Ietionia Coast, marked by the church of St. Dionysios, is your escape to an off-the-beaten track tour, where the glorious past of ancient Piraeus merges with the city’s industrial development. The majestic Ietionia Gate of the Long Walls, named after Ietionia Coast, built on the rocky hill of Kastraki, was of primary importance and played a major role in the general fortification project conceived by Themistocles. Today, an impressive part of the gate can be seen.
One of the busiest city points, Piraeus’s Downtown is a place full of life where you can enjoy sightseeing and buy Greek traditional products. No matter where you come from – the cruise Terminals or the city centre – you pass by Tinaneios Garden. Tinaneios Gargen, comprises two reminders of WWII: a monument dedicated to the Greek Resistance and a tree in which a part of sheet metal belonging to Clan Fraiser ship got jammed during Piraeus’ bombardment, in 1941. Right next to the Garden stands Saint Spyridon’s Church, a unique piece of architecture, designated as a monument, dedicated to Piraeus patron Saint, Saint Spyridon. Just a few metres away, you cannot but notice Piraeus’s Cathedral, Holy Trinity Church, an exquisite monument of byzantine art hosting ancient Piraeus’s relics in its foundations.
The busy city center where the heart of Piraeus beats is the ideal place to enjoy shopping and visit places of archeological and cultural interest. At terminal A, right in front of “Piraeus Port Authority Exhibition Centre”, stands Saint Nicholas’ Church, a preserved historical monument, dedicated to the seamen’s patron saint. Heading towards the city’s shopping center, you find yourself on Iroon Politecniou Avenue where lies the Roman Residential Block, a living proof of the housing habits in the Roman Era and one of the biggest archaeological parks in Greece. Just a few meters away, in Perikleous Street the Hippodameian Cistern, a rainwater storage system of the 5th century BC is housed on the premises of the Christian Youth Organization in Piraeus. Preserved in excellent condition, the Hippodameian Cistern is an amazing ancient hydraulics piece of work.
Mikrolimano is definitely one of the city’s hottest meeting points. Below the hill of Kastella, where the ancient military harbor of Munichia used to be, the heart of sailing and rowing beats today. Numerous nautical clubs, located in Mikrolimano promote sailing and rowing. Mikrolimano is the ideal place to stroll, take amazing pictures and of course enjoy delicious dishes and cocktails in island-like surroundings. Choose among dozens of luxurious cafés and prestigious seafood restaurants, most of them giving the impression of floating on the sea. And for sure, such variety of venues caters for all tastes!
One of the most beautiful and upper-class districts of Piraeus, the picturesque hill of Kastella, still echoes the grandeur of times gone by and attracts the visitor with its elegant Mediterranean simplicity. As such, it’s no wonder that Kastella’s western and eastern borders are set by two caste-like houses of neo-Gothic architectural style, the Tzivanioti’s Residence located on the limit zone of Pasalimani and Kastella and the twin, adjacent stone-built houses, next to the natural harbour of ancient Munichia (Mikrolimano). In between, lies Alexandra’s Square where once stood the “Neighbourhood of Mansions”, visualized and created by the renowned architect Ernst Ziller.
Pasalimani is, in many ways, the city’s hot spot! Ideal for entertainment, sightseeing and relaxation, with its many cafés, bars and restaurants succeeding one another under palm trees and open parasols, with its museums and archaeological sites, its shops and squares, Pasalimani, definitely meets all tastes. Now, where to begin? Of course, from Piraeus Archaeological Museum, located just a few metres above the waterfront, housing significant exhibits, coming from the wider region of Piraeus. Adjacent to the museum, and under its auspices, lie the exceptionally well-preserved ruins of the Ancient Theatre of Zea. In close proximity, Piraeus Rowing Club, the oldest sports club in Greece and Balkans, and Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation are situated.
Cosmopolitan Zea, the second (out of the three) largest natural harbour of Piraeus, is a must-visit hotspot that smoothly combines entertainment with cultural interest. Below the coast road of Akti Themistokleous, you can stroll along Zea marina, next to the luxurious yachts moored there, enjoying the ever sunny day. Along the coast, you can visit the Hellenic Maritime Museum, famous not only for its unique exhibits illustrating the Greek maritime history from prehistoric times to the present day, but also for its magnificent surrounding area. On the other side of the marina, stand some parts of the remains of the ancient port of Zea, untouched by time.
One of the city’s most beautiful and picturesque regions, Piraiki, offers the ideal spot for a romantic and relaxing, yet educational stroll. Within a 10-minute walk from the city’s landmark, the marble lion statue of Piraeus, located right in front of the cruise passenger terminal B, you will get to the Naval Academy building from where your stroll – and the Peninsula itself – actually begins. Arriving at the cove of Baikoutsi bay, one will be amazed by the crystal-blue waters of Piraiki Peninsula and the imposing Cross monument, looming over the entire area. The cement Cross, part of the Unknown Sailor’s Monument, was erected in 1969 in memory of all seamen who lost their lives on duty, its size making it easily discernible from the ships approaching the port.