Piraeus

NOW 35 °C

Next 5 days

  • SAT 40 °C
  • SUN 40 °C
  • MON 37 °C
  • TUES 37 °C
  • WED 38 °C

Climatic Data

Source: National Observatory of Athens /meteo.gr

A port-city with a fascinating ancient history, vibrant, with sights worth seeing. A city that grew and gained power, becoming an important commercial, cultural and industrial center throughout the centuries. In its welcoming embrace you will find on a daily basis thousands of people travelling to the Aegean Sea and Crete, and others visiting Piraeus for food, coffee, entertainment, shopping, walks with a sea view, visits to the museums or around the neoclassical buildings that stand as irrefutable evidence of its glamorous past. Wander around Piraeus and discover its unforgettable charming corners that will make you visit it again and again!

Most of you have heard even once “The children of Piraeus” , the song composed by Manos Hadjidakis, sung by Melina Merkouri in the film “Never on Sunday”, that win the Oscar in 1960. Piraeus since then acquired a global reputation thanks to this film and song speaking about the town port of Piraeus.

Today, it is the main port of Athens, the biggest one in Greece and one of the most important ports of the Mediterranean, a major shipping, industrial and transportation center of the country. City life focuses on the three parts of the port: the central one, the Zea marina and Mikrolimano.
Or you can kiss me on a Wednesday, a Thursday, a Friday and Saturday is best but never, never on a Sunday, a Sunday, a Sunday, 'cause that's my day of rest...

Beyong the boats

In Piraeus there are important monuments, such as a part of the Long Walls of the 5th century BC, remains of ancient temples and buildings. There are also the neoclassical Municipal Theatre, industrial buildings of the early 20th century and impressive modern buildings such as the Peace & Friendship Stadium and the G.Karaiskakis Stadium. Moreover, there are several museums with the most important the Archaeological and the Hellenic Maritime Museum.

The Central Port| Its ancient name was Kantharos and today is the center of the city life. From here you can embark on a journey to all the Aegean islands (apart from the Sporades) and Crete. You can stroll around to see not only the cargo ships but also the sea liners, as well as the arrivals and the departures of shipments and people from all over the world. In the Freatida area you can see the remaining parts of the ancient Piraeus Wall (on the coastal area).

Zea marina (Pasalimani)| This marina is the docking place for some of the most impressive yachts and cruisers. On the coast you can find many restaurants, taverns, bars and commercial stores which satisfy every passenger’s need.

Mikrolimano| This port was protected by the goddess Mounichia Artemis and today is a popular area attracting people from all over Attica. It is a beautiful small port full of fishing boats, small ships and luxurious yachts. If you are fond of fish and sea food, you should eat at one of its famous taverns.

Kastella| A popular and beautiful quarter of Piraeus built on a hill also known as Prophet Ilias. If you walk to the top of the hill you will see alleys with picturesque houses. In this area you will also find the outdoor theatre “Veakio”, which hosts significant cultural events during the summer.

Municipal Theatre of Piraeus| It is located in one of the central squares of the city (Korai square). It is a neoclassical building constructed in the 1880s by architect I. Lazarimo, one of the most frequented places and a usual meeting point for the residents of Piraeus.

Metro station Pireaus| This magnificent eclectic building with the arched dome (1929) has been greatly influenced by the relative European stations of that period. Recently, the internal facilities were fully renovated, while on the walls we can admire paintings made by the students of Fine Arts School.

Archaeological Museum| It mainly hosts sculptures discovered in Piraeus and the coasts of Attica. The exhibits describe the history, period of prosperity and decline of the ancient city. You should pay exceptional attention to the five bronze sculptures discovered in Piraeus in 1959: the Archaic Kouros-Apollo, the two sculptures of Artemis, the one of Athena of Piraeus and a mask of ancient tragedy (4th century B.C.).

Maritime Museum| You will find it in Moutsopoulou Coast and its exhibits present about 3000 years of Hellenic maritime history.


The history of Piraeus
Piraeus is surrounded by the sea and this influences the pace of life here. The town planning was realized by architect Ippodamos in mid-5th century B.C. The plans of Ippodamos were used as guidelines for the second planning of the town in 1834. Themistocles was the first one to realize its importance for the city of Athens and to promote it to be the major port in order to replace the Faliros Bay, which was used by the Athenians until the 5th century B.C.

Aiming to create a fortified port for the city of Athens, within the period from 493 to 479 B.C. he constructed the Piraeus Wall. Later, Pericles completed the fortifications by building the Long Walls (Makra Teichi) which protected both sides of the road throughout the route from Piraeus to Athens. During the Middle Ages, Piraeus was known as Porto Leone due to the presence of an enormous stone lion sculpture guarding the port entrance.

How to go there

You can take the metro and get off at “Piraeus” station. Moreover, there are regular bus itineraries departing from Filellinon street in Syntagma square (No 40) and Athenas street, Omonia square (No 49), which arrive at Xaveriou Coast (Piraeus).

Filming in Piraeus

FILMING IN GREECE
© Getty Images/ Ideal Image

NEVER ON SUNDAY (1960)

A look at the life of Ilya, (Mercouri) a carefree Greek prostitute, who lives in the port of Piraeus and meets an American scholar Holmes (Dassin), an American tourist and classical scholar who adores all things Greek. The two try to change each others' perception and way of living for the better. The movie won the Academy Award for Best Original Song (Manos Hadjidakis for "Never on Sunday").

DIRECTOR: JULES DASSIN
FILMING LOCATION: ATHENS, PIRAEUS

IMDb
© Getty Images/ Ideal Image

TINTIN ET LE MYSTERE DE LA TOISON D'OR (1961)

The famous Belgian reporter Tintin, along with his dog Snowy (Milou) and Captain Haddock, sail to Greece in an old rust bucket called the Golden Fleece. Soon enough though, the ship's hidden secret gets them all in big trouble.

DIRECTOR: JEAN JACQUES VIERNE
FILMING LOCATION: ATHENS, KALABAKA

IMDb

THE BURGLARS (1971)

A band of crooks, led by a professional jewel thief, break into a mansion on the outskirts of Athens to steal a priceless collection of emeralds. The robbery is a success, but the gang miss their escape transport out of the country. Meanwhile, their leader is pursued by a crooked police chief, who will stop at nothing to lay his hands on the stolen jewels...

DIRECTOR: HENRI VERNEUIL
FILMING LOCATION: ATHENS

IMDb
BY CAR
From Athens via Poseidonos Avenue the journey takes 25 minutes. From Thessaloniki via PATHE (Athens-Thessaloniki) to Poseidonos Avenue for Piraeus the journey takes 5 hours.

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