Greece travel

Piraeus

information about Piraeus Greece

Piraeus is the main port of Greece and with a transport of 19 million passengers annually is the largest in Europe and third in the world. After the Olympics of 2004 the port has been modernised and is probably one of the most beautiful ports in the Mediterranean. Today the port of Piraeus is used only for passenger boats. The commercial cargo and containers port has been moved to Keratsini and Ikonion and further on to Aspropyrgos and Elefsina for the Tankers. From here the ferries transfer passengers and goods to all the islands of the Aegean. More ferry information about, departure gates and timetables can be found in our Greek ferry schedule page.

PiraeusBut lets take a journey back in the good old days of Piraeus ,the days that have inspired many famous Greek writers like Nikos Psathas (Ta Pedia tis Piatsas) and film makers like Jules Dassen (Never on Sunday) ,famous Greek composers like Zambetas , Xarhakos ,Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hadjidakis and many others with famous songs like "Ta pedia tou Pirea" ,"Drapetsona" "Kato sto Pirea" "Lemonadika" and many others sang from the most popular Greek singers like Gregoris Bithikotsis, Vicky Mosholiou and others. Piraeus is the city of Greece that most songs have been written for. If you ask why ,probably because Piraeus reflects the "Nostos" a Greek word that means missing my country. From Piraeus left thousands of immigrants to America and Australia , from Piraeus left thousands of Greek seamen for years travelling to the seven seas living behind them crying wives ,mothers and children waving a white handkerchief as the ship was living the port.

port of piraeusThe old Piraeus: Roloi (the Clock)was the most famous landmark and Cafe of Piraeus, that unfortunately the military regime knock down and created a small triangle square with a statue of Themistocles.
During the pre-war times in Piraeus where existing the Lemonadika (an area that has been become a song).Lemonadfika was the place where Kaiques and Barges where bringing Lemons and fruits from the islands in this area many Rembetes like Vamvakaris (see rembetiko music) found material and wrote their best songs. All over this area where huts made from any kind of material as small shops, cafes and any kind of small business. Amongs the people that where working there were some less savoury characters, so the area slowly became a place of the small underground world of Piraeus that later on moved to "Troumpa" the area between Notara and Filonos street that had inspired many films among the "Never on Sunday" and "Kokina Fanaria" (the red lights).The cabaret area of "Troumba" was closed in the 60's. During the second world war Piraeus was heavily bombarded by the Luftwaffe. A piece of a British ship that was exploded during the bombing can been seeing at the small park next to St. Dionysius church embedded on a Pine tree.

pasalimaniPlaces to see and go in Piraeus: There are many nice places to visit in Piraeus  and the surrounding areas. The new infrastructure has made the port of Piraeus one of the best in the Mediterranean. Among the most important places to visit while you are in Piraeus either waiting for the ferry to take you to the Greek islands or during a short visit are many.The Municipality Theatre (Dimotiko Theatro) Marina of Zea (Pasalimani) , Kastella, Tourkolimano marina (Mikroimano) , Peiraiki (at the coast) Hadjikiriakio. In all those areas you will find restaurants, fish taverns ,bars and clubs.
Parts of the Ancient walls that connected Piraeus with Athens (Makra Teihi) can been seen in the Marina of Zea where also located the Maritime museum and in parts of Peiraiki coasts. On Profitis Helias hill the visitor can have a panoramic view of Athens and Piraeus as well to all the Saronic gulf. Visit the Metropolis of Piraeus at the Junction of Vasileos Georgiou and Ethnikis Antistaseos Avenues. The church of St Spyridon a few meters further on Akti Miaouli and further on the same street the church of Agios Nikolaos near to the old Customs and opposite the Piraeus Exhibition hall.
Markets: Visit the Piraeus fish and meat market at the triangle of Akti Poseidonos, Dimosthenus street and Gounari street. Not as big as the Athens market Varvakeios but a very interesting place to see.
Further down the Poseidonos Avenue located the terminal of the Metro a Great building that it was build in the end of the 20's according the architectural style of those years.
Walking up the King George Avenue at the junction with Heroon Polytehneiou street located the municipality Theater of Piraeus. Right at the front are the Square Korai where situated the Municipality of Piraeus building. Following the Heroon Polytehneiou street you wil go further on Hadjikyriakou street where at the end you will find many fish taverns.
In Pasalimani and Peiraiki you will enjoy the views of the Saronic gulf and a plethora of fish taverns. In Marina Zeas as well in Peiraiki and Kastella you can see remains of the Ancient wall that was connecting Athens with Piraeus. In the same marina located the naval museum of Piraeus.
Just before you turn for the Dodecanese ferries in Agios Dionyssios there is a famous area with many Souvlaki shops the so called Souvlatzidika. The area located at the Junction of Akti kondyli and Akti Letioneia if you follow the street Thesmoforou Kekropos that goes to Keratsini.

The main shopping centre of Piraeus Located on the triangle between Gounary street, Ethnikis Antistaseos street and Akti Poseidonos where the fish and meat market of Piraeus located and the roads around them with shops of any kind of thing. Walking along Gounari street you are surrounded by the smells of exotic spices ,like cinnamon ,gloves and nutmeg that are mixed with the local aroma of thyme and oregano that from the various grocery shops. Further on following the King George II Avenue from Piraeus Metropolis church Agia Triada towards Pasalimani and around Korai square and Iroon Polytechneiou street are many shops of any kind as well as around the City Hall theatre (Demotiko Theatro) . Fashion boutiques can be found on the smaller parallel streets that heading to Pasalimani like Sotiros Dios and Bouboulinas. In Pasalimani there are also boutiques and shopping centres.

Areas of Piraeus

The prefecture of Piraeus is divided into many municipalities. One of the biggest is the municipality of Nikea. The dense population of Nikea is due to the fact that many Greek refugees settled here from Asia Minor after the destruction of Smyrna in 1922. Nikea, as a main labour class area, was always the political stronghold of the Greek Left which is the reason that it is called Kokkinia (Red). In 17 of August1944 , during the Nazi occupation, there was a blockade here that led about 300 of Greek patriots of the resistance being executed.

Plateia-EleftheriasAnother large municipality of Piraeus is Korydallos. This area borders with Nikea to the south and west and with the municipality of Agia Varvara in the west. In recent years Korydallos has become one of the trendiest places in Piraeus with good night life of smart cafeterias and excellent shopping for fashionable designer label clothes. Around Eleftherias Square you can find branches of the most famous coffee houses and cafeterias like Flocafe and Aegli the sister bar of the Mykonos Aeglie, the downside is that Eleftherias Square is probably the most expensive place in Europe to drink a cup of coffee as a cappuccino can cost up to 4 Euros!! The shopping mile of Taxiarhon Street is one of the most visited shopping high streets in Piraeus. Every week thousands of shoppers are coming from other areas to buy or window shop at the latest fashions in the various boutiques that line Taxiarchon Street.

The west areas of Piraeus includes the area of Drapetsona, that used to be one of the poorest and most neglected areas f Piraeus. This is due to the fact that next to it used to be a fertilizer factory (Lipasmata) which for many years polluted the area. Fortunately, the factory has now closed down and the electrical generating factory which is close by in Kerartsini is only used when there is a need for extra electricity. Today, Drapetsona has been developed and brand new modern flats are erupting overnight like mushrooms. Keratsini lies to the northwest of Drapetsona where the commercial port of Piraeus begins. Millions of tones of merchandise are offloaded here from transatlantic container ships especially at the area of Ikonio. The port continues further on to Perama where the Perama shipyards and the ferries to Salamia are located. After the Perama peninsula the port of Piraeus continues from the Skaramangas shipyards to the oil refineries of Aspropogos continuing further on to the Elefsina shipyards. This makes the coastline of the whole of the Port of Piraeus totally over 40 kilometres thus the third bigger port of the world and biggest port of Europe. In older times the dozens of cargo, tankers and container ships used to anchorage a few mile out of the port of Piraeus, today the most of them use as anchorage the south coasts of Salamina and the gulf of Elefsis (mainly tankers).

Other areas of Piraeus are Agia Sophia or Maniatika that took its name from the people of Mani who first settled here,.further to the north is Neapolis and Amfiali. The huge street Petrou Ralli that goes through the areas of Roof and Agios Ioannis Rendis after crossing the Kifissou Avenue by bridge extends to Grigoriou Lambraki Avenue connecting Athens with Nikea, Korydallos, Neapoli, Amfiali, Keratsini and Perama. At the beginning of Pireos Street in Piraeus is the area of Kaminia that borders with Nikea. This name comes from the traditional occupation and factories that was carried out here, namely making clay for bricks, pots, etc. The word Kaminia in English is like a clay oven or kiln for firing pots etc.

Nightlife.

Piraeus has a very interesting nightlife. Numerous fish restaurants, bars and cafeterias can be found all along the coastal route from Peiraiki to Pasalimani, Kastela and Mikrolimano. Renowned for its fish tavernas is Mikrolimano, Hadjikyriakio and Peiraiki. At the end of Hadjikyriakou Street, next door to the Naval Cadet School, is one of the most famous fish tavernas of Piraeus, the Margaro taverna (or Lazaro's Taverna as it is more commonly known by). Near by towards Pigada there are many other fish restaurants. On the Peiraiki coast you can find many very good fish taverns like Diasimos, Kritikos, Ta Nisia and many fashionable bars and cafeterias. You can enjoy drinks at the Marina Zeas and on the east part of Pasalimani marina towards Kastella and Alexandras square. The traditional small port of Mikrolimano is bursting by fish taverns one next to the other. A bar mile is after Mikrolimano towards Faliro very near to the Karaiskaki stadium home of the famous football team of Piraeus Olympiakos FC. There are several Greek live music clubs like BO LIVE (Pireos avenue and Mykalis street) and ANIFORI in Pasalimani.

Transport and Traffic

Main transport in Piraeus are the buses and trolleys, in the old days until the 50' - 60's use to be two lines of trams the green trams within Piraeus and the Yellow tram that connected the port with Keratsini and Perama. Getting in and out of Piraeus thanks to the junctions that have been created in recent years at Kononos street one of of the main exits from the port to Athens via Athens Piraeus avenue and from the new tunnel that goes from the port gate E1 to Drapetsona , Keratsini and further to the national highway Athens to Patras via Skisto has give some solutions to the huge traffic of tracks buses and cars. From the center of Piraeus you can go to Athens from the Omiridou Skylitsi street that takes you to Poseidonos Avenue and Athinon Pireos Avenue. Of course the best way to get to Athens if you are not driving is by the Athens Metro, its terminal located right outside the gate E5 at Akti Poseidonos.

Olympiacos of PiraeusFootbal teams: Olympiacos: Piraeus is the city of the famous Greek football team Olympiakos (OSFP) . The fans of call their team "Thryllos" which means Thrill.  Olympiakos (OSFP) is Greece's largest athletic organization and one of the world' largest ones. Olympiacos was founded in 1925 in Piraeus.
Olympiakos (Olympiakos union of sport fans of Piraeus or OSFP) has won many distinctions, during its long history, around the world in many sports like football, basketball, men’s and women’s water polo, men’s and women’s volleyball, swimming, track and field, sailing, wrestling, weightlifting, rowing, canoe, kayak, table tennis, tennis, boxing and shooting. activities in The OSFP has a total number of more than 3,800 athletes including World Champions and Olympic winners.
The Museum of the Olympiakos is hosted in Faliro at the Stadium George Karaiskakis and easy to access with the Athens metro HSAP: opening hours Wednesday 12:00-20:00, Sunday 10:00-16:00 Tuesday-Thursday-Friday and Saturday 10:00-18:00 tickets 5 euro for adults and 2 euro for children. In the museum you will have the opportunity to learn the History of the historic football club and to see its Cups and Trophies that have been won during its history. For more information visit the official site of Olympiacos at www.olympiacos.org

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