Sights and ideas for your own excursion in the port of Athens
- Regular berth: Terminal A - Miaoulis (Haupt Terminal)
- Regular berth: Terminal B - Themistocles
- Regular berth: Terminal C - Alkimos
- Port shuttle: free at the port
- Taxis: usually available at the piers
- Public transport: very well-developed bus line network, three metro lines and one tram line
- Car rental: Sixt, Xaveris Coast, right at the port
- Car rental: Hertz, Akti Miaouli 67, right at the port
- Car rental: Avis, Akti Miaouli 21, right at the port
- Car rental: Europcar, Leof. Andrea Siggrou 49, Athen
- Car rental: Budget, Akti Miaouli 21, right at the port
- Post Office: Piräus, Filonos 36
- Post Office: Athen, in Syntagma Square
- Tourist-Info: in Syntagma Square
- Banks and ATMs: to be found mainly in the centre of Piraeus and Athens
- Berths of the Cruise Liners
To the southwest of the capital is the extensive seaport of Piraeus, which today is one of the largest and most important ports in Greece. Already in 493 B.C. it was designated the port of Athens, is currently the third largest Mediterranean port and an important port of call for various routes in the eastern Mediterranean. At the three cruise terminals A-Miaoulis, B-Themistocles and C-Alkimos a total of five to six larger cruise ships can dock simultaneously. The enclosed areas are all air-conditioned and all berths have free Wi-Fi, small souvenir shops, and outside the gates there are usually plenty of taxis available for cruise guests. At some berths there are free shuttle buses between the pier and the cruise terminal.
- Local Public Transport
Public transport in Athens and Piraeus includes a dense bus network, served by typical city buses and trolleybuses. There are also three metro lines, and a tram line connecting the centre with the southern coastline. In order to get to the centre of Athens, which is about 11 kilometres away, and to get close to the Acropolis, for example, you can take a metro train of the M1 line, every day from 05:00-00:30 and every 3 to 5 minutes. A single ticket is valid for 90 minutes and costs 1.40 euros. Children and teenagers aged 7 to 18 years only pay 0.60 Euro and eleven-way tickets cost 13.40 Euro for adults. The terminal station Piraeus Port, dating from the 19th century, is 2,1 (Terminal A) to 3,3 (Terminal B) kilometres away, depending on the berth. A taxi takes about a half hour to reach Athens and costs around 35 euros. Alternatively, you can also use a bus of the Athens public transport company.
During the summer months from May to October, the X80 Piraeus - Acropolis - Syntagma - Express line runs every 30 minutes. Stops at the port are located at Cruise Terminal A and C. The journey time is about 40 minutes in each direction. The buses of line 40, on the other hand, operate all year round and depart daily every 15 minutes from Piraeus to Syntagma Square in Athens. There is also a stop at Cruise Terminal C in the centre of the city, and the entire route will take about 50 minutes. Of course, you can also get off at a stop in advance. With the single tickets and the day tickets for 4,50 euro each, one can use the public buses and the trains of the Athens subway. Excluded are the tram, the express lines to the airport and also the X80 line. Boarding the buses is always in front of the driver, and the tickets have to be validated at the automats when starting the journey.
- Sightseeing Tour
At the cruise port in Piraeus, you can also jump straight into one of the waiting Hop On Hop Off buses, in order to get to the desired sights, or just to enjoy a round trip. Over headphones one also gets some interesting information in German or English language about the highlights of the city. The everywhere popular sightseeing tours are offered in and around Athens by three providers, which stop at the respective cruise terminal and usually run every 30 minutes. Thus, one meets there the blue buses of Sights of Athens. They operate on the four routes in Athens (Orange Line), Piraeus (Blue Line), Glyfada (Yellow Line) and Vouliagmeni (Green Line). The operator also operates a typical tourist train, which makes its rounds in the streets of Piraeus and also passes the cruise port. Prices start at 13 euros per person. Also on board are the rather well-known red buses of City Sightseeing, which operate all year round on a Piraeus route, an Athens route and in summer additionally a beach Riviera tour. Starting from 20 Euro per person. The Athens Open Tour is the third operator to send its yellow buses into the race, runs 3 lines and starts at a 12 Euro per person. Especially in summer, several cruise ships often enter the port of Piraeus at the same time, and the rush for the Hop On Hop Off buses is correspondingly high. For this reason, it is recommended to buy the desired tickets in advance. In the centre of Athens, a small train also takes its guests through the streets of the city. This tour starts at Syntagma Square, takes 40 minutes and costs 5 Euros each.
- Railway Museum
Planning the transfer by metro to Athens? Those who already go to the historical metro station of the line M1 or who have already arrived there, can also plan a side trip to the small, but worth seeing railway museum Electric-Railways-Museum of Piraeus. The museum is located in the station building, in the former premises of the post office, and is dedicated to the history of the Athens metro. It was inaugurated in November 2005 and is run by enthusiastic former employees of the local railway company. In addition to the numerous smaller exhibits, a restored wooden railway carriage can also be viewed. Entrance is free of charge and possible Monday to Saturday from 09:00-14:00.
Excursion offers and tickets from
- Churches worth seeing in Piraeus
Those who want to have a walk in the harbour city or who are on the way to the subway, should have a look to and into two very nice churches. At the east, in direction to the subway station and at a distance of approximately 10 minutes on foot from terminal A, one meets at the harbour on the street Akti Miaouli to the Church of St. Nikolaus (Agios Nikolaos). The building with its striking blue domed roofs was built in the 11th century, in a Byzantine architectural style and impresses not only with its handsome façade, but also with its magnificent interior. If you follow the road northwards for another 10 minutes, you will find the Greek Orthodox Cathedral Agia Triada (Church of the Holy Trinity) to the right of the Piraeus Tower. Already opened in 1839, the building was largely destroyed by an air raid in 1944. As a temporary solution, a smaller church was built on this site. In 1956, the reconstruction of the original building began, which lasted for eight years and resulted in an impressive reconstruction.
- Piraeus City Theatre
Just a few hundred metres from the Agia Triada Cathedral is the Piraeus City Theatre. The marbled, monumentally designed and imposing building extends over a surface area of 34 x 45 metres. Four mighty Corinthian columns support the gable of the entrance area, behind which, in the two-storey foyer, various events are organised from time to time and changing exhibitions are also presented. The enormous chandelier in the main hall dates back to ancient times, and has never left its place after the first opening on April 9, 1895. In total, the partly generously designed interior areas are spread over an area of approximately 6000 square metres. During the war, the theatre building suffered severe damage in some places, and in the meantime it has also been misused for other purposes, such as intensive military use. The last extensive renovation work restored the original condition, lasted 10 years and was successfully completed in 2013. On 22 October, the theatre operations were then resumed.
- Piraeus Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum of Piraeus (Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Πειραιά, Archeologiko Mousio Pirea) is located on the street Charilaou Trikoupi 31, only about 900 meters from the moorings of the cruise ships at Cruise Terminal A. It was founded in 1935 and originally occupied the 330 square metre premises next to the remains of the ancient Zea Theatre, which itself dates from the 2nd century BC. As there was less and less free space available for new exhibits over time, a second and larger two-storey building was constructed on the rather large site, which was finally opened in 1981. From then on, the old building was used as storage area. The numerous exhibits on display are distributed in ten rooms, almost exclusively come from archaeological sites in/around Piraeus, and can be assigned to periods from the Mycenaean to the Roman era. The Archaeological Museum has a barrier-free access, souvenir shop, elevator, toilet and is open daily except Tuesdays from 08:00-15:30. The entrance fee is 4 euros per person.
- Maritime Museum on the Zéa-Marina
At the Zéa-Marina, about 850 metres further south of the Archaeological Museum, you will find the Hellenic Maritime Museum after a 15-minute walk. It focuses, how could it be otherwise, on Greek maritime history from antiquity to the present. The museum that is not too big, was already founded in the year 1949 and in the year 1969, it found its place in the building that is used today at the marina. In the exhibition, there are numerous beautiful ship models, original objects of different ships, objects of former possession of the navy, a collection of paintings with works of the 19th and 20th century and a comprehensive navy library with approximately 17000 books and magazines. Explanations and inscriptions are bilingual in Greek and English. The Maritime Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 09:00-15:00. It is closed on Sunday and Monday, and the regular entrance fee is 4 euros per person. Directly at the circular harbour promenade, a lot of cafés, bars and restaurants are located, which invite you to stop for a bite to eat after a walk.
- Beach Freatida
Below the Greek Maritime Museum is the small Beach Freatida. It has small sandy areas in the predominantly gravel bed, in and outside the cooling water. Beach shoes or bathing shoes are therefore recommended. In the water itself, the ground falls a little steeper, so that one gets quite fast to deeper waters. During the summer season, sun loungers are usually rented for 10 euros per day. In order to get to the Freatida Beach, one has to walk straight through the city, a thing that for example takes approximately 20 minutes from terminal A. Thereby, approximately 1,5 kilometres are covered. With the buses of the line 904, one is alternatively barely faster, but therefore much more comfortable. Get off at the PLAZ bus stop, which is in the immediate vicinity of the Freatida.
- Votsalakia Beach
On the other side of the marina, there is another popular section of a beach, which is very popular, especially during the summer months. Votsalakia Beach, also named after the local restaurant "Riviera Beach", consists mainly of gravel and larger stones. With beach shoes, you can walk around here very well. The beach itself falls down quickly in the water, so that after a few meters you can't stand up anymore. Right at the place, there is an outdoor pool with two tempered pools, where one can swim his lanes. During the summer months, it is opened from Monday to Friday from 07:00-22:00 o'clock, as also on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00-16:00 o'clock. During the rest of the year the opening hours are shorter. Votsalakia beach is a good 3,3 kilometers away from the cruise terminal A. It would take about 45 minutes on foot. Alternatively, the public bus line 20 stops directly at the beach, but unfortunately does not depart in the immediate vicinity of the berths.
- Hellenic Maritime Heritage Park
About 8.5 kilometres to the east of the cruise ships' moorings, a few museum ships worth seeing are moored in the small harbour of the Paleo Faliro district. Among them is, for example, the true-to-original replica of the ancient Athenian Trireme "Olympias", originally from the 5th century BC and almost 37 metres long. The replica of the rowing warship was completed in 1987. Other ships on display will be joined by the seaworthy armoured cruiser "Georgios Averoff". The former flagship of the Greek Navy was in service from 1911 to 1955, survived many a sea battle almost intact, and is today the last intact armoured cruiser from the early 20th century. If it is not on the way at sea for special occasions, an interior inspection can also be carried out from Tuesday to Friday between 09:00-14:00. On weekends and public holidays this is from 10:00-17:00, and on Mondays you are generally in front of a closed door. The entrance fee is 3 Euro for persons from the age of 18 years. Visitors between 7 and 17 years of age and from the age of 65 pay half each. To get from the cruise port to the museum ships, you can use the public buses of the lines 217, A1 or B1. A conveniently located exit is at the Trokandero stop, where the local tram line also stops. The journey time is about 20 to 30 minutes in each direction. By taxi, this distance takes a good half of the time.
- Athens Riviera
Beginning in Palaio Faliro up to the Cape Sounion, thus located from south to south-east of Athens, numerous and most different beaches are lined up alongside the coastline, most of which are also easily accessible by public transport. Thus, one meets there for example the Flisvos, Mpati, Edem, Kalamaki, Akti Iliou (with costs, 8 euro p.p.), Glyfada, Asteras and close to the terminal stop of the tram line on the Voula Beach. In order to visit the following beaches, it is better to use a Car rental right from the beginning due to the distances. For example, the partly charming beaches of Kavouri, Astir, Vouliagmeni, Varkiza (subject to charge, 5 Euro p.p.), Saronida, Agios Nikolaos, Anavissou, Palea Fokea, Charakas and the Sounion Beach at the cape of the same name are within easy reach.
- Cape Sounion
At the very south-east of Athens is Cape Sounion, on whose 60-metre-high elevation a small, then not insignificant settlement was built in the 5th century BC, whose few remains can be visited today. In honour of the sea god Poseidon, a Doric temple made of light marble was built there in 440 BC. This so-called Poseidon Temple was visited in antiquity mainly by seafarers, who made many offerings to the deity to be protected on their voyages. The dimensions of the impressive building can still be felt today, as some of the columns are still standing in their intended place. In one of the stones of the historic temple, the British poet Lord Byron immortalized himself in the early 19th century. From the plateau, there is a great panoramic view of the Aegean Sea with the surrounding islands, which is especially beautiful in the evening hours, when the weather is good, and the sun is setting.
Not far from the Poseidon Temple you can also visit the foundations of the Temple of Athena (patron saint of the state capital). Those who are looking for a cool down on hot days and have bathing suits with them, can go to the nearby beach to enjoy the Greek sun. In the area of the archaeological site of Sounion, there is a café and a souvenir shop. It is open daily from 09:00 in the morning until 20 minutes before sunset, and the entrance fee for adults is 10 euros each. Half price applies from the age of 65. Children and young people under 18 years of age get free admission. During the winter months from 1 November to 31 March, the opening time is half an hour later and admission during this period is 5 euros per person. Cape Sounion is about 67 kilometres away from the moorings of the cruise ships in Piraeus. For a direction over the coastal road 91, one can plan 70 to 80 minutes driving time.
One of the most important sights of Athens is undoubtedly the Acropolis, visible from afar and enthroned above the city. The ancient fortress was built between 467 and 406 B.C. on the 156-metre-high rocky plateau from which the city finally developed, and from which it continued to expand. Of the originally extensive complex of buildings with its numerous temples, only a few structures, even if only in parts, have survived today. These include, above all, the remains of the mighty Athena temple Parthenon, the original entrances Propyläen, the small Nike temple and the remains of the Erechtheion temple. From the entire Acropolis Plateau, which has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986, magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding Greek capital open up in all directions. The worth seeing area is open daily from 08:00-20:00 o'clock and costs per person regular 20 Euro entrance fee, reduced 10 Euro each. On very hot days, the temple complex is also sporadically closed for the protection of the visitors, what then mostly happens in the time from 13:00-17:00 o'clock.
During the winter months, during the days from November 1st to March 31st, the temple is opened from 08:30-17:00 o'clock, and then the reduced entrance fee of 10 euros per person applies. EU citizens up to the age of 25 are admitted free of charge on presentation of an identity document. Children from non-EU countries must pay the reduced admission fee from the age of 5 years. Access is only possible on the western side of the land elevation, which in turn can be reached from the north and south. To the south, the Dioniysiou Areopagitou road runs almost parallel and quite close to the foot of the ancient site. From there, it is only possible to get there on foot, for example, after having left a train of the line M2 at the next subway station Acropoli. But the subway stations Thissio and Monastiraki, that are located at the north, are more interesting for cruise ship guests, as they are part of the subway line M1 from Piraeus. The station Thissio is located at a distance of approximately 1000 metres and Monastiraki at a distance of approximately 750 metres to the important place of interest. With the offered combined ticket for 30 Euro each, among others, the temple of the Olympic Zeus, the Roman forum, the antique agora, the Dionysos theatre and the excavations of Kerameikos can also be visited without further costs.
- Odeon of Herodes Atticus
At the foot of the Acropolis, and on the pedestrian zone of Dionysiou-Areopagitou Street, is the very well preserved Amphitheater Odeon of Herod Atticus (Herodeon). It was completed in 161 A.D., and from then on was used for various performances. During an enemy attack by the Heruls, the building suffered severe damage 107 years later. It was not repaired, it increasingly lost its importance and finally fell into oblivion for a long time. The rediscovery began with first excavations in the middle of the 19th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, some reconstruction and restoration work were then carried out. As a result, from the 1930s onwards, performances were held again. Twenty years later, very extensive reconstruction work was finally carried out, during which a large part was restored to its original state. A reopening ceremony in 1955 officially ended the construction work. Even today, the building, which is well worth seeing and holds almost 5000 people, is used for a wide variety of events, such as the annual Athens Summer Festival. Access to the interior is only possible with valid tickets to various events or during guided tours. From the outside, you can get an excellent view of the ancient theatre building, even as you climb up to the Acropolis. From the plateau itself, further good vantage points open up.
- Dionysus Theatre
Not far from the Odeon of Herod Atticus, there are the ruins of the much older Dionysus Theatre. From today's point of view, the oldest and at that time also very important theatre in Athens had its beginnings in the 6th century B.C., when the audience still had to sit on the floor of the slight slope. Around 410 B.C., wooden rows of seats were installed, which were later exchanged for solid stone seats in 330 B.C. Since then, people's assemblies have also been held here. The three tiers of seats had 67 rows of seats, and now offered space for a total of 17,000 visitors. The most important and respected citizens of the city always sat in the front row. Enormous seats were made for this purpose, some of which can still be viewed on site. Like other buildings, this Dionysus Theatre was also destroyed by the Heruls in 267 when they raided the city. A reconstruction never took place, and it disappeared into the ground in the course of time. Only in the middle of the 18th century, the ruins were rediscovered, and first excavations began around 1863.
- Acropolis Museum
In earlier times, the Acropolis Museum was located directly on the famous and flattened hill of the city, as an integral part of the ancient temple complex. As the old quarter no longer met the requirements, a new earthquake-proof building was erected south of the Acropolis. After completion and the relocation, the exhibition was officially reopened there on 20.06.2009. The new premises are spread over four floors, with a total exhibition area of around 14,000 square metres. The new Acropolis Museum is now located directly next to the Acropoli metro station, but the entrance is a good 300 meters away, on the northern side of the building, on the Dionysiou Areopagitou pedestrian zone. It is barrier-free accessible. In the interior there are, among other things, 2 elevators, a cafeteria and a souvenir shop. It is open daily from 08:00-18:00 and additionally every Friday two hours longer until 20:00. If one buys the tickets in advance on the internet, one has to decide on the desired day of the visit, for a certain time slot, and also arrive on site within this time slot. The available time windows are of two hours each and begin with the opening of the museum in the morning at 08:00 am. There are no time restrictions for the following visit. The entrance fee is 10 euros per person.
- Parliament Building
In the northeast of the Acropolis, at some distance, you will find the most important square of Athens, separated from the adjacent Parliament building by the wide street Leoforos Vasilisis Amalias. Built as a royal castle between 1836 and 1842, the Greek Parliament has resided in the monumental building since 1935. Visits to the interior are only possible on special occasions and therefore rarely during the year. Right in front of the parliament building, there is the tomb of the unknown soldier, which is guarded by the royal guard. The so-called Evzones are dressed in traditional uniforms and punctually change the guard on the full hour. Moreover, there is a little more hustle and bustle on each Sunday at 11:00 a.m., when the big change of the guard is accomplished with a little parade.
- Syntagma Square and Tourist Train
In front of the impressive Parliament building is the Syntagma Square (Platia Syndagmatos - Square of the Constitution), which until 1843 was simply called Palace Square. Today, there are, among other things, numerous restaurants, hotels, a tourist information office, the terminal stop of the local tram lines T4 and T5, some bus stops of different lines, and the trains of the subway lines M2 and M3 come together in the underground of the plaza. In this historical place, various events are held throughout the year, among which there are concerts and celebrations, as well as some demonstrations every now and then. The 40-minute laps of the small tourist train also start daily from 09:00-21:00 on the square. The tour passes important sights, costs 5 Euro per person and for children 3 Euro each. At each stop you can get on and off the train as often as you like, with a valid ticket.
- Shopping Opportunities
At the western end of Syntagma Square begins the long shopping mile, or more precisely the Odos Ermou shopping street (Hermes Street). There and in the adjoining side streets, one finds numerous shops and boutiques, also partly of famous labels. The pedestrian zone runs almost dead straight in east-west direction, connecting the Syntagma Square with the Monastiraki Square, where the subway station of the same name, on the M1 line to Piraeus, is located. Every Sunday, Monastiraki Square hosts an additional and quite extensive flea market, where numerous objects of different kinds change hands during the course of the day.
- City Hill Lycabettus
Northeast and about 1.1 kilometers from Syntagma Square, you are at the foot of Lycabettus (Lykavittos). The small city mountain of Athens reaches a height of 277 meters, overlooking the entire city center. A partly quite steep ascent or a more comfortable ride with the locally operated funicular railway, is worth it just because of the great panoramic view on the roofs of the city. If visibility is good, the port facilities of Piraeus can also be seen from there. On the panoramic terrace, there is a café/restaurant and the not too big Ágios Geórgios Chapel. A little aside from the panorama terrace, there is the semicircular Lycabettus Theatre (Theatro Likavittou). The installed funicular railway first went into operation in the spring of 1965, and now runs daily every 30 minutes from 09:00-01:30 at night. In case of high traffic, the frequency is increased and adapted to the demand. On the 210-metre-long route, the journey takes only 3 minutes. The travel costs amount to 7 Euro per person and entitle to one ascent and descent. Moreover, by presenting the ticket in the Lycabettus Restaurant that is located above, one gets a small discount on food and drinks. Around the mountain, the buses of the line 60 operate that, among others, also pass the parliament building.
- Byzantine and Christian Museum
Only about 900 meters south of the valley station of the Lykabettus funicular, is located on the street Leof. Vasilissi's Sofias 22 the Byzantine Museum. Originally located near the local university, this museum was founded in 1914. Since 1930 it has been housed at its present location, in the Florentine Villa Ilissia. In the stylish rooms you can see mainly early Christian, Byzantine and medieval exhibits. However, the total of about 30,000 exhibits date back to the period from the 3rd century B.C. to the 21st century. Among them are various icons, murals, mosaics, antiques, manuscripts, sculptures, miniatures, ceramics, fabrics and paintings. In the pleasantly designed courtyard of the object, there is also a small café - restaurant. Access is barrier-free and is possible daily, except Tuesdays, from 09:00-16:00. During the summer season there are extended opening hours from 08:00-20:00 and then additionally on Tuesday from 13:00-20:00. Adults from the age of 25 pay 4 euros each for admission. Younger persons can visit the exhibition rooms free of charge. The Evaggeliasmos metro station is only a few minutes' walk away.
- War Museum
The Athens War Museum located directly on the adjacent plot of land, the Villa Ilissia. Although it was founded by the Greek state in 1964, it was first opened 11 years later, on 18 July 1975. The exhibition is spread over four floors, and presents the different periods of the Greek military, from antiquity to the present. Among other things, a wide range of weapons, some cannons, tanks and airplanes, uniforms, flags, historical photographs and film footage, personal mail and diaries of officers and soldiers, newspapers, magazines, postcards and books are on display. The building is accessible daily from 09:00-17:00. From April and until the end of October, the doors are also open until 20:00 hrs. The regular entrance fee is 6 Euro per person, reduced fees are 4 Euro each. EU citizens under the age of 18 are admitted free of charge, and from 1 November to 31 March, admission on the first Sunday of the month is generally free for all visitors.
- Panathinaiko Stadium
From the war museum only about 15 minutes on foot and definitely worth a look, this is on the street Leof. Vasileos Konstantinou, located Panathinaiko Stadium (Kallimarmaro). It was built especially for the first Olympic Games of modern times in 1896, on the foundations of a similarly constructed ancient building. The first facility was already built at this location around 330 BC, and was significantly expanded by the Romans around 140 AD. Later it fell into disrepair and oblivion, the remains were rediscovered during excavations in 1869 and 1870. Twenty years later, work began on a reconstruction true to the original. Today, unfortunately rarely used for events, the Panathinaiko stadium nevertheless offers space for around 50,000 people on its 47 rows of seats.
Because it is open to the street, there is already a great view of the impressive building from there. A long vaulted corridor underneath the stands, originally intended for the athletes, now leads to a small museum, which focuses on the Olympic Games of modern times, and has an extensive collection of torches and posters. It is open daily from 08:00-19:00. During the winter months from November to February the museum closes two hours earlier, at 17:00. The entrance fee for adults is 5 euros each, reduced 2.50 euros. There is no entrance fee for children under 6 years. After paying the entrance fees, you can move around the area quite freely, and you can also enter the running track. You will also be given access to the exhibition, and you will receive an audio guide who speaks 11 languages, including German and English.
If you are already strolling around in the vicinity, or even already in the contiguous park areas of the National Garden (Ethnikos Kipos) and the Zappeion Park, you can also have a look at an impressive building located there. The so-called Zappeion was built in the southern part of the extensive parks in honour of the wealthy Greek merchant Evangelos Zappas, and was officially inaugurated in 1888. The eponym dreamed of reviving the Olympic Games, for which he donated his fortune. In 1896, the time had finally come, and fencing competitions took place in Zappeion at the first Olympic Games of modern times. In the course of time, the building was temporarily used as a hospital and barracks, but was mainly used as a conference / exhibition centre for public and private events. Outside of these activities, free access to the Zappeion is available Monday to Friday from 09:00-17:00 and you can, for example, take a look at the magnificent inner courtyard.
- Olympieion and Hadrian's Gate
Almost exactly in the middle, between the Zappeion and the Acropolis Museum, are the remnants of the Temple of Zeus (Olympieion). Also known as the Temple of Olympian Zeus, this imposing structure was the largest of its kind in ancient times, measuring 110 x 43 metres. The origins go back to the 6th century B.C., but the temple was not completely finished until the 2nd century A.D., under Roman rule, between 124 and 132. The first archaeological excavations began in 1889. Today, the area is accessible daily from 08:00-20:00 hrs, after a payment of 8 euros. From October to April, the museum is already closed in the afternoon at 15:00 o'clock. EU citizens under the age of 25 are admitted free of charge. Children and young people from non-EU countries must pay the reduced admission fee of 4 euros per person from the age of 5. The Hadrian's Gate (Hadrian's Arch), located in the north-east, was dedicated by the city fathers to the Roman Emperor Hadrian, and at that time marked the border between ancient Athens and the newly created Roman part. In Greek, inscriptions were placed on the respective outer sides for this purpose, which translated read, "This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus", and "This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus". The Hadrian's Gate is 18 metres high and 6 metres wide.
- Athens Market Hall
Only about 500 metres north of Monastiraki Square (Metro line M1), there is a fairly large food market on Odos Athinas Street (Athena Street), which is almost always well attended. At the Central Market of Athens, there is daily except Sundays, in the time from 07:00-15:00 o'clock, there is always a busy hustle and bustle, where the numerous merchants loudly advertise their fresh goods. Fish, meat, cheese, fruit, vegetables, spices and some other products are offered in abundance. The heart of the Central Market (Varvakios Agora) is the historic market hall itself, which was opened in 1886 and has been used intensively ever since. The surrounding small side streets, which are directly adjacent to the building, have also been roofed in order to enlarge the existing sales areas, and to provide a protected space for the numerous merchants. On the nearby street Evripidou, many specialty shops have been established, some of which are family-owned and have been operated for generations.
- Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum of Athens, located on the road Oktovriou Patission 44, focuses extensively on Greek antiquity. Founded elsewhere in 1829, today's most visited museum in the city, after a long construction phase, finally opened its doors to the public in 1889 at its current location. There, the visitor found an extensive collection of prehistoric antiquities and a sculpture collection. Gradually, it was enriched with other antiquities, which dated back to excavations in various regions of Greece. The building, which has since been extended, suffered considerable damage in the 1999 earthquake, after which extensive renovation work was carried out between 2002 and 2004. The number of exhibits and collections increased enormously in the following years until 2009.
Today, the National Archaeological Museum is one of the largest museums in the world, displaying exhibits from the 6th millennium BC to the 4th century AD. The finds date back mainly from Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and Italy, but also from other parts of the world. They are presented together with changing special exhibitions in a total of 52 rooms. On the ground floor, for example, there are Egyptian antiques, the Stathatos Collection, a collection of metalwork, the collection of Mycenaean antiques, the collection of Cycladic antiques and a sculpture collection with over 16,000 objects. On the 1st floor, there is a collection of Cypriot antiques, various glass vases, a jewellery collection, terracotta figures, the Vlastos-Serpieris collection, vases and cabaret, and the Thera antiques collection. It is open on Tuesdays from 13:00-20:00, and the rest of the week from 09:00-16:00. From April to October, extended opening hours apply until 20:00 o'clock. During this time, double the entrance fee of 12 euros per person is charged.
- Hadrian's Library
Not far from Monastiraki Square, there are the ruins of the ancient Hadrian's Library. Today, unfortunately, only parts of the western façade of the building, which was erected in 132 AD, are still visible. Named after the Roman Emperor Hadrian, the library was one of the largest of its time. The whole complex spread out on an area of 120x78 metres. In the middle, a spacious inner courtyard with green areas, a pond and statues was installed. The present excavation site is open to visitors daily from 08:00-20:00. There is an entrance fee of 6 euros per person. Reduced 3 euros. Upon presentation of a valid identity document, EU citizens up to the age of 25 are admitted free of charge. Children from non-EU countries must pay the reduced admission price from the age of 5 years.
- Roman Agora
A few meters further south, you will come across another ancient testimony of time. The Roman Agora was the forum, market place and meeting place of the ever growing Athens. Built by the Roman Emperor Augustus between the years 19 and 11 B.C., and later extended by Emperor Hadrian, the square originally spread out over an area of approximately 112 x 96 metres, which in turn was surrounded by imposing porticoes. The gate of Athena Archegetes, which is still quite well preserved today, was used as an entrance to the former central square of the city. On the eastern part of the Roman agora, there is also the octagonal Tower of the Winds (Aerides), which is over 12 metres high and dates back to the 2nd century BC, and was used at that time for weather observation and timekeeping. The excavation site can be visited daily from 08:00-20:00. There is an entrance fee of 8 Euro per person. Reduced 4 Euro. On presentation of a valid identity document, EU citizens up to the age of 25 are admitted free of charge. Children from non-EU countries must pay the reduced admission price from the age of 5 years.
- Ancient Agora
Just a few hundred metres from the Roman Agora are the ruins of the much older Ancient Agora, which was previously the cultural, social, commercial, political and religious centre of ancient Athens. Excavations have uncovered findings, which indicate that the area was used from the late Neolithic period onwards. It was opened to the public from the 6th century BC onwards, and later, in the 2nd century BC, the central square was given a rectangular shape with boundary stones. Today, not much is left of the buildings that once surrounded this important place. Only the Temple of Hephaestus, which dates back to the 5th century BC, shines in its good original condition, and is one of the best preserved ancient buildings in the city. It is joined by the Stoa of Attalos. The long, reconstructed building was constructed around 150 BC, and today houses the Museum of the Ancient Agora. The Ancient Agora is accessible daily from the main entrance on Adrianou Street, and can be visited from 08:00-20:00 (April to October) and 08:30-17:00 (November to March). A side entrance is located at the square of Thissio Metro Station.
- Museum of the Ancient Agora
Located almost in the middle between the Ancient Agora and the Roman Agora, is the Museum of the Ancient Agora. More precisely, it is located inside the Stoa of Attalos, a long building, which was equipped with numerous columns during its construction in the middle of the 2nd century BC. In the 1950s, the impressive building was extensively and faithfully restored. At the same time, the exhibition rooms of the present museum were integrated. The numerous exhibits on display came to light during excavation work on the site of the Ancient Agora, providing a small, interesting insight into the life of the Athenian people at that time. For the entrance to the excavation site of the Ancient Agora and the museum, 10 Euros per person are to be paid. Reduced 5 Euro. On presentation of a valid identity document, EU citizens up to the age of 25 are admitted free of charge. Children from non-EU countries must pay the reduced admission price from the age of 5 years.
- Excursion Portals and Excursion Providers
Through the tour and excursion providers GetYourGuide, Meine Landausflüge and Viator, you can book various excursions, activities, tours, tickets and admission tickets in Piraeus, which are often offered at much lower prices than comparable excursions offered by the shipping companies. Thus, if you book well in advance, you can realize a large number of excursions on your own.
A small preselection of independent tour operators for, in and around Piraeus,
we have compiled for you here.
- Cruises and Special Offers
If you have not yet booked a Mediterranean cruise, but would like to get to know Piraeus personally and make excursions on your own, you will find great offers from the major cruise operators in the German-speaking world. Aida, Costa and Tui Cruises - Mein Schiff offer attractive routes with their modern cruise ships, together with other interesting destinations. Book your next dream holiday directly with your favourite shipping company at fair conditions.
All ocean and river cruises can also be booked conveniently and inexpensively online with the sea travel specialist Kreuzfahrten-Zentrale Astoria. This means that you can choose from a wide range of up-to-date offers from various shipping companies. These include AIDA Cruises, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and TUI Cruises. Also attractive are the popular special offers, with which one can travel at a particularly low price and possibly also get a great bargain.
- Opening hours of the museums: daily from 09:00-18:00
- Opening hours of the post office: Monday to Friday from 07:30-20:00, Saturday from 07:30-13:00
- Opening hours of the banks: Monday to Friday from 08:00-14:00
- Opening hours of the tourist information office: Monday to Sunday from 09:00-16:00
- Opening hours of the shops: Monday to Friday from 09:00-21:00, Saturday from 09:00-20:00
- Country code: +30
- Taxi: Tel. 18300 (Kosmos)
- Taxi: Tel. 18222 (Taxiplon)
- Taxi: Tel. 18180 (Hellas)
- Taxi: Tel. 18388 (Enotita)
- General emergency call: Tel. 112
- Police: Tel. 100
- Emergency doctor: Tel. 166
- Recommended vaccination: Tropical Institute Greece
- German Embassy: Ipsilantou 10, Athen
- Safety information: Federal Foreign Office Greece
- Public Transport: Athens public transport (en)
- Buses: Lines Information
- Map of the city: Athens map
- Climatic table: Athens Climate
- Port occupancy: Cruise ships in Piraeus
- Official language: Greek
- National currency: Euro, 1 EUR = 100 Cent
More port information on popular cruise destinations in the Mediterranean