Things to do in Athens in Monastiraki

Within walking distance of the Acropolis Area and the Koukaki District, Monastiraki is a place you should add to your list when you visit Athens. Taking a stroll through this animated neighborhood will prove to you that there are so many things to do in Athens. And this can range from visiting historical and commercial sites to indulging in local cuisine and getting lost in thrift markets.

Join me on a tour in Monastiraki to taste the cultural cocktail of the Greek Capital!

Things to do in Athens in Monastiraki

  1. Discover the Church of St. Mary Pantanassa
  2. Admire the Tzitarakis Mosque
  3. See Hadrian’s Library in the Roman Forum
  4. Visit the Ancient Agora of Athens
  5. Indulge in Greek cuisine on Adrianou Street
  6. Haggle in the Monastiraki Flea Market
  7. Things to do in Athens near Monastiraki

Church St Mary Pantanassa in Monastiraki Square, Athens

Discover the Church of St. Mary Pantanassa

Rising in Monastiraki Square, there is the Church of St. Mary Pantanassa (or Virgin Mary’s Assumption). This is what remains from what was once called the Great Monastery. As time passed and larger constructions started appearing, it became the Little Monastery (Monastiraki) for the Athenians. And, in the end, it gave the name to the entire surrounding district.

Tzitarakis Mosque in Monastiraki Square, Athens

Admire the Tzitarakis Mosque

Once another place of worship in the Monastiraki neighborhood, the Tzitarakis Mosque was built in the 18th century. It was also known as the Mosque of the Lower Market, due to its proximity to the Ancient Agora of Athens.

After the Greeks won their independence from the Ottomans, the building had various purposes, serving as a ballroom, a military barracks, a storehouse, and even as a prison. Not simultaneously, of course!

In 1973, the Tzitarakis Mosque became an annex to the Museum of Greek Folk Art, hosting an important pottery collection.

Hadrian's Library in the Roman Forum of Athens

See Hadrian’s Library

Right next to the Tzitarakis Mosque, there is Hadrian’s Library, in the northern side of the Roman Forum. Finalized in the 1st century, Hadrian’s Library used to be a luxurious building, boasting an interior courtyard, a garden, and… a swimming pool!

You can either admire the archaeological complex from outside, or you can buy a ticket to visit from up-close. If you’re visiting on 6 March, 16 April, 18 May, the last week of September, 28 October, or in any Sunday between 1 November and 31 March, you’re lucky: admission is free!

Ancient Agora archaeological site in Athens

Visit the Ancient Agora of Athens

Once the heart of Athens, the Ancient Agora is located in the northwest of the Acropolis, between the Areopagus Hill and the Market Hill (or Agoraios Kolonos).

The most notable monuments to see here are the Stoa of Attalos and the Temple of Hephaestus. The Stoa of Attalos house the Museum of the Ancient Agora, with exhibits related to the Athenian democracy. There are many other interesting monuments to see here, and I assure you: you’re in for a treat if you decide to get a ticket!

Adrianou Street in Athens, Greece
Adrianou Street, Monastiraki’s taverna street

Indulge in Greek cuisine on Adrianou Street

If you’d rather admire the Ancient Agora from a distance, head to Adrianou Street. The entire street has inviting taverns serving mouthwatering traditional Greek food, with a view over the Ancient Agora.

If you didn’t get to visit the Stoa of Attalos, why not stop at Attalos Restaurant for lunch or dinner? It’s one of the best places to eat in Athens, in my opinion. Not only do they have perfectly cooked food, but the staff is very nice and friendly, too!

Monastiraki Flea Market in Athens, Greece

Haggle in the Monastiraki Flea Market

Every weekend, the Monastiraki Flea Market spreads over several streets in this lively district. It’s not only old vinyl records, books, and CDs. The Monastiraki Flea Market is also full of small shops selling clothes, shoes, accessories made of beads or girly golden laurel wreaths, traditional Greek sweets and olive wood souvenirs. It’s one of the things to do in Athens that you really shouldn’t skip!

Video of the Athens Flea Market

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma Square, Athens

Things to do in Athens near Monastiraki

The Monastiraki neighborhood is just a 5-minute walk from Syntagma Square. You can go check out the buildings of the Hellenic Parliament, the Presidential Palace, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And depending on the time, you may catch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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neighborhoods of athens monastiraki text over image of Monastiraki Square
neighborhoods of athens monastiraki text over image of Tzitaraki Moasque
neighborhoods of athens monastiraki text over image of Monastiraki flea market

13 Thoughts to “Things to do in Athens in Monastiraki”

  1. Looks amazing- the history, the street food, the flea market! Can’t wait to visit Athens with our boys- they are huge history geeks and they love Greek mythology and history. I think I’d love the food!!!

    1. Hey, Elizabeth! I hope you and your family visit soon, it’ll be great!

  2. Ahh, this looks great! Athens is so high on my Bucket list! I love Greece and can’t wait to go back!

  3. This is a very nice local guide to this part of Athens rich of historical cultural sights and more funny things to do. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  4. Athens might just be the greatest city that I have not seen yet – I must visit soon, and this is some extra inspiration. It will be a great resource to help me get the most out of my trip… thank you!

  5. Kemi

    I love how there are still historical architecture and buildings amongst modern conveniences. That’s how I love my cities to be.

  6. Sippin Gypsy

    Great post for what to do and why! The Agora has always been so beautiful to me and a must see! Great tips! Cheers!

  7. Cool guide …. And wonderful architectures really, and this is the reason why Greece is an all time favourite

  8. I’m slowly recovering memories of my trip back in 2010 reading your Athens posts. I remember going to the Agora and thinking how amazing the pillars are!

  9. Looks like so much stuff to do in this part of Athens! I love the architecture pictured. And I have to go and see the Agora! And I definitely never say no to some Greece food. Now I have plenty of reasons to visit Athens again 🙂

  10. Interesting place to visit for those who might have a few extra days in Athens. Hadrian’s Library and the flea market itself seem like can fill up a full day.

  11. I was in Athens so many years ago (pre-internet) so I need a do-over. Ruins, yummy food, and flea markets are all my jam! Great post!

  12. Hi Mirela,
    Your Athens Guide is great. I like how well it is organized with sections for different areas of interest. I have been to Athens, however, it was just a short visit and I managed to cover a couple of sights. So, Athens is still on my list of places to explore. I am bookmarking your post for future reference .

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