Central Market
Central Market
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Top ways to experience Central Market
The area
Neighborhood: Omonia
Omonia Square is as plain in appearance as Syntagma is grand. Surrounded largely by functional blocks from the 1950s and 60s and no longer boasting its underground stalls, the square is now mostly frequented by immigrants and bargain shoppers. The most rewarding area to explore is to the south. Set off down Athinas Street, with the Acropolis gradually coming into focus in the distance, and you will get a sense of old commercial Athens, especially at the picturesque meat, fish and vegetable markets some way beyond the City Hall. The blocks to the west of Athinas are home to many Chinese and South Asian traders, adding a multicultural atmosphere to what was until the late 1990s a very homogenous society.
How to get there
  • Omonoia • 6 min walk
  • Panepistimio • 7 min walk
See what other travelers are saying
  • Thomas G
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands1,374 contributions
    Great market
    The Central Market (Varvakeios) is one of the best places of the great city of Athens. The market is nice chaos with a lot of people and great local products. The market especially has great areas for fish and meat (they chop it where you are) and the people are very friendly. Just walk around for an hour, taste some amazing olives, take a closer look to all the fish present and you will have a great time being there. You cannot miss this when visiting this city. There are also one or two (fantastic) tavernas inside the market.
    Written February 14, 2022
  • John S
    Peterborough, United Kingdom69 contributions
    Once is enough
    Great place to browse for a couple of hours then a hot Souvlaki and cold beer at the numerous cafes and restaurants. Hold your bag tight and dont encourage the beggars. Visit the Acropolis but get there early to avoid queues. A little disappointed with the changing of the guard at the Palace , they could learn a lot about timing from Buck House guards !! But nice costumes.
    Written April 23, 2022
  • Brianngog
    Cyprus7,037 contributions
    The Central Market in Athens is a great memory jerker for those of a certain era. Plenty of fresh produce on show and on offer with Fishmongers, Butcheries, Green grocers all displaying their freshly cut, caught or picked goods for you to select and choose. Plenty of other stalls varying in virtually everything you can think of. Terrific atmosphere and something very different to see from the numerous archeological sites in this vast City. Well worth a visit, especially if you are of that certain era.
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 2, 2022
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

720 reviews
Very good

Zambrow, Poland39 contributions
Oct 2021 • Solo
You can safely skip this place. There's loads of meat and fish and not much else. The smell is sickening, the floor is wet, the men shout things at you. I'm not a vegetarian, but after seeing all this I felt sick.

Outside, around the entrance and on the other side of the street there are shops with herbs, olives and cheese - these are nice. Perhaps just go straight there :)

Two stars for authenticity and the shops mentioned above.
Written October 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jon L
Olathe, KS242 contributions
Feb 2020
We took a brief stroll through the meat market, fruit and veggie market, and the seafood market. Other than the fruit and veggies, Americans typically don't get to see this kind of thing. I was there mostly to take pictures, we whisked through quickly so as not to get in their way. Completely recommend.
Written April 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

doofvfood (with botak ahjussi)
World3,014 contributions
May 2022 • Business
Visited the central market as I love markets and there was a dazzling array of butcher stalls and fish mongers. Also a few cute little cafes in the market - shame we had had breakfast or it would have been good to try. We also saw the nuts and spices stalls on the outside of the market but didn't really see any fruit and veg though there were shops selling an assortment of cheese. The display units of the butcher shops were very impressive! We went there before 9 and there were still fish on sale. An interesting market to get a glimpse of local life.
Written May 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

New York624 contributions
Apr 2022
The Central market is worth a visit. This is what real food markets look like - incredible assortment of meat, fish, and other delights in the surrounding area. Several reviewers complained about the smell and general atmosphere - don't know where they think food comes from, but this is the real deal - from offal to pigs' heads...to tripe and more. The selection of meat and fish is extraordinary. The streets surrounding the market have some great stores focused on herbs, olive products, and other goodies. What a great place to shop for your ingredients. If you cook and love food, take an hour our of your visit to check it out.
Written April 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

nathan l
Netanya, Israel894 contributions
Oct 2020
a unique experience, so impressing, lively, vibrant, a huge variety that you really can see in other markets in the world.
we were especially impressed from the fish section.
if you want to feel the pace of life in Greece, don't miss this market.
Written November 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Murmansk, Russia25,355 contributions
Jun 2021
We were passing through Athens, so there was no point in going to the market on purpose. However, I couldn't resist gawking at the seafood selection. It's impressive. You can eat cheap at the market. They usually go for oysters. This should be done in the morning. I am indifferent to oysters, so I passed by.
Written May 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Egaleo, Greece4,344 contributions
Apr 2020
If you have time, you should visit it. It's very Greek, local and iconic. You will see good fresh materials and the lifestyle of Athens.
Written May 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Singapore, Singapore704 contributions
Apr 2013 • Couples
Tip 1: Want to see where the local Greeks shop for their daily food? This is the place to go. They literally have everything in the Central Market.

Tip 2: From fruit and vegetables, halva, delight, sweets to bird cages and pet rabbits, fruit and vege are so cheap in Athens, local fresh fish and meat are very cheap too.

Tip 3: If you want a good gyros, you will be able to find it around this area. I suggest you start exploring the place from Omonia Square as a focal point and then slowly walk into the inner bit of Athinas Street.

Tip 4: It is very difficult to find the meat market but what you can do is walk into the shop and ask the shop assistant and they wil be happy to help. You have to go to the meat market and have a look at the market, it is truly an eye-opener!

Tip 5: As Central market is very localised, most of the locals do not like to see foreigners in their territory, so try not to be obnoxious. Just blend in with the crowd. Sometimes you might find dodgy people walking around Omonia square as well so make sure you look after your belongings.

Tip 6: Remember to wear a good pair of shoes because some of the areas are quite wet and slippery.

If you think my reviews have been helpful to you, please click 'Yes' for 'Was this review helpful?'
Written April 21, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

West Palm Beach, FL319 contributions
Nov 2016 • Couples
If you have the slightest bit of adventure within you, then you’ll find taking yourself to the Central Market and the Acropolis from a cruise ship to be an easy way to get some local dirt on your shoes. These are directions from the port as it was configured in late 2016. It looks as if a new terminal might be under construction, and if that’s the case, this post will be obsolete when it opens. But in the meantime……

Leave your ship and pass through the terminal. Keep going as if you are taking a tour bus. You’ll walk a few dozen feet in an underground lot, then bear left and you’ll see all the buses boarding passengers for Athens tours. Just walk out there like you’re getting on a bus, but smile as you continue by and stroll on through the parking lot. I don’t know the name of the main street you will be on as you exit the lot, and even if I did, I couldn’t spell it; and even if I could, you couldn’t pronounce it. Simply continue walking out of the lot and onto the sidewalk for this wide and busy street. It’s best to stay on the left hand sidewalk. You’ll know you are correct as the water will always be on your left and you’ll soon see a large church with a big blue dome on the other (right) side of the street.

We are brisk walkers, and at our pace it’s about 15 minutes to the train station. Just keep walking in the same direction on this main road - make absolutely no turns on to any other street - always keeping the water to your left. You’ll see boats and harbor activity the whole way. About ten minutes into the walk, you’ll spot the pedestrian overpass ahead. If it’s open (it was under repair at this writing) walk right to it, take the escalator up, cross over the road and you will be looking at the train station. It’s on your left. The station is a big yellow building, maybe 5 or 6 stories with white horizontal stones or stucco crossing between a few floors. If the overpass is not completed, just cross the street at the light, and you end up at the same spot.

Enter the terminal. On your right is the ticket window. Don’t waste time trying to figure out the ticket machines - just buy a ticket from the ticket man. It is €1.40 for adults and if you are over 65, ask for the senior ticket. That will run you all of 60 cents. Go downstairs and get on the train.

It is impossible to take the wrong train or go in the wrong direction. Only one train serves this station and this is the last stop. You are going to be on Line 1 - The Green Line. Stay on the train for seven stops. If I miscounted or they change anything - it is the Monastiraki Station. Just look at the chart above the train car door and look for a long word that starts with an M. That’s your stop. I doubt if it is more than a 15 minute ride.

Now off the train and inside Monastiraki Station, you’ll walk up the stairs to street level. As you leave the station, you will see an old stone church. Look slightly to the left of the church and you’ll spot a line of yellow taxis up on the street. Walk toward them, then past them and cross the street to the other side. Turn right to get to the corner (I assume you jay walked through the cabs), then left and start walking up that street in a general uphill direction. It’s four or five blocks to the Central Market, possibly six. This is a distance estimate. You will not be crossing that many intersections. You’ll pass by a number of hardware stores, bakeries and assorted downtown retail you would never see on a tourist run. Enjoy it. You can’t miss the market. As you near the crest of this gentle hill, the sky opens up a bit and the market will be just across the street. You’ll see the people selling nuts and spices outside the entrances. Jaywalk once again if you dare and dive into this colorful, vibrant and noisy experience. There will be the fish aisle, the beef section, poultry, sheep - all the things you expect. Athens Central Market is our favorite and we’ve been to just about them all.

For a real treat, find the Taverna Aris inside the market. Sit down, have a beer, order their incredible Greek Salad and your favorite meat or fish from the menu. Your entree will be as fresh as the food around you and you’ll enjoy an atmosphere and local meal that is certain to be a fine memory.

If you want to walk up to the Acropolis and wave to all the people you strolled by back at the port, just retrace your steps down to Monastiraki Square, but this time walk right on through and head up the hill that you see in front of you. You’ll see the Agora on your left almost right away. Just keep walking up hill. You can’t go wrong if you keep going up. Undoubtedly, you’ll meet people on the way back down and it takes no language skill at all to point toward where you are headed with a quizzed look on your face. They will respond in their native tongue with a smile and gesture toward the only direction possible -- up. You’ll also very likely be walking among other people going to the same place you are - so stick together. It’s part of the fun, and feeling slightly lost in a foreign city is the essence of a good travel adventure. Go with it.

You’ll soon see the entrance to the Parthenon. You can pay your money and take your tour if you wish. Or, for an even better (and free) view of the city, continue on to Philopappos Hill . A wide, well marked and paved path heads off to the right from where you are. There are typically a number of women selling table cloths and linens here. Just before you start off to the right on this path, if you look down in front of you, past the islands in the intersection, there are good restrooms at the back of the big parking lot before a large gift shop. Might be a good time to take a short break.

Head on up to Monument Philopappos, then after enjoying your views of Athens and Parthenon, simply reverse direction and head back down to Monastiraki Square. I suggest sticking to the same way you came up, so as to avoid getting a little more of that adventure essence than you bargained for.

Enter the train station the same way you came out. Buy your tickets at the window and take the Green Line 1. Now this time it is possible to take the wrong train or even the right train but in the wrong direction. So just be sure you take LINE 1 - GREEN and be sure you are taking the train toward Piraeus Station. Don’t worry, it’s all perfectly marked on many signs. If in doubt, turn on your charm and mastery of Greek to any person of the opposite sex who seems a bit younger than you. With your best puzzled look, say the word “Piraeus” as a question. You will either get a smile and nod or waved hands and pointed in the right direction.

If you are on the right train and going in the right direction, then you can’t miss Piraeus station. It is the last stop on the Green Line. Get out. You have no choice. You can retrace your steps to the port - or if you’ve had enough adventure, grab a cab back to your ship. It should run about €6.00.

And there you go. Cheap thrills. A taste of the real town. You’ve mixed it up with the locals and you’ll have the best story to tell at dinner.
Written December 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ben White
Northampton, UK1,586 contributions
May 2019 • Family
Before I start, if you don’t like the smell of fish or raw meat this place isn’t for you. It’s a busy place full or tourists and locals. You can get every fish and every piece of meat you can imagine, including heads, bones and un-skinned animals.
I don’t believe they have health and safety as there’s meat for sale which isn’t refrigerated, but we didn’t buy anything, just he a look around. It’s a very good place, I’ve experienced many markets over the world but never anything like this.
There was no pictures on this one as I worried, I wasn’t allowed.
Written May 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Central Market (Athens) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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Central Market is open:
  • Mon - Sat 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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