Piraeus port is the largest port in Greece, and the busiest passenger port in the eastern Mediterranean. Dozens of ferries depart every day for the Greek islands, and hundreds of cruise boats arrive every year. Here's all you need to know for the port of Piraeus.
Where is the port of Piraeus
Piraeus port is about 11 kms south-west of Athens, the Greek capital. It's a huge, bustling port, where thousands of ferries come and go year-round. Every year, several million people take a ferry or cruise ship from Piraeus port. Piraeus is by far the largest of the three ferry ports of Athens.
Although it can be a bit daunting at first, Piraeus port is very easy to navigate. The large port is easily accessible on various means of public transportation, taxis and pre-booked transfers. Grab yourself a coffee and enjoy the experience!
Ferry Gates at Piraeus port
The passenger port in Piraeus consists of two separate areas: the ferry port, and the cruise port. There are 12 passenger Gates, which are very clearly signposted.
Gates E1 to E10 are reserved for ferries going to the Greek islands, and there are dozens of different ferry routes. This is where you can catch a boat to places like Santorini, Mykonos, Milos, Crete, Rhodes, the North Aegean islands, and the islands in the Saronic Gulf.
If you have booked your ferry tickets and need to collect them at the Piraeus Athens port, all ferry companies have ticket booths a short walk from the gate your ferry is departing from.
Gates E11 and E12 are where cruise ships dock. In 2019, over one million passengers arrived to Piraeus on a cruise ship.
Between the two sections there is a large cargo terminal, owned by the Piraeus Container Terminal PCT.
If you are taking a ferry from Piraeus, you will be departing from Gates E1-E10, and your departure Gate will be shown on your ferry tickets. If in doubt, you can always ask someone working for the Piraeus port authority.
Getting around the port
The distance between Gates E1 and E12 is a whopping 5 kms. If you are arriving at Piraeus on public transport, you can use the free shuttle buses running inside the port to reach your Gate.
The metro station in Piraeus is located between Gates E5 and E6. Gates E4 and E7 are also walking distance.
All other gates are further from the station, with E1 and E2 being the furthest away. If this is where your ferry is departing from, it's best use the shuttle bus, especially if you have a lot of luggage.
Tip: If you decide to travel from Athens to Piraeus Port by taxi, the cab will take you directly to your gate.
Getting to the port of Piraeus from the Athens city center
There are many ways to get to the passenger terminal in Piraeus from Athens centre. Visitors can use the metro, tram, buses, taxis or a pre-booked transfer.
The ticket price for all means of public transportation is only 1.20 euro, and tickets are valid for 90 minutes. You will need to swipe your ticket on the special reader, in order to validate it. You can buy tickets inside the metro stations, at tram stops, and at some kiosks.
Taking the metro to Piraeus
Piraeus main port is easily accessible by metro, and it's the last stop on the green metro line. The metro station is just opposite the port, between Gates E5 and E6.
If you are staying close to Monastiraki or Omonia station in central Athens, you can just hop on the green line. Alternatively, you will first need to use another metro line (red or blue, depending on where you are staying) and change for the green line.
The journey from central Athens to Piraeus takes about 25-40 minutes.
Tip: The Athens to Piraeus metro green line can get extremely crowded at times. Pay attention to your valuables and luggage, as the metro is popular with pickpockets. There's a useful guide here on using the Athens metro.
Taking the tram to Piraeus
If you are not in a rush, another way to get to Piraeus is the tram. It departs from Syntagma square, just opposite the Parliament, and takes about an hour to reach the port.
Depending on the gate you are departing from, you will need to get off at “Plateia Ippodameias” or “Agia Triada” stop.
Taking the bus to Piraeus
There are a few buses connecting Athens city center with the port of Piraeus. If you are feeling adventurous, you can try using them – but the metro or tram is probably a better option.
Bus 040, departing from Syntagma, gets you close to the cruise terminals. Bus 049, departing from Omonia, takes you walking distance from Gate E9, and terminates at the cruise terminal.
If you decide to take the bus from Athens to Piraeus make sure you allow for plenty of time before your ferry leaves!
Taking a taxi or private transfer to Piraeus
If you are pushed for time, or if you don't feel like carrying around your heavy luggage, the easiest option is to take a taxi or private transfer to Piraeus. These will drop you right at your Gate, so you won't need to look for the shuttle bus or worry about where your Gate is.
You can hail a yellow taxi from the street, but make sure that the meter is on. Or even better, you can get a pre-arranged transfer, and travel in style. Welcome Pickups are an excellent company.
Depending on the time of day you are traveling, getting to Piraeus from the Athens center could take you 20-30 minutes, or a bit longer if there is heavy traffic.
Traveling from the Athens international airport to Piraeus port
Visitors going from the Athens airport directly to Piraeus can use the metro, suburban railway, buses, taxis and pre-booked transfers.
Airport metro to Piraeus
The metro is a fast and convenient way to get to Piraeus from the airport.
Upon leaving the airport arrivals hall, follow the signs pointing to trains. You will need to cross the street outside the airport building, take the escalators going up, and walk across the bridge.
You will now be at an area where two services depart: the blue metro line, and the suburban train – more on this below. If you want to take the metro, you will first need to take the blue metro line from the airport to Monastiraki station, and change there for the green line.
There are two airport services per hour, and you can see the official timetable here. Your journey to Piraeus should take a little over an hour in total.
Suburban train to Piraeus
If you want to pre-book a transfer, Welcome Pickups offer this service. Depending on the time of day, the ride may take between 35-60 minutes to get to the port. Prices will vary accordingly – expect to pay around 50-70 euro for the taxi ride.
I've a more detailed guide here: How to get from Athens Airport to Piraeus Port
Arriving to Piraeus on cruise ships
If you are arriving to Piraeus on a cruise ship, you will typically have only a few hours in downtown Athens. In this case, you will need to maximize your time in the Greek capital.
Your best option is to take a guided tour of Athens with a pickup and drop-off at the cruise port area. Your taxi driver will be familiar with passenger terminals, so you won't be wasting your precious time looking for transportation. Another idea (if you have enough time) is to use a hop on hop off bus in Athens.
Hotels Piraeus Port
Generally speaking, I would recommend staying at a hotel in Athens rather than at Piraeus. However, if you have early departures or late arrivals into Piraeus port in Athens Greece, it might make sense to pick a hotel in the area.
I've a guide here you might want to read: Best hotels near Piraeus Port
Other Athens Ports
In addition to Athens Piraeus Port, there are two other smaller ferry ports that can make good arrival and departure points depending on your itinerary. You can read about them here:
How to get from Piraeus to Athens
When arriving at the Athens port of Piraeus, your four main choices to get into central Athens are to take a bus, use the metro, use a tram, or take a taxi. Some methods of travel are better than others depending on what area of Athens you are staying in.
These same choice apply if you want to got from Piraeus port to Athens airport. I've more details here: How to get from Piraeus to Athens.
Frequently asked questions about Piraeus port in Athens
Here are a few questions often asked by people visiting Athens and Greece:
Is Piraeus the same as Athens?
No, Piraeus is another city in Greece. It's the main port of Athens, and also the largest port in the country. In fact, it's one of the busiest ports in Europe.
How do I get to the port of Piraeus?
You can get to the main port Piraeus from Athens by public transport (metro, suburban train, tram or bus), and also taxi or pre-booked transfer.
Is Piraeus a big port?
Piraeus is the largest port in the Eastern Mediterranean, and one of the biggest ports in Europe. Most people traveling to Greece on a cruise line will most likely pass by Piraeus.
How many ports are in Athens?
Athens has three main ports: Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrion. Piraeus is the largest of the ports in Athens.
Which port is better, Rafina or Piraeus?
Piraeus is closer to downtown Athens, and it's the busiest port in Greece, with ferry routes to most Greek islands. By comparison, Rafina is a small port and is much easier to navigate, but ferries only go to selected islands.
Have you used Piraeus Port Athens and have any travel tips to share? Do you have any questions about using the main Athens ferry port? Please leave a comment below!
Dave is a travel writer originally from the UK, and now living in Greece. In addition to creating this travel guide to Athens Port Piraeus, he's also written hundreds more travel guides to Greek destinations all over the country. Follow Dave on social media for travel inspiration from Greece and beyond: