Monastiraki-Psirri

These two areas are so close to each other but yet have a completely different urbanity from one another. They are divided by the main shopping street Ermou.

Monastiraki is the district around Monastiraki Square, expanding to the South side of Ermou Street, from Mitropoleos Square up to Thission Square and is adjacent to the neighborhoods of Plaka, Psirri and Thissio. The name derived from the old Church of Assumption, which is built on the main square and was formerly a convent which belonged to the Monastery of Kareas in Imitos. The square is dominated by the Tzistarakis Mosque, which was built in 1759 and today houses a secondary section of the Museum of Folk Art.

Apart from the spectacular scenery of the Acropolis, it consists of a complex of streets and alleys that surround the ruins of both, the ancient Greek and Roman markets, thus making you feel that you wander around a phantom area. Monastiraki still stands out for being multi cultural. 

One glance at the square and you will see several different cultures and religions coexist, lots of street Musicians, musical bands, vendors, groups of friends, young and old, leisurely walking around, tourists, banners with slogans and the Mosque and the Church, which are considered trademarks. It’s quite an impressive assortment of people.

Not to miss, Abyssinia Square, located between the streets of Ermou, Aghiou Philippou and Ifaistou and formed around 1860. Abyssinia was the ancient name of Ethiopia and arose from the many Ethiopians who lived in this area. 

Visitors become ravenous with the overload of used goods, old furniture, antiques and a number of various flea markets all around the square, taking them back in time. Since 1910 and until today, every Sunday the famous “Giousourum” Bazaar takes place, named after the Jewish merchant from Smyrna, Noah Giousourum. He was a trader of second-hand clothes and shoes and was extremely well liked by the Athenians. The main characteristic of this region is that, basically, it has not changed over the years and maintains the flair of the traditional “Greek neighborhood”. It is also the primary source of souvenirs.

Adrianou, the main pedestrian walk of the district, which consists of many tourist shops, was once a main street full of houses but did not lead all the way up to Plaka. The increased demand for housing in recent years and the short supply of residential real estate, make this area very popular in the list of preferences.

The neighborhood of Psirri is a very energetic and well visited small district located in the historic center of Athens and is one of the oldest of the city. It spreads out around Psirri Square or Plateia Iroon and is the focal point of the five major roads of the quarter namely, Miaouli Street, Karaiskaki Street, Aghion Anargiron Street, Aristophanes Street and Aeschylus Street.

It has come back to life in the recent years, as far as residential and commercial interest is concerned, the main development being newly opened hostels, for that reason, it is called the neighborhood of hostels. An unusual and out of the ordinary clientele, mainly consisting of independent travelers from all around the world, prefer this beautiful neighborhood in search of something new and different. 

It was firstly mentioned in written documentation back in 1678, however, the origin of its name has never been formally confirmed. Most likely, the word Psirri refers to the name Psarianos of ancient times, when the island of Psara was called Psirra and, indeed, the entire quarter resembles a small island with its various miniature streets, theaters and artistic retreats, presenting a variety of imposing street art.

History verifies the numerous famous residents, including Lord Byron, Kyriakos Pittakis, the famous Archaeologist who is identified for his excavations on the Acropolis and the great Greek writer Alexandros Papadiamantis, who was given the nickname “Hermit of Psirri”.

Nowadays, it is considered a very picturesque neighborhood full of stores and little shops, restaurants, traditional taverns and bars. 

The flea market traders and shops in this area are very different from those in Monastiraki. All sorts of collectibles can be found here from individuals who later became professional dealers. 

Particularity: A rapidly developing area with a youthful outline, artistic and vivid. 

Average property purchase/rental rates: In recent years, the area was not as popular for habitation but nowadays, due to the great demand for property to be exploited, such as short-term apartment rentals, airbnb and development of small apartments and rooms for rent, the region has revived and prices have risen. Prices for purchase range from EUROS 800.00 up to EUROS 5,500 per square meter and for rent from EUROS 10.00 up to EUROS 23.00 per square meter.

Nature: Close to the National Garden of the city, the Hill of the Nymphs and Filopappou Hill.

Transportation: Metro stations Monastiraki and Thission, Train stations Monastiraki and Thission and bus lines available from all around Attica.

Market: Firstly, the famous Varvakion Agora, a daily market offering fresh goods and products, the countless flea market traders, antique stores, outdoor shops and generally almost everything to cover the everyday needs of residents and visitors.

Culture/Entertainment: Very appealing little restaurants, music venues and stages, galleries, theaters and the famous outdoor cinema in Thission.

Spots: Abyssinia Square, Hadrian’s Library, the Tower of the Winds, the ancient Roman Agora, the Gate of Athena Archegetis and, of course, the famous outdoor market. The beautiful pedestrian street of Apostolou Pavlou, the pedestrian streets of Keramikos and Adrianou. The area of Pnika, where the National Observatory is located, the Theatre of Dionysus, the Prison of Socrates and the private Herakleidon Museum. You have the opportunity to visit the Museum of Greek Gastronomy which can be found on Aghiou Dimitriou Street No. 13.