Piraeus is located in Attica, on the shores of the Aegean Sea. It is the main commercial and passenger port of Greece and the largest port in the Mediterranean. Although Piraeus has existed as a separate city for centuries, it is now located 12 km from the center of the capital and is considered part of Athens.
The history of Piraeus is rooted in ancient times: it developed most actively at the beginning of the 5th century BC. e., when it was chosen as a port and harbor, in which all imports and transit trade of the state were concentrated. Today, Piraeus is a very noisy and active city, an industrial and commercial center and the location of one of the leading universities in Greece.
Most tourists tend to slip through Piraeus as quickly as possible, using it solely as a staging post. Which is probably right: there are enough more interesting places in Greece for the first, second and even fifth trip. But if you are in the country for the tenth or twentieth time, it makes sense to take a closer look at Piraeus. Each of its districts has its own specific culture, from the neoclassical elegant hill of Castella to the picturesque little harbors of Mikrolimano and Zea, where the fishing boats huddle and the fun begins in the evenings.
How to get to Piraeus
According to Wholevehicles, buses No. 40 and No. 49 run between central Athens and Piraeus (fare 2 EUR) 24 hours a day. Bus number X96 operates regular routes between Piraeus and Athens airport (cost 6 EUR, travel time 90 min). The airport can also be reached by metro (10 EUR).
Cruise ships from almost all the islands of the Aegean Sea (with the exception of the Sporades and some smaller islands of the Cyclades and Dodecanese, where a transfer is required) and the Eastern Mediterranean moor to the port of Piraeus all year round.
Weather in Piraeus
The climate is Mediterranean with many sunny days throughout the year. Rainfall is most likely between November and April due to the close proximity of Piraeus to Mount Parnitha.
The hottest time in Piraeus is the summer months, ideal for relaxing and sunbathing, and the best time for sightseeing trips is autumn or spring.
Shops and restaurants
Cafes and shops are located along the harbor, near the cruise terminal, and also near the metro. The central avenues of Piraeus – Iroon Polytechneiou and Grigoriou Labraki are considered large shopping areas.
Piraeus is famous for its great variety of taverns and restaurants famous for their cuisine. Most of them specialize in seafood and are concentrated near the harbors of Mikrolimano and Piraiki.
Entertainment and attractions of Piraeus
Notable among the archaeological sites of Piraeus are the ancient port gates and part of the fortifications built during the Peloponnesian War, which have survived in good condition to this day. The ruins of the ancient city located in the basement of the cathedral of Agia Triada and the ancient theater of Zea next to the archaeological museum. The archaeological museum has an extensive collection of ancient artifacts found during excavations in Piraeus, mainly in the waterfront area.
Kastella is considered one of the most attractive areas of the city with neoclassical mansions. The hills of Kastella offer panoramic views of Athens and the Saronic Gulf. In the center of Piraeus are the Neoclassical City Theatre, built in 1885, and the Neo-Byzantine Cathedral of Piraeus.
Numerous museums of the city are also of interest: the Greek Maritime Museum, the Historical Museum, the Georgios Averof Ship Museum, the Electric Railway Museum, the Municipal Art Gallery and the City Library, one of the largest in Greece.
One of the popular events in Piraeus is the Ecocinema Film Festival, held annually in February. In summer, Piraeus meets the sea festival and the Rock Wave festival. And the festival “The Way of the Three Kings” marks the beginning of the carnival with all the ensuing consequences – costumed shows and performances.