Piraeus. The largest port in Greece in terms of commercial and passenger traffic and the most important port in Eastern Mediterranean. The largest port in Europe in passenger traffic and the Greek mainland hub to the Aegean islands; the mecca of Greek mercantile marine. A historic seaport of Athens since antiquity; the centre of Athens’ exports and trading but also a symbol of naval strength of the ancient Athenian state. Surrounded by fortifications and the famous Long Walls that served as protection as well as a link to the city of Athens. A fabled maritime city of the classical Hellenistic period, ornamented with grand public buildings that were destroyed along with the city by the roman legions. Then the city was plunged in decadence. Porto Leone and Porto Drako of the Byzantine and Ottoman rule; an ancient port deserted until the mid-19th century when the commercial and industrial hub of modern Greece was brought back to life.
Spreading around three natural bays in the southwestern shores of Attica, from the gulf of Elefsina to the cove of Faliro, modern Piraeus is a busy port-city with a unique character. Modern yet traditional; authentic yet cosmopolitan; aristocratic yet bohemian. A many-faceted and contradicting personality; a seducing mix of urban and popular culture; a melting pot of different people and social classes who came from every corner of Greece to form the city’s unique character. This osmosis is the source of Piraeus’ unique charm and the idiosyncrasy of the locals: an amalgam of plain simplicity and honesty, diligence and pride, open-heartiness and pure soul.
The birthplace of important personalities of the arts and literature, the cradle of the “rebetiko” music and the mythology surrounding it; a source of inspiration for many favourite Greek songs and unforgettable movies; the ark of fine samples of neoclassical and industrial architecture, Piraeus is full of traces of a bygone glory and rich social history. Outside the port gates, a city full of experiences, enchanting secrets and open-hearted people just waits to be discovered.