By ISABELLE CLAYTON
No vacation is complete without an engrossing beach read. And if, amidst the excitement of escaping to Greece for the summer, it slipped your mind to pack a captivating book in your carry-on, never fear — the myriad bookstores of Athens will have just the page-turner you’re looking for. Located all across the city, here are a few of our favorite places to purchase books throughout your stay.
Polyglot’s international selection is constantly enriched with titles and authors. Thumb through more than 20.000 books in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Turkish and more, both for children and adults. And if you can’t find what you are looking for, Polyglot will be more than happy to order it for you. 84 Akadimias Str., Athens, +302103300455, fb: Polyglot Bookstore, www.polyglotbooks.gr
Greece is a land of overwhelming history combined with awe-inspiring natural landscapes and wanders. From scenic coastlines and idyllic sand beaches to spectacular canyons, majestic rivers and imposing mountain volumes, explore them all, starting from the wall-to-wall bookshelves of the two floors store filled with a vast range of guidebooks, maps, special trail editions created by Anavasi’s highly experienced staff and a wide display of travel guides and maps of Europe and the world. 32 Voulis Str.,
Athens historic center
One of the largest bookstores in Athens, and likely the most comprehensive. The store is split into multiple sections, each accesible via different entrance points along Asklipiou Str., featuring thousands of texts to choose from, usually at discounted prices, Politeia is sure to have a book perfect for your summer reading needs. 1-3 Asklipiou Str.
Browse among Lexikopoleio’s floor-to-ceiling shelves, and find dictionaries, picture books or newly released fiction novels. This bookstore is special not only for its selection of novels in English, French, and other languages, but for the genuine warmth of its staff. 13 Stasinou Str., Athens
If you find yourself in the beautiful, upscale neighborhood of Kolonaki, be sure to visit Book Loft. Although relatively small, the store houses
a wonderful collection of books ranging from children’s books to classical and contemporary literature. You might also come
to Book Loft to purchase unique stationary gifts, notebooks and other book-oriented knick-knacks. 44 Patriarhou Ioakim Str., Athens
Bookshelves populate all four floors of Evripidis, housing collections of texts in a variety of languages, including English. After buying a book, or two, migrate to one of the bookstore’s two cafés, where frequent customers come
to enjoy their new purchases while sipping on cool glasses of freddo espresso. 11 Andrea Papandreou, Chalandri /310 Kifissias Av., Kifissia
Named after the lemon trees hidden in its picturesque back yard, “Lemoni” bookstore is an open door to a lemon scented universe of magical words and unexplored horizons tucked
away in the pages the carefully selected books cramming its shelves: classical and Modern Greek and foreign literature, poetry, philosophy, children’s
book and international magazines, as well as a surprisingly large collection of Japanese poetry,
to mention a few. 22 Irakleidon Str., Thissio
Little Tree Books & Coffee
With wooden shelves, vintage furniture and the alluring old Athens ambience, this beautiful bookstore, also a charming café, at the foothills of the Acropolis, offers hours of good book readings with an intriguing variety of publications ranging from children’s books, Greek literature and poetry, philosophy and politics, as well as exceptional English translations of celebrated Greek novelists. Also, a satisfying volume of French and Italian classics. 2 Kavalloti Str., Athens
Le Livre Ouvert
For the French-speaking residents of the city and French visitors alike, this bookshop, overflowing with a French chic aura, feels like “home”. Here you will find a plethora of classics and best sellers of French literature as well as a great selection of international titles translated in French. An interesting array of dictionaries claims a fair portion of the shelves as well.
77 Solonos Str., Athens
If your stay in Athens is enough to justify a library card, or simply hope to find spots to read and work, the city has incredible multilingual public libraries that are as welcoming as they are exciting to visit.
The National Library of Greece
Now located in the must-see Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, the National Library of Greece is two centuries old and has an extensive collection of books (over one million titles!), with entire sections devoted to special categories such as children’s literature and art books. There are plenty of places to eat nearby, and the library is the perfect place to wander through. 364 Andrea Siggrou Av., Kallithea
We Need Books
The other end of the spectrum is We Need Books, a pioneering initiative that began in 2019. As Athens’ first multilingual library and cultural center, it is home to 14,000 books in over 30 languages, and accessible to all, it is a welcoming space that offers a cozy workspace and garden.
7 Evias Str., Kypseli