Shopping in Athens

Greece, Athens Guide (B): Shopping in Athens

People ask me all the time, besides the ruins, cafes, restaurants, nightlife, and day-trips, what is there to do in Athens? When in Athens do the thing that everybody in our western society does best. Go shopping! Downtown Athens is a shopper's paradise. Besides the areas of the Plaka and Monastiraki which are well known to travelers for their large variety of tourist shops, all of central Athens is full of shops for every kind of person and every kind of budget. Streets that were once choked with traffic have now been closed to all motor vehicles and paved with cobblestones and this diverse shopping area has become a walking shopper's mecca with every kind of store you can imagine, and some you never imagined existed. Why go to places like New York, Paris or London when you can find the same things here and they cost less?

Think about your home town or city or even your local mall. You have the main street with the high rents and this is where you find the well known shops you find in every town, city and mall. If it is your mall you have the giant anchor department stores and your Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Apple Store, Banana Republic and Barnes &Noble and so on. In your town you have the stores that were popular enough to not be driven out of business by the giant box stores like Walmart and Home Depot. This is what Ermou Street is to Athens, a large shopping avenue with the best known stores. Then you have the streets that branch off Ermou with lesser known smaller shops that either have their own clientele that keep them going or they are so specialized that people come from all over the city to shop there. You can compare these to the shops in the entranceways that lead into your mall. The rents are cheaper and most shops either can't afford or don't need to be in the main shopping section or street. Then you have the tiny back streets and stoas (covered streets-photo)) where you find the most interesting and innovative shops because the rents are so cheap that people with original ideas can open shops for almost nothing and hang on through even the worst economic times. These are where you find the things you may not find anywhere else, because they may not exist anywhere else. Original clothes designers, candle makers, rare books and prints, stamps, hand make crafts and jewelry, art supplies and so on. You can have a lot of fun exploring the back streets and alleys of central Athens and the further you get from Syntagma, the cheaper the rent ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Sights Map

Guide Name: Shopping in Athens
Guide Location: Greece » Athens
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Ermou Street   Athinas Street   Hondos Center   Syntagma   Kaliviotis   Attika   Spiliopoulos   Eolou Street   Platia Agoras   Omonia   Central Market   Plesaio   Agiou Markou   Byzantino   Poet-Sandalmaker   Hotel Attalos   Evripidou Street   Elixor   Tzamala   Remember, the first punk-fashion store   Konsianioglou   Acropolis   Ancient Agora  
Author: Matt Barrett
Read it on author's website: http://www.athensguide.com/shopping/index.html

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