Athens

For serious retail therapy, most Athenians head to the shopping streets that branch off central Syntagma and Kolonaki Squares. Syntagma is the starting point for popular Ermou, a pedestrian zone where large, international chains like Zara, Sephora, H&M, Massimo Dutti, Mothercare, Replay, Nike, Accessorize, and Marks & Spencer have edged out small, independent retailers. You'll find local shops on streets parallel and perpendicular to Ermou: Mitropoleos, Voulis, Nikis, Perikleous, and Praxitelous among them. Poke around here for real bargains, like strings of freshwater pearls, loose semiprecious stones, or made-to-fit hats. Much ritzier is the Kolonaki quarter, with boutiques and designer shops on fashionable streets like Anagnostopoulou, Tsakalof, Skoufa, Solonos, and Kanari. Voukourestiou, the pedestrianized link between Kolonaki and Syntagma, is where you'll find luxury boutiques: Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Polo Ralph Lauren, and similar brands. In Monastiraki Flea Market on Pandrossou (which also operates on Sundays) there's a mishmash of tourist trinkets, clothing, footwear, jewelry, and rugs; in Psirri you'll find coppersmiths selling wine jugs, candlesticks, cookware, and more for next to nothing. Athinas Street is loaded with stores selling everything from homewear to DIY tools, leather goods, plastic flowers, incense, and foods, and if you walk down "the spice street" of Evripidou and turn into Menandrou, you'll discover an area where migrants mainly from India and Pakistan have set up a whole different style of stores, barbershops, and restaurants (only venture there by day). Meanwhile, to get a feel of the local shopping lifestyle of Athens it's well worth getting lost in the mazelike backstreets of Monastiraki (start from Aiolou and turn anywhere). This area has flourished over recent years and is packed with quirky stores, eateries, bars, and yoga studios.

Many stores in Athens are open from 9 am to 3 pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, while on Tuesday shops on Ermou Street remain open until 5 pm. On Thursday and Friday, shops operate from 9 to 2 and then again from 5:30 to 9.

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  • 1. Forget Me Not

    Plaka | Gifts/Souvenirs

    This inspirational "cultural goods" shop has gained a loyal following for its unique souvenirs and gifts. Here, you can buy gifts with a contemporary...Read More

  • 2. Al Hammam

    Plaka | Spa/Beauty

    Sumptuous massages are offered here with Greek olive oil and raki or with Eastern ingredients. And the option of overlooking the Acropolis during...Read More

  • 3. Amorgos

    Plaka | Crafts

    Wood furniture and ceramics, all hand-carved and hand-painted by the shop's owners—a creative couple specializing in antique furniture restoration...Read More

  • 4. Elliniko Spiti

    Plaka | Crafts

    For over 40 years, art restorer Dimitris Koutelieris has been inspired by his home island of Naxos. He salvages most of his materials from houses...Read More

  • 5. Fine Wine

    Plaka | Wine/Spirits

    Elegant wine gift packs are available at this old-fashioned wineshop, where you can browse a broad selection of Greek wines and liqueurs. The...Read More

  • 6. Malotira

    Plaka | Food/Candy

    Named after an herb that grows in the higher reaches of Crete, this deli has expanded to include authentic, pure products of the traditional...Read More

  • 7. Taste of Greece

    Plaka | Food/Candy

    This ethnic grocery store is a treasure trove of traditional delicacies from all over Greece—from the unique-tasting mastiha liqueur from...Read More

  • 8. The Loom

    Plaka | Textiles/Sewing

    A cornucopia of fantastically embroidered cushion covers, blankets, and tapestries as well as beautiful carpets (including vintage, stone-washed...Read More

  • 9. The Olive Tree Store

    Plaka | Household Items/Furniture

    This unique shop sells items made exclusively of olive wood, such as salad bowls and tongs, wall clocks, jewelry, and even backgammon sets....Read More

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