Monastiraki is the district whose’ borders are defined from the big Orthodox Cathedral of Athens (Metropolis), the picturesque old
quarter of Plaka, Ermou st. and of course, Thissio and Psiri.
Walking down the lovely cobblestone alley called Ifestou which connects Metropolis sq. with the very center of Monastiraki district, the namesake sq., one cannot escape the feeling of carefreeness that seems to take whole of you, simply by observing ones’ surroundings: Small coffee-shops and, mostly, tourist shops, chairs set in the middle of the alley, so that the shop owners can seat and chat; Virginia creeper and bougainvillea dripping freely from the buildings.
At the same time, the realization that underneath the stones you step on, lies a history of over 3000 years, makes you shiver! Men whose names remained known and honored worldwide through eternity, such as, Socrates, Pericles, Aristotle and so many others, walked once the exact same path as you do now…
See at Monastiraki
- Monastiraki metro Station and the excavations. The building of the Metro station was built in 1895, initially to serve the connection between Athens and Piraeus port and expanded in the early 2000s to service yet another line, the one that connects Athens centre with the airport. In the process of building the metro, the diggings revealed a wealth of archaeological findings (buildings, workshops, graves, draining and watering pipes) that date back to the Mycenaean era (1600 – 1100 BC) as well as the riverbed of Eridanus river.
- The Tzistarakis Mosque (18th century AD) which today serves as annex to the Greek Folk Art museum
- Hadrian’s library (1st century AD)
- The small byzantine church of “Pantanassa” (Virgin Mary’s Assumption), remainder of the once existing Monastery which through the years gave its name to the entire area, thus “Monastiraki”.
- Enjoy the festive atmosphere and the mixture of people on Monastiraki sq., which serves as meeting point for both the Athenians and the foreigners.
- The Ancient Agora and the temple of Hephaestus
- The “Flea Market” where you can “lose yourself” in the numerous small shops selling beads, old vinyl records, CDs, funny looking trousers, shoes and books.
- The Antique dealers in Abyssinias sq.
- Lovely Greek “Kafeneio” and cozy taverns along the train tracks
- St. Phillip’s church (9th century A.D.)