Piraeus, Greece, is the port city that serves Athens. Piraeus actually has three ports: Port of Piraeus (the chief port in Greece also known as Kantharos), the Bay of Zea, and the harbor of Mikrolimano. As you can imagine, this area is steeped in history and here are many things to do and see here, but we will only be able to cover a few highlights in this post.
The Port of Piraeus is the largest passenger port in Europe, accommodating not only multiple major cruise ships at once, but numerous ferries that make trips to neighboring islands.
The Bay of Zea is situated in an old volcanic crater and is much more picturesque. You can stroll along the bayfront and admire the yachts in the marina as well as shops and restaurants along the way.
Finally, the much smaller harbor of Mikrolimano is a beautiful way to enjoy water views in Piraeus.
The Archaeological Museum of Piraeus has artifacts recovered from all over the city and the coastline of Africa dating from Mycenaean time to ancient Rome and Greece. Located next to the museum and dating from the 2nd century BC is the Hellenistic Theatre of Zea. The most famous exhibit in the museum is the four bronzes that were unearthed when the city was expanding their sewer system in 1959.
A visit to the Hellenic Maritime Museum is also a great way to learn more about the shipping and boating history of the area. The museum is the largest maritime museum in Greece and has exhibits date from prehistory to the Second World War.
Another intriguing museum in Piraeus is the Electric Railway Museum. The museum is housed in the Piraeus Station and was lovingly and painstakingly collected by one man, Manolis Fotopoulis, who had retired from the Athens-Piraeus Electric Railway prior to amassing the over 2,000 objects on display.
The hill which rises up in Piraeus is home to the Kastella neighborhood, a previously more prosperous area with many large mansions still clinging to the vestiges of wealthier times. This is a beautiful section of Piraeus to explore with incredible architecture, wonderful old doors, and amazing views of the harbor below.
If, after all this culture and history, you need some retail therapy head over to Sotiros Dios Street for some shopping and grab a bite at one of the local restaurants.
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