Monastiraki Flea Market: Quirky Shopping Spot in Athens

Every Sunday morning, dozens of vendors gather in Athens’ Avissynias Square selling anything from broken Barbie dolls to working gramophones. I know that now, but I would have liked to know that last week as I walked through the streets of the Monastiraki neighbourhood after a particularly heavy night of ouzo drinking. 

Making my way home from the Acropolis at 1pm, reeling from the hike up to the ancient Parthenon as well as my monstrous hangover, I almost crashed into a bookshelf. This would be pretty unremarkable, if said bookshelf hadn’t been standing in the middle of the street and overflowing with an array of objects which were never meant to cohabit. Leaning against a one-eyed porcelain doll glistened a tiny red ukulele, which was in turn party covered by a pile of dusty comic books. On the top shelf, a crystal vase teetered dangerously, threatening to crush the basket of broken light bulbs beneath it.

“Συγνώμη! Sorry!” I said to no one in particular, while shaking my head. When I looked up, my field of vision was suddenly filled with a large portrait of Plato and a pair of faux fur handcuffs. After several minutes of utter confusion I realised what we both know now – this was the Monastiraki flea market and I was finally witnessing one of the quirkiest street markets the world has ever seen in all of its glory.

A photo posted by SABINA (@girlvsglobe) on

I could continue telling you of all the treasures I stumbled upon whilst walking around Monastiraki flea market, but this is one instance where I am willing to admit that a picture speaks a thousand words. This post contains twenty photos, which means technically it is worth twenty thousand words… So that’s a book for you right there!

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A photo posted by SABINA (@girlvsglobe) on

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Monastiraki Flea Market Info

Opening hours: Monastiraki flea market happens every Sunday, but the neighbourhood is home to many strange antique stores which are open daily.

Food: I sat down for a lovely meal at Savvas restaurant, which serves Greek and Middle Eastern dishes cooked to perfection. I opted for the grilled aubergine and tabbouleh, while my friends got the mixed meat platter – and we were all extremely pleased. The interior is surprisingly zen for such an overwhelming neighbourhood – there is even an indoor waterfall and tiny chirping birds flying overhead!

athenstyle hostel

Sleep: If you would like to explore the Monastiraki neighbourhood in full, a few hours simply will not do. I wholeheartedly booking a night at the AthenStyle Hostel which is located in the heart of this eclectic quarter. Starting at €12 per night, the place is an absolute steal and located right in the heart of all the action!

Have I mentioned that it has a rooftop terrace with incredible (or, if you are prone to respiratory disease, potentially breath-taking) views of the Acropolis… just have a look at the photo above! Breakfast is included, as is free Wi-Fi, as are in-room lockers and weekly art&culture guides… What a deal!

What is the quirkiest flea market you have ever been to? Do you enjoy them or consider them silly junk graveyards?

  • This looks like quite a place.

    I love flea markets there so much fun and you can find so many hidden gems.

    xx Cheyenne
    http://www.bohemianjourneys.blogspot.com

    • Definitely! I was just travelling with a carry-on so could not actually justify buying anything… But you just KNOW I would have bought all those furry handcuffs… I mean Plato statues… otherwise 😛

  • Would love to go to a flea market like this x

    Leonie ♥
    IkonikBeauty

    • It was so lovely! I really enjoyed stumbling upon it.. quite literally 😛

  • We stayed away from the ouzo in Athens when we visited recently :-). We also missed this street market – looks like a fun one…

    • Staying away from the ouzo might not be the worst choice, although I did really enjoy it hahah! The street market was amazing, but it only happens in this form on Sundays!

  • So many treasures! I was obsessed with flea markets back when I lived in Berlin, but I haven’t been to any really good ones lately.

    • Ahhh I bet Berlin must have been amazing for that kind of thing!! What was your favourite one there? This one in Athens really blew me away but there are loads of good ones here in London too!

  • I have actually been here when I took my trip to Athens and can vouch for how amazing it is!

    • So happy to hear that Kate! It’s possible I was still a bit tipsy so a second opinion is always great 😀 Glad you enjoyed it too!!!

  • I love how random some of that stuff are in these pictures. Everything could possibly be put in a museum, at least I think so. 🙂

  • Hahaha I love the Plato statue and furry handcuffs! This is classic in such markets!

    • Hahaha right?! Such a funny treasure. I definitely want to check out more such markets now 🙂

  • Amanda

    Looks like a blast! I would have been overwhelmed and probably would have bought too many trinkets I could take home! Haha.

    • Hahah I’m usually the same… Luckily I was flying with only a carry-on and so I really couldn’t buy anything. NEXT TIME! 😛

  • It looks like the market has a bit of everything. I bet that you could send a lot of time looking around and spending a lot of money.

  • Sky Fisher

    Looks like fun! Actually, it reminds me of my grandma’s garage sales – tons of random junk with the occasional treasure mixed in. I could definitely spend a day just browsing.

  • Athens was so much cooler than I thought it would be! Some super cool finds at the flea market! Oh man, those views. I miss it!

  • Anna

    Ι passed from Monastiraki almost daily when I was in Athens! I always said that one Sunday I’d snap pictures of the flea market but never did! Monastiraki was mainly my destination for bead shopping!!

  • Vicky

    I had no space at all in my bags to take anything home from Monastiraki Flea Market. I think that means I need another trip back to Greece pretty soon.

  • anjana

    can sme1 tell me its open till wat time . i am travelling in mid july and reaching athens on a sunday afternoon . can i check the market in the evening ?

  • Allison

    So cool! I love little markets like these. It reminds me of the Flohmarkt am Mauermark in Berin…though it’s not so little anymore! I’m *hopefully* headed to Athens in September, I hope we’ll have time to check this out!

  • Great pics, this is on my list for my trip to Athens in a few weeks! I hope I don’t fall into a bookcase though! 🙂 Did you buy anything?

    Check out my travel blog too if you have a chance… http://www.laurahatesmushrooms.com
    x