(Athens, Attica, Greece)
The Greek capital is well-known for its plentiful shops, with the Ermou serving as the city's principal shopping street. The Ermou is a busy traffic-free stretch based in central Athens, being lined with boutiques and shoe shops, and sited between the Monastiraki and the Syntagma.
Those shopping for familiar clothing brands and designer labels in Athens will find that the Syntagma area, the pedestrianised Voukourestiou Street and the adjoining Kolonaki area are all good places to spend. Of note, the streets of Amerikis and Voukourestiou are now connected by the arcade named the Citylink, where high-end fashion boutiques are in good supply.
Tourists shopping for traditional Greek souvenirs should consider the gift shops around the Mitropoleos, the Monastiraki and the Plaka areas, where a number of enticing jewellery stores are also located. Museums, such as the Benaki on Koumbari Street, may also be a good place to pick up a decent Greek souvenir.
Shops in Athens generally open on Monday to Saturday, from 08:00 to 14:00 or from 09:00 to 15:00. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays there is late shopping from 17:30 until around 20:30. Department stores and tourist shops often open for longer. During August, some shops in Athens close, since this is when the Greeks choose to take their annual holidays.
In Athens, the main shopping district is a triangle formed by the Syntagma, Omonoia and Monastiraki squares, and these are frequented by locals and tourists alike. This area is a good place to purchase clothes, shoes and everyday household items. The Mitropoleos, Ermou, Aiolou and other nearby streets all provide a wide choice of leather goods, including handbags and jackets.
Probably the most exclusive shopping area in Athens is to be found in Kolonaki, where a number of expensive art galleries and quality antique shops reside. There are also many other stores selling clothes and fashion accessories here.
Around Athinas, Monastiraki and Plaka there are lots of spice and herb outlets, secondhand bookstores, catering shops and religious retailers. For a variety of Athens souvenirs, Plaka is a good place to visit and is full of souvenir shops, selling antiques, paintings, jewellery, baskets, copperware and much more besides.
The main department stores in Athens are Lampropoulos and Fokas, who stock a vast array of clothes, gifts, electrical goods, household items and various beauty products.