Souvenir Shopping, Athens (Self Guided)

It would be a pity to leave Athens without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. As an ancient city, rich in culture and traditions, Athens certainly has something interesting to offer its visitors, including something one may take home. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs that are unique to Athens and will make a wonderful memento or present.
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Souvenir Shopping Map

Guide Name: Souvenir Shopping
Guide Location: Greece » Athens (See other walking tours in Athens)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km
Author: Daniel

1) Mitropolitikon

What to buy here: Sweets and confectionery: Greek desserts are the most tantalizing, mouth watering desserts you will find. Baklava (diamond shaped, crisp filo pastry, layered with a filling of walnuts and drenched in an aromatic honey syrup) is probably the most famous of all Greek desserts. Other popular favorites include kourambiedes (crescent shaped shortbread, filled with crunchy pieces of almond, dusted in icing sugar), and melomakarona (golden cookies drenched in honey syrup and sprinkled with crushed walnuts). Other sweet treats include Ion chocolate, mantolata (sugar coated almonds), pasteli (sesame seed and honey bars), nougat, ouzo candy, and loukoumia (flavored Turkish delight) to name just a few. You can find these in Zaharoplastia-the Greek cake shops all over Athens. They are generally open everyday and close quite late. A box of cakes can start at 10 euros. Greeks usually buy cakes when visiting friends or family rather than making their own. The variety is so great, you don’t know what to choose but the shop owners will help you, giving you a taste of a few to help you make up your mind. We found a great store here in Athens; this year it clocked 81 years! It opened in 1930! It's called Mitropolitikon and is located at Voulis 39, Athens. It is open Monday - Friday 8:00 am-9:30 pm, Saturday 8:00 am-9:00 pm; Sunday 9:00 am-2:00 pm.
Village Flokati

2) Village Flokati

What to buy here: Flokati rugs: When you own a flokati, you not only own an attractive floor covering, but also a little bit of history. These pure wool rugs are made by a unique age-old process and were cherished as family treasures, part of brides' dowries and used as wall-hangings and bed covers as well as rugs. They say that the shepherds as far back as the 5th century first started using the sheep’s wool as clothing to help protect them during the cold winters. Today they are used as a lovely household decor. The original flokati rug is an off-white color and today they come in all colors to suit all tastes. Flokati rugs are shaggy and warm and give any living room an inviting cozy appeal!

In the Plaka district Village Flokati sells trendy flokati rugs. They are located at 19 Mitropoleos Street and are open Mon, Wed and Sat 11am-4pm; Tue, Thu & Fri 11am-8.30pm. Depending on their size, of course, generally starting prices are 50-100 euro and can go anywhere to 1000 euro!
Abagis Jewellery & Greek Arts

3) Abagis Jewellery & Greek Arts

What to buy here: Hand-made Greek jewelry: Abagis Jewellery and Greek Arts is a store located near the Constitution Square. Abagis brothers have been in the jewelry business since the 1960s and have opened the current store in 1982. Most jewels found in this store are hand-made with the greatest attention to detail and quality. You will be impressed by the design and quality of the workmanship. If you are fond of jewelry, then this is a must visit shop.

4) Mati

What to buy here: Evil eye (mati) and local jewelery: Evil eye jewelery is a strong part of many cultures in the Mediterranean. According to Greek tradition, evil eye jewelery can protect from things such as the envy of others and bad luck. Mati is the word for ‘eye’ in Greek so this jewelery is sometimes referred to simply as mati. Choose from evil eye pendants, bracelets, charms and earrings. There is a unique store on Voukourestiou 20 called “Mati” which sells a huge variety of traditional folk art but is best known for its handcrafted evil-eye glassware and charms. Worth a visit and prices vary anywhere between 15 - 100 euro and som e even more. Greece also produces some of the finest handmade silver and gold jewelery in the world. Along Voukourestiou there are many jewelery shops.
Miseyiannis cafe

5) Miseyiannis cafe

What to buy here: Greek coffee: Greek coffee is a very fine ground coffee prepared in a special coffee pot called a briki. It is a ritual of daily life, consumed at home, at work, and in coffee houses that thrive in even the smallest Greek village. Sharing a cup of coffee is a sign of friendship as well as an excuse to catch up on the day's events, flirt a little, or perhaps, play a game of tavli! It’s an acquired taste and served in an espresso style coffee cup. There is a great shop in the Kolonaki district called Miseyiannis café on Leventi 7. This is the way coffee should be made and they have great blends here too. This particular store was established in the early 1900s and is a family owned business. Greek coffee is sold in many places around Athens, but this store knows their coffee! Take home various blends to sample and share with friends. Pick up coffee from as little as 3 euro and briki starting at about 10 euro.

6) Tsaina

What to buy here: Greek tea: The most popular Greek tea is known as mountain tea, made using the dried leaves and flowers of Sideritis plants (ironwort). The tea is aptly named: the plant used to make it, is found on rocky slopes at elevations over 3,200 feet (1000 meters). Greek mountain tea is credited with a wide range of health benefits, and most Greek homes have a supply on hand. Another popular favourite is Greek sage tea (faskomilo) that reputedly sharpens the memory and causes a sense of well-being. Tsaina on Lycavittou 9 near the Kolonaki district has a wide selection of teas. Packets of tea are priced at about 7 euro. Opening hours are split shifts three days a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – 9:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.) and morning shifts for the other three days (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday – 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.).
Notos Gallery

7) Notos Gallery

What to buy here: Olive oil soap and beauty products: Olive oil soap originated in Greece on the island of Crete and is now one of the more popular soap types available, especially for sensitive skin. There are a range of beauty products made from olive oil, including hand cream, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner and shower gel containing this precious ‘elixir’ of life. Olive oil from Greece is considered as one of the best in world. It is the basis of the Greek and Mediterranean diet and research has shown continual use increases people’s longevity! Imagine what these products can do for your skin! No need to buy the anti-aging stuff, olive oil products are the gift to buy anyone who looks after their skin! Olive oil products can be bought in the major department stores such as Notos Gallery. Price start at a couple of euro. Notos Gallery is located on Stadiou and Aiolou Street and is open on Monday and Wednesday 10am - 7pm, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10am - 9pm and Saturdays from 10am - 6pm.

Walking Tours in Athens, Greece

Create Your Own Walk in Athens

Create Your Own Walk in Athens

Creating your own self-guided walk in Athens is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
City Center Nightlife

City Center Nightlife

Athens is one of the hottest nightlife destinations in southern Europe. If you want to have an unforgettable night out, this walking tour is definitely what you need! We offer you a walk around the heart of the Greek capital, with stops at some of the most popular clubs and bars in this fascinating city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Athens for Children Walking Tour

Athens for Children Walking Tour

Traveling with children differs a lot from traveling alone or with other grown-ups, children require a constant source of entertainment and an outlet for their energy. Luckily, Athens has plenty of places that are suitable for families and offer something for kids to do. Take this guide to find your way to the best spots in town for a family visit.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 km
Monastiraki Gift Shops

Monastiraki Gift Shops

It would be a pity to leave Athens without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. As an ancient city, rich in culture and traditions, Athens certainly has something interesting to offer its visitors, including something one may take home. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs that can be purchased in the shops of the famous Monastiraki Area.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km
History Tour, City Center

History Tour, City Center

Athens is one of the oldest and culturally richest cities in the world, the city's ancient streets and buildings are steeped in history and legend. We invite you to take a stroll through the city center and its ancient streets and see history come alive. This walking tour includes such important historic monuments as the Tower of the Winds, Stoa of Attalos, Temple of Hephaestus, and many...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Plaka Attractions Walking Tour

Plaka Attractions Walking Tour

Pláka is the old historic neighborhood of Athens, clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis, and incorporating labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture. It is known as the "Neighbourhood of the Gods" due to its proximity to the Acropolis and its many archaeological sites.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km
Walking Tour Around Athenian Exarcheia

Walking Tour Around Athenian Exarcheia

Exarcheia is a district of Athens, it is next to Kolonaki and shares in the abundance of historic buildings and landmarks. The district is home to the Academy of Athens, the National Archaeological Museum, Cultural Centre of Athens, and many others. Exarcheia is also a famed shopping destination, being originally named after a merchant who opened a large general store here more than a hundred...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Souvenirs Shopping: 19 Uniquely Greek Products to Bring from Athens

Souvenirs Shopping: 19 Uniquely Greek Products to Bring from Athens

A cradle of European civilization, Greece, in general, and Athens, in particular, have long been - from the days of the Roman Empire up until present - the lure for travelers and history buffs seeking to find and bring home something memorable. Today's Athens (much as its ancient self) offers a...
15 Best Cafes in Athens

15 Best Cafes in Athens

While in Athens it is immediately noticeable that the local cafe culture thriving. Through this directory you will get a chance to visit very different establishments, ranging from "kafenia", to hip, modern coffee shops and get first hand experience of the diversity of contemporary Greek...
A Self-Guided Food Walk in Athens

A Self-Guided Food Walk in Athens

Just as many things in Greece, dining in Athens is very much laid-back with the majority of local eateries seeing patrons begin to congregate for dinner only after 8 pm. Eating-wise, the Athenians favor simplicity, leaning to the more casual and not so pricey tavernas where food is plentiful. To...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Athens for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Athens has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Athens's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Athens Tourist Card, Athens City Pass, or Athens Museum Pass.

A city pass combines all or multiple Athens's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Athens hotels that are conveniently located, but at the same time, also not so ridiculously expensive: Electra Hotel Athens, Hotel Grande Bretagne, King George.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Athens, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Athens typically costs somewhere between US$15 and US$100 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of Athens from the open top of the bus, listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the three interconnecting routes (your ticket is valid for all three).

- Explore Athens in its entirety, from the beautiful beaches to historic treasures, on a similar hop-on hop-off double-decker sightseeing tour running straight from the sea shore all year round! Ideal for those arriving on cruise ships!

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour of night Athens – this usually lasts about 3 hours and allows visitors to get a real sense of the Greek capital in its nighttime ambiance. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise would have by walking.

- Pedal your way around Athens on a 3.5-hour bike tour visiting the city's most spectacular sights, stopping at each of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the city from an informative group leader.

- Acquaint yourself up-close with the wonders of Ancient Greece on a 3-hour walking tour of UNESCO-listed Acropolis and other fascinating sights within its walls, plus many more historic and otherwise notable attractions in Athens.

- Awaken your taste buds to an array of authentic Greek delicacies on a 4-hour guided gourmet food walk in Athens during which you will sample some of the finest street food in the city. Apart from feasting on the local specialties, with each bite you will also learn about the culinary history of Athens.

Day Trips

If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Athens, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Delphi, Meteora, Mycenae and Epidaurus, Corinth, or Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon. For as little as circa US$50 to US$120 per person you will get a chance to discover the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites including fascinating monuments of Greek mythology and history, immerse in Greece’s spectacular scenery, admire the beauty of the local countryside replete with breathtaking views, scenic monasteries and villages existent for centuries, explore ancient ruins, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Athens, and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned coach, minibus, train or private vehicle (whichever is applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.