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.
Athens Flea Market © Color Maker / Shutterstock
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.
Fruit and Vegetables at the Flea Market, Athens © Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock
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 staider. In the pedestrianized upper section are popular high-street chains and department stores.
Top Image: Athens Flea Market at Night © Saiko3p / Shutterstock