Monastiraki is a lively, busy, vibrant part of Athens for both tourists and Athenians. It was once the heart of Ottoman Athens, the middle eastern influence can still be seen in the bazaar like markets and in the two former mosques in the area.
Monistiraki takes its name from the small sunken church/monastery, Pantanasia church in Plateia Monastirakou (monastiraki square) opposite the metro station. It is also known as the church of the Dormition of the virgin and was built in the 10th century AD.
The two Mosques in Monastiraki are the Fethiye mosque, situated in the Roman Agora and the Tsistaraki mosque which is located just next to Plateia Monastirakou. Tsistaraki Mosque is now the Kyriazopouls Folk and ceramic museum and has a collection of over 800 pieces of ceramic from all over Greece.
As well as having lots of tiny shops Monastiraki is famous for its huge bazaar like flea market located around Adrianou and Pandrosou street, which on Sundays nearly doubles in size. You can find anything on this market from antiques, clothes, magazines, books, coins, you name it it's here.
Just next to Monistiraki square is Hadrians library, the other part of the library is found further down the street past the square. Hadrians library was built sometime after AD132 and was 120m (340ft) by 80m (260ft) and was made up of small rooms, a garden with a pool as well as the actual library. At the time the library was the largest building in Athens.
Monastiraki is one of the busiest parts of Athens, where many Athenians come to shop and pick up bargains, especially at the huge flea market.
It is also where there are a lot of budget hotels, the area takes its name from the small church in Monastiraki square.
Location: Monastiraki is next to Plaka and takes up most of Ermou street towards Syntagma Square and Adrianou street into Plaka and the other direction Athinas street towards Omonia.
Nearest Metro Station: Monastiraki.
Tips: Monastiraki is probably the best place to find bargains, try the Bazaar like flea market.