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Monastiráki, to the north of Pláka, is substantially less touristy than its neighbour, though there are still plenty of sights and extensive opportunities for eating, drinking and shopping. The area gets its name from the little monastery church (monastiráki) on central Platía Monastirakíou. The square, with its handy metro station, marks a return to the traffic and bustle of commercial Athens; full of fruit stalls, street performers, lottery vendors and kiosks. This neighbourhood has been a marketplace since Ottoman times, and it still preserves, in places, a bazaar atmosphere. The main market lies straight up Athinás from here, towards Omónia, but nearer at hand you’ll see signs in either direction that proclaim you’re entering the famous Athens Flea Market.
Psyrrí, northwest of Platía Monastirakíou, is a former working-class district that is now home to Athens’ busiest nightlife as well as some quirky shops. This is also a great place to eat and drink: between them, Monastiráki and Psyrrí probably have more eating places per square metre than anywhere else in Athens.Read More
Athens Flea Market
Athens Flea Market
These days the description of the streets around Platía Monastirakíou as a flea market is a bit of a misnomer – there’s plenty of shopping, but mostly of a very conventional nature. Odhós Pandhróssou, to the east, is almost entirely geared to tourists, an extension (though not quite literally) of Adhrianoú. West of the square the flea market has more of its old character, and among the tourist tat you’ll find shops full of handmade musical instruments, or stalls selling nothing but chess and tavlí boards. An alley off Iféstou is jammed with record and CD stores, with a huge basement second-hand bookshop. Around Normánou and Platía Avyssinías shops specialize in furniture and junky antiques: from here to Adhrianoú, the relics of a real flea market survive in hopeless jumble-sale rejects, touted by a cast of eccentrics (especially on Sundays). Odhós Adhrianoú is at its most appealing at this end, with a couple of interesting antique shops, and some shady cafés overlooking the metro lines, Agora and Acropolis.
The stretch of Odhós Ermoú fringing the flea market as it heads west from Platía Monastirakíou is the southern edge of fashionable Psyrrí, and among the workaday old-fashioned furniture stores here are some interesting new designer and retro shops; in the other direction, as it heads up towards Sýndagma, the street is much more staid. In the pedestrianized upper section are familiar high-street chains and department stores.