Central Municipal Market (Varvakeios Agora), Athens

Central Municipal Market (Varvakeios Agora), Athens

If you're in need of a break from exploring Athens' historical sites, looking to save on dining expenses, or simply curious about the city's culinary scene, a visit to the busy Central Market along Athinas street is a must. Offering a sensory overload of exotic sights, smells and colors, it is simply an ideal location for capturing authentic snapshots of daily life.

On one side of the market, you'll encounter open-air stalls brimming with fresh fruits and vegetables, while tucked away at the rear are a few shops specializing in Eastern European foods. Across the street, the vast neoclassical covered market, constructed in the late 19th century and renovated in 1996, houses the meat market adjacent to the fish market. Here, you'll witness a surreal juxtaposition of suspended carcasses and glistening fish artfully displayed on marble counters. Head towards the north end of the market, to the right on Sofokleous street, to discover shops offering the finest selection of cheese, olives, halvah, bread, spices, and cold cuts, including 'pastourma' (spicy cured beef), available in Athens.

Finally, you may treat yourself to a freshly-cooked meal at one of the first-come, first-served grill areas, where you must try the grilled calamari. Additionally, consider visiting these two standout spots:

EPIRUS TAVERN ("Oinomageireio Epirus"; Filopimenos 4; Mon-Sat: 6 am–6:30 pm)
With a pleasant and laid-back atmosphere, you'll find a warm and hospitable team of staff and owners. This eatery serves up classic dishes that evoke the comforting flavors of your grandma's recipes, all expertly prepared and served in generously large portions. Try the tripe soup or goat soup for a more adventurous palate or stick to chicken soup or vegan options if you prefer.

KRINOS ("Κρίνος"; Aiolou 87; Mon-Sat: 8:30 am–8:30 pm)
Great spot for enjoying a snack of delicious "loukoumades", or Greek doughnuts, deep-fried to a perfect crispy brown, then drizzled with honey syrup and dusted with a sprinkle of cinnamon. For an extra burst of flavor, don't hesitate to request a serving of soft ice-cream, available in vanilla, chocolate, or a combination of both!

Tip:
While the market operates from early morning until late in the afternoon (Monday through Saturday), it's advisable to do your shopping here first before heading to dine at EPIRUS or KRINOS, as many market stalls and nearby shops start closing up around 3 pm.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Athens. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Central Municipal Market (Varvakeios Agora) on Map

Sight Name: Central Municipal Market (Varvakeios Agora)
Sight Location: Athens, Greece (See walking tours in Athens)
Sight Type: Shopping
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Athens, Greece

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