The Markets of Monastiraki

As much as it might be a tourist trap, the flea market at Monastiraki is one of those places that every visitor to Athens should experience. To be honest, in the strictest sense it’s not so much a flea market, more a collection of small shops selling souvenirs and curios. In amongst it all are also cafes and tavernas where you can stop for a bite to eat between sifting through the varied goods on offer. Being near the Monastiraki metro it’s easy to find, with mid morning being the best time to visit.

On Sunday mornings though, the place to go to for the bargain hunter that likes to dig though piles of antiques and random odds and sods in search of treasure, is Avissynias Square. From clothes and furniture, to leather goods, musical instruments, books and maps, there’s something for everyone – as long as you’re willing to put the hard yards in and dig around a little! It’s much like a bazaar, with all sorts of things going on as the crowds make their way through. Some come for people watching, others to shop, while many a local use it as a meeting place and just sit with a glass of Greek wine or ouzo with snacks, called mezedes, whiling away the day observing the chaos. One word of advice, don’t be afraid to haggle or bargain for your price. Also, looks can be deceiving. Not everything you find there is authentic with fake antiquities catching many an excited tourist out.