Piraeus has been the port of Athens since the Golden Age. The port at Piraeus was conceived at the beginning of the fifth century BC by Themistocles, who foresaw the potential of its three natural bays. The early fortifications were consolidated by Pericles with the building of ‘the Long Walls’ to fortify the route to Athens. Nowadays Piraeus can be considered a substantial metropolis by itself, as the home of much of Greater Athens’ industry. For the majority of tourists, however, it is Piraeus’s inter-island ferries that provide the reason for coming. The port sees the departure of up to 60 passenger ships every day.
Athens is only seven miles from Piraeus, and the majority of travellers will spend the visit in Athens. Athens is a hot, big, crowded and busy city packed with traffic and people. But at the city’s center lies the impressive Acropolis, a magnetic attraction for tourists from all around the world. Just North of the Acropolis lies the welcoming friendly area of Plaka, a place full of historic interest, and these two are the staple of tourists.
Take A Tour Of Athens
The major sight in Athens is the Acropolis, a 150 m (512 ft) rock in the center of the city topped with a number of temples erected in around 400BC. The archeological importance of these ancient monuments makes the Acropolis known all over the world. At the top of the Acropolis stands the beautiful Parthenon, a superb classical Greek temple, a magestic sight from everywhere in Athens. Another iconic building is the Erechtheion. The six ladies that act as pillars are reproductions, you can see 5 originals in the Acropolis museum. The final lady is in the British Museum in London, together with substantial parts of the Parthenon frieze.
See the guards wearing their unique skirt with white tights and odd shoes. Don’t miss is the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Near the Acropolis lies Plaka. This area is made up of pedestrian meandering streets.
The Roman Forum can be found at the west side of Plaka. Here you’ll find the interesting Horologion of Andronikos, an eight faced tower with a different wind deity on each side. Shared ticket with Acropolis.
The Shops in Plaka
There are many local products worth purchasing. olive oil, small carpets, and leather shoes are all manufactured/grown nearby and give great value for money. The local antiques market is bustling and fascinating.
Dining in Plaka
Relaxing in one of the pavement restaurants savouring a dish of good food with some ouzo is a very enjoyable way to pass the lunch hour.
The cruise ship routes from Piraeus visit destinations in the Greek Islands, Turkey, the Black Sea, Israel and Egypt.
See cruises from Athens for detailed cruise departure information.
Cruise Ship Terminals
Your cruise ship will dock at the Piraeus Port situated on the southern side of the city. The port lies in the Saronic Gulf, in the Aegean Sea. The port is first and foremost a ferry port, serving the numerous Greek Islands. Greece is composed of many islands, thus ferry traffic is essential and ferries sail in and out of Piraeus round the clock. The cruise terminals are positioned on the southern side of the harbor.
Cruise ships berth at either Cruise Terminal A or Cruise Terminal B. For a plan of Piraeus port click here.
Getting to the Port from the Airport
Line 3 joins Athens airport to Monastiraki station where you change to green Line 1, taking you to Piraeus. The journey time between the airport and Piraeus is approximately 75 minutes.
There’s an additional charge for trips to/from the airport, baggage costs more per item the ride takes at least one hour so the taxi price adds up to €50 or more.