Monastiraki Flea Market

Monastiraki Flea Market, Athens, Greece (B)

Shopping in Athens is a favorite pastime for tourists and Athenians and one of the best places to buy just about anything is the Flea Market at Monastiraki. OK. It is not really a flea market except maybe on Sunday when some of the stores close and people bring tables and carpets and sell all kinds of stuff from junk to antiques. The rest of the week it is more like the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul though not so grand and not so bizarre. Most of the shops are pretty conventional and sell the same stuff you find in the tourist shops on the islands, some of it made in Greece and some made in China or other cheap labor countries. You will find the same designs on GREECE T-shirts as you saw in Aruba or Mexico, as well as some you might actually classify as art or somehow unique. There are good jewelry store with handmade gold and silver pieces and fake jewelry stores with "handmade" gold and silver pieces, and most people won't be able to tell the difference.

There will be shops with icons painted by monks from Mount Athos and monasteries around Greece and other shops with icons painted by armies of artists in workshops, or just prints pasted on wood or particle board. Let's be honest: to most people an icon is an icon. There are more people in the world who buy crap than there are people who buy something because it is authentic art, and the shops of Monastiraki cater to the masses. You will find everything you want here from jewelry to trinkets, from original designs to mass produced T-shirts advertising not only Greece but stuff that needs no advertising like Nike and Adidas and Coca-cola or your favorite heavy metal band. You will find antiques and fake antiques, vintage vinyl and not so vintage CDs. Rare first edition books in all languages and the same paperback you thought about buying at the airport. You will find plastic worry beads and the real thing, bouzoukia that can't stay in tune or hand-crafted instruments that will be coveted by your musician friends. You will find sandals made by Chinese factory workers or made right there in the shop and fitted exactly to your foot. ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Sights Map

Guide Name: Monastiraki Flea Market
Guide Location: Greece » Athens
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Author: Matt Barrett
Read it on Author's Website:
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Monastiraki Flea Market
  • Monastiraki Square
  • Syntagma
  • Abysinia Cafe
  • Byzantino
  • Tzistarakis Mosque
  • Hadrian's Library
  • Meandros
  • Kostas
  • Mama Roux
  • Poikili Stoa
  • Agiou Filippou Street
  • James Joyce Pub
  • Byzantino Jewelry
  • Poet
  • Hotel Attalos
  • Plaka Hotel
  • 360 Degrees Hotel
  • Athens Center Square
  • Fresh Hotel
  • Hotel Adrian
  • Hotel Cecil

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