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.
But 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.
The 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
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.
Another 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.
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.
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.