This text is part of the article “And the Living is A-Z”, published in Greece-Is Athens, Summer 2018 Edition. By Paulina Björk Kapsalis, Maria Coveou, Nena Dimitriou, Alex King, Maria Korachai, Pagona Lipsati & Alexandra Tzavella.
There’s been a port in Piraeus since before 2000 BC – that’s about one and a half millennia before the construction of the Parthenon. It’s also been a base for the Athens fleet since the Battle of Salamis in 480 BC. And while it was often damaged or even completely destroyed during wars (most recently during WWII), it never ceased being the link between the Greek mainland and the rest of the world. A shipping hub of global importance that connects Europe with Asia (the modern “Silk Road” starts here), it also serves as the gateway to many of the Greek islands.
Every year, about eight million passengers pass through the Central Port, which is capable of handling up to eleven cruise ships at a time. And still, there’s even more to Piraeus than that.
If you have time to kill before your boat departs, don’t be afraid to explore. To pick up some Greek snacks for the ferry, we recommend Mandragoras (16 Gounari). For a traditional meal with a contemporary twist, try Harlequin (104 Karaiskou), or enjoy the shellfish at Hams & Clams (Marina Zeas).
If you need a break from Greek dishes, Rouan Thai (131 Notara) serves authentic curry and noodles in an unpretentious environment. For cocktails, head to South American-inspired CHE (151 Karaiskou), and for a great selection of wines from all over Greece, check out Paleo (39 Polidefkous).