One way to do Athens from Piraeus

Athens is a very popular cruise ship port visit. Cruise ships scheduled to visit Athens actually dock at the port of Piraeus.

This guide will hopefully give some idea of what can be achieved in a day from Piraeus port.

From Piraeus cruise Terminal entrance it is approximately 15 minutes brisk walk the railway station to catch the train to Athens. It is easier to keep to the left hand side of the road, following the port perimeter, till you come to the Railway Station, the yellow building on the right, having crossed the road via the foot bridge….

Piraeus Railway station copyright

The following rail/tram map will give an indication of where we are going in terms of the Athens Public Transport system and I have ‘arrowed’ the stations that will be pertinent for our day out…

Map Athens rail network highlighted

Taking the train from Piraeus we deliberately passed what is considered to be the normal stop for The Acropolis (Thissio) and continued to Monastiraki..

Monastiraki rail Station

The reason being this is a better station for the city centre but also for the more scenic climb up to The Acropolis.

The route to the Acropolis is signposted but a tourist map may well prove beneficial. Our walk route took us through some pretty narrow streets, many lined with cafes and restaurants…

Route to the Acropolis

…many of which have wifi facilities (always good to play catchup while having an excellent coffee.

Once out of the street areas the path ascends towards the Acropolis bends, bending and turning and eventually passes the Church of the Metamorphosis…

Church of the Metamorphosis

This small Byzantine church, built in the 11th century, is situated approximately half way up the northern slope of the Acropolis: close to Kanellópoulos Museum. Metamorphosis incidentally, means Transfiguration in Greek.

Acropilis view from pathway

Without any doubt the Acropolis is Athens most popular tourist spot and I don’t intend adding too many pictures or descriptions of the buildings. Needless to say I would suggest an allocation of around two hours to take in this amazing venue.

The Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the maiden goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron deity. Its construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the height of its power…

The Parthenon 2

and the Pandroseion

The Pandroseion

…a sanctuary dedicated to Pandrosus, one of the daughters of Cecrops I.

Spectacular views are to be had from almost all the walls on the Acropolis, none more so than that of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone amphitheatre located on the south slope of the Acropolis. It was built in 161 AD.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus from the Acropolis walls

Odeon of Herodes Atticus side view

Having completed our visit to the Acropolis we descended back into the city centre and headed for the Hellenic parliament building

The Hellenic Parliament building

Never far from our news screens with the regular Greek protests, it also serves as a close marker for the Syntagma tram stop where we would take a ride to our next destination, the seaside district of Palaio Faliro…

Athens to Palaio Faliro tram

Tram tickets are easily purchased from machines at each stop. They carry both Greek and English instructions

Athens Tram ticket dispensing machine

The journey to Faliro took just over 30 minutes and the tram skirts the coastline and beaches of Southern Athens. Our destination was to be the Greek Naval floating museum and for this we alighted the tram at the ‘Trocadero’ stop.

The centre piece of the collection of ships is the old Greek cruiser, George Averof…

Battleship George Averof 2

Battleship George Averof

Information of which can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_crui … ios_Averof and admission is 2 Euro. The ship has been well maintained – remarkably better than some of the Greeks ancient buildings – while the ship itself was fitted with an extraordinary combination of equipment: Italian engines, French boilers, British artillery and German generators

The Stern Deck

George Averof stern deck looking forward

Forward Deck…

George Averof fore deck view

the Galley…

George Averof main Galley interior

…and ratings mess decks complete with stowed hammocks…

George Averof mess deck with Hammocks

For anyone with an interest in Naval history this museum will prove a delight. There are many other features on display in addition to a good video theatre on board. The journey also takes one to an area of Athens not normally on the cruise excursion routes. The journey to and from Athens centre also gives an interesting insight into the beaches and holiday resorts along the southern edge of Athens as well as transiting through one or two fashionable areas of the city.

It is possible to take a shorter route back to Piraeus from Faliro ( a quick study of the train and tram map will show the route) should any time constraint be in operation.

Otherwise, reverse of the route and enjoy the ride.

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