Think you know Piraeus? Yes, it’s the world’s second largest passenger port. But to Athenians, it’s not just a place to jump on a ferry and escape to the islands. To us, Piraeus is a diverse seaside community of shipping merchants, working fishermen and old world charms. You’ll find us on any given Sunday enjoying straight-from-the-net seafood at authentic, laid-back favourites like Margaro, or celebrated fine dining restaurants like Varoulko.
Piraeus retains a nostalgic character that’s rare in big cities nowadays. You can feel it in the grittier neighbourhoods like Keratsini, Drapetsona and Perama; but also in the photogenic areas of Mikrolimano and Kastella, Piraiki and Marina Zeas. Perhaps it’s because historically, Piraeus was inhabited mostly by islanders; people of the sea, who are usually simple, open and kind.
Piraeus is home to Athens’ central fish auction (in Drapetsona), as well as an organised fish market in the central shopping district. Little surprise then that some of the best secret spots to enjoy local seafood are tucked away here, along with some of the most famous seafood restaurants in Greece. Here are our top picks—all well worth spending a few extra hours in Athens, before you head to the islands.