Although the main attractions for visitors to Athens are the historic Acropolis and Parthenon there are some interesting shopping options too.
The main shopping centre of Athens is in the triangle between Ermou Street, Aiolou Street and Academias Street. The chic shopping areas are Glyfada and Kolonaki and on Fokionos Negri Street.
For souvenir shopping head for Plaka or along Adrianou Street: there you can buy replicas of Greek statues, busts, and old coins as well as the traditional Greek shadow puppets. Also in Plaka is Vassilopoulos, Athens’ biggest department store. There is also a huge department store in Panepistimiou Street called ‘Attica’.
There is an excellent flea market in Monastiraki (open daily) and there are also many shops in that area selling antiques, objets d'art, traditional musical instruments (such as bouzoukis and liras) and second hand books in many languages. Athinas Street is known for herb sellers and the main fish and meat market of Athens housed in a building dating from 1886. Elegant shoe shops can be found in Kolonaki and Ferkiniaos Street while music lovers should aim for Voulis Street, Academias Street or Omonia Square for CD’s of Greek music in particular.
Athens also offers the familiar international chains, such as a Virgin Store and the French ‘Carrefour’ department store on Petrou Palli Street, and Marks and Spencer’s. The main Greek chain for beauty products is called ‘Hondos Centre.’ You will find a branch of one of the big Greek mobile phone companies such as Vodafone, Cosmote, and Tim on almost every commercial street of Athens.
Heading south of the city into Piraeus you’ll find elegant boutiques and fashion stores between the Port, Korai Square and Pasalimani Street. B'Menarhias Street offers shops selling spices, dried fruits, nuts, traditional Greek delicacies. Some very cheap hardware stores can also be found there.
Greek public holidays in 2009:1 Jan - New Year's Day.