The third largest city of Greece, just a 2-1/2 hour drive from Athens through a modern, well-designed and maintained national highway, and the third largest port of Greece as well, Patras has over 4000 years of history, as it has been inhabited since prehistoric times and later became an important center of the Mycenaean civilization. A former industrial and trade city, now a vibrant University town, offering a wide selection of things to do and see, and one of the Greek cities that never sleep. Spend your morning walking around the city squares: Georgiou, Olgas or “Ypsilá Alónia”, and admire the city’s beautifully restored neoclassical buildings. Discover Patras shopping area, and shop your heart out! When you feel tired, enjoy a fine meal at one of the numerous eateries, or relax at a lounge café. Then, when night sets in, observe how the streets of the city are transformed into many venues of fun and Patras nightlife awakens.
Patras is split, so to speak, into upper and lower towns. The Old City can be reached 192 steps above the pedestrian street of Agiou Nikolaou, where the visitor can find the 6th-century Medieval castle built atop the ruins of the ancient Acropolis. There are great views of the city and port from there. In the upper city you'll find the Patras Roman Odeum, and an archaeological park where you'll see all sorts of ancient ruins. Head for the Lighthouse to get a panoramic view of the port. Patras is a university city, a factor which strengthens its cultural life, including, theater, the performing arts and modern urban literature, as well as Greece's gateway to the west. Last but not least, Patras is famous for its Carnival, celebrated with weeks of elegant balls in which the women are elegantly and provocatively dressed and masked, while the men arrive in street clothes to be tempted, concluding by a magnificent and frantic parade.
For a cup of a delicious chocolate drink (mine was corrected with espresso coffee), ice-cream, homemade pastries and sweets, or coffee, all in a very warm atmosphere of mostly young people, we recommend Si doux, on 15 Patreos Street, close to the junction with Fereou pedestrian Street. For a first-class value Italian menu, try Eataly, at 89 Fereou Street. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Alabra, at Ypsilá Alónia, with a great view. At Poikili Stoa, 129 Fereou Street, Sophia enjoyed a tasty cup of wild herb tea. For fresh seafood by the seaside, try the restaurant of the Sailing Club of Patras, at Marina Terpsitheas.
- The new Archaeological Museum of Patras, hosts an extensive coverage of Greek history from prehistory to the near present. By the entrance to the museum one can see a spherical dome covered in titanium standing in water, symbolizing the city and its strong relation with the sea. 1300 exhibits introduce the visitor to ancient life including entire sections of Roman houses and floor mosaics.
- The Folk Art Museum.
- The Museum of History and Ethnology.
- APOLLON Municipal Theater, in the city center, an opera houses designed by the German architect Ernest Ziller, housing the Patras Municipal Regional Theater.
- The Medieval Castle, built in the second half of the 6th century A.D. on the ruins of the ancient Acropolis. Its walls enclose an area of about 22 sq.m.; it consists of a triangular external compound enhanced with towers and ramparts. Walk past the remaining buildings, and take in breathtaking views of the city.
- Patras Roman Odeum, built earlier than the Athens Odeum (Herodion 160 AD). The geographer Pausanias, who visited Patras in 170 AD, wrote: “It has the most beautiful decoration I have ever seen, excluding of course that of Athens". The surrounding space is turned into an archaeological area where mosaics, sarcophagi and other ancient findings are displayed.
- Visit Spinney, the pine-tree-covered hill, the so-called “Veránda” of Patras, which will certainly uplift your senses. Its specially formed paths and the shade offered by the tall trees make it an ideal place for you to enjoy leisurely walks, or even go jogging. There you can also find a Municipal Tourist Kiosk from where you can admire a breathtaking view of the city, the port and the Gulf of Patras.
- The Wall of Dymaeans, a unique fortified Mycenaean acropolis just 35 km southwest of Patras. Wander through the ancient fort, built according to myth by Heracles, and admire its imposing towers and monumental gates.
- Several spots around Patras are dedicated in honor of the renowned Greek poet Kostis Palamas, born here. The house where Palamas was born, now restored, it houses the Kostis Palamas Institution. The most famous statue of him stands at Ypsilá Alónia Square.
- Visit Achaia Claus historic winery, located on a green hill 8 km south-east to the center of the city. You will be amazed by the stone buildings, the huge oak barrels, with century-old mavrodafni wine, the traditional wine cellar and a unique scenery with the great view.
- Hotel Byzantino, centrally located on Riga Feraiou pedestrian street, near the City Hall and the shopping district, the recently renovated historic hotel offers stylish accommodation, well-appointed rooms with modern comforts and tastefully decorated with great ambiance, unique charm and elegance. It is fairly priced, and offers a superb buffet breakfast.
- Konstantinos Palaiologos Hotel, centrally located, with great ambiance, very fairly priced, offers a luxurious environment and spacious accommodation. Guests can enjoy traditional Byzantine décor and features, along with modern comforts. It also has a restricted number of rooms, providing guests with a more personalized service. Plenty of restaurants and entertainment within walking distance.
- The eco-friendly Maison Grecque Hotel Extraordinaire is located in a historical building of the city center of Patras. Elegantly decorated with handmade furnishings, classical and contemporary paintings, unique tapestries and other pieces of art, all rooms and suites have special anatomic beds. Each unit is equipped with LDC TV, mini bar, A/C and free WiFi access, while the private bathroom comes with bathrobes, slippers and free toiletries.
- Olympic Star Hotel, located at the center of the city and just a breath away from Agiou Nikolaou shopping district. We recommend it for best value, since all rooms are clean, comfortable, fully equipped, modern and include hydro massage and free internet access.
- Patras Smart Hotel, by the new Patras port, is decorated with contemporary art, and the spacious rooms feature A/C, flat-screen TVs, touch-screen computers, magnetic security locks, a luxurious bathroom with complimentary toiletries, a tea/coffee maker and free Wi-Fi. The lounge also serves as a Greek breakfast area. The hotel’s bar serves coffee or drinks in a relaxing atmosphere. Free parking.