Athens Central Market: a walk through the meat and fish agora!

by | Oct 31, 2014 | Athens, Greece, Latest Posts, Photography

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On an early morning stroll through Athens we followed the crowds and commotion to the hectic Athens Central Market close to Monastiraki Square in the old part of Athens. The market is a food and photography lovers dream with endless cuts of meat, hanging carcasses, animated butchers and fishmongers and an incredible insight into local Athenian life.

We were fortunate to stumble across the market on a weekday morning when it was in full swing and the atmosphere was electric as the locals haggled enthusiastically with the vendors and the merchants went about their business preparing the endless supply of meat and fish.

Athens Central market is easily one of the most fascinating markets we’ve visited on our travels but a quick warning to all vegetarians or those squeamish with raw meat or fish…avert your gaze now!!

The Market

The Agora is split into two parts, simply meat or fish. The fish market is located at the main entrance on Athinas Street and, after navigating the suspiciously fish like water lining the walkways, it is impossible to miss the meat offerings further back in the market. All the seafood and meat for sale is displayed on stands for shoppers to cast their critical eye as the merchants sell their wares shoulder to shoulder with one and other.

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

 

Where to stay in Athens

  • Pallas Athena Grecotel: We stayed in a suite at the quirky Pallas Athena Grecotel Boutique Hotel. which is a 10 minute walk from Monastiraki and incorporates local street art into the room design – check prices here
  • A for Athens: If you like to be right in the heart of the action check out A for Athens is perfectly located on Monastaraki square and the beautiful panoramic rooftop deck for breakfast and evening drinks make this one of our favourite hotels in Athens – check prices here
  • Plaka Hotel: The Plaka Hotel is a real hidden gem in Athens. This comfy hotel is located just off Monastiraki square and is a perfect base from which to explore Athens. Make sure to checkout the amazing views of the Acropolis from the rooftop bar – check prices here

Click here for the latest Athens hotel prices

 

The Meat

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplaygroundBoxes of sheep heads, a first for us:

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

The Fish Market

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

 

The Stalls

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Closing time

When the trading day ends, an eerie silence descends upon the market and what remains is a wilderness of empty stalls with no trace of the meat or seafood on offer hours earlier. Just empty fridges lining the alley as far as the eye can see.

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Athens Central Market ©thewholeworldisaplayground

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10 Comments

  1. Alisa Kennedy

    Crazy photos! I’ll have to check that place out next time I’m in Athens. Good thing I’m not squeamish 🙂

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Thanks Alisa! It’s definitely not for the squeamish but so worth a trip!

      Reply
  2. Roma

    Wow. You’ve got some really in your face images there. They’re good though! I’m just glad I wasn’t scoffing my weet-bix at the time. Good read.

    Reply
    • Elaine

      I might need to bold up that warning Roma! I wanted to leave them in as they reflected the market so well but definitely not for the squeamish!

      Reply
  3. Mindi @ 2foodtrippers

    This market looks very cool since it’s not prettied up for tourists. Authentic markets are the best.

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Totally agree Mindi, such a cool way to get a glimpse into local life!

      Reply
  4. Vlad

    Beautiful pictures! I love visiting markets when I travel,La Boqueria in Barcelona is my favorite. This looks like a unique experience and a glimpse into the life in Athens. 🙂