Greece Shopping and nightlife
Shopping in Greece
Big cities in Greece have a wonderful mix of international chains and independent shops. Special purchases include local wines, local spirits, olive oil, and objects made from olive tree wood. Ancient Greek jewel replicas also make good gifts.
Athens, being the largest city, is the centre for local handicrafts as well as luxury goods. The Monastiraki Flea Market takes place on Sunday when shops are shut and locals put their stuff up for sale. Look for Pandrossou Street (between Mitropoleos and Monastiraki), this is the place to find ancient Greek-style sandals. Nearly, Ermou Street is the main shopping street in Athens.
(a) Visitors should be aware that many 'antiques' sold to tourists are fake; information on exporting antiques can be found at www.law-archaeology.gr.
(b) Non-EU citizens can get a refund on Greek VAT on purchases worth more than €50. Ask for a Tax Free Form which the shop must fill in the necessary info. You will then get it stamped at the airport or seaport. An officer may ask to examine the items. At this point, your best option is to look for a refund service outlet (like Global Blue or Planet). They take a small cut but give you cash. Alternatively, you can also mail the documents to the desingated address but there have been too many instances where no VAT was refunded.
These vary according to the season, location and type of shop, but a rough guide is Mon, Wed, and Sat 0900-1430; Tues, Thurs and Fri 0900-1430 and 1730-2030. Most holiday resort shops stay open until late in the evening. In Athens, several big shopping malls in the suburbs open Mon-Fri 1000-2100, Sat 0900-2000.
Nightlife in Greece
Greece's nightlife is centred in main towns and resorts with late-night bars, dance clubs and live concerts.
Athens: The city centre areas have plenty of bars and nightclubs. Gazi is the place for live music and theatre performances. Thiseio has a wide range of bars. Kolonaki, Syntagma Square and Agia Eirini Square also have trendy bars and clubs. After a copious amount of drinking, join the locals for some 'vromiko' (late-night snacks) from food trucks in the heart of Athens.
Thessaloniki: The areas around Aristotelous Square are lively.
Greek islands: Throughout summer, the Cycladic islands of Mykonos and Santorini are well-noted for their exceptionally glamorous and up-market nightlife, while Corfu, Zakynthos (Zante), Rhodes and Ios attracting younger people in search of cheap alcohol and all-night dancing.