From souvenirs and oddities to artisan craft and Greek pastries, this buzzing flea market is a great place to experience the local culture.
Head to the Monastiraki Flea Markets to discover a buzzing hive of stalls and vendors overflowing with knick-knacks, souvenirs, antiques and oddities.
Visit these markets any weekday during regular business hours for conventional store souvenirs, or experience the flea markets on weekends, especially Sundays. Small stalls open up in place of the bigger stores, and carpets roll out, filled with all kinds of cheap trinkets and gems. Locals sell their wares in seemingly endless rows of shops spanning from Monastiraki Square across to Platia Avissinias, from Ermou Street down to Adrianou Street.
Mass-produced items, such as hats, T-shirts and prints of religious icons, are displayed alongside unique artisan musical instruments, paintings by monks from Mount Athos and handmade Greek sandals. Monastiraki holds many rewards for those hunting bargain souvenirs or rare items.
The flea market stalls usually close in the early afternoon, so start your hunt before midday. Mid-morning is the best time to avoid the crowds and the summer heat. Stop by one of the many cafés and bars lining the streets to refresh yourself with a cold drink and some Greek pastries. If you are visiting a little later in the day, try an ouzo, an aniseed liquor. It goes well with mezedes, a selection of small dishes.
Reach the Monastiraki Flea Markets using Athens’ affordable public transportation network. Local buses and the metro train system serve the area regularly. The outer edge of the markets is located next to the central Monastiraki train station. This is right in the heart of ancient Athens, just north of the Acropolis. Be aware of pickpockets in the area and keep your valuables close when sitting in cafés. With a little care, though, these markets are a lively and colorful place to spend a few hours.