Shopping in Athens
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Shopping in Athens, Souvenirs, Typical and Cheap Gifts

Shopping in Athens is a great experience for enthusiasts of Mediterranean products, traditional cratfs and exotic spirits.

As one of the oldest cities in Europe, Athens has a certain mysticism to it. The layers of history that permeate its atmosphere are perceivable also when it comes to the products it offers. Many products either imitate historical artifacts or are inspired by it, other derive from centuries-old traditions, and other are loosely inspired by it.

Where and What to Buy in Athens

We’ll explain what to choose and where to buy it. Let’s take a look at 14 typical souvenirs from Athens:

1. Ceramics from Athens inspired by ancient Greece

Greek clay pottery

With its unique style and long tradition, Athens is the perfect place (and probably one of the few places) to buy clay pottery inspired by the art of classical Greece.

Best place to buy them: Adrianou street; Plaka and the Monastiraki square.

2. Ouzo

Ouzo bebida típica de Grecia
Ouzo – typical Greek strong alcohol

Ouzo is a strong drink (around 45 degrees of alcohol), sweet and licorice-flavored. It is a liquor made of ripe grapes and anis typical of Greece, it is usually drunk during events or for special occasions, such as a wedding. However, no occassion is really needed…

3. Handmade leather sandals

Handmade leather sandals

In the areas of Plaka and Monastiraki you will find many shops and stalls selling these comfortable and pretty shoes. They typically have a natural brown leather sole, with a huge variety of the colours and shapes of the strips. A practical gift or souvenir to remind you of those Greek holidays.

Best place to buy them: Stavros! at 2 Agias Theklas Street and the Monastiraki Flea Market.

4. Loofah

Loofah scrub sponge

Loofah (or luffa) is a natural scrubbing sponge made of a vegetable resembling a cucumber. Its coarse fibrous and porous structure makes it very good for gentle skin exfoliation. It is a nice, natural and eco-friendly gift for a woman.

Best place to buy them: the Monastiraki Flea Market.

5. Olive Wood Handicrafts

Olive wood kitchenware

Beautiful saturated orange colour with subtle hues, softness and durability make the olive wood a great material for carving all kinds of objects. Popular and handy olive wood products include kitchenware (cutting boards, bowls, salad forks, spoons for cooking, honey dippers, salt and pepper shakers etc.), as well as decorative buttons, beads, rosaries – the list is long. Those traditionally handmade objects make a great and inexpensive gift.

Best place to buy them: Elia Olive Tree on Adrianou street; Pandrossou Street, close to Monastiraki square.

6. Olive Oil Cosmetics

Handmade eco olive oil soap

Enthusiasts of natural and eco-friendly cosmetics will be in paradise here! You may choose among handmade olive oil soaps coloured with flower and herb extracts, a range of skin care products with olive oil, honey and Mediterranean herbs, and even more exotic donkey milk products!

Best place to buy them: Takis Street; also at the Athens Airport

7. Mati – Evil Eye

Mati – Evil Eye charms

Common for the culture of both Greece and Turkey, the “Evil Eye” charms fight the bad luck. You will see them in almost every house, shop, restaurant and car in Greece. These glass beads in beautiful deep indigo blue colour come in every size and shape, typically as a big oval flat pendant, or as chains of small beads, or magnets, or earrings, or anything else – they all work ;)

Best place to buy them: Everywhere, the cheapest are at the Monastiraki Flea Market.

8. Retsina Wine

Retsina – typical Greek wine with pine resin

Retsina is resinated wine, meaning: white or rosé wine with the addition of Pine tree resin, giving it a very characteristic sharp taste that you can love or hate, but you’ll surely remember.

Some recommended brands include: Kourtakis – strongly pungent taste, Boutaris – frukty and delicate, Tyrnavos – fine and with slight Muscat aroma.

Best place to buy them: Wide variety of wine shops in the city centre, plus there is a decent selection in the Athens Airport.

9. Metaxa

Different types of Metaxa

Metaxa is one of the best known Greek spirits, with history dating back to 1888. It’s a blend of brandy and Muscat wine, giving it a specific smooth taste. There are 9 types of it, with stars representing the number of years of maturing the spirit: 3 Stars, 5 Stars, 5 Stars Honey Shot, 7 Stars, 12 stars, Grande Fine, Private Reserve, Angels Treasure and AEN.

Best place to buy them: Any spirit shop, good selection in the Athens Airport.

10. Thyme, Pine or Chestnut Honey

Aromatic Greek honey

Sun-filled Mediterranean honey has extremely rich aroma. The most interesting types include honey with a hint of aromatic thyme, pungent pine or creamy chestnut. Heavenly taste!

Best place to buy them: Wide variety of grocery shops in the city centre.

11. Komboloi – Worry Beads

Komboloi – Worry Beads

Komboloi or Worry Beads were an old and simple stress-release device used by men in the past. They kept short strains of the beads in their pockets, and played with them, passing them around their fingers. These old-style beads are made of wood, amber or glass, which makes them pleasant to touch, definitely different then plastic items we use nowadays. If your friends stress easily – you know what to give them.

Best place to buy them: the Monastiraki Flea Market.

12. Cheap Jewellery

Colourful beads of different materials

You will find plenty of cheap and very colourful bijou, beads, bracelets and earrings made of glass, wooden or plastic beads for an energetic and youthful Boho feel. They are cheap and you may find something original and lovely that will make your female friends happy.

Best place to buy them: the Monastiraki Flea Market.

13. Hand painted Orthodox Byzantine Icons

Orthodox icon

It may not be easy to find any of true value, but they can be an original and pleasantly old-fashioned cultural souvenir or a gift to a religious family member.

Look for them in Athens Gallery in 14 Pandrossou Street, and cheap versions in Monastiraki and the Plaka.

14. Packed Olives, Virgin Olive Oil, Cheeses, Smoked Sausages, Herbs

Greek world-famous food products

These are the best food products to take home. Sure, you can buy olive and olive oil everywhere, but if you – or your dear ones – are true connoisseurs, you will definitely appreciate the superior quality of Greek alimentary products.

Best place to buy them: Wide variety of grocery shops in the city centre.

Main Shopping Areas in Athens

Compras en Monastiraki Atenas
Shopping in Monastiraki in Athens

Cheapest Souvenirs, Clothing, Shoes and Handicrafts

Visitors who wish to explore the Athenian mythology more deeply cannot miss visiting the neighborhoods of Monastiraki and Plaka district, as they are populated with picturesque shops where you can buy all kinds of crafts related to the emblematic monuments of Athens, mythological characters and heroes of Greek legends.

Markets

Monastiraki is the commercial area of ​​preference for most tourists, in which are located clothing stores and shops of all kinds of products such as souvenirs, music, books, etc. In the surroundings, flea markets are often set up where you can buy handicrafts and local products at very low prices.

The central market is another must for visitors, where you can find all kinds of local products and crafts and even food products that will delight the most gourmet and sophisticated tourists.

The gastronomic offer of Athens is also very wide and those who wish to make their relatives happy with some typical products can opt for the Greek classics, such as wines, oils, olives, honey and aromatic spices.

The street markets are undoubtedly the main shopping attraction, because they allow you to mix with the locals, soak up the atmosphere of the environment and find offers hardly available in stores, as well as particular typical products. Sintagma square is one of the most emblematic places to make small purchases for those looking for souvenirs or unconventional gifts.

Typical Shops

Ermou street is a good choice for shopping in Athens, enjoying the picturesque streets adjoining the old town and Byzantine-style monuments while circling around many shops distributed throughout the area.

Luxury Brands

Kolonaki is one of the points of reference in Athens for luxury shopping – in its vicinity there are the best shops and the most exclusive brands of the famous fashion designers, as well as the most luxurious shopping centers.

To enjoy all the options for shopping in Athens, it is advisable to stay in the city for at least three days and thoroughly explore its streets, while you can make stops at the many bars and restaurants that are located near the shopping streets and markets.

More on Shopping in Athens

Do you know any other typical souvenirs from Athens? Would you like to add something or maybe ask for some specific information? Leave a comment below!

Author

Małgorzata Kmita

Chief Editor & Writer of euroviajar.com, a serial expat - I've lived in 7 countries, I speak 7 languages, and I travelled to 39 countries so far. I have a deep interest in understanding the culture and lifestyle of various countries and regions. I'm always looking for the authentic local habits, tastes and surprises that give a certain place its character.

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