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Travel

Patras: Moving to a Festive Rhythm

Can a city be always on the move? Patras is one of the elite few cities that can. You can almost feel the energy beneath your feet!  It is the archetypal university city – the home of squares teeming with life, numerous entertainment options, various cultural activities, and, of course, the hub of one of the biggest Mediterranean carnivals in existence. When all of this is combined with history, culture, and the natural beauty of the area, the ultimate destination is created – fulfilling every wish for a pleasant getaway.

THE CITY THAT TRAVELS THROUGH TIME

Start your tour around the historic sites from the Medieval Castle, where performances are held in the summer, and the Voudeni Mycenaean Park where you’ll find one of the most important sites of the ancient civilization. The findings from the excavation are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of the city where you can attain a more comprehensive picture of its history.

Visitors can also travel in time by stopping at the various monuments throughout the city which date back to various points of Patras’ history. Visit the Roman Odeon, home to the Patras International Festival, and the Hamam which has never stopped serving its customers since 1400 AD. Perhaps the most impressive of Patras’ architectural adornments is the Apollon Municipal Theatre. Built in 1830 by Ernst Ziller, it is a scaled down replica of La Scala opera house in Milan. During the same time period, work started on the neoclassical buildings which you will find throughout the Old Town. Finally, visit Faros, opposite the church of Agios Andreas, which is the biggest Orthodox Church in the Balkans, with its amazing design and which is adorned with icons and other decorative elements.

NIGHT LIFE

Whatever mood visitors are in when they arrive, the nightlife of Patras will soon have them stepping to its beat. On Agiou Nikolaou Street, the youthful voices blend sweetly with the music from the bars, while on Rodinou Street, one of the best known hot spots of the city, everyone becomes an instant friend.

Visitors combine a drink or dinner with an enchanting view from the steps of Gerokostopoulou while others feel the pulse of the city in Riga Feraiou Street, a real must, or at the Paraliaki, the promenade, with its steam-punk vibe provided by the industrial buildings and the warehouses by the sea. In the summer, spirits soar in bars and clubs in nearby Vrahneika and Rio.

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself at the Carnival of Patras (next year!), you’ll be able to find the true meaning of fun and revelry. Expect nothing less than a full-on extravaganza of partying, singing, and dancing until your feet finally give out. The everyday routine does not exist in Patra during Carnival. Here, as part of this great swirling throng of people, is your chance to feel free and really let go for a weekend. The locals spend the whole year in enthusiastic preparation for this grand event, during which they don fancy dresses, participate in the treasure hunt, and join the procession of floats with all the other carnival-goers. The night ends with the ‘Burning of the Carnival King’ – the great bonfire made by setting the biggest float alight!

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