the treasure of the
Patras: a city that combines its history with a modern, strong personality and at the same time manages to be a vibrant shopping center, a busy port and a hospitable student city.
Patras or Patra —or Patrai, as it was known in antiquity— is the capital of the Region of Western Greece, the largest city in the Peloponnese and the third largest in Greece, with a population of over 200,000 inhabitants. At the same time, it is the largest economic, commercial and cultural center of the Peloponnese and, more broadly, of all western Greece.
If you wish to study the history of the city of Patras, you should refer to the biography of Patreas, an Achaeus from Sparta who, about 3,000 years ago, united the local municipalities founding the city after having expelled the Ionian inhabitants. Patras’ large natural harbor and its enviable location close to the Ionian Islands, Italy and Aetolia-Acarnania area, made it play a very important role in Greek history: the city helped the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War, it was the center of the Achaean Confederation and after being subjugated for many years to Rome, it developed into a cosmopolitan center of the Mediterranean. During the revolution against the Ottoman rule, the city was destroyed and then rebuilt by Kapodistrias.
Nowadays, Patras is a large urban center and a vibrant student city. Every year it hosts the largest Mediterranean carnival, an attraction for hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over Greece. Surrounded by great natural beauties, beaches with crystal clear blue water, sights and monuments, it is a remarkable, hospitable city that offers its visitors countless entertainment and cultural suggestions. Among them:
The Roman Odeon (Conservatory). Constructed earlier than the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens, the Roman Conservatory of Patras (160 BC), is located in the Upper Town, west of the Acropolis, and is one of the most historic sites. Together with the Roman Amphitheater, which is located near the Ancient Conservatory, they form a monument of great archaeological value. Another attraction is the Medieval Castle of Patras, built on a low hill of Mount Panachaiko near the sea. The Hammam Baths, that were built during the Venetian occupation upon the old Roman Baths and operate to this day, are definitely worth a visit. The "Apollon" Theater, designed by Ernest Ziller and built in 1872, is another particularly impressive building and the oldest indoor theater of modern times as well.
The visitor should not omit to see the Winecastle of Achaia Clauss, the first Greek winery built in 1861 that still produces wonderful wines. It is also worth visiting the Municipal Library, next to the City Hall, that houses 120,000 book volumes, magazines, historical documents, photographic archive etc. Do not leave Patras if you have not visited the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, which is the largest Orthodox church in the Balkans and one with an impressive architecture. The emblematic Lighthouse of Patras is a symbol of the Achaean capital. This is a copy of the original lighthouse, located inside the port area of Patras.
Finally, enjoy a visit to the modern Archaeological Museum that presents the findings of Achaea from 4,000 B.C. up to the 4th century P.C.
Along with the treasures of the capital of western Greece there is the energy of its inhabitants, who favor good food, great wine and greek feasts. While you are in the city, follow their footsteps and taste the famous tsipouro and “meze” and many other local delicacies on the pedestrian zone. Enjoy the sea breeze, all the city aromas, and get ready to come back!
Visits that will make your stay in Patras memorable.
Destinations at a short distance from Patras
- Achaia Clauss (10.5 km)
Achaia Clauss was founded in 1861 and is the oldest winery in Greece.
- Araxos Lagoon (42 km)
Also known as the Lagoon of Papa, it has been declared a wetland of international importance, as it is a natural fish farm. Take binoculars with you, to observe the waterfowl on the densely vegetated shores.
- Strofylia Forest (43 km)
The largest pine forest in Greece covers an area of 22,000 acres on a coastal strip of about 1,250 meters and is considered an important nature reserve.
- Kalavryta (87.5 km) – Diakopto (60.2 km)
A journey on the rack railway is a must-live experience!
Can a train journey be an unforgettable experience? Absolutely! the rack railway itself is amazing. It will lead you to Kalavryta, the most popular mountain resort of Achaia.
Visit Rack Railway
Museums that attract thousands of people from around the world every year: