Monastiraki simply means little monastery in Greek and the neighborhood come about its name because of a large monastery that stood on the main square of the neighborhood. The neighborhood is among the most charming and vibrant areas in Athens. Monastiraki is an old neighborhood in Athens and it is popularly known for its flea market which takes place every Sunday. You can also stroll around the quaint alleys where you will discover numerous treasures and lots of spots where you can take Instagram worthy pictures during the week.
Everything you need to know about the Monastiraki neighborhood is listed below.
Monastiraki can be found on the northern part of the Acropolis and it is among the most famous shopping areas in Athens. The area is filled with a wide range of shops which includes vintage and second-hand clothing stores. The highlight of the area is the Monastiraki’s Flea Market which is a lively bazaar filled with hundreds of stalls where you can buy handmade jewelry, carpets, clothes, relics, souvenirs, and accessories. Monastiraki is the best place to be in Athens if you are looking for some bargain buys. The neighborhood is also well known for its lovely terraces which is a great place where you can simply relax while you try out some delicious national dishes. It is also a great spot to sit and just try out people watching activities.
Top sights in the area
The neighborhood is also filled with a plethora of attraction that you can explore. You can head to the Tzistarakis Mosque which is an 18th century Ottoman Mosque and it houses ceramic collections that are owned by the Museum of Greek Folk Art. You also go sightseeing at the Hadrian’s Library, a large bibliotheca that was constructed in 132 AD and it features a pool with numerous reading areas. You can also explore the Monastiraki metro station which is among the oldest metro stations in Athens and you will discover numerous archaeological discoveries that are found on the Hadrian’s Library site.
You can also go sightseeing at the Museum of Islamic Art and Benaki Museum where you will see collections from India, Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Persia, Arabia, North Africa, the Middle East, Spain, Egypt, and Sicily. You can then head to the Pottery Museum where you will see fascinating pottery collection from numerous countries and works by popular Greek artists, this is a great place to go if you want to get an insight into the ancient crafts. One of the top things not to miss is to wander around the avenues and squares of the area where you will get to discover hidden gems.
Places to eat
You are going to see varieties of restaurants in the neighborhoods that serves classic Greek specialty like souvlaki with choriatiki salad and so on, these dishes can also be eaten as street food. You can head to Melilotos on Kalamiotou street for healthy dishes, the Miniatura on Romvis street is a great place to take a lunch break while shopping around. You can also get organic snacks at Pure Bliss on Romvis street. For a cool yogurt ice-cream, you can head to Froyo on Kapnikareas street.
The nightlife in the neighborhood is more casual and arty. If you want to enjoy tecno underground music, you can head to the Six Dogs Club. You will also find a wide range of activities that you can try out in Agias Irinis Square whether in the day or night. You can also head to Eoloy street Magaze and Mama Roux as it features urban vibes with cool taste and it is a hotspot for city lovers.
The hotels in the Monastiraki neighborhood overlap with the ones in the Plaka neighborhood. You can stay in boutique hotel Magna Grecia which offers mind-blowing roof garden view of the Acropolis. The Plaka hotel located on Mitropoleos street, O & B Athens boutique hotel located in Psyrri area, and the Carolina hotel located on central Kolokotroni street are also a good place to stay while in Monastiraki.
Overall Monastiraki is an excellent option for day/night, in the day you can have a walk in the flea market and buy souvenirs for your loved ones and in the night you can have fun in a large variety of places waiting for you to explore.
Hope this post helped you and can’t wait to hear your experiences!