Patras is an old Greek port with a rich history. Already in Roman times it was an important settlement. The city is famous for the annual carnival, which is exuberant and colorful. The tomb of Apostle Andrew is also an attraction.
The city has 225,000 inhabitants.
Patras is located in the far north of the Peloponnese at the foothills of mount Panachaikon and at 215 kilometers west of the Greek capital Athens. The city is connected to Antirrio on the Greek mainland via a bridge. Patras consists of a higher situated old town and a modern part along the Gulf of Patras. Not far from the city center lies the swamp of Agyia, with over ninety species of birds.
Patras is an important harbor. Via the harbor many Greek products are shipped to Italy and other European countries. Following difficult economic times in the nineties, Patras is now flourishing, not in the least because of the presence of a university and an Institute of Technology. Patras is now a center of technology and IT companies. Tourism also plays an important role in economy. It's mainly the Greeks themselves who visit the city.
The airport of Patras is situated forty kilometers west of town. It's really a military airport but also used for civil aviation in summer months. The airport is easily reachable by rental car. From Patras you follow highway E55, which runs along the coast for most part. The route to Araxos Airport is clearly signposted.
There are two bus companies exploiting city lines in Patras: the municipal bus transportation company and the private company Ktel. Anyway, busses run irregularly and usually not at the times indicated by the schedule at the bus stop.
Patras is a busy city and traffic can be chaotic. Two beltways have been constructed recently to alleviate the traffic in the center. Elsewhere in and around Patras work is also done to improve the infrastructure. In the city center you have to pay for street parking. Often there is also a parking limit, usually of two hours. Study the directions and signs well!
In and around Patras there is a good supply of accommodation. In the city itself most hotels are concentrated in the center. There are also hotels along the beaches in the vicinity, like near Psathopirgos, east of town. Patras isn't a top tourist destination, but many Greeks like to spend a few days here in summer months. It's then recommended to book your hotel room in advance.
For more information about Patras we recommend Google and the following sources: