I spent a few days in Athens, Greece shortly after the new year and while looking for souvenirs, created my own walking tour of the city by trying to stop by as many bicycle shops as possible.
A friend had found this post on couchsurfing that linked to this map. Coupled with my borrowed lonely planet printout, I mapped out places that were within walking distance of our hotel. Most of the stores were closed because of the new year holiday, but I decided to take a photo of all of the storefronts as I explored the city. Here’s a gallery of bike shop storefronts in Athens. I can’t vouch for the greek letters below – I’ve just copy and pasted them from the map.
I started near Omonia, since there is a cluster of shops near the square, and it was near our hotel.
Giorgos Altyparmakis is apparently a legendary bicycle mechanic in Athens (or all of Greece: see here, here, and here), but unfortunately his shop was closed when I walked by. It looks like there were some fun components in there though.
Brady Kiesling had some useful information on cycling in Athens. Here’s the arcade he mentions on his site:
I stopped into the arcade again the next day and to my surprise, the shop was open:
I walked north from Omonia towards Larisis and found more closed small shops.
From here, I walked a long way along Leof Konstandinoupoleos, towards the Gazi neighborhood. There was some cool street art along the way, but I walked a long stretch between bike shops.
As I was walking to the next shop, a guy yelled to me, trying to explain that the store was closed and that it would be open tomorrow. I knew that it’d be closed, but I still wanted to take the photo and peer in a bit. Good looking out though.
I walked further south to the next shop. It was nice walking through this part of town – it’s definitely off of the beaten path for most tourists.
From here, it was another long walk until I got to the next bike shop. I got a little lost on the way, but found Athens Heart, a mall that I used as a rest stop. All of the stores except for the restaurants on the top floor were closed, but it was neat to walk through and a good bathroom break.
The next neighborhood that I walked through (Koukaki? Not sure.) seemed laid back, pleasant, and relaxing. Stergiou bikes was closed, of course:
Another shot of Stergiou:
Another mile or so of walking took me to the next shop:
All in all, it was a nice walk and a great way to explore the city. It would have been nicer if more shops were open, but I doubt that I would have been able to cover as much ground if I’d stopped into each one. Plus, I got the souvenir that I was looking for thanks to Stefanos at Tsipidis bikes.