The Best Athens Bookshops You Must Visit (and One Bookish Find I Never Expected)
Updated: Jul 18
There are so many Athens bookshops to choose from, where can a bookish traveler even begin?
First of all, I’ll acknowledge that this is an excellent problem to have. In that way, it reminds me of the bookish “problem” of Paris: so many Paris bookshops on seemingly every corner, it would be essentially impossible to visit them all or even to make a complete list of them. I found the same to be true in Athens. I had my list of Athens bookshops to visit, but as I wandered the ancient city, I just kept seeming to find more and more.
As you know if you’ve been here before, I’m all about literary travel and hunting down the best indie bookstores everywhere I go (then happily sharing the best ones with you).
In my recent trip to Athens, the cradle of western civilization, I enjoyed visiting as many independent bookshops as possible. If you’re a book lover visiting Athens, put these cute bookshops high on your list of places to visit in Athens.
I’ve also dotted this post with some Athens travel tips, like tours I loved and underrated sites nearby that you should visit.
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And if you’re planning a trip to Greece or elsewhere in Europe, make sure you check out my top travel gear picks, all based on personal experience and insight as a constant traveler.
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Whenever possible, I recommend buying books at local bookshops or through Bookshop.org, because shopping there puts the profits right into the hands of indie bookstores all over the country.
Little Tree Books and Coffee
Kavalloti 2, Athina 117 42, Greece
Let’s start off this list of the best Athens bookstores with a personal favorite: a book cafe. Book cafes are one of my favorite bookish finds in any city. What could possibly be more appealing than to browse a bookstore, then sit down with your latest find and enjoy a coffee or tea and dive in to your bookish find?
Little Tree Books and Coffee is a delightful book cafe in Athens that’s absolutely worth a stop. This indie bookstore sells all new books, mostly in Greek but with a respectable selection of English translations. I picked out several books from Greek authors that have been translated into English. If you’re looking for English books in Athens, make sure you check out Little Tree.
I enjoyed eating lunch at this Athens book cafe, and I’m happy to report their tea is delicious (loose leaf and freshly blended), as is the food, which includes simple cafe sandwiches and similar fare. Simple, but tasty.
Athens travel tip: This Athens bookstore cafe is located right next to Philopappos hill. I highly recommend the climb up to the top of this hill for amazing view of the Acropolis and all of Athens, especially around sunset.
118 51, Iraklidon 22, Athina 118 51, Greece
Lemoni Bookshop is a great independent bookstore in Athens that is everything a small, neighborhood bookstore should be.
It’s tucked away in an adorable, quaint, residential street in Athens. You have to be looking for it to know it’s there. It’s a simple store, a single room, with no books in English. Still, it’s a great place to discover Greek authors. In fact, they frequently host events with local authors in the small courtyard in front of the shop.
This is an Athens bookstore worth stopping by. You’ll enjoy the quiet setting away from the craziness of the city. Make sure you take a peek out of the back window the shop to see the beautiful, private garden behind (unfortunately, you can’t enter).
Athens travel tip: The city can get overwhelming after a couple of days. Make sure to escape the Athens hubbub and take a half-day trip to the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion. You'll catch an amazing Greek sunset and can even find the graffiti left by a famous Romantic poet.
Panepistimiou 37, Athina 105 64, Greece
Books Plus is another favorite Athens bookstore for me. It’s a beautiful indie bookshop and also has a lot of unique bookish gift products and Athens souvenirs. One striking feature of Books Plus is the fresco-style mural on the wall, which lends the bookshop an old world Greek feel in an otherwise modern shop. It’s a nod to the history of Greece and its rich history of literature, drama, and philosophy.
This Athens bookshop sells all new books, mostly in Greek, but with a decent section of English translations. Books Plus is definitely a place to check out if you’re looking for where to buy English books in Athens. Any book loving traveler in Athens will enjoy getting pleasantly lost in three, spacious floors of new books and unique products like puzzles and art supplies.
Athens travel tip: Going on a walking food tour was one of the absolute highlights of my time in Athens. Here’s the Athens food tour I went on, but there are lots to choose from.
Ippokratous 10-12, Athina 106 79, Greece
This Athens bookshop wasn’t on my radar ahead of my visit, but I happily stumbled upon it in my wanderings. Τσιγαρίδας sells all English language books! That makes it a perfect find for people looking for English books in Athens.
Specifically, this is an ideal Athens bookshop for finding the best books set in Greece as well as non-fiction books about Greece. There's a large bookshelf right at the entrance featuring books on these topics, but if you're looking for more general fiction and non-fiction, you'll find those here, too.
There are also smaller sections offering books in German, Italian, and French.
Τσιγαρίδας is located in what I unofficially designated as the Athens Book District (see the final section for more details!)
Ακαδημίας &, Ippokratous 15, Athina 106 79, Greece
Greekbooks is an adorable Athens bookshop that any bookish traveler will want to visit. It features three floors of books, all of which are quite charming to stroll through.
There is a very small section for English language books, but the options are very limited. For those who read in Greek, you will have lots to choose from. This is a well laid out Athens bookstore, and the aesthetics are on point.
My tip? Make your way to the top floor and check out the creative bookish pendant lights.
Bonus Find: The Athens Bookstore District
As far as I’m aware, this is not actually an official thing, but it may as well be! In researching bookstores in Athens, several of them seemed clumped together within a few blocks of each other. I set aside a part of my afternoon for visiting the area and checking out what I anticipated to be 4 or 5 bookstores in the area. To my surprise, this area of Athens contained several city blocks of bookstores!
This bookish pocket is located directly Northeast behind the Academy of Athens and the National Library. Strolling down Ippokratous Street and some of the side streets turning off of it, a bookish traveller will be rewarded with at least 30 bookstores from which to choose. These Athens bookstores range from the tiniest rooms of antique books to large book department stores. There are bookstores specializing in academic texts, children's books, antiquarian finds, just about any niche!
There were so many bookshops in this district in Athens, even I couldn’t go in them all! And that's saying a lot. This was such a pleasant surprise for me in finding Athens bookstores. I never expected to find a whole bookish district.
Athens travel tip: Right next to the Academy of Athens is the impressive Vallianeio Megaron, the National Library of Greece. I was disappointed to find it wasn’t open to casual visitors (only scholars by appointment), but the Athens library’s exterior is still impressive and worth taking in for literary travelers heading to Athens’s book district.
Finding Accommodations in Athens
Athens is a very compact, walkable city. I recommend prioritizing location; find somewhere within Athens proper so you can walk to all your destinations and not waste time traveling in and out of the city.
As you look for where to stay in Athens, I recommend checking for lodging on Hotels.com. I almost always book my accommodations through Hotels.com, because you can earn rewards for every night you stay without having to choose only one hotel chain to be loyal to. You can even book locally owned aparthotels and bed and breakfasts.
Travel Resources At-A-Glance
All of the following are links to sites and services I actually use to book and plan my travel or to purchase books or travel gear.
For flights: Skyscanner is my number one go-to resource for booking flights. I love using the “explore” function to find the cheapest places I can fly during a given time, or using the fare calendar to identify the cheapest days to fly.
For hotels and lodgings: For hotels, hotels.com and for vacation rentals, VRBO.com. I’ve had much better experiences with private rentals through this website than through other popular private vacation rental websites.
For car rentals: Kayak allows comparisons across a wide range of booking agencies and lists reviews of companies as well. I’ve found this to be the most user-friendly and efficient way to compare car rental prices.
For tours & excursions: Viator is my top choice for booking excursions and tour experiences in a new destination.
Best travel credit card: My favorite travel rewards credit card for European travel has been the Chase Sapphire Rewards card. Visa is accepted just about everywhere in Europe, and there are no foreign transaction fees on the card. Some of the travel benefits I love on the Chase Sapphire include free TSA pre check or Global Entry (worth it every time), an annual $200 travel credit, an annual $200 hotel benefit, built-in rental car and trip insurance, and points are worth 50% more when used to book travel. I travel around Europe a LOT, and I end up with many free flights and hotel stays from using my points on my Chase Sapphire.
For books: Bookshop.org often has prices as good as Amazon or sometimes better, but profits go to indie bookstores all over the country. Whenever possible, consider buying your books from this online indie bookshop resource.
Athens is a city filled with beautiful, independent bookshops. Which bookshop would you like most to visit there? Any that I missed?
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