Port City of Piraeus

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Port City of Piraeus
Port City of Piraeus

Piraeus is the third largest city in Greece. Today it is known to most as the largest European port.

Piraeus, close to Athens, is sometimes mistaken for the outskirts of the capital. But this is not so, the area has the status of a separate city. Although it is very difficult to say exactly where Athens ends and Piraeus begins.

port of piraeus
port of piraeus

Historical background

The history of the port of Piraeus begins in ancient times. Its heyday falls on the 5th century BC. At that time, the inhabitants of Athens united the port of Piraeus with a common wall with the city in order to strengthen it.

When Greece became an autonomous state in the 9th century, the city was in decline, its population was only 50 people. Only good location allowed the port to not disappear at all.

During the Middle Ages, the city was better known as Porto Leone. This name comes from the stone lion statue that guards the entrance to the port.

The city developed after the 1850s, when its ship port became the country's main trading post. It was then that Piraeus united with Athens as one.

Geographic location

The port city of Piraeus is located in Greece on the Aegean Sea, 10kilometers west of the country's capital. It is the leading foreign trade port in the country. Piraeus is located along the picturesque bay of the Saronic Gulf. If you look at the Aegean Sea on the map, you can easily find the city of Piraeus. It is near Athens.

Aegean Sea on the map
Aegean Sea on the map

The Athens port of Piraeus is quite conveniently located, it can be reached from anywhere in the capital, using the metro or bus. From the port itself, ships and ferries leave for the Greek islands of the Aegean Sea and other countries.


The beaches here are sunny most of the year. Summer is the hottest time in the area. Autumn and spring are great for visiting famous sights. Although the rains from November to April come from Mount Parnites near Piraeus, they are not too heavy.


The most interesting attraction is the port of Piraeus itself with many ships in it. Magnificent panoramic views from Kastela Hill.

From another hill - Profitis Elias - you can look at Athens, Piraeus itself and the Saronic Gulf.

In the city you can admire the ruins of the ancient wall that used to unite Athens with Piraeus. You should definitely see the ancient gates with part of the fortifications, which have survived to our times in good condition.

Near the pier is the Maritime Museum. His collections include models of various ships. The museum has more than 2,000 interesting exhibits, including a variety of triremes, paintings fromdepictions of naval battles and fishing boats. There is also a special exhibition here, which displays documents and memorabilia of the Greeks who held leading positions in the fleet. You can also visit the Archaeological Museum with an interesting exposition. Among the exhibits are outstanding reliefs, ceramics and sculptures from the Bronze Age, found on the waterfront of Piraeus and its surrounding areas. And near the museum itself, the remains of an ancient theater rise.

Athenian port of Piraeus
Athenian port of Piraeus

Also there are museums such as the Historical and Electric Railways.

The municipal gallery of the city presents the work of newfangled Greek artists. Popular actor Manos Katrakis donated his own theatrical costumes, personal items and photographs to the gallery.

It will be interesting to see the main square of the city - Alexandra Square. Taverns and restaurants are located here, pampering visitors with excellent cuisine, in particular seafood dishes. Near the square is the main municipal theater, which hosts many cultural events. Well, one of the main events of the city - the international film festival Ecocinema - takes place annually in February.

Entertainment & shopping

history of the port of piraeus
history of the port of piraeus

The city has a large number of small cafes, where the main dishes are fresh fish and many other seafood. Tourists living in Athens are offered to visit Piraeus specifically to try the fish caught here. All of these establishments operate around the clock. On theThe resort is well developed water sports. Here you can rent a yacht or go diving.

There are a huge variety of shops along the harbor near the cruise terminal. There are also a lot of them near metro stations. Items made by local craftsmen are called the best souvenirs: bags, pottery, sandals, semi-precious stones used in the jewelry industry. And olive oil, coffee, dried fruits, cheeses from Greece are known for their high quality.

In the summer, the city hosts such festivals as "Rock Wave" and "Marine". And the famous festival "The Way of the Three Kings" means the beginning of the carnival, where costumed performances take place.