Best Christmas Shopping in Athens: Colorful and Inspiring, with Many Surprises



When visiting Athens for the holiday season you can choose amongst a variety of gift shops to do your Christmas shopping, which offer a wide selection of objects, ranging from the downright artistic to the fun ideas, with the good old traditional symbols always popular. Christmas in Greece is not as important as New Year and that is the reason you will see  so many lucky charms in the shops during the holiday season. Lucky charms or “gouria” as they are called in Greek are a must for everybody so as to guarantee good fortune for the new year. They come in many shapes and sizes, usually with traditional good luck symbols and some are a real fashion statement and of artistic value. Dont miss them if you are visiting Athens during the festive season. At Mati you can find many beautiful, gold plated lucky charms designed by Rodi Kostantoglou with traditional symbols, at Diplous Pelekys the festive atmosphere includes a large variety of Christmas decorations, for the home and the table, small gifts and stocking fillers, at Yanni Souvatzoglou the impressive sculptures depicting maternity and offering love are ideal for the Christmas spirit, at the Benaki Museum Shop the collection of festive objects is mainly inspired by the Museums collections and includes small works of art, at El. Marneri Galerie the lucky charms are mostly jewelry designed with originality and imagination, shop for inspired jewelry at Yannis Sergakis Adornments, find unique handmade jewelry and accessories at Venia Mitropanou, guaranteed good luci with a charm from Studio Pi,    pamper yourself with a gift from L'Atelier du Parfum,   welcome the New Year with the taste of Aristokratikon chocolates. 



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Aristokratikon is one of the oldest chocolateries in Athens, a family business famous since 1928, considered the non plus ultra chocolate experience. Very near Syntagma, on Voulis street, and also in Kifisia, the tasteful packaging competes with the remarkable taste and variety. Truffles and pralines, dried fruit, candies and marzipan, crunchy or creamy, designs for all seasons, made with high quality ingredients, each creation is a jewel to cherish aesthetically. Must tastes are the arapakia, the chocolates with caramel, the loukoumia with mastic, rose, bergamot, the orange and lemon fudge, the sour cherry syrup, the crunchy caramel pistachios. At Christmas time, gifts with sweet taste are very popular. Traditional kourabiedes and melomakarona, chocolates in the shape of toys, for girls and boys, various holiday season designs, reindeer, little trees, Santa Claus, a life size manger all in chocolate.


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Diplous Pelekys has a long history which started in Crete many years ago, with Florentini Kaloutsis woven works of art inspired by ancient Minoan patterns and continues until today, with handcrafted objects from all over Greece. Blown glass, original jewelry, decorations for the house, paintings and small sculptures, traditional hand woven fabrics, items inspired by Greek folk tradition, selected with care and knowledge. The Double Axe shop, run today by the third generation of Kaloutsi family keeps the vision of it founder alive by supporting local artists and traditional handicrafts and is ideal for buying gifts and souvenirs with authentic color.A favorite for Christmas shopping, with charming decorations for the tree, the festive table, such as metal candle holders with ribbons, wooden Christmas tree and ornaments, the owl, symbol of Athens, in festive mood, figurine and glass ball, cute leather Teddy bears.


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L' Atelier du Parfum
Photo courtesy of L' Atelier du Parfum


 

Scent plays an important role in our personal life and in the home. At Atelier du parfum on Solonos street you will find a large variety of perfumes both for personal use and for giving your space an exquisite aroma. They can also prepare your favorite personalized scent which will express your unique personality, choosing among the variety of essential oils available, in eau de parfum, eau de toilette, body lotion, shower gel and body oil. They also stock well known brands, such as Fragonard, Erbolario, The Somerset Toiletry Co, just to mention a few. For the festive season you can find elegant gift packages with your favorite products.


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Yannis Souvatzoglou
Photo courtesy of Yannis Souvatzoglou


 

Yiannis Souvatzoglou is an artist with wide inspiration who offers us the chance to rediscover the fascination of simplicity. His sculptures, which include small decorative objects and magnificent statues two meters high, express an innovative mind and are inspired from Cycladic art. Minimal shapes, abstraction are some words which can describe his art. For thirty years he has been researching his techniques and exploring materials. Bronze, aluminum, glass, are combined to create figures from mythology, butterflies, angels, fairies, ethereal powerful being which exist on more dimensions. He has taken part in many international exhibitions and his works are included in many private collections. For Christmas shopping the impressive jewelry is a perfect gift and also the statues of maternity and offering love, which express everlasting ideals of mankind.


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Studio Pi
Photo courtesy of Pinelopi Manousaki


 

Pinelopi Manousaki is a talented young artist and photographer who opened her own space in Kolonaki in 2013, selling inspired hand made creations based on innovative ideas. At Studio Pi, as her space is named, you can find beautiful artworks such as large photographs digitally printed and applied on aluminium surfaces, many of which have as subjects old houses in the center of Athens in artistic interpretations. Pinelopi learned embroidery from a young age and was taught this traditional handicraft by her mother. Her own personal inspiration resulted in reinventing embroidery in impressive applications, which combine the delicacy of thread and color with contemporary designs and ideas. The flour sieve embroidered with a wreath of light and dark pansies, the necklaces, rings and earrings with intricate designs, the art nouveau motifs, the attention to each detail make this jewelry unique and different, romantic but also avant garde. The handbags in various shapes and sizes with printed photographs by Pinelopi are a different fashion statement, the embroidered jewelry with objects from nature has unique style. The original lucky charms are an ideal gift for the festive season.


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El.marneri galerie is the only gallery of contemporary jewelry in Greece. Situated very close to the Akropolis Museum, it features contemporary jewelry, artistic creations and objects that suggest inspiration and innovation. By hosting group, individual and themed exhibitions, it functions as an incentive as well as a stage for Greek and international artists to create and present their inspiring work. It showcases contemporary jewelry pieces bound with precious gems and rare-cut stones in gold, platinum and silver, as well as more humble materials like, various fabrics, paper, clay and wood in unique designs. The gallery also hosts a series of art exhibitions –objects, sculpture, painting, video-art and other installations. El.Marneri Gallery invites artists to participate in building a collection of jewelry and art objects that revisits the age-old notion of the protective charm. One-of-a-kind or limited edition objects tap the ancient tradition of apotropaic symbols; they revise it, reinvent it, comment on it. The collection – that is to be permanent and exclusive to the Gallery – will constitute a work in progress that is to evolve through the addition of both participating artists and new acquisitions. The project is to be completed in a year's time and will be launched at a special event held at the Gallery this coming Christmas.


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Venia Mitropanou
Photo courtesy of Venia Mitropanou


 

In a stylish space, with theatrical atmosphere, Venia Mitropanou creates her unique jewelry. On the workbench, Venetian beads, silk ribbons, antique miniatures, vintage fabrics, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, all kinds of objects which she has collected personally from all over the world. From these materials, the artist makes her unique pieces, which are appreciated by women with selective taste. These varied materials are transformed into original artistic jewelry, such as coral, pearl and onyx necklaces, bracelets from antique lace, boho earrings, hand made pieces with ethnic influence and romantic style. Venia Mitropanou also designs unique leather and fabric handbags, silk scarves and accessories. You can find her creations also at the Benaki Museum, the Athens Concert Hall, luxury resort Amanzoe at Kranidi, Estudio Gallery and Ianos Artshop at Golden Hall.


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Yannis Sergakis Adornments
Photo courtesy of Yannis Sergakis Adornments


 

Yannis Sergakis Adornments first shop in Athens opened in May 2015, on elegant central pedestrian Valaoritou street, in a listed building constructed in 1933. The store resembles a luxurious office with a window on the street and is a simple but elegant jewelers shop, focused on the designer's beautifully manufactured jewelry. "Commitment" is his debut collection : three lines of fine jewelry made exclusively from gold and diamonds. Charni�res, crochets &liens. Each line a different level of commitment, a different tying knot. Timeless pieces of discreet elegance; an elegance of ancient Greek origin that is identifiable, yet not imposing. Under the brand name Yannis Sergakis Adornments, the Collection is sold around the globe: in Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, California, London, Dallas, Dubai, St. Tropez, Beirut, Lisbon, and Toronto. In NY City, the emblematic Bergdorf Goodman, during the last NYFW, decided to include designs from the COMMITMENT Collection in its shop windows, marking its collaboration with Yannis Sergakis Adornments that recently started. For 2016, Yannis Sergakis designed an elegant lucky charm dedicated to the power of the women who will wear it. The charm necklace is available in six different variations, all in 950 ͦsilver with black and white platinum coating and pink and yellow gold coating.


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Mati
Photo courtesy of Mati


 

Mati is a reference point in Athens for those searching for authentic local art. Under the direction of Rodi Konstantoglou, who for many years has specialized on the topic, the shop offers a wide selection of gifts inspired mainly from traditional designs, with their timeless beauty. Amongst the most popular items are the indigo blue glass objects, decorated with silver emblems, small glass eyes to ward off the evil eye, which can be worn on bracelets, special gifts for weddings and christenings, small bowls for sweets made from antique belt fastenings. Mati also offers a wide selection of worry beads in amber, semiprecious stones, coral, and works by contemporary Greek artists. Favorite Christmas shopping destination, at Mati you can find many attractive gifts, such as delicate, goldplated lucky charms designed by Rodi Kostantoglou, depicting the tree of life, pomegranates, four leaved clover, horsehoes, keys and other fortunate symbols, to decorate the house.


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The Benaki Museum Shop in the main building is the first Museum Shop which opened in Greece and since then has supported the activities of the Benaki Museum. The objects on sale are mainly copies of the museums exhibits, manufactured with traditional methods and are of classic value and aesthetic quality. Gold plated silver copies of garlands and statues, votive articles, cups and jewelry, from ancient Greece and Byzantium, are some of the objects on sale. Creations by young upcoming artists are also sold in the shop, which have been inspired by the Museums exhibits, interpreted in contemporary forms. The Shop in the Benaki Museum on Pireos Street has a different approach, providing original artistic creations rather than faithful reproductions of Museum exhibits. The Shop also contains a bookshop specializing in art books where one can find catalogues of museum exhibitions from abroad, and books on the exhibitions held at the Pireos Street Annex. The Shop, at the Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika Gallery sells new works, inspired in their majority by the works of N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghika and the artists of the interwar generation. Among the artist chosen, some have been collaborating with the Shop for years, but many new ones have also been chosen. Top designers and creators in the applied arts share the space with new groups of designers. Special constructions for children designed by us, and collaborations with shops in museums abroad are part of this rich section that hopes to help expose the young to art. The Islamic Art Museum Shop sells objects Islamic art, made with traditional techniques, from countries such as Turkey, India, Pakistan and Egypt. For Christmas shopping there are many attractive gifts, such as lucky charms in various original designs, papier mache festive decorations, calendars in the shape of spinning tops, and many more artistic and colorful ideas.


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Meet Nelly Paraskevopoulou

Born and bred in Athens, Nelly went on the move after finishing high school and spending some years working in textiles.  For her, Italy was the next chapter. But, after 12 years, it was back...  More About Nelly

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