Tag Archives: Athens

P = Piraeus, Greece

A to Z Ports: Piraeus, Greece for Athens

Piraeus is a major port for Greece and the closest one to Athens. It is very busy, with ferries that sail to all the Greek Islands, three separate docks for cruise lines, commercial operations and military ships. If you like ships, you can see just about any kind here. But few cruisers spend a day in Piraeus, especially with Athens so close. And most cruise lines will arrange various excursions to help you see the most of the highlights of Athens. But, if you’ve been there before, or if you want to go it on your own, it is very easy to get to Athens from Piraeus. From most of the cruise docks, it is about a twenty-minute walk to the train station to catch a train to Monastiraki Plaza. The train will take about the same time as a cab — and the cost will be much less!

Sights on my walk to the train station in Piraeus


Monastiraki Plaza which is a great place to start your journey in Athens. It is at the heart of the Plaka — with the flea market on one side, a collection of restaurants on the other with lead to the shops of the Plaka. It is also below the Acropolis, near the Agora and, if you get there before 10 AM, you can easily walk down the pedestrian street to the Parliament buildings to see the Changing of the Guards.


Of course, you can spend an interesting day in Piraeus and miss all the crowds in Athens! At the Archaeological Museum of Piraeus you will find a collection of sculptures that include grave monuments and dedicated reliefs, pottery and a bronze statues of Apollo from the 6th century BC. There are plenty of tavernas — the better ones are a bit farther from the port.

Here are links to some of my past posts about Athens:


A is for Athens’ Acropolis Museum


A is for Athens’ Acropolis Museum

In 2009, I was in Athens with a friend and we decided to visit the Acropolis, of course. Since I had been there once, I also wanted to check out the New Acropolis Museum. Fortunately for us, the day started with rain, so heading the the museum first was a perfect way to begin.

The museum is built at the base of the Acropolis, near the main entrance and where most tours will drop you off. The museum is built on ruins of a workers’ village. As you enter, you will see these ruins under the glass floors.

Inside, the building is very spacious and open, with windows along one wall so you can see the Acropolis. While there were a lot of people, it never felt crowded.

There is, of  course, a section that is setup for the Parthenon Marbles. While these are still in the British Museum, there is still a very impressive collection of statuary. My favourite room has a large collection of Kore —  marble statues depicting the Maiden Goddess. I was drawn to one that was a little different from the rest. She was holding a pomegranate and there were still signs that she  had been painted red.

Here is more information about about the New Acropolis Museum.


A to Z Challenge: A = Athens

A to Z Letter A
A to Z Letter A


A = Athens

On my first trip to Athens, I was not sure I ever really wanted to come back — the traffic, the dirt, the smog, etc. Then, I walked around the Plaka and saw the views from the Acropolis and meet some of the people — and I love Athens enough to have returned several times.  Here are some of my favourite things in Athens.


Acropolis view from rooftop bars
Most hotels have rooftop bars that advertise the “best view of the Acropolis.” There are two places I can recommend. the Attalos Hotel on Athinas Street and the AthensStyle Hostel on Agias Theklas Street. Both are just off Monastiraki Square, with easy connections to the airport and the port of Piraeus via the Metro Blue Line. At the Attalos Hotel Bar, the view at night was amazing. The AthenStyle Hostel view was not quite as good, but the 2 for one drink happy hour is perfect!

View of the Acropolis at night
View of the Acropolis at night from Attalos Hotel rooftop bar
Cat & Sue and the Acopolis from the Attalos Hotel rooftop bar
Cat & Sue and the Acopolis from the Attalos Hotel rooftop bar

The New Acropolis Museum
I love this museum.  It is so well done. My favourite room is the one with all the Kore statues.  It also has a perfect, but different, view of the Acropolis.

New Acropolis Museum
New Acropolis Museum
Entrance to the New Acropolis Museum
Entrance to the New Acropolis Museum
View of the Acropolis form the New Acropolis Museum
View of the Acropolis form the New Acropolis Museum

The Poet Sandal Maker
Near Monastiraki Square is the Poet Sandal Maker where you can get custom-fit leather sandals. During summer, I practically live in the ones I got! It only takes about 20 minutes from the time you pick out the style you want, to the time they are fitted and you are ready to walk through the streets of the Plaka!  I even wore them on a whirlwind, one day walk around Rome — comfortable and no blisters!

My new Greek-style sandals!
My new Greek-style sandals!

Shopping in the Plaka
I am not a big shopper, however there are a couple stores here that always get my attention — the Dimitri Cotton Club is the name I remember. All over Greece, you can find nice, cotton shirts, however this place has the largest variety of styles, colours and best prices. I have several tops and dresses — and brought some back as gifts. There are also lots of places for Greek statues and I have bought a couple of rugs here.

Take-out food
Next to Monastiraki Square, where all the different restaurants are, there is a take-out window — quick and easy and cheaper than sitting at one of the tables.  Grab something to eat, sit in the square and watch the show!

"Restaurant row"
“Restaurant row”
Monastriaki Plaza before the crowds
Monastiraki Plaza before the crowds

The Metro Blue Line
This is a very convenient Train that runs from the airport to Piraeus. I’ve used it a lot to travel to and from the port. In Piraeus, it is about a 20 minute walk from where most cruise ships dock to the station. So easy to get around! The main entrance to the main Monastiraki stop is in the photo above.

Changing of the Guards
The Changing of the Guards occurs at 10 AM and is an interesting combination of military precision and dance!  You can really get close!  The are some nice city gardens and the Temple of Zeus within a 3 to 5 minute walk.

Changing of the Guards in Athens
Changing of the Guards in Athens


Here is more information on the #atozchallenge.