When people think about Athens, they immediately link to the magnificent Acropolis, the sun and probably ouzo. Although all of these are inextricable parts of the Greek culture, we need to highlight that modern Athens has many more things to share and be proud of. The city that never sleeps (yes, it is not only NYC) has become the ideal place for shopping. From famous brands and haute couture to ceramics, leather, textile and unique handmade jewelry. Furthermore, a variety of local and traditional products are waiting to be discovered!
Department Stores & Shopping Malls
Starting one cannot omit its Malls and Department Stores. The trend of malls as a shopping and entertainment spot is quite recent in Greece, thus very fresh and vivid. Many consumers prefer it actually since they can find everything they want in one place! The Athens Metro Mall (see pages 5,36), the first shopping center in the southern suburbs of Athens, offers a unique experience to its visitors. Cinemas & restaurants, shopping stores & cafes, the ideal place to combine pleasure and entertainment for the whole family! Enjoy a marvelous journey in the world of beauty, fashion & style at Hondos Center Department Stores (see pages 39,100) which can be found in the most central areas of Athens, so visitors can easily combine shopping with their other activities. Notos department stores chain (see page 41), with its 115 years of history knows exactly how to serve even the most demanding consumers. Visitors can enjoy shopping among the best luxury brands of apparel, footwear, accessories & cosmetics.
Clothing, bags & accessories
For those who are not so much into malls and department stores, we propose a more personalized and local alternative, especially for clothing and accessories! Since antiquity, Athenians were obsessed with aesthetics. Decoration and fine arts were not only seen as prestige, but also as a way of life. This mentality is not lost throughout the years. The era of classicism has been connected to elegance and purity. An excellent example are the Caryatids statues at the Acropolis. Fabrics with simple lines, which emphasize the natural curves of the human body. Treat yourself as one and discover the world of Greek design! La Stampa (see page 34) is more than its products so their interest is in doing things based on ethics and respect towards people and the environment. Don’t miss out visiting their store in the city center of Athens and enjoy the most authentic textiles made of course by Greeks, in Greece! The same mentality follows the elegant store of Laetitia (see page 34), found in the historic district of Plaka, built on the ancient rocks of Athens (which you can admire during your visit there), includes women’s clothing & accessories all by Greek designers. In order to express themselves and their femininity, women need to be comfortable and feel pretty! Women’secret store in Athens (see page 40), waits for you to treat you like princesses and queens, help you find what suits you better. With a grand variety of high quality underwear, home ware and swimwear you will absolutely discover a piece made for you! While strolling in Monastiraki, it’s worth walking one of the most lively and colorful pedestrian streets of Athens, its Flea Market! There, in Baltasar store (see page 40), you will find a great variety of casual wear and accessories! Traditional Greek linen and cotton fabrics, leather clothes and jackets, jeans, as well as a distinguished collection of Gothic clothes for both women and men. At Brand Stories (see page 37) in Kolonaki you can find your favorite designer brands, second hand, 100% authentic at excellent conditions and incredible prices. It is a must if you are into vintage accessories, handbags, suitcases, scarves and watches! Having had a lot of shopping in your holidays? Not enough space in your luggage? No worries! In EDC Everyday Carry (see page 40) store you will discover the best travel gear, bags, backpacks & everyday essentials from famous brands.
‘’Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’’ was once said. Allow me to tell you that it is not only about diamonds! It is also about gold and silver, emeralds, sapphires & rubies made all by creative Greeks designers! Greeks have a long history concerning the manufacture of jewelry. This can be seen also on the ancient Greek sculptures. The role of jewelry had a social, cultural and symbolic character. People were buried with their jewelry in order to have them ‘’in the other world’’. With advanced techniques, ancient Greeks were creating excellent pieces of art in order tο decorate their heads & bodies. Earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces are waiting to be admired at Aphrodite Jewelry store (see page 32). You can also have your name in Ancient Greek or Hieroglyphics for an even more special souvenir from Athens! Visit George’s Jewelry, (see page 33) for timeless pieces made by experienced craftsmen, where luxury meets eternity. Classic jewelry, is a form of heritage that overlaps time and passes from generation to generation. Pottery, textiles & rugs The ancient Greek aesthetics can also be found in textiles and pottery. With minimalistic patterns and shapes, handmade objects will be the perfect present to bring back home, so you can always have a piece of Greece in your house! The family business AION 1922 (see page 35), found in the heart of Athens, Syntagma, offers us a magical travel in time. The magical world of authentic traditional rugs and kilims in one exclusive boutique. All of these high quality items with their amazing patterns and colors, are accompanied by official certification of authenticity and particular information about their crafting techniques. A spot of creativity, hard working and exquisite taste is open to the public as a shopping area. Authentic Greek ceramics, limited jewelry and accessories are some of the best souvenirs one can take back home. Functional objects, which carry the aesthetics of the ancient Greeks, all made by Greek designers, can be found at Mon Coin Studio (see page 38)! Following a similar philosophy, Τhe Attic Black shop (see page 38) features iconic, handmade pottery showcasing the Grecian heritage & culture. Based on ancient techniques, this shop will off er to its visitors a unique experience. From ancient toys, excavation and conservation kits, to jewelry, tableware, cooking pots and minimalistic artifacts inspired by the prehistoric pottery of the Cyclades and the mainland of Greece.
Museums are not only spaces to admire works of art. It is also a unique place to find replicas, books and elegant objects which can beautifully decorate your home. One should not omit visiting the Byzantine Christian Museum (see page 76). Although it is based in the city center of Athens, the visitor will feel as if time has stopped. Its amazing gift shop will help you find the perfect gift.
Are you bored of the mainstream toys? Visit the Museum of Illusions (see page 72) and make the difference! Their ‘smart shop’ offers a variety of dilemma games (educational toys) which will make everyone very excited! Collecting Hard Rock Cafe’s merchandise from all around the world? The one in Athens is waiting for you for a memorable experience! Placed in one of the most beautiful areas of downtown Athens, Hard Rock Cafe Athens (see page 93) is ready to rock you hard!
Greek Traditional products
An alternative idea for gifts to bring back home would be to bring back the… taste of Greece! The beautiful grocery shop Peri Lesvou (see page 46), located in the heart of Athens, offers to the visitor a variety of traditional products originating from three islands, Lesvos, Lemnos & Chios. A multitude of tastes & aromas of olive oil, olives, olive pastes, cheeses, jams, herbs, honey, the renowned Chios Mastics, wines, ouzo, liquors and traditional soaps. On the most beautiful pedestrian street in Athens you can find Fresko Yogurt Bar (see page 44), a traditional yet modern space where you can enjoy the world-famous Greek Yogurt in countless taste combinations and of course buy spoon sweets and honey to bring back home! Walking towards the most multicultural street of downtown Athens, Evripidou street, where locals purchase their daily products, you will discover Fotsi Herbs & Spices store (see page 46). The oldest herb shop in Athens, off ers a wide range of herbs and spices as well as natural olive oil soaps and cosmetics, essential oils, aromatic teas, nuts and cereals. Greek products and herbs & spices from all over the world! The “Kostarelos” store in Kolonaki (see page 46) is a delicious all day culinary destination in the center of Athens. An authentic Greek delicatessen where one can fi nd excellent products, made in their own cheese and dairy factory and savor them in unique recipes. Last but no least, AB Vasilopoulos (see page 43), the market which has brought up many generations in Greece! Two exceptional food markets located in the heart of Athens will give you a unique shopping experience that will cover all your needs in grocery products during your vacation!
Do not hesitate to stroll in Plaka’s alleys and find hidden gems.
The shops usually open at 9am and many of those stay open all day until 9pm from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays shops close at 8pm. Many shops in Plaka area are also open on Sundays from 10am until 8pm (depending on the season).
There are plenty of ideas for gifts and souvenirs you can take back home on these stores.
You can combine your shopping with visiting the historic center.
So while in Athens, enjoy your stay, and indulge into some shopping!