Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Athens: Day Trip to the Port of Piraeus
Athens Metro Line 1 connects the central city with the port city of Piraeus.

While in Athens, Greece do not miss a quick trip to the ancient port of Piraeus, only 1 train ride away from downtown. Piraeus is also the port of call for cruise ships and ferry lines to the outlying islands.

Sign for train to Piraeus at the Monastiraki Station.

Athens Metro line [1] is the train to take from central Athens to Piraeus. It shares 3 stations in the city with other lines, namely Monastiraki, Omonoia and Attiki. At Monastiraki, the actual station platform for boarding [1] is different from [3].

Waiting for the Line 1 train to Piraeus at Monastiraki station.

This is a fairly long and scenic ride. Along the way, you will appreciate the vast urban jungle that is modern Athens. You'll also see some of the facilities used during the 2004 Summer Olympics, such as the stadium.

Arrival at the elegant Piraeus terminal.

The area around Piraeus station is a retail zone. You can find everything here from the familiar international chain stores and restaurants to those unique mom-and-pop businesses. In fact, I visited a confectionery shop called Theodora Patisserie, just across the courtyard from the station, and stocked up on all those mouth-watering honey-glazed Greek treats!

Honey-sweetened confections at Theodora Patisserie, across from Piraeus station.

Not just a practical destination for boarding a marine vessel, Piraeus is also a fun place to shop and people-watch. You may even get your best deals on souvenirs here.

On the bridge to the port side at the Piraeus terminal.

This area is also home to the closest beach from the city, called Palaio Faliro. Here, you can take a picture of yourself enjoying the sea and pretend you're in some far-off Greek island in the middle of the Mediterranean. Hey, at least you're not lying about which country!

To go back to central Athens, simply walk back to the Piraeus station and take the next departing train.

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