Last year, we visited Athens, Greece for the first time and were blown away by the record scene there. As if the astonishing Acropolis rising up in the middle of the city, the mouth-watering food, and the beautiful weather weren’t enough! Here are 10 reasons to go record shopping in Athens and book your flight for a vinyl vacation right now.
1. 30(!) Record Shops
With around 30 record shops scattered around the city center, most of them in walking distance of each other and otherwise only a few metro stops away, we unfortunately weren’t able to visit them all in the few days we were there. (We tried!) A good selection all around, check out VinylHub
for more info and create your list of shops to visit.
2. A Wealth Of ’90s Releases On Vinyl
Whether it’s Nirvana
, or any other of the ’90s staples
you’re into, we guarantee you’ll find original pressings by the dozen. Save up in advance or be prepared to make some tough choices.
3. Heaven For Metal Fans
Most of the shops we visited had an extensive metal selection, and there were quite a few dedicated metal shops. They had classics, new releases, box sets, t-shirts, and other merch in abundance!
4. Greek Pressings By International Artists
I mean, a mini-album by Talk Talk
?! Local pressings of your favorite albums are the best souvenirs to take home from anywhere, but the sleeves with Greek writing are extra special. Just ensure your record bags are closed when your plane takes off — otherwise your gems might slide across the whole cabin (yep, I can confirm that is indeed embarrassing…).
5. Greek Pressings By Greek Artists
Every shop has a large selection of Greek music, and the shop staff will be happy to guide you to some gems that you don’t even know exist. Whether you’re into traditional music, folk, classical, rock, or psychedelic music, there’s so much to discover!
6. Good Deals
We found very good quality records at reasonable prices, in the shops and at the record fair.
7. Great Shop Owners
The shop owners were knowledgeable, patient, friendly, happy to chat, and had a good sense of humor — just how we like them best!
8. Greek Record Labels
The Greek music scene is an interesting one, with active independent labels like Ikaros Records
, Το Δισκάδικο, B-Otherside
, Sound Effect Records
, Inner Ear Records
, Geheimnis Records
, United We Fly Records
, Fabrika Records
, and many more. Check out what they’ve been releasing recently online, or ask in the shops.
9. Loads To See And Do For Your Not-So-Interested Travel Companions
Most of the record shops in Athens are based in or around the Monastiraki area and in Exarchia. The first is home to the flea market and hundreds of small shops with clothing, art, crafts, and souvenirs. The second is the more alternative district with amazing graffiti all around. There’s enough to keep any potential travel companions occupied. In both areas, you’ll find cozy bars and terraces to enjoy the weather and rest your feet after a record shop crawl.
10. Record Fairs
While we were in Athens, we attended the Vinyl Is Back record fair. And if any of the other fairs in Greece are like this, you’ll have a field day (or weekend!). We enjoyed the laid back atmosphere, the large turnout, the crowd (from young families to the elderly), and of course the friendly sellers.
All in all, Greece is a great record shopping destination. You won’t regret spending a few days there. And if you can’t make it to Greece, you can of course always explore what’s on offer from our Greek sellers on Discogs!
Have you been record shopping in Athens/Greece? Share your experience and recommendations in the comments!
This article was first published in March 2018