Athens: Monastiraki text written in pink over image of Monastiraki Square with the Acropolis of Athens in the background

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!

Church of St. Mary Pantanassa and the busy streets surrounding it in Monastiraki Square, in Athens

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.

The Tzitarakis Mosque from Monastiraki Square, with the Acropolis of Athens in the background

The Tzitarakis Mosque

Once another place of worship in the Monastiraki, 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. A ticket to the museum costs €2.00.

Couple taking photos of Hadrian's Library, in the northern side of the Roman Agora of Athens, with the Tzitarakis Mosque in the background

Hadrian’s Library

Right next to the Tzitarakis Mosque, there is Hadrian’s Library, in the northern side of the Roman Agora. 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 €4.00 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!

Stoa of Attalos in the Ancient Agora of Athens

The Ancient Agora of Athens

Once the heart of Ancient Athens, the Agora is located in the northwest of the Acropolis, between the Areopagos 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 an €8.00 ticket.

Adrianou street, one of the lively places to visit in Monastiraki, with people strolling by busy tavernas

Indulging in Greek food 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 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!

The Monastiraki Flea Market

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 girlie 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

Greek guard in Syntagma Square

Things to do in Athens near the Monastiraki district

The Monastiraki district is just a 5-minute walk from Syntagma Square. You can go check out the buildings of the Hellenic Parliament, the Presidential Mansion, 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.

Things to do in Athens: Eat and drink like a local!

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Things to do in Athens in Monastiraki
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Things to do in Athens in Monastiraki
Things to do in Athens in Monastiraki: explore Monastiraki Square and the lively streets surrounding it. See Roman and Greek vestiges, then eat like a local!
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12 thoughts on “Things to do in Athens in Monastiraki

  1. Elizabeth says:

    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!!!

  2. Federica says:

    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.

  3. Alex Trembath says:

    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!

  4. Kemi says:

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

  5. Sippin Gypsy says:

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

  6. Julie says:

    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 🙂

  7. Arunima Dey says:

    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.

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