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Greece not only offers dazzling islands and beaches, but also captivating cities. If you visit Greece, do not skip Patras – it was one of my favourite places. Patras, located in the northwest of the Peloponnese peninsula, is one of Greece’s largest cities and the perfect spot for every twenty-something. Because of the large percentage of students, Patras is offering hundreds of cosy cafés and stylish bars. There is truly the perfect location for everyone!
I went to Patras during my backpacking trip through Europe a few months ago. I stayed with my couchsurfing host Eleni for five days and she was a great example of the Greek hospitality. She not only introduced me to all of her friends, but also taught me the magic of Iced Cappuccino and showed me the secret spots of Patras. Because of her, I got to know this stunning city from a local’s point of view. So, where to go and what to do in Patras?
An inside look at Patras
When you visit Patras you shouldn’t miss climbing up to the Castle of Patras. There is a big staircase leading up to it, you can’t miss it. Although there are many steps and you probably get a bit sweaty, it is worth it. On the top not only the old ruins await you, but also a fantastic panoramic view of the city, the sea and the mountains.
Archaeology is big in Greece and so it is in Patras. Eleni and I visited the Archaeological Museum. Go there if you want to see the collections of the history of the city and the surrounding area. The exhibits date from prehistory to the end of Roman times.
Some roads in Patras (especially in the district near the castle) reflect the beautiful Greek architectural style. Go for a stroll around the streets for a while and dream of summer in Greece.
Out and About in Patras
Afterwards walk back to the sea to refresh a bit and to let the wind tousle your hair. Eleni showed me one of her favourite places, right next to the sea: The café Molos. It is the perfect location to relax with a good book and an Iced Cappuccino. Students get special offers and there is also a Happy Hour!
If you visit Patras between May to October I recommend going to Avli by Loft or Yapi-Terrazza for a cold drink or coffee. Why you should check these places out? The first one has hat-lamps as decoration and affordable prices. The second one serves you great cocktails on a terrace overlooking Patras.
Food is Everyone’s Best Friend
After a long day of walking around it is time for some traditional, home-made Greek food. What more is there to wish for? The restaurant Katsarola tis Toulas is an alternative to all the souvlaki places around Patras. A lot of locals and students eat here. Don’t expect a fancy decorated plate – in this restaurant you get the kind of food you would find at a Greek home. It’s simple, but delicious and I loved it.
In a nutshell: Patras is a city where you can enjoy the highlights of the Greek summer. In Patras you get this type of summer which is full of the sea and soft sunshine, in which you feel light and dreamy. Your emotions range from happy to adventuresome.
And when you left, you think of returning soon.
This great story is part of the series Tales from Greece, where travelers share their experiences from their holidays to Greece.