Athens Shopping

The low budget shopping area.


Aiolou street is a shopping street since the 19th century. It took its name form Aeolus the greek God of winds. Near the start of Aiolou street is the ancient tower of winds in Roman Agora. Its an octagonal marble building, which was built by Andronicus of Cyrrhus around 50 BC and depicts at its sides wind deities. During the ottoman era the street was named Aioliki odos. Aiolou street has two of the oldest churches in Athens. The Xrisospiliotisa and Agia Eirini (Saint Irene ).

Aiolou street starts from Roman Agora. Have a coffee at Agora Square to gain power and lets go .  Until Mitropoleos street most shops are touristic ones. After Mitropoleos  until Stadiou street , Aiollou street is pedestrianised, but don’t be fouled . Motorbikes, cars and vans pass constantly, slowly and cautiously. Nevertheless they are an annoyance and police is tolerant.  Aiolou has many historic places from the ottoman era and afterwards. The shops are big and have the best quality - price ratio in Athens. The quality of course is not the best but good for the working class and people searching for bargains. The street is very safe during shop opening hours. An old lady who is doing her shopping alone won’t feel insecurity. Between shops many coffee shops let shoppers relax. They are only open during the shopping hours. So when shops are closed and particularly during night, Aiolou street is not the best choice for foreign wanderers.  Eirinis square is an exception to that.  Aiolou street spent glorious days during 50’s and 60’s. Afterwards the suburbs of Athens developed and fewer people preferred to go downtown for their typical shopping. Some old shops that still persist gives you the feeling of the old Athens. After early 90’s  immigrants started entering Greece. So Aiolou street began to be their favourite shopping area. During the preparation of  olympic games the street was upgraded and new shops began to appear until the 2009 economic crisis. Since then many old shops have closed due to fewer customers and high rents. As a result the rents have dropped and new shops again emerged.

In Aiolou there are two major landmarks. The first is Agia Eirini square with its church has become a trendy place for young people night and day. The square is not a residence area, and bars and cafeterias don’t disturb anyone during nights. The second is Kotzia square with its old city hall and the and the imposing national bank of Greece is a major part of Athens.

Aiolou street ends in Panepistimiou street but you don’t have to go so far. Walk until Stadiou street at thel left you will see the Notos department store.
It used to be Labropoulos brothers department store. Which began at 1901 as a small shop at the same spot. At the end of ’90 it is sold and became Notos department store ( South in greek). Soon afterwards the Labropoulos ancestors with the help of Piraeus Bank created Attica department store in Voukourestiou and Panepistimou street.

Turn backwards and walk until Evripidou street. A little to the right you will see the start of Agiou Markou street.  Agiou Markou street is named after the nearby Agiou Markou (Saint Marc) Church. It is a very well pedestrianized and cheerful street. Car and motorbikes are much fewer than Aiolou street. Its full of big and small low prize shops with clothes and shoes. In the streets around Agiou Markou you will find small shops with bargains. Greeks call them tripes ( Holes ) since they are too small. They don’t have elaborate shop windows and are specialised in certain items. They welcome tourist as long they are lucky enough to be discovered. Don’t expect fluency in english language.  Agiou Markou is a cozy street is under shadow most times and has some trees. It gives a taste of how old Athens used to be. Most shops are very old family businesses  with regular costumer for decades. Thats why they didn’t devastated by the greek economic crisis. Service is personal and warm but not very professional in the eyes of a foreign tourist as in full tourist streets . Agiou Markou street ends into a fork. At the right Kalamiotou street at the right Evagelistrias street. Both are shopping streets. Better follow the more interesting Evegalistrias street.

Evageslistrias street is named after the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It ends to the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Annunciation. You can’t tell a difference from Agiou Markou street. After passing the Ermou street there is an array of coffee shops. There most athenian shops rest after their laborious shopping spentathlon.

Back to the middle budget shopping area.


View photos from the luxury shopping area.
View photos from the middle budget area photos.
Photos from the low budget shopping area.
View photos from Varvakios Agora.
View photos from Avissinias square.

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