword for trendy shoppers in Athens is Kolonaki. This chic and fashionable neighborhood is lined with classy designer shops – a heaven for sophisticated shoppers. Kolonaki was once home to Greece’s aristocrats. Although most of the affluent have shifted their residences to the northern suburbs of Athens, Kolonaki’s reputation of cosmopolitan living and extravagance has been retained.
Gucci, Lancel, Lanvin, Bulgari, Vuitton and Versace are just some of the exclusive designer shops that can be found on the streets of Kolonaki. Expensive jewelry can also be found in Kolonaki. Bulgari has an outlet here and ElenTsalakof Street is the most prominent and luxurious street in Kolonaki and it is reportedly among the six most expensive streets in the world.
However, the liveliest shopping street in Athens is Ermou, a street off Syntagma Square with a recently paved pedestrian-only road. It’s an ideal destination for tourists looking for clothing, accessories and souvenirs. Shops in Ermou include Nike, Marks and Spencer, Esprit, Extreme and Benetton.
Handcrafted Greek jewelry, very popular among tourists, can be found in shops on Syntagma square. Jackets and hats made of fur, with designs ranging from the classical to the modern, can be found in fur shops on the Syntagma area, particularly Mitropoleos Street.
A different kind of shopping experience is offered by the Monastiriki Flea Market in Plaka. Both locals and tourists frequent this place to look for hard to find goods and to bargain. Most antique shops can be found here. Interesting antique pieces like old appliances, furniture, glass, and silver items can be bought at a lower price because they can be bargained for. Almost everything can be found here – shoes, clothes, furniture, jewelry, new and old furniture, new and second-hand records, fake designer items, and combat boots – just about anything you can think of.
In the northern suburb of Maroussi stands The Mall, brand new and the first shopping center in Greece. It comprises of shops featuring commercial brands, restaurants, cafés and a 15 screen multiplex cinema. It stands next to the Olympic stadium and very accessible by public transport. Maroussi is also visited by those who search for Greek earthenware and copperware pottery. Many designers and potters have established their own shops there to display their handmade creations.
Booklovers should head to Panepistimiou Street where Eleftheroudakis, Athen’s larges bookshop, can be found. The bookshop is a seven-story structure of marble and glass and houses a superb collection of English-language fiction and non-fiction, as well as an extensive selection of travel books. On the 6th floor of the bookshop is a café which offers a splendid view of Panepistimiou Street.
Shopping for raw food (fish, meat and vegetables) is done best at the Central Market. There is a variety of fish on display, the prices of which drop as the day wears on. Across the fish market and the meat market are fruits and vegetables. All types of olives can be found here and it’s alright to taste before you buy. There are also shops that sell feta cheese, eggs and sausages. Visiting these shopping areas, your Athens travel will be unforgettable.
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