One of Athens most charming characteristics is its vibrant lifestyle. With a large selection of leisure venues to choose from, visitors will find entertainment suitable for every taste and preference.
The personality of Athens city is one of a mixture of Eastern and Western cultures, and a fusion of modern and ancient structures. Monastiraki is the old oriental bazaar located in the center of Athens below the Parthenon.
In contrast, visitors can also see the many renovated neoclassic buildings scattered on the main streets in the center of town. An excellent example of the union of old and new is the National Bank of Greece near Kotzia Square and the Athens Stock Market.
The former is an ultra-modern structure built over an archaeological site, which can be seen through the banks glass floors. It is quite a unique and impressive site, indicative of the desire of the Greeks to preserve the past while enthusiastically proceeding into the future.
Athenians are one of the most hospitable and helpful people, who are always eager to advise and assist visitors from abroad.
They possess a wonderful zest for life and are very enthusiastic when discussing current news topics and philosophical ideas.
The favourite activity of Athenians is socializing with friends over drinks and food. Cafes, tavernas, restaurants, ouzeries, bars and pubs can be found throughout the city.
In the evenings, Athenians flock to the many night clubs and live bouzouki halls where they can dance and drink till dawn.
But except food, drink and entertainment we have to keep in mind that Athens is the commercial capital of Greece and therefore it has a great variety of shops dealing in all kinds of goods such as, clothes and shoes, jewellery, books, CDs, antiques, souvenirs, etc.
The major shopping areas of Athens are gathered around Omonia and Syntagma Squares, making them easily accessible to tourists.
Ermou Street is probably the busiest of them all filled with anything your heart desires, making it a shopping lover's paradise. Literally hundreds of people shop daily on Ermou and its neighbouring streets.
It has recently been paved, which further facilitates shoppers, and street performers have become a permanent feature of the area.
Just below Ermou Street, visitors will discover Monastiraki, the old bazaar, where bargaining is an absolute necessity, but is also its charm.
Shoppers can purchase traditional Greek art, jewellery, and souvenirs. After a long day of shopping, you can enjoy your lunch or a cup of coffee in nearby Plaka, Thision or Psyri.
Kolonaki district is situated close to Syntagma Square, towards Lycabettus Hill. It is considered the most posh commercial area in Athens, packed with shops, designer boutiques high class delicatessens and pastry shops.
Kolonaki also offers many cafes and restaurants for shoppers to relax at after a tiring shopping spree.
Other streets in Athens city i.e. Patession, Agiou Meletiou, Stadiou, etc, have many commercial stores, and generally most districts in Athens have a few main roads which are bursting with shops of all kinds. The best shopping therapy in Athens is done on foot, combining trade and tourism at the same time.