Piraeus is the port of Athens and also the biggest port of South-eastern Europe. Almost as ancient as Athens, Piraeus is a place of history with many monuments dating back to the Athens Golden Age (6th and 5th century BC). Piraeus is part of the Athens metro area since the early 1920s.
The modern city, which is also a big banking and shipping business center, is characterised by a Mediterranean atmosphere combined with the fast pace of living in a European harbour. In addition, Piraeus has some very nice neighbourhoods with many seaside restaurants and night-clubs where the image of a busy commercial port gives way to the one of a fun town with its own peculiar colour.
The port plays a major role for European shipping transports as rail, tram and road connections with Athens, the suburbs and the rest of Greece have seen a major upgrade in recent years. This took place in the context of the major public works forming part of the preparation for the 2004 Summer Olympics that were hosted in Athens.
Today, Piraeus is a commercial and business centre with lots of prospects for the near future. These include, as part of a wider urban regeneration plan, a potential highrise business centre in the run-down area of Drapetsona at the fringes of the existing commercial port, albeit the planning horizon for full completion extends well into the next decade.