Visiting the markets and bazaars when travelling can be an exciting and eventful activity, and Athens is no different. Not only can you immerse yourself in the culture of the city, but you can also get your hands on a bargain or two.
Within Athen’s, there are plenty of markets for all types of shoppers. These vibrant, bustling markets are a feast for the eyes, offering homemade products, once-in-a-lifetime antiques, and an overall must visit experience when you’re in Athens.
In any of these markets, bargaining is expected for you to get the best price. So, get your haggling boots on as here are some of our best recommended markets you must not miss:
Often referred to as Varvakeios, it is one of the best food markets in Athens. It is known as one of the places to buy affordable food supplies. On offer is usually all types of meat, fish crates brimming with the day’s catch and even vegetables as well as other groceries. Over the December festive period, it is popular with locals for getting ingredients for a festive feast. The market is also famous for the best feta cheese on offer and nuts, spices, and herbs. This market opens on Mondays, running through to Saturdays, starting in the morning and remaining open until late noon.
Being close to a port along Gounari Street, there are plenty of fresh fish and seafood opportunities. They even have a range of meats, cheeses and vegetables available. You can even find stalls that carry wine, spices and herbs, with little stores closeby that offer olive oil and legumes. Piraeus has it all, and if all the shopping gets you hungry, there are small cafes and restaurants.
Found between Ifestou Street and Ermou Street, the cobblestone Avissinias square hosts the Antique Market with stalls every weekend. Here, you can find old books, ceramics, and you guessed it, antiques. Between shopping for furniture, coins (including the Greek coin the ‘drachma’), jewels, and vinyl records, there are plenty of places to eat dotted at the edges. This market opens early in the morning, around 5 am.
Found on Kallidromiou Street, this market is open every day and offers the chance to purchase groceries and vegetables with herbs and dry fruits. You may be lucky to find even some household wares and provide the opportunity to sample fine Greek food at one of the food stalls.
Widely known as The Scavengers’ Union Market, each Sunday, vendors come and lay their wares across blankets. The air is filled with Greek music, and grilled meat as the market becomes flooded with vendors and shoppers alike. This market attracts people from all walks of life; you may find yourself scanning for antiques, childhood books and even vinyls.
When you step into this market, you’ll find benches lined with items ready to be bought. This market is perfect for artists and craftspeople, offering paintings, handmade items, including jewellery, old cameras and memorabilia. While this market is open daily, the number of stalls do increase as it approaches the weekend.
In the west part of the capital, you’ll find this enormous flea market that sells more oversized products like second-hand cars, motorbikes, and even animals for farming. You can still get your hands on many other things, such as rare antiques, clothing, and even tools. On Sunday’s, food vendors arrive, feeding those who travel and browse up the long lines.
Within the heart of the city, you can find this market known for its dried products, such as tea, chamomile, and mint. You can even get your hands on dry fruits, such as mango, blueberries, pineapple, and plums. While there, be sure to try some of the salted fish and dairy products on offer, as well as Greek herbs from Olympus or Taygetos.
Closeby to the Monastiraki metro station, this market is filled with stores and stock for any local and traveller. Visiting Monastiraki is more a day out than a quick trip to the market, as there is so much to see and do. It has grown in popularity amongst tourists with pubs, cafes and restaurants to keep yourself full and refreshed. It is always busy, with a mix of bargain hunters and tourists as well as all the street vendors. The market itself offers the chance to buy musical instruments, clothing, gifts, jewellery and some locally created items. You can even pick up fresh vegetables and local delicacies.
Each Sunday, this flea market opens from early morning till late in the afternoon. You can find anything you want at this market, as they sell everything from food to drinks, including clothes, electrical items and many household items. This market can get very busy, so be sure to push through to get your eyes on the best items displayed.
This nomadic monthly market pops up in various places around Athens and showcases organic, art and homeware products by local artists and designers. The first Meet Market was organised back in December 2007 with just twenty vendors. In time, it has grown each event. With music playing, food being cooked, and vendors displaying their items, the market aims to have something there for everyone.
Even if you don’t want to shop, walking through Athens’ markets is not only an institution but a great way to get the vibe of Athens. Meeting at least once a week, these markets are always bustling. Especially at the weekends, so be sure to sharpen your elbows and bring a tote bag for your purchases. Shopping in the markets offers an authentic experience, getting under the skin of the fabulous Greek city. Visiting any of Athens’ markets listed above will bring you close to the Greeks. With the opportunity to taste the authentic, fine food and purchase the wares, all the vendors have to offer.