Antiques, Arts & Crafts
Books, Newspapers & Magazines
What to Buy
Good junk shops selling artworks, old prints and postcards are to be found at the very far end of Adrianou, beyond the Tower
of the Winds, away from the souvenir shops of the Pláka.
Museum Copies Several of the major museums in Athens sell copies of their most appealing items, and these can range from small and inexpensive to life-size reproductions. Standards are generally very high indeed and the main shops which should be visited are at the National Archaeological Museum, the Benaki Museum and the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art.
Exporting It is illegal to export antiques from Greece, but there is an illicit trade in antiquities and ancient icons, which are much desired by collectors. If offered an alleged antique, you should consider whether it is genuine anyway, what will happen at customs, and the morality of smuggling antiquities that may be stolen or excavated illegally. A prison sentence can be imposed for this offence. Lord Elgin would never get through customs these days!
Just Browsing Although it doesn't happen as frequently in Athens as it does in Middle Eastern countries, don't be surprised if the shop owner offers you a cup of tea or coffee. This is an old tradition in this part of the world, and is a mix of courtesy and common sense: while you enjoy your drink, the owner has more chance of selling you something.
Greek Wine The wines of Greece have never gained an international reputation, as most Greeks are happy with the resinated flavour of retsina, and many prefer beer or soft drinks. However, in recent years the standard has improved considerably thanks to tourism and increased demand by more discerning and affluent Greeks.