Visit the Athens market and Flea Market
Visit the Athens market and discover Greece as a local.
Sounds. Fragrances. Colors. Flavors. Visiting a market always is a memorable experience, no matter what country you are in. Somehow, the true colors of a country and its people show when they go about their business. Maybe that is why travelers are fond of visiting local markets. Your stay in the Greek capital becomes even more enjoyable with a visit to the Athens market, so make sure you add it to your list of what-to-dos!
Let’s see which markets should be on your list!
Every neighborhood in Athens has its own green market on a designated day of the week (except Sunday or holidays) and it is a lively event time and time again. Vendors arrive early in the morning to set up their stalls and arrange their produce, and it is a coming and going of small farmer’s trucks that are so heavily loaded, it makes you wonder how they can still move. Soon, the place will be crowded with people, each looking for the best value for money. However, most people go straight to the vendor they have been purchasing from for years. It is not unusual to hear them exchange stories about their children or work, as if they have been close friends for years. Marketing in its most genuine form!
There is one market however that is open every day of the week, right in the heart of the city. Varvakeios Agora is close to Monastiraki Square and the metro station that bears the same name. It is safe to say that this is the culinary center of Greece.The large halls of the building are divided in separate sections and it is hard to recommend a specific one.
Should you visit the fish and seafood section first?
The fishmongers happily explain why the catch of the day is the best, and are very willing to share with you tips on how to judge whether fish is fresh or not.
Or the meat section?
The meat department, on the other hand, is a real gem for those who like to see butchers carve meat, meeting the high demands of their customers. You may even see things on display that your butcher back home does not sell! Business culminates during the two busiest holidays of the year: Christmas and Easter.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful on the other side of the road.
You can marvel at the large variety of olives and of course you are more than welcome to try them! The little shops surrounding the square sell all kinds of cold cuts and cheese from all over Greece, while spices, herbs and dried fruits are great souvenirs and make summer last a little longer after you have gone back to work. Make sure to buy some Greek mountain tea; not only is it delicious but it also has great health benefits.
On Sundays, the open market is closed but you get something else in return for it: the Athens Flea Market. The shops in the Monastiraki neighborhood operate daily, but on Sunday many street vendors turn Avissinias Square and Ifestou street into paradise for those who love to go on a treasure hunt. Items range from real junk to real antiques and the earlier you get there, the better. If you want to take a break, there are plenty of cafés around to have a coffee or enjoy ouzo with meze and just watch passersby. To make the most of your visit make sure you protect your valuables, as pickpockets love to take advantage of crowded places, just like anywhere else.
Have you visited the open Athens Market or the Flea Market? What stood out? And what did you take home with you?