Patras (Modern Greek: Πάτρα, Greek pronunciation: [ˈpatra], Classical Greek and Katharevousa: Πάτραι (pl.)) is the third largest city of Greece, after Athens and Thessaloniki. It is the capital of the Prefecture of Achaia on the Peloponnese and the western gateway into the country, thanks to numerous ferry connections with Italy.
- 1 Patras Araxos Airport (GPA IATA) (on the military base of Araxos, 40 km to the south). Receives only seasonal charter flights from various locations in Europe.
Patras is linked by ferry to the Italian ports of (south to north) Brindisi, Bari, Ancona and Venice, with numerous sailings daily year-round. Service to Trieste has been discontinued.
For the ferry frοm Ancona to Patra you will, e.g., pay for a single person about €40 winter/€60 summer. Local ferry services offer daily sailings from Patras to the Ionian Islands. Corfu is served by the international ferries on their way to and from Italy.
Patras, located in the northeastern corner of the Peloponnese is connected to Athens by road via Corinth on the 8a National Road (corresponding to the E65 and E94 European Routes. To the south, Patras is connected by road to Amalias, Pyrgos and Olympia and further to Kalamata. The construction of a new bridge linking Rion (on the Peloponnese) to Antirrion (on the Central Greek mainland) has been in operation since 2004 and carries the E55 European route, linking Patras with points in Central Greece and Epirus (and onward to Albania) including the port of Igoumenitsa.
A new railway line Athens Airport - Patra is under construction and operational until Aigio, from Aigio you can continue to Patras with Trainose buses.
Near to the port and main train station at the corner of Zaimi Str. and Othonos Amalias Str. lies the 2 intercity bus station known as KTEL. KTEL buses connect Patra with Athens with very frequent itineraries as well as other major Greek cities and also serving transportation between Patras and towns in Achaia.
The city bus service in Patra can be slow and unpredictable, lacking definitive timetables. Information can be found from the small booth in front of port, near the Intercity bus terminal.Ticket cost depends on the zone you travel to.The cost is €1.10 within the city (if you buy the ticket from kiosks (Greek "periptera") but more expensive if you buy it on the bus) and €1.50 to Rio (approx. €1.90 on the bus). Generally prefer the Ktel and not the Urban bus because they are very slow and expensive. The railway goes to Rio too. The railway is infront of the port.You can also take a taxi that you can be found in many cabstands around the downtown. The taxi of the city is in maroon colour and the costs of moving start from €3.70 for urban routes and reaches €8 - 15 around for Rio, Ag. Vasilios, Vrachneika etc. If you call radiotaxi is €2 more. For Taxi Express Patras 2610 450000 . You can find all the transport modes available in Patras (bus lines, taxis, railway, etc.) at www.gopatras.gr.
Notable sights include:
- 1 Rio-Antirio bridge. The impressive 'Rio-Antirio bridge', officially the Charilaos Trikoupis bridge after the statesman who first envisioned it, is the World's longest multi-span cable-stayed bridge. It crosses the Gulf of Corinth near Patras, linking the town of Rion on the Peloponnese to Antirion on mainland Greece. You can walk across it for free. On the Patra side, there are the most popular strip of clubs and cafes along the water to visit. On the Antirio side, right next to the bridge are historical ruins that you can tour.
- 2 Archaeological Museum, National Road Patras Athens & America, ☏ . The museum, which opened in 2009, has startling architecture, including an entrance made of silver-hued titanium that is shaped like a flying saucer on steroids (or an enormous antacid tablet). In yet another attempt to lure the unwilling into museums, this one has what is described as an "aerial corridor," which will whisk visitors above the exhibits, as they give passing glances at whatever catches their fancy. If you go through the museum room by room, you'll see themed exhibits on private and public life from antiquity through the Byzantine epoch. Entire period houses have been reconstructed and a necropolis is on view.
- 3 Roman Odeon. The Roman Odeon is on the west side of Patras. It was built before the Odeon of Athens and there was a statue of Apollo inside it. The Odeon of Patras was severely destroyed by successive invasions, wars and earthquakes. It was almost buried under the remains of other buildings and ground. It was in 1889, when the Odeon was found by accident while some workers were digging up the ground for the construction of the port. The restoration of the Odeon continued until 1956, when it regained its original shape. Along with the restoration process of the Odeon, the nearby areas were declared as archaeological sites. The Roman Odeon today functions as the chief venue for the Patras International Festival, held every summer. The Odeon has a capacity to hold 2,300 people, with all basic facilities of a theatre such as hollow, orchestra, proscenium, scene and wings.
- 4 Achaia Clauss wine factory, Petrotou, ☏ . On a green-clad hill, eight km southeast of Patras' centre, are located the facilities of Achaia Clauss winery, distinguished as one of the topmost tourist sites of the region. Its founder, Bavarian Gustav Clauss, arrived in Patras in 1854 to work in a German company dealing with exportation of raisin. During an excursion, he visited this region that charmed him with its natural beauty. He bought a small vineyard just to produce some wine for self-consumption and he ended up to the establishment of this Castle-Winery that survives intact till now. In 1861 he founded Achaia Clauss Co and the excellent quality wines, including Mavrodaphne of Patras, conquered both Greek and international market. The stone-made buildings, the large oak carved barrels with one century-old Mavrodaphne, the traditional cellar where visitors are welcomed as well as the unique landscape with the breathtaking view attract approximately 200,000 visitors per year.
- 5 St. Andrew's Church. Inside this church, which was built in the 20th century, are preserved the remains of St. Andrew the Apostle. They are in a small chapel to the back right of the church as you face the front. The remains of his X-shaped cross are kept behind it. Although the present (substantial, but undistinguished) church was built after World War II, the mosaics give a vivid picture of old Patras. It's important to dress appropriately to visit the cathedral, a major pilgrimage shrine thanks to the presence of St. Andrew's skull in an ornate gold reliquary to the right of the altar. Visitors will find several pleasant cafes in the shaded park across from the cathedral.
- 6 Patras Castle (Greek: Kastro). which offers a good view of the city. The castle of Patras was built in the second half of the 6th century AD on the ruins of the ancient Acropolis. In AD 805 the inhabitants of the city were besieged in the castle by the Slavs and Saracens and their victory, considered a miracle of the city's patron Saint Andrew, was important for repelling the barbarian invasions in Peloponnese. In the following centuries the castle, which remained continuously in use until the Second World War for the defense of the city, as well as an administrative and military centre, was captured by the Franks, Venetians, Palaiologoi and Turks. The castle consists of a triangular outer enclosure reinforced with towers and bastions, which was originally protected by a deep moat and an inner enclosure rising on the NE angle and protected by a moat as well. The building phases distinguishable today on the castle provide evidence for the works carried out by each of its conquerors as repairs and provisions according to the development of military science. The original construction is visible today mainly along the north wall, but remains of it exist on all three sides of the curtain indicating that the original medieval fortification had more or less the same perimeter. To reach the castle one can either travel up the vast staircase or take the short drive to the top. Once reaching the historic site, visitors have the ability to sit and enjoy the view over refreshments.
- 7 The Lighthouse (Greek: Faro). "The Faro" is the symbol of the city. The lighthouse has a cafe underneath it with a large television where they broadcast mostly soccer games for people to come and watch while enjoying a beverage of their choice. There is a playground right outside of the cafe for children to play in. The cafe is next to the water, so one can sit next to the windows and enjoy the waves crashing against the wall.
- 8 Turkish Baths (Hamam), 29, Mpoukaouri Str., ☏ , (Mobile). The Turkish hot baths are still in use.
- 9 King George I Square (Greek: Plateia Georgiou). Sit at a cafe and take in the façades of the handsome neoclassical theater and banks on the square. Patras was burned by the Turks during the War of Independence and has been hit repeatedly by earthquakes. These buildings are among the few that remain from the 19th century, when the city was famous for its arcaded streets and neoclassical architecture. Patras boasts other attractive squares: Plateia Olga and Plateia 25 Martiou have cafes, restaurants, and shops
- 10 The Municipal Gallery, 110 Maizonos Str.,, ☏ . Founded in 1988 housed on the ground floor of the Municipal Library, beside the Old Town Hall, a location with many historical memories. The Municipal Gallery of Patras boasts of one of the richest painting collections dedicated to Greek painters, outside Athens. Of special interest and precious value, are the works of the 19th century, by Greek painters like: Nikos Kounelakis, Andreas Kriezis, Ioannis Doukas and Georgios Samartzis, as well as the portraits of Greek prime ministers, originated from Patras, as: Demetrios Maximos, Demetrios Gounaris and Andreas Michalakopoulos.
- 11 Apollon Theatre, Georgiou I Square. Designed by the famous German architect Ernst Ziller, the Apollon Theater was completed in 1872. It is a micrography of the La Scala in Milan
The wide array of special events, exhibits, festivals, and various ongoing presentations, continue to delight large numbers of travelers annually, all of which have been designed to show the city of Patras at its best. For those who have never experienced the city, it is one of the best examples of a true Greek city. In addition to its tourist industry, Patras relies heavily on agriculture, its prolific wine country, and its busy shipping industry. However, it is also renowned for its colorful Carnival Season and how it has preserved the performances of ancient Greek theatre, held every year in February–March. Being the city's flagship during the last 170 years, it is without any doubt the greatest local celebration and has long been widely acknowledged in Greece and abroad.
Rooting in ancient Greece, Patras' carnival (as every other Greek carnival) is connected to the worship of Dionysus, god of wine and celebration. The carnival events, starting on 17 January every year and lasting until Ash Monday, are either programmed by the Municipal Committee of Carnival Events, or planned by the citizens and supported by the spontaneity, the inspiration and the creative ability of the inhabitants of Patras themselves. Patras' carnival draws its invigorating energy from the great numbers of participants (more than 30,000), which makes it the most famous in Greece.
Additionally, Patra hosts the Panachaiki soccer team which hosts games at the Pampeloponnisiako Stadium, so natives as well as visitors can stop by and catch a game. If you're interested in going for a stroll along the water, one can venture over to the Molos port walk where there are benches to sit and enjoy the scenery and a cafe at the end of the port where you can sit and wait for your boat enjoying the water.
The city of Patras has a lot of vintage shops, most in the town hall. They are a litle bit more on the "expensive but good quality" side. You can find all the brands; Patras biggest mall is Notos Galleries.
- Tula Pot (Κατσαρόλα της Τούλας), Riga Fereou 49, ☏ . A good place to fill up on local homemade cuisine, with big portions.
Patras is well known for the wines produced by the Achaia Clauss wine factory and especially for a variety called Mavrodafni. Visitors should also taste the local liqueur called Tentoura which is usually served as a digestive.
Some of the best places to get a drink, especially in the warm summer months is on the beach road in Rio. This strip of land is lined with bars and cafeterias catering to mostly Greeks. The clubs can get pretty packed, and usually European style music is played rather than Greek. Enjoy the views of the ocean and the Rio-Antirrio Bridge which is magnificently lit up on the weekends.
The city can provide a big variety of coffee shops, especially in Agiou Nikolaou Str. (Saint Nikolaos Str.), Radinou Str., Marine (area called "Pelekaneika" in Iroon Politechniou Str.), Plateia Vasileiou Georgiou (King Georgios Square), Gerokostopoulou Str., Ipsila Alonia Square (Plateia Ypsilon Alonion), "Veso Mare" in Akti Dimeon Blvd, Koukouli area near Technological Institute of Patras etc.
- 1 Disco Room, Agiou Andreou 88 & Patreos, ☏ (Mobile).
- Distinto at Rio.
- Radinou Street is a tiny alley that houses some small café and pubs, it's empty during the day but gets packed during the night. There's no much difference between the one pub from the other, the loud beat will hit you anyway as they come from every small spot, just stand between two pub and you will here in stereo a mix of two different tracks
- 1 NTO Campsite. Owned by the National Tourist Organization of Greece. Very Good location
- 2 Mediterranee Hotel, 18, Agiou Nikolaou Str, ☏ , , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 2-star hotel
- 3 Acropole Hotel, 32, Agiou Andreou Str, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 2-star hotel. 24 double, 3 single. Air-condition, Minibar, Bath or shower
- 4 Atlanta Hotel, 10, Zaimi Str, ☏ , , fax: . 2-star hotel.
- 5 Marie Palace Hotel, 6, Gounari Str, ☏ , , fax: . 2-star hotel. 26 rooms. Air-condition, Bath or shower.
- 6 El Greco Hotel, 145, Agiou Andrea Str., ☏ , fax: , . 2-star hotel
- 7 Delfini Hotel, 102, "Iroon Polytechniou" Str, ☏ , fax: . 2-star hotel
- 8 Adonis Hotel, 9, Kapsali & Zaimi Streets, ☏ , fax: . 2-star hotel
- 9 Olympic Star Hotel, 46, Agiou Nikolaou Str, ☏ , , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 2-star hotel
- 10 Airotel Patras Smart Hotel, 9, Akti Dimaion & Georgiou Olympiou, Evmilou Streets, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 3-star hotel. Not good location. 44 double, 6 triple, 1 quadruple. Bath or shower, Air-condition, Wi-Fi Wireless Internet, Safe box, Cable-/Satellite TV, Coffee-/Tea Machine, Iron-/Ironing Board
- 11 City Loft, 6, Valtetsiou Str, ☏ , (Mobile), fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 3-star hotel
- 12 Tzaki Hotel, Proastiou Beach, Bozaitika, ☏ , fax: . 3-star hotel
- 13 Galaxy City Center, 9, Agiou Nikolaou Str, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 3-star hotel
- 14 Astir Hotel, Agiou Andreou 16, ☏ , , , , fax: . 4-star hotel
- 15 Byzantino Hotel, 106, Riga Fereou & 20, Gerokostopoulou Str, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 4-star hotel
- 16 Maison Grecque, 116, "25th Martiou" Str, ☏ . A 4-star hotel housed in a historical Greek style building, dating back to 1890.
- 17 Patras Palace Hotel, 15, Othonos Amalias Str, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 4-star hotel
- 18 Porto Rio Hotel Casino, Syrogianni Str, (Near the Rio-Antirio Bridge), ☏ . 4-star hotel by the beach, with casino and restaurant