June 2012
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Travel – Piraeus – the ancient port of Athens

Piraeus is the ancient port of Athens, and a major exit point by sea from other places like the Aegean islands as well as of the east Mediterranean along with the Cyprus and Middle East. It is the also third largest municipality in Greece with an approximate population of about 175,000. Piraeu has the biggest port. Athens in the past was also a naval power with its ancient harbors being Zea and Munichia. The Piraeus centre now has broad streets, spacious squares, tree-lined avenues, and parks.
The following operators serve the Port:
• Minoan Lines
• ANEK Lines
• Blue Star Ferries
• GA Ferries
• NEL Lines
• LANE Lines
• Aegean Speed Lines
• Hellenic Seaways
• Louis Cruise Lines
• Monarch Classic Cruises

Attractions of Piraeus:
• Zea is the largest marinas of the Mediterranean; Munichia is a little harbor for yachts and fishing boats. Zea is now known as Pasalimani and Munichia is known as Mikrolimano or Tourkolimano.
• The hill of Kastella: This is above Mikrolimano and is popular for its traditional houses and its view.
• The Church of the Prophet Elijah and the Veakeio Theatre: These are known for summer performances and are located near the hill.
• Archaeological Museum of Piraeus: This is located on 31 Ch. Trikoupi Street. This museum was established in 1935 and expanded in 1966. This museum is small but has many pieces of art of great importance such as the bronze statues of Apollo and Athena from the Archaic and Classical periods of Greek art, as well as a fine collection of funerary stelae dating back to Classical to the Roman period. Some statues such as those of Apollo (530 BC), Athena (fourth century BC), and Artemis (fourth century BC) were found in 1958.
• Maritime Museum: This is located at Akti Themistokleous, near the Zea marina and houses model ships, maps, a section of the Long Walls, an old lighthouse, objects from Aristotle Onassis’s yacht ‘Argo’, models of ships carved from bone by French prisoners at the time of the Napoleonic Wars, and objects from the period of the War of independence of 1821 down to the time of the Balkan Wars.
• Municipal Gallery of Piraeus: This gallery was opened in 1957 and started off as a Municipal library. It includes and began to function as a section of the Municipal Library in the building of the Municipal Theatre. It has 837 works, among which are works by M. Axelos, K. Volanakis, P. Vyzantiou, A. Geralis, E. Doukas, D. Kokotsis, Th. Lazaris, N. Lytras, K. Maleas, M. Ekonomou, K. Romanides, A. Christofis, as well as works by many notable younger artists along with many Piraeus artists. There are 80 sculptures by George Kastriotis, a collection of 156 works by the popular artist St. Lazaros, as well as the collection donated by the famous Greek actor Manos Katrakis (theatrical costumes, photographs and theatrical material, personal belongings, etc.) housed here.
• The Municipal Theatre of Piraeus: This theatre has an entrance of four Corinthian style columns, with the hall being horse shoe shaped. It is of Italian style with a parterre, galleries and circles on four levels and of a capacity of about 1,300 seats. The stage tower is 18 meters in height and the off-the-scene stage is 9 meters in width. The theatre is two storied and has a semi circular shaped hall. The architect Ioannis Lazarimos in 1881-1883 built the theatre. Cultural events like theater, dance, music, lectures, etc. are held here.
• The I.S.A.P station (metro stop Piraeus) – A gateway to Athens.
• The Piraeus open-air market – Every Sunday morning, the antique shops of Hippodamia square and the streets along the railway lines hold this market.
• The Allou Fun Park: This Park is a very large and the largest amusement theme park in Athens filled with rides and attractions, restaurants and pastry shops.

Archaeological sites:
• Parts of the ancient Themistoclean Walls and Eetioneia.
• A Mole in the entrance to the harbor.
• Excavations in Pasalimani revealed the Skeuotheke.
• An ancient structure where ship rigging equipment was stored and that was designed by architect Philon.
• A sanctuary to the local hero Syrang.
• The Cave of Arethusa.
• Ruins of the ancient city at the basement of the cathedral of Agia Triada.
• The ancient Theater of Zea next to the Archaeological Museum.
• The ancient neosoikoi in Zea, Munichia and Kantharos navy yard.

• The Eco cinema International Film Festival, staged annually in late February.
• In the summer, the Maritime Festival is held
• The Piraeus Rock Wave Festival
• The Three Kings’ Way Festival marks the beginning of the carnival of costumes and entertainment.

• The Archaeological Museum of Piraeus
• The Hellenic Maritime Museum
• The Historical Museum
• The Panos Aravantinos Decor Museum
• The Georgios Aver of Museum Ship and the Museum of Electric Railways hosted in the Piraeus station.
• The Municipal Art Gallery
• Municipal Library

Piraeus Churches
• The Cathedral of Piraeus and Hagia Triada (St. Trinity).
• Hagios Nikolaos (St. Nicholas) on the east side of the port.
• Hagios Dionyssios (St. Dionysious) on the West side of the port
• Hagios Spyridon (St. Spiridon)
• the Holy Church of Saints Constantine
• Helena at the Municipal Theatre square.

Best time to visit / climate:

The best time to visit this place is in summer. The temperatures are ideal from July to August.

Location on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

Top Sights Travel Guide: Crete (Kindle) Rough Guide Map Crete [Folded Map] Lonely Planet Crete (Regional Guide)

How to get there:
Most travelers arriving in Piraeus from Athens make use of the very convenient Metro Line 1 that terminates at the Port from where one can take a walk to the Saronic Gulf ferries, hydrofoils and catamarans, or a free shuttle-bus ride to the ships sailing to Crete and the Dodecanses. Direct Airport Express buses run 24 hours between the port of Piraeus and Athens International Airport.
To get around: There are trolley buses from the Port to Passalimani and metro is available and shuttle buses too.

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers):

Hotels at piraeus-greece
Restaurants at wikitravel
Hotels at wikitravel
hotels at greece-athens
Restaurants at greece-athens

Blogs / Sites about Piraeus:

Blogs and reviews at travelpod
Blogs and reviews at greecetravelblog
Blogs and reviews at gogreece.about

Images and photos of Piraeus:

Images at Google Search
Images at tripadvisor
Images at piraeus-greece

Videos of Piraeus:

Commercial port (new COSCO terminal) of Piraeus, Athens, Greece



The Port of Piraeus, Greece, July 2009

The main Port of Piraeus Greece

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