It’s easy to feel like a local, not a tourist, when shopping and eating in Athens’ hottest neighbourhood: Kolonaki. The fairly quiet area is Athens’ most fashionable and upmarket neighbourhood, boasting with boutiques (high-end and casual), local as well as international renowned designer stores, and hip restaurants. In summer, it is very lively when the terraces of the many bars and restaurants fill up with twenty- and thirty-somethings. As Kolonaki is located on the southwestern slopes of Lycabettus hill with ascending streets, and because of the international yet small scale vibe, it evokes a feeling of being in San Francisco. But it was also a bit like being in Amsterdam’s Old South, London’s Notting Hill, or New York’s SoHo. Kolonaki is without a doubt the place to come for unusual finds and one off pieces.
You can reach Kolonaki by walking from metro stations Evengelismos or Megaro Mousikis. So where to go, shop and eat? I’ve listed some of the best streets, shops and restaurants:
Where to go
It’s very enjoyable to stroll around Kolonaki. Some of the streets are lined with blooming orange trees, and it’s a friendly area with an international vibe. Some of the streets are pedestrian only. In summer terraces are set up on the sidewalks to enjoy a coffee while watching the shopping crowd. Streets not to miss are: Patriarchou Loakim, Tsakalou, Voukourestiou, Anagnostopoulou, Milioni, Fokylidou , Karneadou Street, Loukianou, Haritos, Ploutarchou andt Kolonaki square. Tsakalof street is boasting with cafes and outside seating, while Milioni street offers the more high end and luxe establishments.
I personally love the Greek fashion style, and Greek design brands. It’s timeless, feminine, elegant, and either pure and breezy with white, blue and natural hues, or outspoken with vivid colours leaning towards bohemian. Their home decor style is fresh and warm. Athens is in my opinion a shopping capitol yet undiscovered by the masses but worthy a spot in my top 10 nevertheless.
Li-La-Lo jewelry – Beautiful jewelry, for day and night. A wide variety of styles, from precious stones to ultra glam bling. – Voukourestiou 2
Mavriki & Co. – A lovely home decoration and furniture shop with chic contemporary design. – Patriarchou Ιoakim 6
Stefanel – the international renowned Italian fashion brand that specializes in fabulous knit wear – Anagnostopoulou 4
Valtadoros Paris – a Greek designer, not for my budget, but nevertheless a shop to visit and drool over the amazing designs which are like art pieces, often geometry inspired – Voukourestiou 37
Bettina – a multi designer brand boutique with Greek and international fashion brands (e.g. Antonia Karra, Zeus+Dione, athena procopiou). Especially interesting to shop during sales periods – Odós Voukourestiou 4
Thalassa Collection – for beautiful shawls and pashminas you come here. The wide collection is designed in Greece and made in Italy – Patriarchou loakim 30
KOAN/Athens voice – a bookstore with a range of art, design and other coffee table books. – Skoufa 64
Wish list – For the best boho chic and resort outfits you go to Wish List where they sell the exclusive brand Wish. Mariangela Hatziefraimidou is the founder and designer of “Wish”. Influenced by the international lifestyle,along with the ancient Greek styles,the designs are timeless yet hip. Think tuniques, maxi dresses, sandals, and everything else boho – Spefsippou 23
Era nuts – Don’t miss this store where hand picked nuts, herbs and spices, and pretty gift wrapped jars with delicacies are lined up for you to try and buy. – Patr. Loakim 1
Favourite cafes and restaurants
Coffee island – For a quick iced or hot coffee on the go, stop by Coffee island. The coffee bar is the Greek Starbucks but better. Hop in for your freshly grind coffee! – Patriarchou Ioakeim
Pink Martini Bar – a cool cocktail bar to go for drinks after or before dinner – Skoufa 47
Nice ‘n Easy – a bio restaurant that serves dishes with local grown ingredients. However it’s not the ordinary restaurant, because the decor and all dishes are inspired by Hollywood. There is also an outside terrace. – Omirou 60 & Skoufa
Cinco – Cinco is an überhip Spanish tapas bar and restaurant. The lively place serves small dishes round the clock. You can go for coffee in the morning, lunch, afternoon aperitifs, dinner and cocktails. – Skoufa 52
IT – Grab a quick and healthy lunch at IT where you can indulge in delicious salads and energizing smoothies. – Skoufa 29
Malconi’s – This Italian Gastro Pub is the place to be! They serve the best brunch, and their menu is outstanding offering Italian dishes with a pinch of Grecian flavours – Patriarchou Ioakeim 43