If you have a few hours to spare in Athens a walk through Monastiraki is a very nice experience. Especially if you visit on a Sunday morning, when the flea market is open.
You can start your walk from Syntagma square. Take Ermou street, the main shopping street of Athens until you meet the beautiful 11th century church of Panagia Kapnikarea. A few blocks after that and you will reach the central square of Monastiraki, the heart of the city.
In the square you will see a small monastery dedicated to “Panagia Pantanassa” built in the 10th century. The Tzistarakis Mosque, one of the few buildings left from the Ottoman invasion. The Mosque is now houses the museum of Greek folk art. Next to the Mosque is Handrian’s library and exactly opposite the oldest train station of Athens, Monastiraki station built in 1895.
From there you can take Ifaistou street, a street full of shops selling souvenirs and clothes. This road will take you to Avissinias square, where you can buy antiques, old books and musical instruments in the flea market that takes place on Sundays. Around the square you can have lunch in Café Avissinias a beautiful restaurant serving Greek food.
The parallel road of Ifaistou is called Andrianou. A beautiful street with neoclassical buildings with many shops selling souvenirs and restaurants. Another street worth visiting that also starts from Monastiraki square is Pandrossou.A Street full of shops selling traditional Greek products, fur, musical instruments and other products made in Greece. This road will take you to Mitropoleos square where you will see the Old Metropolis Cathedral, built in the 12th century.
On Monastiraki square there are a lot of shops that sell Souvlaki. I would avoid them if I were you. I suggest two restaurants in the area that I have visited a lot of times with quality Greek cuisine and good prices.
A beautiful restaurant – bistro located in Avissinias square. It serves Greek food and has live Greek music every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. In the summer months you can sit on the terrace and enjoy spectacular views of the Acropolis. The prices are around 20€ per person.
You will find it at:
7 Kinetou Street, Avissinias Square,
In a neoclassical building with views to Ifaistos temple you will find this traditional restaurant. You can enjoy live Greek music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at lunch and at dinner. Also they have some tables outside. The prices are great we have recently paid 23 € for 2 main courses, a salad, bread and beer.
You will find it at:
8 Astiggos str,