is located in the West of Attica about 5 Km from the center of
Athens, the port of Athens since Classical times, is today a
metropolis in its own right, containing much of Greater Athens
industries, as well as various commercial activities
associated with a port. For most visitors it is Pireaus
inter-island ferries that provide the reason for coming. The
easiest way there is by metro – it's the last stop.
most fulfilling pursuit is to check out some of the port's
excellent eating options – you'll find several budget
restaurants around the market area, back from the waterside
Pasalimani, Akti Miaouli, Tourkolimano, Kastela. For more
substantial meals, there is a string of ouzeri and seafood
tavernas along Akti Themistokleous, west of the Marina
Zea, most of them well-priced.
staying in Athens prior to heading out to the islands, it is
worth calling the phone number 143 to pick up a schedule of
departures for the current day. Most of the boats leave
between 8am and 9am for the main Cycladic islands, around 1pm
for the major Dodecanese islands, between 5pm and 6pm for the
northeast Aegean islands, and around 7pm for Crete. The best
plan is to get to Pireaus early and check with the various
shipping agents around the metro station and in the Platia
We are sure
that most of you have heard, at least once, the song Ta Paidia
tou Pirea, which was composed by Manos Hadjidakis and was sung
by Melina Merkouri in the film "Never on Sunday".
But not many people know much about the place that was made
world-famous by that film and song: the city and port of
Due to the
rapid development of the area between them, Athens and Piraeus
have really become one big city, the boundaries between them
being more of an administrative nature rather than real ones.
The city of Piraeus, planned by the architect Ippodamos from
Melos, was built in the middle of the 5th century B.C.
Ippodamos' plans were used as guidelines for replanning the
city in 1834.
Porto Leone: Piraeus was
known in medieval times as Porto Leone, a name due to the
enormous stone lion which guarded the port's entrance. Piraeus
is the main port of Athens, the biggest in Greece and one of
the most important in the Mediterranean Sea. Today, the life
of Piraeus is centered around its three ports: the main,
central one and those of Zea and Mikrolimano. Piraeus is the
most important shipping, industrial and transport centre of
You can walk
around the central harbour, shared by cargo and passenger
ships alike, and watch the constant comings and goings of
goods and people from around the world. Then, continue your
walk to Kastella, a hill full of beautiful houses, with a
great view of the Saronic Gulf and visit the city's
archaeological Museum. In Mikrolimano you can treat yourselves
to an ouzo accompanied by seafood mezedes, in one of its many
tavernas and restaurants. People from all over Attica come
here for a meal of fresh fish. In the afternoon, a stroll
around the yachts and sailing boats moored in the marina Zeas,
can prove to be very beneficial to the weary traveller. If the
night finds you in the area, you can try one of the many bars
found nearby. The pace of life in Piraeus is set by the sea,
which seems to encompass the whole city. Actually it once did,
as Piraeus was an island in ancient times. Travellers were
then ferried from the mainland to the island (the verb in
Greek being: die-perae-ounto) and this is probably how its
name came to be Piraeus.
The History of Pireaus: Themistokles
was the first to realise the importance of Piraeus to the city
of Athens and turn it into the city's main port, instead of
the Gulf of Faliro, which was used by the Athenians until the
5th century B.C. Wanting Athens to have a fortified port he
built the wall of Piraeus, the construction of which took from
493 to 479 B.C. Later Perikles completed the fortification by
building the Makra Teiche (the Long Walls), which protected
both sides of the road all the way from Piraeus to Athens.
The Main Harbour: Its ancient
name was Kantharos and nowadays it is the centre of the city's
life. This is where you will get a ferry to all of the Aegean
islands (with the exception of the ones belonging to the
Sporades) and Crete.
Zea: Zea's marina
is the place where some of the most impressive yachts and
cruisers in Greece are moored. The coastline is full of
restaurants, tavernas, bars and shops catering for the needs
Mikrolimano: This port,
once protected by the goddess Mounichia Artemis is today a
popular hang-out for tourists. It is a lovely little harbour
full of fishing boats, small vessels and some very beautiful
yachts. If you like fish and seafood, try one of its famous
Built on a
hill which is also known as Prophetis Elias, Kastella is
Piraeus' most fashionable neighbourhood. If you walk towards
the top of the hill you will find yourselves in narrow streets
surrounded by picturesque houses. The view of the central
harbour, Zea and Mikrolimano, from here Is unique.
Municipal Theatre: It dominates
one of the city's central squares. It was built in the 1880s.
Korai Square in front of it, is one of the spots most
frequented by the residents of Piraeus and is their favourite
Monastiraki of Pireaus: A flea
market like the Athenian one of Monastiraki. One can find real
bargains here. It takes place every Sunday on Dragatsaniou and
Archeological Museum: The Piraeus
Museum contains objects, mainly sculptures, discovered in
Piraeus and the area of the Attic coast. The exhibits are
representative of the history, the acme and decline of the
particular attention to the five bronze statues discovered in
Piraeus in 1959: The Archaic Kouros-Apollo, two statues of
Artemis, the Piraeus Athena and a tragic mask (4th century
The Maritime Museum: You will
find it on Akti Moutsopoulou and its exhibits cover 3,000
years or so of Greek naval history.
from the harbor of Pireaus to: Poros, Hydra, Spetses and ports in the
Peloponnese, in Arcadia (Leonidio and Tyros), in Argolida
(Ermioni, Porto Heli, Tolo and Nafplio) and in Lakonia
(Kyparisi, Monemvasia and Neapolis).
Tel: 2422 5315
Departing from the central harbour to: Aegina.
Tel: 2428 0001
Syntagma Square take the No 40 green bus.
From Omonia Square take the No 049 bus or the metro which will
take you to Akti Kondyli in about 20 minutes.