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==Buy==
 
==Buy==
There isn't much to buy in Pireaus.  Wait until you get to your destination to begin purchasing souvenirs.
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There isn't much to buy in Piraeus.  Wait until you get to your destination to begin purchasing souvenirs.
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==Eat==
 
==Eat==

Revision as of 23:34, 19 May 2009

Piraeus: Aerial view of the zone of Zea and on the background the center port of Piraeus (Kentrikó limáni) from where ferries are embarked for Cyclades and Creta

The Piraeus is the ancient port of Athens and still functions as the chief exit point from the city by sea for destinations amongst the Aegean Islands and elsewhere in the east Mediterranean. Domestic destinantions include all of the Aegean islands except the Sporades and some smaller Cyclades and Dodecanese isles that require a connection. International destinations (apart from cruise ships) include Cyprus and the Middle East.

Warning: Recently, official spelling changed to Pireas -- and all road signs in Athens and around updated accordingly.

Contents

Understand

Piraeus occupies a huge territory. Check your gate number [1] in advance so you know where to go (it may take 15 minutes of driving / 30 minutes of walking to reach one end of the port from the other).

Since privatisation of the Port of Piraeus Authority [2] passenger facilities have improved greatly. Air conditioned tents have been set up at departure locations around the port and free wi-fi internet access is now available.

Sailings (arrivals and departures) are posted outside the Coast Guard Building at Karaiskaki Square, the main bus terminal for the Piraeus suburbs. Sailings are also available online [3] from the Ministry of Merchant Marine [4].

The area can become hectic, especially during the summer period, so allow plenty of time to navigate to the correct departure point.

Get in

Most travellers arriving in Piraeus from Athens make use of the very convenient Metro [5]. Line 1 terminates at the Port, from there it's a short walk to the Saronic Gulf ferries, hydrofoils and catamarans, or a free shuttle-bus ride to the ships sailing to Crete and the Dodecanses. Central Cyclades ferries conveniently sail from just across the metro station. Metro tickets cost €0.70 for short journeys on Line 1, or €0.80 for longer trips on the line, or connections to Lines 2 and 3. A €1.00 ticket allows unlimited connections in one direction on all modes of transport.

Direct Airport Express buses [6] run 24 hours between the port of Piraeus and Athens International Airport [7]. Allow 90 minutes for the trip. The Airport is also accessible via the Metro, with a connection at Monastiraki. Bus tickets to the airport, available from the driver, cost €3.20; Metro tickets to the airport are €6.00.

Other public buses connect Piraeus with its outlying suburbs, the souther coastal zone and with central Athens. Bus and trolley-bus tickets for single journeys cost €0.50. They must be bought in advance (generally from kiosks) and validated once on board.

Get around

The centre of Piraeus and the Port can be negoatiated easily on foot if you are not carrying luggage. Yellow trolley buses are useful for the run from the Port to Passalimani and then follow the very scenic route around the hill of Castella, terminating at the Line 1 Metro station of Neon Phaleron (Neo Faliro), near the Peace & Friendship and Karaiskaki Stadiums.

Free shuttle buses inside the Port run from across the Metro Line 1 Terminal Station, around the north side of the port to the ships sailing for Crete, the Eastern Aegean and the Dodecanese.

See

  • Archaeological Museum of Piraeus, 31 Ch. Trikoupi Street, [8]. Established in 1935 and expanded in 1966, the Piraeus Museum is small in size, yet holds a number of significant pieces in its collection. These included bronze statues of Apollo and Athena from the Archaic and Classical periods of Greek art, as well as a fine collection of funerary stelae.

Do

The most important thing to do is to take a ferry to the Greek Islands. You also can have a nice walk in the harbour and look at many amazing yachts and ships.

Buy

There isn't much to buy in Piraeus. Wait until you get to your destination to begin purchasing souvenirs.


Eat

Delfino Restaurant [9]60, Akti Koumoundourou, Mikrolimano, Piraeus, tel. +302104120388. Located in Mikrolimano, a cosy bay with hundreds of sailing boats. Excellent seafood restaurant - try the fresh fish on the grill and fresh lobster with linguini. Warm and profesional service. Amazing the indoor and outdoor areas. For mid/high budgets.

Drink

Good cafes are very scarce in the port.

  • Coffee Right: next to the metro station, around Pireaus gate E8. Recommended by employees of the port. Cozy place, great pastries and coffee -- but unfriendly and sometimes overcomplicated service. Only few speak English, coffee and pastries served (and paid for) from three(!) different counters.

Sleep

  • Ionion Hotel [10]. The hotel is run by Mr Takis A. Saxionis, who responds personally to emails. The hotel is a very short walk from the X96 bus drop off, and near to departing ferries. The hotel is an excellent location to spend the night if you're catching an early ferry. Hotel cost is approximately €40 per night for a room for two persons (bathroom en suite). Most rooms have air conditioning and balconies.

Stay Safe

Piraeus is a rather chaotic place with traffic that's horrendous even for Greece. Particular caution should be used when crossing the street, or when walking along the pavement by the ferry quays where cars, taxis, and trucks often drive randomly among the crowds of travelers walking to and from the boats.

Piraeus is a huge port filled with sailors, and parts of it are about as tough as you'd expect such a place to be. The areas right by the ferry quays are safe enough, but avoid wandering around the rest of Piraeus, especially at night, unless you know your way around.

Unlicensed taxi drivers often meet arriving ferries. Unlike in some countries, these taxis have a bad reputation and should not be considered as a cheap alternative to licensed cabs.

Pickpocketing gangs have been reported working on the Piraeus-Airport bus; for a full description see the Athens Stay Safe section.

One scam you may encounter in Piraeus is a rather subtle one. A man will walk up to you while you are waiting with your luggage in line to board a ferry. This gentleman is a consummate actor: though he doesn't actually claim to be working for the boat or port, his demeanor and behavior imply strongly that he is. He'll pick up your luggage, brushing aside any objections, and usher you with it to the head of the line, at which point he'll demand a hefty tip. In one reported case the bite was €7.00 (our respondent decided the performance was worth €2.00)

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



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