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Athens (Piraeus) Port
- 1 Athens (Piraeus) Port
- 2 Athens at a Glance
- 3 Where do cruise ships dock?
- 4 Getting from Athens Port into the city centre
- 5 Taxi
- 6 Bus
- 7 What to do with a day in Port
- 8 Local Flavours
- 9 Good to Know
- 10 ANTI THEFT TRAVEL GEAR
- 11 Quick Facts
Athens at a Glance
For ships docking in Athens Port, it is about 10km into Athens city centre. For a city with so much culture and myth, Athens is still very modern. Certainly, there are ancient monuments and churches tucked between grungy looking apartment blocks and the Parthenon looms into view around nearly every corner. But don’t come to the Greek capital expecting a living postcard. With an urban population of over three million people, this is a hectic, 24-hour city.
With so much to see and do within her 7 hills, a cruise day visit can be a challenge, especially if this is your first visit.
Where do cruise ships dock?
Ships dock in Piraeus (Athens Port) which is about 10km (6.2miles) southwest of the city itself. Piraeus is pretty chaotic as it serves as not only a cruise port but is also the main gateway from the capital to all the Greek islands and beyond. Ferries plough to & fro from nearby to far-flung islands. However, there is a free in-port shuttle that will help you get about.
Getting from Athens Port into the city centre
- 90-minute ticket: €1.40 (£1.30)
- 24-hour ticket: €4.50 (£4)
A taxi from Piraeus Port into Athens city centre will cost about €25. So if there are a few of you this might be a viable and affordable option.
There are three buses that can take you from Piraeus Port to Athens city centre, Syntagma square:
the 040 and the two express buses X80(seasonal) and X96. Cost is similar to the Metro but even the express service takes twice as long so would not be my recommendation.
What to do with a day in Port
There is so much to see and do in Athens so if this is your first visit then it will not be possible to fit everything in. It does give you the perfect excuse to return and see the things you missed the first time. If you have been before then the choices are much easier for you.
If it’s your first time in Athens then this is a must.
When you exit the Propylaia at the top, you can immediately see the Parthenon to the right and the Erechtheion complex on the left, with the easily recognizable statues of the Porch of the Caryatids.
Temple of Zeus
It’s a great site to wander around and imagine what it looked like in its heyday. Get the angle right and you can capture both the Temple of Zeus and the Parthenon in the background for that perfect photo.
One of the most popular reasons that people visit this square is to see the changing of the guard, which happens every hour, on the hour.
We found this little bar whilst wandering the narrow streets of the Plaka. A glance inside and we were immediately struck by the myriad of bright coloured bottle stacked from floor to ceiling. Turns out its one of the oldest distilleries in Athens and they specialise in making liqueurs in a variety of flavours. All these bottles are stacked high and backlit with lighting to give a dazzling display. Oh, and the liqueurs themselves are delicious, especially the cherry.
This cafe was another little place we found on our travels. A great place for a spot of lunch and to rest your weary feet from all that walking. It’s situated in a great spot within the Plaka with outdoor seating shaded from the mid-day sun.
If travelling from Piraeus cruise port we would recommend walking the short distance to Piraeus metro station and getting the green line (M1) line and getting off at Monastiraki. From there you are within walking distance of The Plaka and Syntagma Square. There is also a great Flea Market at Monastiraki which is more like a market but still great for spending some time souvenir hunting.
The translation of spanakopita is ‘spinach pie,’ an authentic and fresh pastry filled with spinach, different kinds of herbs and cheeses (mainly feta), spring onions, eggs (to bind the ingredients), and olive oil. A flaky, messy dish to eat but a tasty treat all the same.
Greeks tomato balls are sweet, soft, and full of herbs. Usually served with yoghurt sauce, this speciality, originating in Santorini, is definitely one you should savour.
A marriage of eggplant and potatoes in some recipes, with minced meat on the bottom and an indulgent serving of béchamel on top, this dish is baked to perfection in the oven. It is definitely a tasty speciality.
Good to Know
Central Athens is compact and good for strolling around. In fact, we recommend this as an ideal way of finding the unexpected and unusual. However, please take the punishing mid-day sun into account and take breaks and keep hydrated.
Most smaller shops and stall vendors prefer cash to plastic. Greeks use cash more than any other country in the Eurozone.
Head for the rooftops
There are some great rooftop bars and cafes in the city. Perfect for a coffee or a cocktail and a spectacular view. The Parthenon can be seen from almost anywhere. A is for Athens being one of them. Zillers is another.
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Greek
- Money: There are plenty of ATM’s in Athens.
- Visas: Not required for citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK and US