The Piraeus cruise terminal is an important historical port in Greece and one of the largest cruise ship docks in Europe. While known by cruisers as a gateway to the ancient city of Athens, the Aegean Islands, and other destinations in the Mediterranean, the city of Piraeus also merits a visit with its traditional town center, lovely parks and churches, and numerous cafes set along the tree-lined streets of the harbor.The Basics
Most shore excursions departing Piraeus head inland to nearby Athens (8 miles or 13.5 km away). With half- and full-day Athens tours available, travelers can explore the Greek capital and its UNESCO-listed Acropolis—including Parthenon Temple, the Plaka District, and Temple of Zeus—or visit popular attractions such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Olympic Stadium. Other popular day trips head to Vouliagmeni Beach (15 miles or 24 km away); southern Cape Sounion and its Temple of Poseidon (52 miles or 83 km away); ancient Corinth (52 miles or 83 km away); or the Greek islands of Poros, Hydra, and Egina (58 miles or 93 km across the Saronic Gulf). Back at the dock in Piraeus, visitors can experience the city’s National Archaeological Museum and its collection of art from Greek antiquity, including bronze statues of Athena and Apollo.
Things to Know Before You Go
Discover Athens on foot, or by Segway, cruise, or hop-on, hop-off bus on a shore excursion tour.Booking an excursion that includes transportation and an English-speaking tour guide is the best way to learn about the ancient sights.Most Piraeus shore excursion tours include pickup and dropoff at the Piraeus port.For a taste of local flavor, choose a food tour or an outdoor excursion with a traditional lunch.
How to Get to Athens from the Piraeus Cruise Port
To reach Piraeus city center from the cruise terminal, head to the Piraeus metro station about a mile away—you can walk 20 minutes around the harbor to get there, or take bus No. 843 from the port to the station. From here, take the green metro line to central Athens in about 20 minutes, alighting at Omonia Station or Thissio for the Acropolis. Shore excursion tours typically include round-trip transportation, while shuttles buses and private transfers are also available from Piraeus to central Athens.
In Piraeus, the language is Greek and the currency is the euro, although you will find both English speakers and ATMs in the tourist areas of the city. It’s possible to ferry to just about any of the major Greek Islands from Piraeus—the biggest problem you will encounter is choosing which one.