Piraeus is the largest commercial center in Greece, while its port accommodates the largest proportion of traffic across Europe, connecting by sea Athens with the Aegean islands and visited by most cruise ships.
This storied industrial city continues to enchant visitors with its unique location and its history, which is closely tied to the sea and to which it owes its economic and cultural development.
The city of Piraeus or otherwise Porto Leone (in the17th century) or Porto Dragon (during the Catalan occupation) was already inhabited in the Neolithic period and flourished in the classical period when it was for the first time proclaimed a municipality, the seaport of the then ancient Greek state.
Nowadays Piraeus continues to be one of the largest urban parts of Athens and joins the center with numerous means of public transport such as train, tram, bus and proastiakos (commuter train).
Athens, on the other hand, is the "most historical" city in Europe and one of the oldest cities in the world. It is known worldwide for its historical monuments that have survived over the centuries, such as the Acropolis, and museums that preserve this valuable history alive.
However, apart from history, Athens can offer its visitors modern stimuli and proposals. In the center, one can attend cultural events and exhibitions, wander into the streets to taste unique delicacies from around the world and have fun all day long. Do not forget that the Mediterranean climate of Athens makes it the ultimate holiday destination all year round!
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The Parthenon, a temple built entirely of Pentelic marble, in honor of the goddess Athena, protector of Athens, was the result of cooperation of major architects and sculptors in the mid-5th century BC.
It is the greatest monument of the Athenian civilization and the epitome of Doric architecture. What makes it so great is not only the frieze, the sculptural decoration, colored pediments etc but also the fact that it was not created by a "genius" of the time, but the whole race suggesting the ultimate expression of a great civilization.
A place definitely to visit when you are in Athens!
The new Acropolis Museum, of 25,000 square meters, is a modern archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens.
Walking through the halls seems as if taking a stroll in history, among the masterpieces of the Archaic and Classical periods, but also through the ancient Athens neighborhoods. The glass floor in the first halls of the museum allows viewing of the excavations while its upward sloping gives the impression of climbing up to the Acropolis.
The aim of the museum was to house all artifacts found on the sacred rock of the Acropolis and on its foot from the Mycenaean period to Roman and Early Christian Athens.
At the end of your tour you can attend some of the many activities offered by the museum or relax while enjoying your coffee or meal in the specially designated areas of the Museum.
An experience you will never forget ...
The Museum offers many possibilities of respite and recreation, has a huge variety of exhibits and offers an appropriate setting for the most imaginative works of the antiquity.
What can one say about the Acropolis, the rocky hill that was first inhabited in the 3rd millennium BC?
The Acropolis area is 156 m. higher than the sea level and 70 meters than the city of Athens and is accessible from the western side where the Propylaea serve as an entrance.
The building of the Propylaea started in 436 BC after the completion of the Parthenon and were never finished because of the Peloponnesian war. They are divided into three sections and the central edifice is considered unique for the architecture of the period.
In the same area, visitors can also enjoy the magnificent buildings of antiquity such as the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion, each with its own unique architecture and history.
Around the Acropolis hill, there are the Aeropagus, the Pnyx, the Theater of Dionysus, the monument of Philopappos, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, which today houses the performances of the Athens Festival and the Academy - a few meters away- where Plato founded his Academy and developed his philosophical principles.
It is difficult to describe the emotion one feels when surrounded by the history and culture of several centuries. You have to experience it in order to understand!
The Archaeological Museum of Piraeus offers visitors a representative and comprehensive insight into the history of the city, which in antiquity flourished both as a commercial center of the eastern Mediterranean and as a naval dockyard of ancient Athens.
The exhibits mainly come from the greater area of Piraeus and Attica beach and cover a period from the Mycenaean to the Roman era.
These findings are highly representative of the singularity, the composition of the population and history of Piraeus and promise to take you on a journey to the ambiance of each era.
The Erechtheion, a composite marble Ionic building, considered the most sacred site of the Acropolis. The eastern part of the temple was dedicated to Athena-Polias, protector of Athens and the western to Poseidon - Erechtheus from which it took its name.
In mythology, the site of the Erechtheion was the place of the contest between Athena and Poseidon over the name of the city. The sea god Poseidon struck a rock with his trident and caused a spring of salt water to gush forth from the ground. In turn Athena struck the ground with her spear and an olive tree grew. The gods who were the judges announced Athena as the winner but the Athenians wishing to reconcile the two rival gods dedicated a shrine to both of them under the same roof.
One side of the temple was decorated wit six Ionic columns while the other side with six statues of female figures (Caryatids), which were above the tomb of Cecrops, the legendary king of Athens.
The Maritime Museum of Greece is the largest of its kind in Greece, reviving, through its exhibits, the history of many millenniums, highlighting the brilliant Greek naval tradition.
On the premises of a total area of approximately 2,500 square meters (including the arcade), one can enjoy among many other exhibits seascapes of the 19th and 20th centuries, "browse" the greatest naval library and collection of maps and follow the naval course of Greece throughout the centuries. The rich archival material and the photographic archive of the Hellenic Maritime Museum are considered to be of the most remarkable ones in the history of the Mediterranean.
The findings of the Hellenic Maritime Museum are housed in an imposing building in Piraeus, at the bay of Freatida, Themistocles coast, as it was formed with the creation of the marina.
The National Archaeological Museum is the largest museum in Greece and one of the most important in the world. It is housed in an imposing 19th-century neoclassical building, created by the famous architect of the time, Ernst Ziller.
Its original purpose was to secure all the artifacts of the 19th-century excavations, mainly from Attica, but also from other parts of the country, but gradually it was enriched with findings from all parts of the ancient Greek world.
Its rich collections, which list more than 11,000 exhibits including Neolithic, Cycladic, and Mycenaean works, sculptures from the 7th century BC - 5th century AD, representative works of ancient Greek pottery from the 11th century BC to the Roman era, metalwork and works of art of Egyptian and Oriental Antiquities.
Apart from the exhibits, it is worth to pay a visit to enjoy rich photo archive of the museum but also the library, which holds rare editions of scientific studies.
The National Gallery was created after the donation of jurist Soutzos Alexandros, who in 1896 bequeathed his collection and estate to the state aspiring to the creation of a Fine Arts Museum. Four years later, on July 28, 1900, the Gallery opened its doors.
It initially offered an exhibition of 258 works from the collections of the Technical University (which had set up a small gallery a few years ago) and the University. The following year the 107 works of the collection of A. Soutzos, bequeathed to the state, were also included.
Among the museum's permanent collections one can admire works of Modern Greek painting (19th century), Western Painting, Modern Greek and European Engraving, Decorative and Applied Arts, Modern Greek and European Sculpture.
he temple of Athena Nike is located on the southwest side of the Sacred Rock. On the same site there was a temple since the archaic times in honor of the goddess Athena, whose remains were preserved in the bastion supporting the later temple.
The temple was built in 426-421 BC according to the designs of Kallikrates. As the story goes, the architects did not agree with the designs of the temple and compromised by the bastion of Nike, one side of which followed the path to the Propylaea. This design was so successful for its time that was also used in other buildings.
The construction of the classical temple of Athena Nike is part of the big building project that took place at the Acropolis in the time of Pericles.
The Veakio Municipal Summer Theater is one of the finest points of Piraeus, on the hill of Castella (Prophet Elias), at a height of 86.59 m, and a unique breathtaking view to the sea.
The theater started operating in June 1969 and was renamed "Veakio" in July 1976, with a decision of the Municipal Council in honor of the great Greek actor Emilios Veakis (1884-1951), who was born in Piraeus .
Since it started operating, the Veakio Municipal Summer Theater has become an area of artistic expression in summer, hosting numerous Greek and foreign companies, internationally renowned folk groups and concerts of famous artists.