Shopping in Athens is decidedly schizophrenic. On the one hand, the bazaar area is an extraordinary jumble of little specialist shops and stalls, while almost every neighbourhood still hosts a weekly street market. On the other hand, the upmarket shopping areas of the city centre, and the malls and fashion emporia of the ritzier suburbs, are as glossy and expensive as any in Europe. Somewhere between the extremes, in the city centre you’ll find endless stoas, covered arcades off the main streets full of little shops. Some have been expensively refurbished and house cafés and designer-label stores; most, though, are a little dilapidated, and many still specialize in a single product – books here, computer equipment there, spectacles in another.

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