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Sunday in Monastiraki Flea Market

Sunday is special in Athens. That's when people come from all over to buy and sell in the Monastiraki flea market. In fact it's the day when the flea market really is a flea market and not just a collection of small shops. You can literally find anything here, from antiques to transistor radios, phone cards (collect them all), cell phones, books and stuff that you and I would classify as sheer junk but might be the exact thing that someone else was looking for on that particular day. The people selling come from everywhere and anywhere. Many of them are refugees from the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Albania, Bulgaria, and Turkey, selling family heirlooms or stuff they fished out of the garbage in upper-class Kolonaki. Some are gypsies, who sit on side street on top of mountains of discarded clothing and trinkets, who will sell what they can and leave the rest to be picked up by the Athens sanitation department or other Gypsies who may sell it next week.

It can get pretty crowded on Sunday and a good breakfast and coffee is suggested before venturing in. Yes there are cafes and restaurants but you won't get a seat unless you get there early. The further you go from the square, the junkier the merchandise is. However,even in the areas that look like rubbish heaps, you may find something of interest. Watch your wallets. I have never been pick-pocketed there, nor do I know of anyone who has...but if I were a pick-pocket, Sunday at the flea market would be paradise. So take a hundred euros and stick in in your pocket and leave your wallet and credit cards in the hotel safe.

Athens Guide: Monastiraki Flea Market
Book stalls are common. Plenty of books are in English. In fact most of them are.
Athens Guide: Monastiraki Flea Market
And they don't mind if you browse
Athens Greece: Monastiraki Flea Market
Musicians work the cafes and the streets. 
Athens Greece: Monastiraki Flea Market
Socks are four pair for $3. You could buy 1000 pair and pay for your trip by never having to buy socks again.
Athens Greece: Monastiraki Flea Market
This woman sells cigarette lighters. Check out the old gramophone and camera next to her.
Athens Greece: Monastiraki Flea Market
Nothing like a nice hot selepi on a cool winter morning.
Athens Greece: Monastiraki Flea Market
This man specializes in antique pistols and binoculars

And you never know when you might need to buy a couple starfish for your collection

The  train that rides through the Plaka is utterly useless in crowded Monastiraki on Sunday, but that does not stop people from using it. Even Greeks.

Portable souvlaki shop

My life won't be complete until I own this swan.

Something tells me these guys don't care if they sell anything all day

And where else would you find a guy who sells sterling silver and a little plastic machine that makes stuffed grape leaves (I bought one)

Check out the little cassette player on the bottom of the picture, the kind everyone owned in 1971. I think that's an original Mr Coffee under the vintage WWII fan.

This old fellow specializes in cheap hiking shoes, tennis rackets and rare Dutch paintings

Why not start you own Greek phone card collection? I guarantee you will be among a very select group.

If I were a kid I think this guy would be the last person I would want to buy comic books from.

And how many toy stores have you been to where the owner smoked?

You can read but don't step on them

My dream is to come here one day with the guys from the Antique Road Show

Selling watches in the shadow of the Acropolis

Yia sou. See you next Sunday

I have a newer photo album from 2013 called 24 Hours in Monastiraki that I think you will really enjoy.

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Olympico Jewelry


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