Athens might not be a fashion capital, yet many global luxury brands maintain their standalone boutiques on prestigious Athenian addresses. Downtown, prime shopping locations include the pedestrian segment of Voukourestiou street, the posh & fashionable neighborhood of Kolonaki, and the parts of Stadiou & Panepistimiou streets that are closest to the buzzy Syntagma square. Known from the global coverage of rioting in Athens, this historic square is framed and flanked by the palatial building of the Greek parliament and other neoclassical buildings, mainly of landmark hotels such as the Grande Bretagne and King George. If you want to avoid its grungiest sides, cross from the Greek parliament to the square and the Grande Bretagne corner, then walk around the block (Panepistimiou-> Amerikis-> Stadiou-> Voukourestiou streets). Find also Valaoritou, a small pedestrian street crossing Voukourestiou, and then from Kanari street enter the area of Kolonaki. These are short distances filled with boutiques, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. Other international high-end designers can more or less be found at local multi-brand boutiques as well as the Attica City Link department store on Panepistimiou and Amerikis streets. Kolonaki has been for many decades the area where Greek designer showrooms thrived among upscale boutiques and high-street retail options. Everything revolves around the little Kolonaki square with coffee shops and restaurants nearby. Your shopping time can be combined with an uphill walk or cable car ride to the top of Mount Lycabettus with a great city view. Kolonaki is a vibrant retail and residential neighborhood surrounded by picturesque nature you will come to appreciate as you climb up its narrow streets in comfy shoes. Urbanized in the 50s, it carries with it the flair of the previous century.
Hermès. Apparel, handbags, scarves, and other high-end accessories included in the high-fashion collection of the legendary French house are available in an elegant and airy boutique. It is located on the ground floor of a neoclassical building at a corner with a partial view of the Syntagma square (Voukourestiou & Stadiou streets). European cherry wood furniture, leather details, Grecques roof lighting first designed for the brand in 1925, a custom floor mosaic with embedded logo, windows with seasonal art installations, and a huge, majestic door are part of the sophisticated décor. Current Artistic Director Pierre-Alexis Dumas’ mother, Rena Dumas, who passed away in 2009, was the Greek-born interior and furniture designer behind more than 300 Hermès boutiques, including this one in Athens. She has also worked on projects with Christie’s, Saint Laurent, John Lobb, and architect Renzo Piano, to name a few. This Greek ‘connection’ can be noticed in some of the house’s ad campaigns.
Salvatore Ferragamo. The renowned Italian luxury brand with headquarters in Florence and a long heritage in leather craftsmanship maintains a 2-floor minimalist chic boutique located next to that of Hermès on Stadiou street. Women’s ready-to-wear and accessories are displayed on the ground floor and men’s on its stylish, equally spacious basement. The founder’s affair with Hollywood since the 20s and the quest for refined glamour transcends time. Brand classics such as the Varina ballet flats and buckled men’s loafers, plus artsy silk scarves, and signature wardrobe essentials with a design spin are all available at the store.
Rolex. Decorated with green and gold accents, the emblematic colors of the Swiss luxury watchmaker, this small boutique serves a curated selection of the brand’s classics, a few steps from Syntagma square, on Kolokotroni street, and across the Old Parliament building, near the boutique of acclaimed Greek jeweler Zolotas.
Chopard. On Stadiou street, next to the NJV Athens Plaza Hotel, the Swiss manufacturer and retailer of luxury watches, jewelry, and accessories, maintains a glamorous boutique, filled with light in the daytime. The Artistic Director and Co-President of Chopard, Caroline Scheufele, loves Athens and Mykonos (she usually stays at the Santa Marina Resort & Villas) and has organized some fantastic events in Greece. The brand is proudly using ‘ethical gold,’ responsibly sourced from small-scale mines with traditional, artisanal, and sustainable methods through a traceable supply chain.
Cartier. Among an imposing theater, outdoor coffee shops, and restaurants, on a colonnaded alley along the pedestrian part of Voukourestiou, the most important French Haute Joaillerie house maintains an elegant boutique with jewelry pieces that guarantee top quality and exceptional, iconic design.
Bulgari. The Italian fine-jewelry house founded in 1884 in Rome by the Greek jeweler Sotirios Bulgaris – today part of the LVMH group – recognizes the posh Kessaris boutique on Voukourestiou street as its authorized retailer. It also maintains a boutique at the Athens International Airport.
Longchamp. The French luxury leather goods company, founded in Paris in 1948, recently renovated its boutique on the colonnade along Voukourestiou street right across Cartier. Signature brand items such as the Le Pliage bags and the latest collections – often results of fascinating creative collaborations – are cast against a pristine white backdrop with concealed lighting fixtures.
Louis Vuitton. The French luxury fashion house, founded in 1854, occupies a premium position in the retail map of Athens, with a multi-level boutique inside a graceful neoclassical building. Women’s and men’s ready to wear, leather, and silk accessories are displayed in a simple décor that lets their design heritage shine bright. Located on Voukourestiou street next to Prada and across from Dior boutique, it stands at the heart of the high-end market in Athens, where big spenders, especially Asians, hang out when in the mood for upscale shopping. Its art-installation window displays are always a major point of attraction for passersby. Island travelers will also find another two impeccably designed boutiques in Mykonos (town & Nammos Village beach mall), reflecting the spirit of the cosmopolitan island.
Prada. The Italian luxury fashion house has transformed another Athenian neoclassical building on Voukourestiou street into a multi-level sanctuary of Italian creativity with glossy floors, mirrored staircases, and comfy lounge areas. Representative pieces from the latest collections – especially bags and shoes – are waiting for you to try in this ultra-modern universe of finesse and eclecticism.
Tod’s. Home to the most coveted driving shoes – loafers with rubber Gommino pebbled soles – this Italian luxury brand maintains a classic and straightforward boutique near Prada on Voukourestiou street. There, you can find signature finest-quality leather products, including shoes and handbags for men and women.
Dior. The legendary Parisian fashion house’s multi-level boutique on Voukourestiou street exudes elegance and femininity. With exemplary service and a great selection of ‘it’ items from the latest collections (ready-to-wear, leather products, and accessories), it serves as a meeting point for a discerning clientele of cosmopolitan identity. Handbags, shoes, jewelry, sunglasses, and more, make this place look like a fashion candy store! Window displays are often exceptionally creative, following, of course, the seasonal guidelines and core aesthetics of the brand. Dior loves Greece, and this summer is also opening two pop-up stores in the island of Mykonos!
Ermenegildo Zegna. One of the most renowned luxury menswear Italian brands, founded in 1910 in Piedmont, also has a sizeable no-frills boutique on the pedestrian part of Voukourestiou street. Latest collections from perfumes and shirts to tuxedos and black-tie accessories are available.
Brunello Cucinelli. Self-described as the ‘philosopher designer,’ the Creative Director of this Italian luxury brand, has picked Athens as one of its impeccably designed retail spots. Crossing Voukourestiou street, and heading to the one end of the pedestrian Valaoritou street, you will find the multi-level boutique inside a small neoclassical building. Finest quality cashmere knits are top investment pieces. Equal attention to materials and craftsmanship is evident in apparel made of linen, wool, and silk, some of them accented with monili bead embroidery. The brand is focusing on charity, so keep in mind that 20% of the profits are donated for the restoration of important works of art and other causes.
Max Mara. On Kanari street, one of the ‘entrances to the boutique-sprinkled area of Kolonaki, the Italian luxury brand offers a wide range of products from signature wool & cashmere coats, to fashionable seasonal items, accessories, and a bridal collection. Another Max Mara boutique is located in the Northern suburbs of Athens, in Kifissia.
Balenciaga. On Skoufa street, in Kolonaki, known for its vibrant fashion retail scene, the avant-garde luxury brand, founded in Spain in 1917 by the revolutionary couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, and owned today by the French group Kering, maintains a cool minimalist boutique with a great selection of apparel and accessories from the latest collection. Creative Director Demna Gvasalia is always ahead of the curve, sending down the runway visually eye-catching silhouettes based on the glorious archives of the house but taken to a new direction. As in every Balenciaga boutique, few, sparsely arranged items are arranged on the racks, drawing attention to the mood of the season.
Gucci. The highly successful Italian luxury brand led by Creative Director Alessandro Michele maintains a multi-level boutique with womenswear, menswear, shoes, bags, and accessories in the tiny, exclusive Tsakalof street in Kolonaki. The well-trained team of salespeople offers exceptional service, guiding you through options and availabilities. The on-site latest collection is meticulously curated to reflect the demand for both classic and on-trend pieces. The simple, earthy-tone décor that lets all items stand out is of timeless allure.
Luisa World. Since 1975 this multi-brand luxury boutique in the buzzy Skoufa street in Kolonaki offers you la crème de la crème of premium designers including Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Versace, Stella McCartney, Loewe, Balmain, Gucci, Prada, and Chloe. Combined with a curated roster of contemporary collections from Zimmermann, Theory, Caroline Constas, Miguelina, and more, it has access to a vast pool of options covering the needs of a cosmopolitan wardrobe. The lavish multi-level boutique in Kolonaki is a meeting point for sophisticated fashionistas. The same applies to the group’s boutiques in the northern Athenian suburb of Kifissia, in the southern suburb of Vouliagmeni at the Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel, and Nammos Village (seaside shopping mall) in Mykonos.
Linea Piu. Founded in 1986, this ultra-chic upscale boutique is the sole representative of Chanel in Greece since 1994, and the exclusive retailer for the fashion houses of Tom Ford, Ermanno Scervino (from Florence), and Blumarine. The opulent minimalist space attracts the elite of shoppers from all over the world. Since 2012, it also maintains an equally sumptuous island-vibe boutique in a picturesque cobblestone path in the town or ‘chora’ of Mykonos.
Enny di Monaco. An exciting mix of upmarket contemporary and premium brands can be discovered in this glamorous multi-level boutique with parquet wooden floors and playful designer furniture. The roster of designers includes Christian Louboutin, Aquazurra for fabulous shoes, Joanna Ortiz, Lisa Marie Fernandez, and Zimmermann for resort wear/swimwear, as well as Alaia, Alexandre Vauthier, Galvan London, and more for party time. The whole range of options unfolds through 4 premier spaces in Irodotou street in Kolonaki, in the northern suburb of Kifissia, the southern suburb of Glyfada, and the island of Mykonos.
Kalogirou. The oldest luxury shoemaker in Athens, founded in 1890, has grown into a company with 11 boutiques in Greece, importing a long roster of high-end brands (shoes, bags, and accessories) for men and women including Jimmy Choo, Prada, Miu Miu, Casadei, Gianvito Rossi, Sergio Rossi, Fratelli Rossetti, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stuart Weitzman, Tod’s, Tory Burch, and Hogan. In Athens, its most impressive boutique is in Irodotou street in Kolonaki. The building is a gem of neoclassical architecture on the foothills of Mount Lycabettus. Another one recently opened next to Salvatore Ferragamo on Stadiou street. There is also a timeless, effortless chic boutique in the Northern suburb of Kifissia and a larger, glamorous one inside the Golden Hall shopping mall.
If you have an extra day to spare, include in your itinerary a shopping & dining trip to the Northern suburb of Kifissia, which is a 40-60 minutes’ drive, depending on the traffic. This is another beautiful, mostly residential area featuring sprawling gardens, neoclassical mansions, opulent estates, an upscale shopping area, excellent fine-dining options, cute coffee shops, parks, and pedestrian areas. Some luxury brands have picked it as a retail location due to the local high-income clientele.
Golden Hall. The most luxurious shopping mall in Athens that is worth visiting is located in an impressive sparsely populated area of the northern suburb of Maroussi, halfway towards the more splendid suburb of Kifissia. The gleaming interiors of a modern glass architectural complex are complemented with generous outdoors with activities for your children. Luxury brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Georg Jensen, Lalaounis, CH Carolina Herrera, Ermenegildo Zegna, Wolford, Vilebrequin, and many top-tier Greek jewelers are nicely juxtaposed with high-street brands, and other services such as the well-established Georgios Doudessis hair salon, a nail bar, restaurants, and coffee shops.
CH Carolina Herrera. Carolina Hererra’s lifestyle brand; a concept of universal appeal for the whole family, includes in its European boutiques this spacious one at the Holden Hall shopping mall. Founded in 2001, this more affordable and equally tasteful collection is presented in a new warm and sensual space accented with wood, alabaster, and raw fabrics. The men’s department features raffia flooring, sliding wooden panels, and neutral tones, while women’s is decorated with more feminine details such as velvet rugs, elegant lamps, pillows, and aromatic candles. A cozy fireplace is staged against a library to exude a homey vibe. It’s all about perennial aesthetics.
Bottega Veneta. The iconic luxury brand, founded in Vicenza in 1966, is lately again on the hype due to highly coveted pouch bag and shoe designs by Creative Director Daniel Lee. It maintains a magnificent boutique in the verdant premium northern suburb of Kifissia, on the Kolokotroni street that leads to the little square of Kefalari, quite near the design-perfect Semiramis hotel.
As mentioned above, there are many other boutiques around Kifissia to explore. We can add, as a post-shopping entertainment, the possibility for gourmet dining at the Twenty One restaurant or the Il Salumaio d’Atene plus an outdoor movie theater experience at Chloe Cinema in a spectacular garden with a view to the little tower of a nearby mansion, or Mpomponiera.