Travel guide

Patras


General info

Welcome to Patras...

An ideal destination all the year round, the city of Patras combines unique beauty, rich history and opportunities for entertainment that will satisfy even the most demanding visitor. The capital of the prefecture of Achaia and the third largest city in the country of Greece is the largest economic and cultural center of the Peloponnese and of Western Greece. Patras is located 216 km away from Athens, within walking distance from Delphi, Olympia and Epidaurus. This city has always been considered to be a gateway to the West. It is built at the foothill of the Panachaicon Mountain, bordering the Gulf of Patras and is an international hub of communication and commerce thanks to its big port.

 

In the past...

Aroe was the core of Ancient Patras. "Patrefs", an Achaean who expanded and fortified the city, gave his name to Patras, after having managed to politically unify seven Prehistoric agricultural settlements. Built in a strategic position, coastal, with the sea covering its back from the side of Panachaikon Mountain and in a short distance from the coast of Aitoloakarnania, very close to the Ionian Islands and the road to Italy, Patras was endowed with the finest qualities to play an important role in history.

In 146 BC it was subjugated to Rome, but in 31 BC Augustus took advantage of its prime and propitious position and settled in the area as settlers of Roman veterans. The Roman emperors Tiberius, Nero and Hadrian as well as others had occasionally granted privileges to Patras, which quickly turned out to be a brilliant and famous city. During the second century AD, Patras reached its peak. At that time the traveler Pausanias visited it. During this period, Patras was extended to the south and southwest of the citadel and was adorned with several temples and other buildings. St. Andrews presence and activity in the city during the reign of Nero provides a brand new atmosphere. It turns it into a field of various religious-based conflicts until the final victory of Christianity. The transfer of the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Constantinople in 330AD, caused Patras to fall into severe decline. In 807 AD, the city was besieged by the Slavs. Later, it fell into the hands of the Franks, Venetians and finally the Turks. It was one of the first cities which revolted against the Turks in 1821. Nevertheless, it was almost completely destroyed during the revolutionary struggle.

 

Nowadays...

Patras is now a modern city with a significant industrial and commercial traffic with its port being one of the major ports in Greece and a gateway to the West. In its current form, Patras is divided into Upper and Lower Town. The Upper town spreads over the hill around the castle, while the Lower town stretches to the sea. Together, they represent the modern face of a place full of life and pleasures. Large and small cafes, taverns, restaurants and shops of all kinds make up the modern hustle and bustle of the city, with its arched walkways and neoclassical squares which vibrate with people and traffic. Famous for its carnival, the third biggest after Rio and Venice, Patras gets loud on the agenda every year from mid January to mid March. On the other hand, the culture is offered in tribute in summer thanks to the International Festival held by local authorities. In every corner of Patras history finds room to unfold combined with moments of entertainment or walkabout. Across the historic square of St. George, the Ancient Odium, which is older than the Herod Atticus, is still a place for cultural events, while within walking distance there is the magnificent Byzantine castle with a view over the city and the sea, which was built by Justinian on the ruins of the ancient Acropolis. On the west side of the castle, Dassylio offers visitors a breath of freshness and a kind of passport to escape, while the spacious square Psila Alonia in the east, is a place where yesterday meets today.

Sight seeing

If you happen to come by or stay in this beautiful city, then
you can visit:

 

• “Psila Alonia”, a beautiful  large natural stone terrace with view to the sea, where you will find also the statue of “Paleon Patron Germanos”

 

• the Apollo Theater, which towers above the center of Patras, at "George" Square. It was built in 1872 by the German architect Ernst Ziller

 

• “Dasyllio” in the upper Town, standing on the top of a pine-clad hill called the "terrace" of Patras because of its spectacular view

 

• the Ancient Odium, which is located on the west side of the Acropolis in ancient Patras. The odium was built in the 2nd century AD and seats 2,500 persons

 

• the Church of “Pantokratoras”, a temple with domes, which is a miniature of St. Sophia

 

• the Church of St. Andrew which was founded in 1908. It seats 7,000 people and is the patron saint of the city. It is the largest temple of Greece and one of the largest in the      whole Balkans

 

• the Mycenaean Cemetery (1500-1100 BC) located only 7 km. outside Patras, in the settlement of “Voudeni”


• the Old Municipal Hospital, a striking neoclassical building which has been crafted by the Danish architect Hansen. Now it is a cultural center

 

• the Roman Bridge which is located at the northern entrance of Patras and is part of Via Militariam which linked the city to Aigio

 

• the facilities of the wine factory ACHAIA CLAUSS, which is situated within 8 km away from the center of Patras. There you can admire one century old carved oak barrels, stone buildings and to taste fine wines. Founder of the winery was the Bavarian Gustav Clauss who arrived in Patras in 1854

 

• the Roman Aqueduct that was built at the expense of Roman emperors

 

• the Archaeological Museum which is located on the National Resistance Square (“Ethnikis Antistaseos”) and is one of the most important archaeological museums in Greece. Of particular interest are the mosaics, pottery and alabaster vases, and antiquities of the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman times as well as the marble statue of Athena, the great Roman flooring and the ceramics of the Classical and Hellenistic period

 

• the Folk Art Museum, which was founded in 1977 and features exhibits on the tools of rural life, popular home furniture and everyday objects etc.

 

• The Historical and Ethnological Museum which was founded in 1973 and housed in the Palace of Literature and Art. Its exhibits include weapons, portraits, swords, blades and more

 

• the King George Square which is the main square of Patras. It is also the square of the political meetings, rallies, cultural events and especially the square of the carnival events, exactly as it was in the past

 

• the Square of the Three Allies (“Trion Symachon”). The old name of the square was “Teloniou” because in that place there was the Customs office

 

How to go

By Car:

Patras is located 210 km away from Athens. After you have entered the Attica Road till Elefsina, continue your journey on the national road of Athens-Corinth (for about 80 km, approx. 40-50 minutes). After you have left behind Corinth, continue your journey to Patras paying attention to the relevant road signs. Continue your journey on the national road of Corinth-Patras for about 126 km (90 min. journey) until you reach your destination.

 

Total travel time :  130 - 150 minutes

 

By Bus:

There are daily itineraries from Athens to Patras. The departure point is at the main bus station of Athens. (KTEL Busses Kifisos - Kifissou 100, on the national road of Athens).

 

For more information please call:

KTEL Busses Athens :  ☎ (+30) 210 5147310 - 5136185

KTEL Busses Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 623886 - 421205

 

By Train:

OSE Train station Athens :  ☎ (+30) 210 5131601

OSE Train station Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 639108

 

 For more information and itineraries, please visit the following websites:

 

http://www.proastiakos.net  and  http://www.ose.gr

Useful telephones

Police Station Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 420716 – 623061


Traffic Police of Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 433181


Tourist Police of Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 451833


Taxi Station Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 450000


General University Hospital of Rio :  ☎ (+30) 2610 999111


Hospital "Agios Andreas" :  ☎ (+30) 2610 227000


Drugstores Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 461563 – 520046 – 222406


Post office Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 224703


Agrotiki Bank Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 225237


National Bank Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 622433


Piraeus Bank Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 243413


Eurobank Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 270136


Alpha Bank Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 336346


Citizen Service Centre (KEP) Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 243200 - 243400


Municipality Offices Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 966200


Fire Department Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 333211


Port Authority of Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 341002


Prefecture Offices of Patras :  ☎ (+30)2610 638301-2


Archaeological Museum of Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 624013


Folklore Museum of Patras :  ☎ (+30) 2610 334713

Distances

 

Distances from the city of Patras to:

 

Athens 

  211 km

Thessaloniki

  471 km

Piraeus

  207 km

Larisa

  321 km 

Volos

  294 km 

Ioannina

  225 km 

Zakynthos

  113 km 

Pylos

  212 km 

Kalamata

  213 km

Nafplio

  182 km 

Patras

      0 km 

Sparta

  230 km 

Corinth

  131 km 

Igoumenitsa

  292 km

Pyrgos

    99 km