Monday, August 10, 2015

The Greek Kiosk "Periptero"

The kiosk, "Periptero" in Greek, is an important part of Greeks everyday life for almost a century. It is the equivalent of the newsstand that can be found in many countries around the world, with the difference that it is present in every major streets of all cities and villages in Greece.

Besides newspapers, the 'Periptero' is the only place, with a few exceptions, where you can buy cigarettes. Other items one can find are: sweets, chewing gum, chocolates, cold drinks, beer, transportation tickets, ice cream, sanitary pads, soap and many more.

Kiosks tend to adapt to the needs of the neighborhood, indeed one may notice that kiosks on Syntagma Square target tourists. Foreign newspapers, souvenir items, sunglasses, and post cards are a few common items found there. In Kolonaki, the aristocratic area of Athens with top name boutiques, fashion magazines such as Vogue are common. There is even a 'periptero' on 26 Kanari street that sells cigars!

Periptero in facts

  • Most of the kiosks are open 24 hours round.
  • Periptero owners know very well their neighborhood, it's the best place to ask for directions if you get lost.
  • Pain killers such as Asperine or Panadol are commonly sold.
  • You can use fast mail delivery service at some Kioks. The service is known as 'Kiosk Express' provided by ACS Courrier. Only documents up to 200gr/7oz are accepted. Use ACS store locator to find the nearest Periptero.
  • Pre-paid parking cards for cars can be bought from kiosks in center Athens. Learn more on Parking in Athens
  • The kiosk has always change for Euro bills. 
  • The estimated sales revenue for 2010 of kiosks in Greece was estimated to 5bn euros. Net profit for owners is 9-10% of that amount. (source)

Greek kiosk 1/35 scale Model

This is a reduced model of the Greek kiosk as it used to be found in the cities of Greece between the '30s till the '70s. It consists of 17 colored parts, the lamps and the publicity panels. You get acquire this model from the modeling site.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Shopping in Athens


Notos Galleries
Kotzia Square 3-5
metroTransit: Omonia

Notos HomeNotos Galleries is located in the center of Athens, near Omonia square. The first building is on Aiolou str. There you'll find well known fashion brands for men, women and children and beauty products.

The second building known as Notos Galleries Home is on the Kotzia Square 3-5. There you'll find all you need for home decoration and furniture departement. I always enjoy shopping at Notos home, because the atmosphere is calm, and the employees have good knowledge of what they are selling.

Notos Home has also a store at the Golden Hall, while at The Mall Athens you can visit the Notos Exclusive shop with brands such as GANT, Lacost, Newman and MURPHY NYE.

Voukourestiou Street - Luxury Goods

[Locate on map] metroTransit: Syntagma.

Voukourestiou Street - Luxury GoodsIn the center of Athens near Syntagma square, this street houses the most famous luxury goods shops including: Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Cartier, Chopard, Prada and many more.

Voukourestiou street also houses well known Greek jeweler shops like Mixalis, Kessaris, Kassis and Lalaounis.

Related links:

The Mall
Andrea Papandreou 35, Marousi
metroTransit: Neratziotissa
Attica Ring Road Exit 11 : Olympic Station/Kifissia Avenue  

Malls in Athens are relatively new. 'The Malls Athens' in Marousi area is among the best known and the most popular. It is the most complete mall with a big number of shops, restaurants, a drug store, movie theaters, computer stores, a supermarket and a post office.

The Golden Hall
Kifisias 37Α, Marousi 15123, Greece 
metroTransit: Neratziotissa

Golden HallIn average, the stores in this Mall are of higher standing than 'The Mall Athens'. Well known Greek jeweler Ilias Lalaounis is present there as well of Notos Galleries Home. Check here for the full list of available stores.

A bus shuttle to the Golden Mall from Neratziotissa metro station is available for free.

Pandrossou Street Souvenir & Leather Shops

Pandrossou Street, Monastiraki 
metroTransit: Monastiraki

Pandrossou Street is a small street in Monastiraki that is lined up with souvenir and Greek jewelry shops. You can start walking the street from the Monstiraki Metro Station up to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens [ see map ]. On your way, you'll notice a number of leather shops were you can find Greek leather sandals or leather bags and purses. I suggest you make two stops:

Keramidas leather shop Keramidas leather shop

Ermou Street

Ermou Street, Athens
metroTransit: Monastiraki or Syntagma

Ermou Street

Ermou street is a long pedestrian street that starts at Syntagma Square and ends at Keramikos. It is between Syntagma Square and Monastiraki Station that you can find clothing and accessories retailer shops such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, Pull&Bear, Marks & Spencer and Fokas multistore building. There are also many shoe stores like Migato and Tsakiris Malas. I suggest you start from Syntagma Square and walk down the street till Monastiraki. On your way you might have a stop at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens.

Ermou Street is twinned with the Okurayama Street in Kanagawa Prefecture - Japan

Related links:

Ermou Street Shop List by Category

Mourtzi Women shoes.
J. Bournazos Women shoes.
Xaris Kazakos Women shoes.
Moschoutis Women shoes.
Fratelli Petridis Women shoes and bags. 
Five Shoes Women and men shoes. 
Tzakiris Malas Women shoes
Rollini  Women shoes
MakGio Women shoes and bags
Vavoulas Women shoes 
Giana Kazakou Women and men shoes with famous brands like Moshino and Geox.
Camper The famous shoe brand.
Elite Women shoes
Moustakis Women shoes
Nine West Women shoes
Jan Louis Women shoes

Fast Fashion
Promod Fashion shop for women: Dresses, Shoes, Shirts and more Clothing Styles
Bill Cost Fashion shop for women.
Pink Woman Fashion shop for women.
Extyn Fashion shop for women.
Mango Fashion shop for women. 
More & More Fashion shop for women.  
Zic Zac Fashion shop for women.  
SuiteBlanco Fashion shop for women and men.  

ΞSPRIT Fashion clothes for women men and children.
H&M Fashion clothes for women men and children.
Massimo Dutti
Marks & Spencer
Concept Store Shop Casual clothing, footwear and accessories for men, women and kids, as well as a variety of lifestyle products. 

Koutras Leather bags, coats and accessories.
SOFRONAS Leather bags, and accessories.

Intinissimi Sensual underwear for women and men.
Med Women and men underwear and bath suites. 

Nike The famous sports brand

SWATCH Swiss watches for all ages and taste.

Accessorize Women's accessories.
Doca Full fashion concept, from bags, shoes and accessories to garments.
Cameo Faux Bijoux

Folli Follie The worldwide well known Greek jewelry brand.
Oxete Fashion Jewellery & Watches Collection.
Pandora Gift shop

Sephora Perfume and cosmetics shop.
The Body Shop Makeup, Bath & Body products.
Xondos Center Perfume, cosmetics and bath products shop.
Kores Well known Greek cosmetics shop.

Du Pareil au même Kid fashion.
Lapin House Kid fashion.
Mouyer (Μούγερ)  Children shoes.
Mothercare All you need for baby and children clothing.

Zoulovits Silversmiths and art de table.
Swarovski For crystal enthusiasts.
Octopus Home decor and accessories.
Tiger Low price home, office and kids accesories.

Kaliviotis Lego store.

Matsouka Sweets and candies and many more...

Optical Papadiamantopoulos Optical store.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Supermarkets in Athens

Supermarket shelf

From country to country there are particular differences between supermarkets. While a lot of products and brands are today common to all supermarkets, it is no secret that products flavor or presentation may differ according to customer needs and expectations. Greek supermarkets are no exception to that rule.

Greek cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine which is mainly based on olive oil, fresh vegetables, wine, Greek cheese, and a big variety of spices. Of course, supermarkets will provide all these ingredients. Olive oil shelves in a Greek supermarket are quite important in size offering a wide variety of Greek brands. Needless to say, you won't find any Italian or Spanish olive oil in the Greek market. Other important shelves are those with beans, lentils and chickpea which are used in well known soup recipes. It a traditional Greek family it is custom to have these soups on Wednesday and Friday of ever.

In general, the Greek supermarket will offer all products for a household that cooks at home on daily basis. Thus, at the exception of Lidl supermarket, refrigerated foods are limited in comparison with a French or an American supermarket. This also applies to prepackaged meats, cheese, and various Italian meats (Ham, salami etc.). These products are usually found at the butcher department store or cheese stand where customers get served from qualified employees.

Although cooked food can be found in some supermarkets, it is still not very popular. Indeed, one would prefer to use a take home restaurant delivery or a fast food restaurant. Prepared food in general limited to big supermarkets or hypermarkets.

As for fish, which is also an important ingredient of Mediterranean cuisine, fresh fish is widely more popular, but of course more expensive. Big supermarkets have a dedicated department store for fish. Still, buying fish from the fish shop, or the fish market is more common.

AB - Vasilopoulos

[ Locate on map ]

AB - Vasilopoulos AB-logo In greek we call this supermarket "Alpha Vita" or simply "Vasilopoulos". It is a well known, and well established all over Greece. In smaller residential area one may find "AB city" which is smaller in size with less products than an oridnary supermarket.

Beside food, the market offers a number of services: A free home delivery service for purchaces over €60. The delivery is made the same day if the order is made before 11:30 am. For VISA card holders it is possible to redraw from the cachier a small anmount of money (€10 to€50) along side with your purchaces, Finally, you can make a Western Union transaction.

» AB Promotion Leaflet


[ Locate on map ]

Lidl lidl logo Lidl is a low cost market that used to be snubbed by the Greek middle and upper class before the economic crisis. The gloomy atmosphere of the market, plus a majority of foreign customers, had all to discourage the domestic clientele. With wages going down the latest years, this behavior has changed. Also, Lidl has managed to attract new clientele with new marketing strategy, new products, and special offers.

To start with marketing, two celebrity Greek chefs Lazarou and Skarmoutzos are hired to present on their recipes with ingredients from Lidl market. The rich presentation of each recipe with video and text is very appealing.

As for products, it’s mainly a mix of local Greek and German products. Special weekly offers can be found in the market catalog that can also be consulted online.

Products sold at Lidl are not limited to food. There are clothes, small home utilities and DYI tools and home maintenance material. However, the stocks of these are limited and tend to disappear quickly because of their low price.

As for wine, there is the lately a selection of 30 bottles of French red and white wine with prices ranging from 3.5€ to 20€. Of course, Greek wine can also be found except for the well known wine domains such as ‘Hatzimichalis’ or ‘Repanis’.

» Lidl Promotion Leaflets


[ Locate on map ]

This is one of the biggest retail groups in Greece with the particularity to be totally owned by the Greek family Sklavenitis. The market is well popular among Greek households. Sklavenitis has no site neither does it invest in any commercials.

OK Anytime Markets

[ Locate on map ]

These are mini markets that are open daily from 08:00 am to 11:00 pm. Thus it is the only market that operates on Sundays and that is open late at night. It has however failed to impose itself, specialy in pouplar areas, most probably because it is more expensive than the average maeket. Still it is quite practical specially for tourists.

Carrefour Marinopoulos

[ Locate on map ]

carrefour logoCarrefour Supermarket is having lately important financial problem, causing many products missing from its shelves. This used to be owned by the well known French multinational retailer. It however left Greece some years ago leaving their share to Marinopoulos. The name however did not change. Lately, Sklavenitis acquired Carefour shares.

» Carrefour Promotion Leaflet


[ Locate on map ]

There are only three Thanpoulos stores in Athens, all located in the northern suburbs. Their target market are the wealthy households of the area. Some of the products found in this store are particular and difficult to find elsewhere. It is however not necessarily more expensive than other markets.

Grocery stores in Athens Center

Athens Center do not have big supermarkets. The following map shows a number of medium to small markets in this area.

Supermarkets and Grocery Stores by Area

If you are trying to locate supermarkets near you, then, here is a list of supermarkets by area in Athens provided to you by Google Maps:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Official Holidays in Greece

All year round, Sunday is public holiday in Greece. Shops, Supermarkets are closed, and public transportation bus and metro frequency is reduced. Exceptions apply to touristic attraction areas in Athens such as Monastiraki area, where touristic shops as those on Pandrosou Street are open during Sunday.

Regarding supermarkets, only the OK Anytime Supermarket chain is open on Sundays from 08:00 AM to 11:00 PM.

Related Links

Public holidays in Greece - Wikipedia

Public Hollidays 2017

January 1New Year's Day - 'Πρωτοχρονιά'
January 6Epiphany - 'Θεοφάνεια'
February 27Clean Monday - 'Καθαρά Δευτέρα'
March 2525th of March - 'Ευαγγελισμός της Θεοτόκου'
April 14Good Friday - 'Μεγάλη Παρασκευή'
April 16Easter - 'Κυριακή του Πάσχα'
April 17Easter Monday - 'Δευτέρα του Πάσχα'
May 1Labour Day - 'Εργατική Πρωτομαγιά'
June 5Holy Spirit Monday - 'Αγίου Πνεύματος'
August 15Dormition of the Holy Virgin - 'Κοίμηση της Θεοτόκου'
October 28The Ochi day - 'Ημέρα του Όχι'
December 25Christams Day - 'Χριστούγεννα'
December 26Synaxis of the Mother of God - 'Σύναξη της Θεοτόκου'