Being on Syntagma square you can easily enter the area of Plaka which is the oldest and most prestigious neighbourhood of Athens. Attached to the Holy Rock of Acropolis it’s a “must-see” area for every visitor setting foot in Athens. It’s unique, it’s picturesque, full of labyrinthine alleys. It’s like a journey to the past. Don’t miss the chance to stroll around “Anafiotika” , a cosy district of Plaka that looks like a small island popped from the north slope of Acropolis. Plaka’s main pedestrian – only Kidathinaion and Adrianou you can find plenty of stores selling traditional goods, souvenirs, folk artifacts and Greek traditional food products. At Plaka’s alleys you will come along many traditional Athenian taverns (see more to TASTE), museums (see more to CULTURE) . If you head uphill via alleys and blossoming staircases you will reach Acropolis entrance. Continue your walk either entering the archaeological site of Ancient Theatre oF Dionysus, or the through shady grove and it’s marble routes created by Greek architect Pikionis. Both routes lead to one of Europe’s most beautiful pedestrian – only, Dionisiou Areopagitou. The “New Acropolis Museum”, the impressive “new house” of Holy Rock’s treasures calls for a visit. You can also have a coffee or o light meal at the terrace. Why not catching a glimpse of the 2 museum shops
Around the New Acropolis Museum a new commercial neighbourhood emerged. Makriyianni area seeks attention from Athenians and visitors with new trendy art shops, restaurants, bistros and hotels. Dionisiou Areopagitou pedestrian can lead you everywhere. Adrianou Gate, Temple Of Olympian Zeus, Zappeion, Panathinaic Stadium (Kallimarmaro) or Fillopapou Hill, Thiseion, Ano Petralona, Monastiraki, Psirri.
The choice is yours, both way you can enjoy a circle walking route that finishes back at Syntagma Square.
Syntagma square – Kolonaki
Entering Voukourestiou pedestrian – only is like entering a magic world. International fashion stores, designer’s stores and the most famous, luxurious and expensive jewellery stores of the city. It’s like a shopping paradise for those who fancy branded buys. You can also find stylish cafes. VouKourestiou leads to Skoufa street with more branded stores for you to do your shopping. You have entered now Kolonaki area, a prestigious, aristocratic neighbourhood hosting apart from Greek and internation designer’s stores, galleries, museums and a great variety of cafes and restaurants. Modern Greek, international, ethnic cuisine anything might one seeks can be found there. Kolonaki is crowded especially during the evening till late at night. Kolonaki is Athenians favourite area for business meetings, lunch, dinner or early drinks.
Syntagma square – Ermou street
Starting again from Syntagma sq. Ermou pedestrian – only the oldest commercial street of Athens, lies upon your feet. It was designed and mapped at 19th century as the heart of traditional commercial centre of the city. That centre is defined from Stadiou, Mitropoleos and Athinas streets. These 4 streets enclose a triangle with numerous shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels operating within. Ermou street was named after Greek mythology’s god Ermis, that was the god of commerce. Throughout decades Ermou remains a favourite shopping area. In the numerous alleys you can find and shop almost everything. Apart from clothes and shoes, you should head to Lekka street and Kolokotroni str for handmade silver items, handmade jewels, beads, hats, souvenirs. Further down at Ermou str, around the Byzantine church of Kapnikarea it’s a paradise of fabrics in really affordable prices.
Ermou str. – Monastiraki
Ermou str leads to Monastiraki square. Welcome to a completely different world and atmosphere. The place that ancient Athens meets modern and walk together. Favourite to both visitors and Athenians. At the shadow of Acropolis Hill, Monastiraki has a lot to offer. Get in Pandrossou street and seek for folk-art items, jewellery inspired from antiquity, Greek furs, leather goods, Authentic copies of Greek sculptures, ceramics and woven rugs. Tired walking? Right next to you are some of most well-known tavern and grills serving the famous Greek souvlaki. Continue strolling at Adrianou street, walking side by side with Athens Ancient Market (Archaia Agora). Enjoy your coffee or a beer, or a glass of wine under the sun, favoured by a magnificent view to Acropolis, Stoa Attalus, Ancient Temple of Hephaestus. Don’t walk away though before paying a visit at “Yousouroum” the flea market at Avissinnias square. Antique mirrors and furniture, old books, vinyl records, bric-a-brac. Every Sunday a colourful open bazaar sets attracting lovers of old Athens spirit. You will see them enjoying a glass ouzo or wine with Greek “meze”(means appetizer and the places are called “mezedopoleia”, see more to TASTE) .
Pandrossou Street Market
Pandrossou Street Market is a hallmark of Plaka and Monastiraki, the most traditional districts of Athens, Greece. It is the small pedestrian street that connects the main Athenian Cathedral (Metropolis) to the Monastiraki metro station. Here you can find authentic Greek handicrafts, spices, art, fine jewelry, and other locally produced Greek goods.
More than a market place, we are a community of family businesses who bear traditions from every corner of the country. From the rustic mountain hamlets of Thessaly to the coastal towns of the Dodecanese islands, we are an aggregate of modern Greek culture. So here on Pandrossou, you find more than just a souvenir, you find memories: ours of our past and yours of an instance spent underneath the Athenian sun.
Take a stroll through our market and feel the enchantment of history and history-in-the-making as it unfolds before you.
SHOP FOR MEMORIES. SHOP PANDROSSOU STREET MARKET. http://www.PandrossouStreet.com/
Monastiraki – Thisseion – Petralona
At the end of Adrianou str is Thisseion Metro Station where another pedestrian – only begins. It’s Apostolou Pavlou street that leads to Thisseion and “moves” around the Ancient Agora. Cafes, restaurants, street artists, Thisseion is a vivid neighbourhood popular to youngsters. You can also search around for small shops selling handmade accessories or stroll around a neighbourhood that keeps the allure and the character of urban architectural structure of 20th century.
50 meters away from the main road of Thisseion you will come along a classic Greek neighbourhood with two storey houses and hidden courtyards. You are now at Petralona. Until noon everything is quiet, like in any common neighbourhood but in the evening and until after midnight, cafes, taverns and trendy bars give this small part of the city a diffirent style, remaining though easygoing and bohemian.
Monastiraki – Psirri
At the end of Adrianou street if you choose to head to Psirri you will find yourself in an old industrial area packed sometime with crafts which nowadays is completely transformed into a land of dining and entertainment from noon till late night, 7 days a week. In this district you will also find plenty of theatres, hip clothes stores, design stores and accessories, art galleries next to small craft-workshops where you can order your tailor-made leather sandals, buy bronze utensils and collectors items. ( see more: www.psirri.gr )
Monastiraki – Omonoia square
Athinas street is also one of the oldest commercial streets of Athens linking Monastirki sq with Omonoia square. It is famous for its food trade because of Varvakeios Food Market. It’s a huge roofed market of steal and glass hosting butchers shops, fish market, grocery stores, spices. At Athinas street you can see Athens City Hall and in front of it Kotzia square with the historical building of National Bank of Greece. Around Kotzia sq you’ll find shopping Malls and hotels.
A breath away is Omonoia square, the second heart of city’s centre. Shopping Malls, restaurants and hotels concludes the triangle of the historical and commercial centre. You can easily reach from here National Archaeological Museum
From Monastiraki you can follow an alternative route, having as starting point the church of Agioi Asomatoi. Walking to a huge pedestrian area alongside the ancient cemetery of Kerameikos you will reach the old district of Gazi. It’s the hippest and most trendy cell of entertainment in Athens for the last 5 years.
«Gazi» was named after the old Gas Factory, now the old premises house “Technopolis” a municipality multiplex with galleries hosting music, theatrical and all kind of cultural events
(for more information: www.technopolis-athens.com ). At «Gazi», old small houses with coutyards transformed into nice and cozy bars and cafes, gourmet restaurants and traditional taverns (see more to TASTE).
Many artists selected Gazi as their residence or workplace. Small houses co-exist with trendy lofts and abandoned warehouses. Here you can shop trendy clothes and accessories and have your hair or nails done late at night.
Those are only a few suggestions, to get to know historical and commercial centre of Athens in an easy and relaxing way. Mix sightseeing with shopping and entertainment. There are more to see, explore and do to every neighbourhood of the city and the rest of Attica.