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As you surely know you can find a lot of tasty and lovely traditional local products in Greece. Even if the best places to buy qualitative products are in small villages or islands, Athens also has a few places where you can find some of the most famous local products.
Carpets and Rugs
To find good rugs and carpets you will have to go to the district of Plaka where a large range of shops offer hand-made and industrial carpets and flokati rugs.
It’s interesting to know that flokati rugs have been part of Greek tradition for centuries. Hand made by Greek shepherds, from the mountain areas of central and northern Greece, to protect themselves and their families from the cold winter.
They would take the wool from their sheep and goats and turn it into clothes and rugs. The actual main production areas are around the town of Tripolis, in the Peloponnese, and around the towns of Trikala and Karditsa in Thessaly.
Carpets are also a part of Greek history and specifically of Greek mythology. You can find a lot of references to the art of making carpets in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey.
Today, the most important centers of hand-weaving are in Lefkada, Anogeia on Crete island, and Metsovo in the Epirus region.
Take a look at the National Organisation of Greek Handicrafts, in Plaka, where you can find beautiful handmade rugs and carpets.
There, you’re going to find some nice and affordable hand made gloves, hats, and handbags but only a few leather shoes (most of them are synthetic).
If you want to see and buy some nice traditional handicrafts, you need to stay in the Plaka district.
There, look for the National Welfare Organisation shops, the Traditional Greek Centre, the Hellenic Artisan Trades Cooperative, or the Lyceum of Greek women.
You will surely find some amazing stuff like knotted carpets, embroidered cushion covers, woodwork, and much more.
Monastiraki’s flea market is also a place to discover great traditional handicrafts.
Jewelry Gold and silver jewelry are fine and beautiful Greek specialties. Shops selling high-quality gold are concentrated on Stadiou and Voukourestiou streets, near Syntagma.
There you’re going to find some famous jewelry stores such as Ilias Lalaounis, Bvlgari, or Kessaris.
To find silver jewelry go straight to the shops or to the street vendors in Plaka and Monastiraki.
You can also buy reproductions of ancient jewelry and ornaments in gold and silver in Museum shops such as the National Archaeological Museum outside the Acropolis, the Benaki Museum, or the Cycladic Art Museum.
If you like the sound of the “rebetika” (music coming from the emigrants’ Greeks who lived in Smyrne) or another kind of rich Greek music, you will love to buy, or just admire, one “bouzouki” or any other of the many Greek traditional instruments.
To do that you can go to Plaka, in Monastiraki, or to some shops where they make hand made traditional music instruments (in Stadiou Street or in the district of Pefkakia).
Greek Food Products
Greek food is well known for its high-quality products and its unique taste.
To buy good Greek coffee, try to find one of the good smelling coffee shops around Syntagma or near Athinas Avenue.
To fill your senses with amazing colors and odors, go to the Central Market on Athinas street in which you’re going to find a delectable range of culinary delights such as sweets, plumping olives, good quality cheese, nuts, colorful spices, herbs, amber honey and bottles of pure olive oil.
Street vendors selling nuts (pistachio, almonds, and walnuts), are on every corner of every street. You can, of course, find all of those products in supermarkets but they are usually of less good quality.
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