Patra is the capital of Achaia and the third largest city in Greece, after Athens and Thessaloniki. It is also the primary embarkation point to the Ionian Islands of Kefalonia, Ithaki, Corfu, Lefkas and Paxi (Zakynthos is connected to Kilini in the region of Eleia).
The city is the largest in the Peleponnese and is divided into two districts. The upper, which is at the foot of the castle, is the old city and has a great many neo-classical houses. The castle itself has been turned into a park with a view of the entire city and the Ionian Sea. The lower city contains many old mansions, the Odeon, cafes, restaurants and lively shopping areas.
The modern city of Patra, combines exceptional natural beauty, a long history and unique sights, attracting a great number of visitors every year, since it offers a lot of opportunities for entertainment and sight-seeing, coupled with warm hospitality.
During the Carnival season, Patras is known for its lively celebration with costumes and partying in the streets. There is a fine archeological museum, an art gallery and the municipal theatre. Though Patras is more of a place where travelers go "through" rather than "to", the upper square of Ypsila Alonia, with its cafes and pine trees, is a popular place for the locals to spend their days and evenings.
Places of Interest
Ancient Odeon: The Odeon is built near Agios Georgios square in the area of the old city of Patra. It was built in the 2nd century B.C. with a seating capacity of 2.500 people and is considered one of the most ancient theatres in Greece.
Ancient Klitoria: The ancient site is close to Klitoria in Kalavryta and comprises numerous archaeological findings such as an ancient theatre and signs on tombs from the ancient city-state.
Agios Andreas Cathedral: The old Agios Andreas church in Patra, was built in 1836 - 1843 on the site of an ancient Demetra temple and is the place where the first Apostle and patron saint of the city was crucified in 66 A.D. The most recent Agios Andreas Cathedral was built in 1908 and it is considered the largest church in Greece. The saint's head and part of the Cross he was crucified on are kept in the church.
Monastery of Agia Lavra: It was founded in 961 AD and it is located 6km west of Kalavryta. In includes invaluable relics, like the Banner of the revolution of 1821.
Monastery of Mega Spileo: The monastery of Mega Spileo was founded in 362 A.D. and is one the most historical monasteries in Greece. There are a lot of relics and scripts kept in the monastery, the most valuable possession being the icon of Virgin Mary made by Lukas the Apostle.
Panagia Tripiti Church: Located in Aigio, the grand church is built high up a rock and is a sight that impresses visitors.
Patra City Theatre "Apollo": Located in the centre of Patra, in Georgiou Square the theatre was built in 1872 by the German architect Ernst Ziller.
Rio Castle: It was built in 1499, during the Turkish Occupation. The castle of Rio is built across the castle of Antirio.
Roman Bridge: It is a double arch bridge in the nothern entrance of Patra.
Archaelogical Museum of Aigio: The museum is located in the old town market building of Aigio. The collections inside the museum include finds dating from the Neolithic toy the Late Roman periods.
Archaelogical Museum of Patra: The museum of Patra is housed on the ground floor of a three storeeyed Neoclassical building in the center of Patras. Today a new modern building is being built in the entrance of the city.
Museum of the Sacrifice of the People of Kalavryta: This museum was founded in 1993, 50 years after the city holocaust (December 13th, 1943). The collections inside the museum include personal belongings of citizens who were executed, photographs from Greeks and German and other stamps and engravings.