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.

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