Fashionistas, head to the shops in Kolonaki. The neighborhood of the "elite" Athenians, it traditionally houses top designers and expensive retail boutiques. Greek design houses are located around the main square known as Platia Kolonakiou. Chic boutiques -- carrying '60s- inspired stilettos and clutches, form-fitting crystal studded T-shirts and fancy cocktail dresses (designed to make every woman feel like a goddess) and tailored designer suits for men -- can be found on Anagnostopoulou, Skoufa, Tsakalof and Haritos streets, while high-end international brand name chains are found along Voukourestiou Street. Part of the shopping fun in Kolonaki is stopping for a cup of coffee and people- watching, or enjoying a meal at the many fashionable restaurants. Be sure to try and fit both in for a complete Athenian shopping experience.
The allure of shopping in Athens' historic center is obvious from the mix of people from around the world that stroll and shop here daily. Plaka and Monastiraki are the main shopping, eating and sightseeing areas. This is where you go to buy gifts for friends and relatives: souvenirs, folk art and traditional Greek wares such as pottery, worry beads, handmade leather sandals and bags. Woven rugs, intricate tablecloths, linens and carpets are sure to be appreciated by all. Don't miss the outdoor bazaar at Monastiraki's Avissinia Square on Sundays for a gallery of bargain antique mirrors, wood furniture and bric-a-brac. Explore the streets off Athinas Street for a view into the Athens of the '60s, where small storekeepers maintain their exclusive shops of all sorts, from leathers to metal and glass works. Gourmands scoop into the barrels of olives, herbs and spices along Evripidou Street. Theseion and Psirri, at the base of the Acropolis and just across Athinas Street, is where you can stop and take a break before you check out the art galleries and vintage shops that are starting to flourish in these most charming of Athenian districts. Stadiou and Panepistimiou Avenues, connecting at Syntagma and Omonia, are up and coming boulevards hosting large department stores. International brand names, cosmetics, fabrics, beads, gold and silver jewelry, and European-made leather shoes, boots and more shoes can be purchased on the pedestrian-only street Ermou and adjoining streets that stretch from Kolonaki to Syntagma.