Tourist’s guide to Piraeus: beaches, attractions and interesting facts

Piraeus (Greece) is a port city in the suburbs of Athens. It is famous for its rich history and the fact that over the past 100 years it has been the shipping capital of Greece.

City Piraeus

General information

Piraeus is the third largest city in Greece, located in the southeastern part of the country on the shores of the Aegean Sea. Area – 10.865 km². The population is about 163 thousand people.

Like many other Greek settlements, Piraeus is a very ancient city. The first mention of it dates back to 483 BC, and already in those days it was an important commercial and military center. The city was repeatedly destroyed during the attacks of the Romans, Turks and Ottomans, but it was always restored. Recent damage was eliminated after the end of World War II.

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Port of Piraeus

The name “Piraeus” itself comes from the Greek words “swim” and “cross”, which indicates that in ancient times the city was an important shipping center. Until today, the main historical sights created hundreds of years ago are preserved in Piraeus.

For the past 100 years, Piraeus has been known as a port city, and is considered one of the centers of world shipping. In 1938, the University of Piraeus was opened in the city, which is now considered one of the best universities in the country.

What to see in the city of Piraeus

Piraeus cannot be called a typical tourist city: there are few attractions, there are no expensive hotels and hotels, it is always noisy due to the constantly arriving and departing ships. But the proximity to Athens and the tourist Falero makes Piraeus attractive for travelers.

Archaeological Museum
Archaeological Museum

This is the main attraction. The Archaeological Museum in the city of Piraeus is recognized as one of the best not only in Greece, but also throughout Europe. The artifacts presented in the exhibition cover a significant time period, starting with Mycenae and ending with the clock of the Roman Empire.

The museum was inaugurated for visitors in 1935, and moved to the new building forty years ago.

The museum consists of 10 large halls, each of which exhibits corresponding to a particular era. The most visited exhibition halls are the third and fourth. Here are bronze statues of the goddess Artemis, Apollo and Athens, which were found by archaeologists in the middle of the 20th century. Here you can also see a rich collection of ceramics created in the Hellenistic era, and a number of sculptural compositions.

Ancient sculptures in Piraeus

In the 5th, 6th and 7th halls you can see the sculpture of Cybele and the remains of the sanctuary of Zeus in Parnassus, as well as a rich collection of bas-reliefs, relief plates and paintings by artists of the Roman Empire. Some of the exhibits were found at the bottom of the Aegean.

Hall 9 and 10 are the works of famous artists of the Hellenistic period.

The famous museum has a rich collection of ceramics (about 5,000 storage units) and ancient clay figurines. In the basements of the building are research laboratories and storage facilities.

The museum periodically gives lectures, arranges educational programs for children and conduct thematic workshops.

  • Cost: children under 14 years old – free, adults – 4 euros.
  • Opening hours: 9.00 – 16.00 (Monday-Wednesday), 8.30 – 15.00 (Thursday-Sunday).
  • Location: 31 Trikoupi Charilaou, Piraeus 185 36, Greece.
Port of piraeus
Port in Piraeus

Piraeus port is another attraction of the city. This is the largest passenger turnover port in Greece, and annually it receives more than 2 million tourists.

It will be interesting for children to visit this place: there are dozens of different vessels here – from small boats and snow-white yachts to giant ferries and huge liners. Locals often make an evening promenade here, and tourists like to visit this place during the day.

  • Location: Akti Miaouli 10, Piraeus 185 38, Greece.
Piraeus Lion (Piraeus Lion)
Piraeus lion in the city of Piraeus
Piraeus lion in Piraeus
Piraeus Lion, Venice
Piraeus lion in Venice

The famous statue was created in 1318 and installed in Piraeus, however, during the Turkish war of 1687, the symbol of the city was transported to Venice, where it remains to this day. The steps taken by the Greek Ministry of Culture to return the stolen landmark have not yet yielded significant results.
title = “View of the Military Beach”
Guests of the city are shown a copy of the sculpture created in the 1710s. For the past 300 years, the Piraeus Lion proudly sits on the main street of the city and looks at the ships arriving in Piraeus.

  • Location: Marias Chatzikiriakou 14 | Μαριας Χατζηκυριακου 14, Piraeus, Greece.
Church of St. Nicholas
Church of St. Nicholas

Since Piraeus is a sea city, the church was built in the appropriate style: snow-white stone walls, blue domes, and inside the temple there are bright stained-glass windows of marine subjects. Externally, the church building is similar to a new building, although its construction was completed 120 years ago.

Travelers say that it’s enough to allocate 20-30 minutes to visit the sights: this time is enough to slowly walk around the church and consider all the details of the interior.

  • Where is: Ayiou Nikolaou, Piraeus, Greece
  • Opening hours: 9.00 – 17.00

Piraeus Beach

Piraeus is a port city, so there is only one single beach called Votsalakia. Many tourists who have been here note that this is the most well-groomed and clean beach of the Greek coast. There is everything for both active and passive recreation: a beach volleyball court, tennis court, pool, as well as free sunbeds and umbrellas.

Votsalakia Beach

The entrance to the sea is gentle, the beach itself in Piraeus, Greece is sandy, however there are many small stones and sometimes shell rock. From all sides the beach is surrounded by mountains and city buildings, so the wind does not penetrate here. Waves are rare. There are not very many people on the beach: the bulk of tourists prefer to go swimming in the neighboring Falero.

Everything is in order with the infrastructure on the beach: there are changing cabins and toilets. Nearby there are 2 small shops and tents where they sell food.

Accommodation

Piraeus has a large selection of hotels, inns, apartments and hostels (in total about 300 accommodation options).

A standard double room in the summer at a 3 * star hotel will cost 50-60 euros per day. The price includes American or European breakfast, Wi-Fi, free parking. In some cases, a transfer from the airport.

Double room in hotel 5 *

A 5 * hotel in the summer will cost 120-150 euros for two per day. The price includes: a large room with all necessary equipment, a swimming pool on site, private parking, a good breakfast and a large terrace. Most 5 * hotels have facilities for guests with disabilities.

Reservations should be made in advance, since Piraeus is a port city, and there are always a lot of tourists here (especially in the summer season). It is not necessary to choose a hotel in the center – Piraeus in Greece is not big, and all the attractions are within walking distance.

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How to get from Athens

Athens and Piraeus are separated by only 10 km, so there will definitely not be any difficulties with the trip. There are the following options:

By bus

Buses to the city of Piraeus regularly run from the two main squares of Athens. If landing is on Omonia Square, then you need to take bus number 49. If you take the Syntagma stop, you need to choose bus number 40.

  • Ply every 10-15 minutes. Landing in the city of Piraeus is carried out on Kotzia Square.
  • Travel time is 30 minutes.
  • The cost is 1.4 euros.
Metro
Metro map

Piraeus is a suburb of Athens, so the metro also runs here.

There are 4 lines in the metro. Those traveling to Piraeus need to get to the terminal station of the green branch (Piraeus). Travel time from the center of Athens (Omonia station) is 25 minutes. The cost is 1.4 euros.

Thus, both the bus and the metro are equivalent both in price and in time costs.

By taxi

The easiest and most convenient way to get to Piraeus. Cost – 7-8 euros. Travel time is 15-20 minutes.

Prices on the page are for April 2019.

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Interesting Facts

    Thessaloniki, Greece
    Thessaloniki
  1. Take the opportunity to travel by sea from Piraeus to Santorini, Chania, Crete, Heraklion, Corfu.
  2. Every year in Piraeus, there is a film festival called “Ecosinema”, as well as the “Three Kings” Carnival, which anyone can take part in. Tourists say that such events help to better understand the culture and feel the atmosphere of the city.
  3. When booking accommodation, remember that Piraeus is a port city, which means that life in it does not freeze for a second. Choose hotels that are further away from the port.
  4. Remember that most shops and cafes in Greece close no later than at 18.00.

Piraeus, Greece – not the most suitable place for a calm and measured rest by the sea. However, if you want to learn something new about the history of Greece and see historical sights, time to come here.

Video: a walk in the city of Piraeus.



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