Be sure to arrive early to the Sunday flea market – after 11am the streets are packed.
Athens is one of the world’s great cities for shopping of every kind, and Monastiraki is probably the best place for it. Here you can find everything from high-end labels to the cheapest flea market wares. Whether you’re looking for jewelry, t-shirts, pottery or musical intstruments, Monastiraki is the place to come.
An Athenian Melting Pot
The square is named for the 10th century Church of the Pantanassa, which used to have an adjoining monastery. The monks are long gone, however, and solemnity has been replaced by a lively, vibrant street atmosphere that will be familiar to all who have visited Athens. Monastiraki square is the perfect place to dive into the labyrinthine streets of shops, stalls and cafes, streets which can seem charming, seedy, intimate and hectic all at the same time.
The best time to visit is undoubtedly on Sunday, when it can feel like the entire Greek population has descended on this little neighbourhood for the weekly flea market. During the rest of the week you can always find street sellers hawking their wares, but on Sundays you can barely move for them and their customers, especially after 11am. The air is filled with the sounds of furious haggling and the aromas of traditional food. Patience is key – there are plenty of genuine, high-quality items to be found at reasonable prices, but finding them does require a certain amount of dredging through cheap, mass-produced tat.
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