Patras is the capital of the Peloponnese, Western Greece and Ionia, the third largest city in the country with a population of 168,034 people (according to the World Population Review, 2017). The city is located at the northwestern tip of the Peloponnese, on the shores of the Gulf of Patraikos. With the help of an important seaport in the city of Patras, Greece is actively trading with Italy, which is of great importance for the development of the country’s economy and culture.
The first point on the Peloponnese on the way to Olympia from the central part of Greece will be the city of Patras, since travelers must pass the Rion-Andirion bridge. This makes Patras a crowded and lively point of arrival and departure, although the city itself with an ancient history and vibrant modernity is able to offer a lot of informative information and entertainment.
It is worth noting that Patras has a world-famous university that teaches medical, humanitarian and social sciences, which makes the main driving force of the city of student representatives. Hence the mass of youth satellites – cafes, bars, night clubs, etc. In the summer, Patras hosts an international art festival, and in winter (for more than 180 years), the main carnival of Greece.
The city of Patras is a pleasant place with good hotels and developed tourist infrastructure. The city is divided into Upper and Lower. The main attractions are located at the top.
The historic center of the ancient Upper Town is a well-preserved ancient castle, erected in the second half of the VI century on the highest point of Panahaiki Hill, on the ruins of an ancient acropolis. Until the 20th century, the building was used to defend the city, withstanding numerous sieges.
Today, the castle has a small theater; the courtyard has been turned into a public park. The favorable location of one of the most striking sights of Greece allows us to consider not only Patras, but also the opposite shores from its sites. The views from the castle are worth it to climb the stairs.
The attraction is open to visitors from 8:00 to 15:00, admission is free. Travelers recommend going to the castle in the morning, putting on comfortable shoes and taking water with them, as there is nowhere to buy it at the place.
Another art object of the Upper City is the Odeon. The time of its construction falls on the heyday of the Roman Empire – the second half of the 2nd century AD. Due to wars, battles and earthquakes, the amphitheater was seriously damaged, the structure was “buried” for a long time under other buildings, but in 1889 the Odeon was accidentally discovered during the construction of the dam.
In 1956, after the restoration of the landmark, the amphitheater gives a good idea of the ancient Roman times. Today, the Odeon seats more than 2,000 spectators and serves as a venue for city events.
The attraction is located next to the castle of Patras, admission is free.
This is a modern large cathedral and one of the main attractions of the city of Patras. The temple is located near the promenade, half an hour from the center. Its architecture is really impressive, as is the interior decoration.
The relics of St. Andrew the First-Called are stored in the church – under glass in a metal capsule. People constantly come to the church to pray and touch the shrine, but there are no crowds of tourists. On the territory of the attraction there is a holy spring from which anyone can drink water.
Having learned about which saint is the patron saint of Patra, many tourists come here on December 13, when its residents celebrate City Day, starting with a procession from the temple to the center.
The theater is a historic building, designed by the German architect Ernst Zillertal in 1872. First, famous Italian actors performed in the theater with their shows and productions. And since 1910, the popular troupes from Greece began to dominate the Apollo scene.
The theater is designed for 250 people. In addition to theatrical performances, musical performances are held here throughout the year.
Attraction address: Plateia Georgiou A 17, Patras 26223, Greece.
The Museum of Archeology in Patras has a rich collection of artifacts that create an idea of the history and culture of the city. Much attention is paid to the social aspect of the life of the inhabitants of the city, in particular the funerary tradition.
In most cases, the most striking impression on visitors is caused by mosaics of Romanesque times.
Where to find the attraction: 38-40 Athinon, Patras 264 42, Greece.
Opening hours: from 8:00 to 20:00.
Entrance fee: 6 euros, for students and children admission is free.
In addition, the beautiful Pharos lighthouse, located opposite the church of St. Andrew, is noteworthy. Also noteworthy is the old Achaia Clauss winery, known throughout Greece, in whose cellars exclusive wines are stored.
For lovers of shopping in Patras there is a huge number of souvenir shops, antique salons and diverse stores for every taste, which is justified for the port city with booming trade and affordable prices.
Weather and climate
The location of the city made its climate very favorable for tourism – a moderate and warm Mediterranean. Anyone who is not a fan of hot weather should come to Patras, where the average annual temperature is + 16 ° C.
Summer is pretty cool, the average monthly temperature is + 25-26 ° С. The hottest months are July and August, on some days the thermometer can rise to + 40 ° C, but this is rare. Winter in Patras is relatively warm, most often rainfall in December. The average temperature is + 15-16 ° C. January is considered the most “icy” month with a temperature in the region of + 10 ° С.
Patras is not a resort (in the common sense), but an administrative and logistic center, but the city has a beach, where in the summer months it is difficult to turn around due to the influx of people who want to sunbathe and dive into the fresh waters of the Ionian Sea. And yet, locals prefer to swim on the coast of the Gulf of Corinth.
How to get to Patras
Patras operates its own Patras Araxos Airport, located at a military base 50 km south of the city and owned by the Greek armed forces. It accepts exclusively charter flights from several European cities. It is much more convenient to fly to the airport in Athens – it and Patras are separated by 250 km, which will help to overcome the train, bus or car.
It’s logical and romantic to reach the seaport, boarding a ferry from the Ionian Islands, and since Greece “communicates” with Italy through Patras, you can choose a ship that departs from Venice, Brindisi, Bari or Ancona (port cities of Italy).