One of the must-see districts in Athens is Monastiraki. While exploring this part of Athens you’ll have the best of the Greek capital at your fingertips, from shopping, great food, beautiful historic sights and nightlife with a view.
Highlights in Monastiraki
Monastiraki is right in the heart of Athens. The name translates to monastery, named after the historic church in its main square. It’s also known for shopping and historic places to see. Here’s our list of favorite highlights in Monastiraki you should check out during your city break.
Monastiraki Flea Market
Much of Monastiraki is a warren of pedestrian only shopping lanes known as the Monastiraki Flea Market. Here, you’ll find many mom-and-pop clothing, artisan and food shops. Some things you can buy include quality Greek olive oil, olives and boxed sweets that are plane ready. There are also shops you can buy handmade leather sandals. If you love artistic jewelry, there are many jewelry shops selling creative pieces in traditional and modern Greek design. On Sundays, there is an open-air flea market that starts in Avissynias Square where you can bargain shop for antiques and bric-a-brac items.
Central Food Market in Monastiraki
If you love food markets, the Central Food Market on Athinas Street is probably one of the most animated and colorful city markets you’ll encounter. There’s a fish and meat market inside. There’s also a vegetable market too. If you walk down nearby Evripdou Street, you’ll be walking down the city’s Spice Market. Just follow your nose.
The city district has a main square called Monastiraki Square. It has beautiful views of the Acropolis in the distance. It is also where you’ll find the Church of the Pantanassa that is located within the square. This is the church that the district was named after. It’s also where the Monastiraki metro station is located, which is one of the most central metro stops in the city.
Agia Irini Square
In recent years, Agia Irini Square has become a city hotspot. This regentrified pocket of the capital features quaint coffee shops, beautifully restored neoclassical buildings, traditional restaurants and boutique hotels. It is a local favorite both day and night.
Eat out in Monastiraki
While in Athens, you must try some of the restaurants in Monastiraki. Agia Irini has many good choices including Mana’s Kouzina-Kouzina, Mama Roux Kosta, Loukoumades (for dessert) and Melilotos. Also, be sure to check out Ta Karamanlidika Tou Fani, a delicious traditional Greek deli-style restaurant, near the public market.
Cafes and Bars in Monastiraki
As one of the most energetic districts in Athens, you’ll also find hip nightlife here. Some great café-bars include Throubi, Tailor Made and Noel in Agia Irini Square. S.I.X. Dogs is another great café bar with a cool hipster ambience. Also check out the Clumsies which is considered one of the top bars in Europe. TAF is an atmospheric artsy bar-café. Also, check out the scenic rooftop bars which have stunning views of the Acropolis. We love Coleur Locale, A for Athens, Athens 360 and City Zen.
That sums up our top highlights in Monastiraki which is one of favorite districts in Athens. Have you ever taken a city break to Athens?