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Revision as of 02:31, 18 August 2012
Patras is the third largest urban conglomeration of Greece, (after Athens/Piraeus and Thessaloniki). It is the capital of the Prefecture of Achaia on the Peloponnese and the western gateway into the country, thanks to numerous ferry connections with Italy.
By Air - Patras' own airport is located on the military base of Araxos (IATA code: GPA), some 50 kilometres to the south, but this receives only seasonal charter flights from various locations in Europe. For regular flights, Patras is served by Athens International Airport, some 250 kilometres to the west.
A startup floatplane company, Air Sea Lines, operating DHC 6 de Havilland Twin Otters, has set up a seasonal base at the Patras marina, linking the city with several Ionian Islands and the city of Ioannina in Epirus. Onwards services from Corfu run to Brindisi in Italy.
By boat - Patras is linked by ferry to the Italian ports of (south to north) Brindisi, Bari, Ancona and Venice, with numerous sailings daily year-round. Service to Trieste has been discontinued.
For the ferry form Ancona to Patra you will e.g. pay for a single person about 40€ winter/60€ summer. Local ferry services offer daily sailings from Patras to the Ionian Islands. Corfu is served by the International ferries on their way to and from Italy.
By road - Patras, located in the northeastern corner of the Peloponnese is connected to Athens by road via Corinth on the 8a National Road (corresponding to the E65 and E94 European Routes. To the south, Patras is connected by road to Amalias, Pyrgos and Olympia and further to Kalamata. The construction of a new bridge linking Rion (on the Peloponnese) to Antirrion (on the Central Greek mainland) has been in operation since 2004 and carries the E55 European route, linking Patras with points in Central Greece and Epirus (and onward to Albania) including the port of Igoumenitsa.
By train - A narrow gauge train line runs through Patras southwards to Olympia and Kalamata and westwards to Athens and the port of Pireas. the Slow Train to Athens costs about 5 € and it takes you there in 4,5 hours.
By bus - Near to the port and main station lies the intercity bus station
The city bus service in Patra can be slow and unpredictable, lacking definative timetables. Information can be found from the small booth in front of port, near the Intercity bus terminal.The cost is 1.10 eu for inside the city (if you buy the ticket from the ticket sellers "periptera" but more expensive if you buy it in the bus)and 1.50 eu for Rio (approx. 1.90eu in the bus). Generally prefer the Ktel and not the Urban bus because they are very slow and expensive. The railway goes to Rio too. The railway is infront of the port.You can also take a taxi.The lowest tarrif of the taximetre is 3.00 eu. You can find all the transport modes available in Patras (bus lines, taxis, railway etc) at www.gopatras.gr.
Notable sights include:
- The impressive Rio-Antirio bridge officially the Charilaos Trikoupis bridge after the statesman who first envisioned it, is the World's longest multi-span cable-stayed bridge. It crosses the Gulf of Corinth near Patras, linking the town of Rion on the Peloponnese to Antirion on mainland Greece. You can walk across it for free. On the Patra side, there are the most popular strip of clubs and cafes along the water to visit. On the Antirio side, right next to the bridge are historical ruins that you can tour.
- The new Archaeological Museum opened in July of 2009. The museum has startling architecture, including an entrance made of silver-hued titanium that is shaped like a flying saucer on steroids (or an enormous antacid tablet). In yet another attempt to lure the unwilling into museums, this one has what is described as an "aerial corridor," which will whisk visitors above the exhibits, as they give passing glances at whatever catches their fancy. If you go through the museum room by room, you'll see themed exhibits on private and public life from antiquity through the Byzantine epoch. Entire period houses have been reconstructed and a necropolis is on view.
- The Roman Odeon, located on the west side of Patras. It was built before the Odeum of Athens and there was a statue of Apollo in the Odeum. The Odeum of Patras was severely destroyed by successive invasions, wars and earthquakes. It was almost buried under the remains of other buildings and ground. It was in 1889, when the Odeum was found by accident while some workers were digging up the ground for the construction of the port. The restoration of the Odeum continued till 1956, when it regained its original shape. Along with the restoration process of the Odeum, the nearby areas were declared as archaeological sites. The Roman Odeum today functions as the chief venue for Patras International Festival held every summer. The Odeum has a capacity to hold 2,300 people with all basic facilities of a theatre such as hollow, orchestra, proscenium, scene and wings.
- The Achaia Clauss wine factory. On a green-clad hill, eight km southeast of Patras' centre, are located the facilities of Achaia Clauss winery, distinguished as one of the topmost tourist sites of the region.Its founder, Bavarian Gustav Clauss arrived in Patras in 1854 to work in a German company dealing with exportation of raisin. During an excursion, he visited this region that charmed him with its natural beauty. He bought a small vineyard just to produce some wine for self-consumption and he ended up to the establishment of this Castle-Winery that survives intact till now. In 1861 he founded Achaia Clauss Co and the excellent quality wines, including Mavrodaphne of Patras, conquered both Greek and international market. The stone-made buildings, the large oak carved barrels with one century-old Mavrodaphne, the traditional cellar where visitors are welcomed as well as the unique landscape with the breathtaking view attract approximately 200,000 visitors per year.
- St. Andrews Church: Inside this church, which was built in the 20th century, are preserved the remains of St. Andrew the Apostle. These are located in a small chapel to the back right of the church as you face the front. The remains of his X-shaped cross are kept behind it. Although the present (substantial, but undistinguished) church was built after World War II, the mosaics give a vivid picture of old Patras. It's important to dress appropriately to visit the cathedral, a major pilgrimage shrine thanks to the presence of St. Andrew's skull in an ornate gold reliquary to the right of the altar. Visitors will find several pleasant cafes in the shaded park across from the cathedral.
- The Castro, which offers a good view of the city. The castle of Patras was built in the second half of the 6th century A.D. on the ruins of the ancient Acropolis. In A.D. 805 the inhabitants of the city were besieged in the castle by the Slavs and Saracens and their victory, considered a miracle of the city's patron Saint Andrew, was important for repelling the barbarian invasions in Peloponnese. In the following centuries the castle, which remained continuously in use until the Second World War for the defense of the city, as well as an administrative and military centre, was captured by the Franks, Venetians, Palaiologoi and Turks. The castle consists of a triangular outer enclosure reinforced with towers and bastions, which was originally protected by a deep moat and an inner enclosure rising on the NE angle and protected by a moat as well. The building phases distinguishable today on the castle provide evidence for the works carried out by each of its conquerors as repairs and provisions according to the development of military science. The original construction is visible today mainly along the north wall, but remains of it exist on all three sides of the curtain indicating that the original medieval fortification had more or less the same perimeter. To reach the castle one can either travel up the vast staircase or take the short drive to the top. Once reaching the historic site, visitors have the ability to sit and enjoy the view over refreshments.
- The Faro (Lighthouse) which is the symbol of the city. The lighthouse has a cafe underneath it with a large television where they broadcast mostly soccer games for people to come and watch while enjoying a beverage of their choice. There is a playground right outside of the cafe for children to play in. The cafe is next to the water, so one can sit next to the windows and enjoy the waves crashing against the wall.
- The Turkish hot baths (Hammam) which are still in use.
- Plateia Yioryiou (George Sq.). Sit at a cafe and take in the facades of the handsome neoclassical theater and banks on the square. Patras was burned by the Turks during the War of Independence and has been hit repeatedly by earthquakes. These buildings are among the few that remain from the 19th century, when the city was famous for its arcaded streets and neoclassical architecture. Patras boasts other attractive squares: Plateia Olga and Plateia 25 Martiou have cafes, restaurants, and shops
- The Municipal Galery of Patras, founded in 1988 housed on the ground floor of the Municipal Library, beside the Old Town Hall, a location with many historical memories. The Municipal Galery of Patras boasts of one of the richest painting collections dedicated to Greek painters, outside Athens. Of special interest and precious value, are the works of the 19th ventury, by Greek painters like: Nikos Kounelakis, Andreas Kriezis, Ioannis Doukas and Georgios Samartzis, as well as the portraits of Greek prime ministers, originated from Patras, as: Demetrios Maximos, Demetrios Gounaris and Andreas Michalakopoulos.
The wide array of special events, exhibits, festivals, and various ongoing presentations, continue to delight large numbers of travelers annually, all of which have been designed to show the city of Patras at its best. For those who have never experienced the city, it is one of the best examples of a true Greek city. In addition to its tourist industry, Patras relies heavily on agriculture, its prolific wine country, and its busy shipping industry. However, it is also renowned for its colorful Carnival Season and how it has preserved the performances of ancient Greek theater, held every year in February-March. Being the city’s flagship during the last 170 years, it is without any doubt the greatest local celebration and has long been widely acknowledged in Greece and abroad. Rooting in ancient Greece, Patras' carnival (as every other Greek carnival) is connected to the worship of Dionysus, god of wine and celebration. The carnival events, starting on 17 January every year and lasting until Ash Monday, are either programmed by the Municipal Committee of Carnival Events, or planned by the citizens and supported by the spontaneity, the inspiration and the creative ability of the inhabitants of Patras themselves. Patras' carnival draws its invigorating energy from the great numbers of participants (more than 30,000), which makes it one of the most famous in the world coming just after Rio de Janeiro and Venice. Additionally, Patra hosts the Panachaiki soccer team which hosts games at the Pampeloponnisiako Stadium, so natives as well as visitors can stop by and catch a game. If you're interested in going for a stroll along the water, one can venture over to the Molos port walk where there are benches to sit and enjoy the scenery and a cafe at the end of the port where you can sit and wait for your boat enjoying the water.
The city of Patras can provide modern staff by vintage shops. Patras is the best shopping city because all the stores are in the town hall. You can find all the brands. Patra's stores are a litle bit more expensive but they provide good quality. In Patra you can find:
- Christian Dior
- La Martina
- Fred Perry
- Miss Sixty
- Polo Raulph Loren
- Tommy Hilfiger (big Variety)
- Staff jeans and Co.(Greek Brand)
- LAK (Greek Brand)
- UCB etc.
You can also find all the street brands such as:
- Vans etc
The town also provides shops such as:
Finally Patras largest Malls are:
- Notos Galleries
- Hondos Center (for perfumes and cosmetic)
- Duty Free are open for guest also!
- Villa Mercedes The Greece's best club.Very Strike to get in.Price 10 eu + free Drink 8 eu each additionl drink.Many Guests like David Gueta etc.Adress:Rio (Summer Time) Patra (Next to the Ktel)(winter).Warning!On Carnival periode entrance to villa cost 25 eu.Search what to do on Carnival because there are better places that time of the year.
- Guzel Athen's Greates club/reaustorant now in Patras.Adress:Rio on Summertime And in Patra on Winter (near veso Mall).
- Hall Seaside bar at Marina
- Destinto at Rio.
- Volcano live music and dancing at this nightlife club, it's acceptable for all ages.
- Radinou Street is a tiny alley that houses some small café and pubs, it’s empty during the day but gets packed during the night. There's no much difference between the one pub from the other, the loud beat will hit you anyway as they come from every small spot, just stand between two pub and you will here in stereo a mix of two different tracks
Patras is well known for the wines produced by the Achaia Clauss wine factory and especially for a variety called Mavrodafni. Visitors should also taste the local liqueur called Tentoura which is usually served as a digestive.
Some of the best places to get a drink, especially in the warm summer months is on the beach road in Rio. This strip of land is lined with bars and cafeterias catering to mostly Greeks. The clubs can get pretty packed, and usually European style music is played rather than Greek. Enjoy the views of the ocean and the Rio-Antirrio Bridge which is magnificently lit up on the weekends.
The city can provide a big varriety of coffee shops, especially in Agiou Nikolaou Str. (Saint Nikolaos Str.), Radinou Str., Marine (area called "Pelekaneika" in Iroon Politechniou Str.), Plateia Vasileiou Georgiou (King Georgios Square), Gerokostopoulou Str., Ipsila Alonia Square (Plateia Ypsilon Alonion), "Veso Mare" in Akti Dimeon Blvd, Koukouli area near Technological Institute of Patras etc.
For those who want self service there are Starbucks at Plateia vasileiou Georgiou (King Georgios Square).
- Astir Hotel, Agiou Andreou 16 GR 262 21, ☎ [+302610] 277.502, 276.311, . Strategically positioned in the center of Patras, on the quay, right next to the bus and train stations and at an easy walking distance from the Patras port, Astir Patras Hotel is the ideal choice for your stay in the city of Patras, whether you are on business or holiday as it can provide the best Patras accommodation. Surrounded by shops, cafes and buzzing Patras nightlife, there is always something to see and do.
- Porto Rio Hotel Casino
Rio Patras Patras Rio, 265 00 Greece
Book Online or Call: 1-800-238-0767
Conveniently situated right on a beautiful pebbled beach, the Porto Rio Hotel & Casino in Patra Greece has everything you are looking for to make you vacation relaxing, entertaining and unforgettable. Just a few minutes ride from the city center of Patra as well as that of Antirrio, travelers will revel in the beauty of sea-front life and have the option of exploring the city with ease as well. This 4 star Greece hotel not only gives guests the advantage of having shore and sun right at their doorstep, but the hotel also houses a casino where you can spend your evenings showing off your good luck. And when you and friends are not taking the sun, going for a swim or enjoying the casino, why not try a delicious Greek or international meal at the poolside Nefeli Restaurant where quality is a standard
Kastelokambos Patras Rio, Achaia 26500 Greece
Book Online or Call: 1-800-238-0767
Rio hotel with a seasonal outdoor pool
University of Patras nearby
Situated in Rio, this hotel is close to University of Patras and Rio-Antirio Bridge. Nearby attractions also include Kostas Davourlis Stadium
116 25th Martiou Street Patras, Achaia 260 01 Greece
Book Online or Call: 1-800-238-0767
Maison Grecque is a lovely 4 star hotel in Patras, Peloponnese, Greece . Housed in a historical Greek style building, dating back to 1890, the Maison Grecque Hotel is located between Athens and Pyrgos in Western Greece directly at the foothills of Mount Panachaikon, overlooking the Gulf of Patras. A bridge connects the Peloponnese Peninsula and Rio, which is a suburb of Patras, to the mainland. This Patras accommodation in Greece is perfect as a base for a Greek cultural vacation. Patras, which was European Capital of Culture in 2006 and is known for the Patras Carnival , has a rich history and is a lively centre for arts and literature. It also boasts many landmarks and interesting sightseeing attractions, including the Ruins of the Roman Odeon, the reconstructed ancient theatre and Patras Fortress.