Patras basic info
Patras is in the northwestern section of the Peloponnese, around 210 kilometers west of Athens, the capital city of Greece. The two cities are connected through a brand new highway, and it is an almost 3 hours ride with the bus or car. It is a coastal city of roughly 210.000 people with a stunning sunset view from Mount Panachaikon, which rises to 1,928 meters. The city center is walkable and has a castle, an old Roman Odeon, an archaeological museum, and several magnificent beaches to the west (sandy beaches) and east (pebble ones). The sea is about 2 kilometers away from the city center, on the north side. The city’s port is the main portal connecting Greece to Italy by ferry. The ski resorts of Kalavrita and Parnassos are relatively close for winter sports enthusiasts. Olympia (the ancient Greek Olympic Games location) is 120 kilometers to the south, while the Oracle of Delphi is 125 kilometers to the north.
Patras, in the past, has also been the European Culture Capital (2006) and now usually hosts interesting and unique, indigenous art and music festivals. Patras is also famous for hosting the best and bigger Carnival in Greece with many events and a large costume parade.
In the Summer, do not miss the opportunity to visit the nearby beaches like Aghias, Kastellokampos and Rio. Usually, they get overcrowded in August.
From Patras, you can easily get to the neighbouring cities of Antirio and Nafpaktos, which are ideal for a daily excursion.
Patras has a mild and moderate climate. The winters are rainier than the summers and the average temperature is about 15.5 degrees Celsius. The summers are hot, dry, and clear, while the winters are chilly, damp, and often overcast. The temperature normally ranges from 4°C to 34°C throughout the year, with temperatures seldom falling below -0°C or rising over 37°C.
Why a Digital Nomad should choose Patras
Patras, Greece’s third biggest city and the seat of the Achaia prefecture, combines remarkable beauty, a lengthy history, and a living tradition to create a fascinating and unique experience. The city became a magnet for many invaders – Romans, Gauls, Franks, Venetians, and Ottomans – that successively conquered the area because of its port. After its release, Patras was growing rapidly because of the trade carried on by the port. Beautiful neoclassical buildings adorn the city, of which the roads lead to the sea, the industry gradually grows while the intellectual and artistic life is intense. It has a beautiful street arrangement, a lot of neoclassical structures, a lot of spectacular monuments, and residences with arches forming arcades that beautify the city and give it a unique style and color. Large conference centers, hundreds of restaurants, bars, cafes, museums, theaters, places to hold commercial exhibitions, excellent sports facilities that attract European and global interest, rich cultural life that culminates in the annual International City Festival, and finally the famous Carnival of international reknown – known for its boundless enthusiasm, vitality, and the never-ending fun that entices visitors – Patras is a city that attracts visitors from all over the world. Patras also has the unique distinction of providing quick access to three of Greece’s most important ancient sites: Ancient Olympia, Delphi, and Epidaurus, attracting thousands of visitors each year.
For all these reasons Patras is the best place for a Digital Nomad to work and live. There are wonderful places to study, work, but also chill and lots of available cafes and public libraries in the city with free Wi-Fi and fast connectivity.
Getting to Patras
By car, the National Highway Athens-Corinth connects Athens with Patras. Following the signs to Patras after passing across the Corinth Canal. The route from Athens to Patras is excellent, although drivers must pay additional care. The distance is about 210 km and 2 ½ hours drive.
There are daily buses from Athens to Patras every hour. The bus trip from Athens to Patras is almost 3 hours and buses depart from Kifissos KTEL Bus Station. To go to Kifissos KTEL Bus Station, you must take Bus 051 from Omonia or Bus X93 from the airport of Athens.
The port of Patras is a gateway to the Ionian islands and to Italy. A ferry from Patras goes to the islands of Corfu, Kefalonia, and Ithaca in the Ionian Sea. Also, a ferry from Patras departs for various ports of Italy, such as Bari, Brindisi, Ancona, Venice, and Trieste.
Important notice: Ferry schedules may vary every year. The ferry schedules for the summer season are announced by most ferry companies in March. You can find and book all available ferries as soon as they are officially announced.
The airport of Patras is in the region of Araxos, about 10 km from the city center. This airport is small and is open only during summer. It does not receive domestic flights from Athens or other Greek airports. The airport of Araxos receives only charter and low-cost flights from Europe. In particular, the low-cost air company Ryan Air operates in Araxos during summer. From the airport of Araxos, there are buses and taxis to go to the city center of Patras.
If you want to reach Patras by train, you need to change a line in Kiato, since Patras and Athens are not directly connected. Firstly, you must take the Suburban Railway from Athens with direction to Kiato. Upon your arrival in Kiato, you need to embark on another train with direction to Patras. The whole trip lasts approximately 3 hours and a half.
Getting around Patras
There are many ways to get around in the city. The cheaper one is going by bus but buses are not available all day long. Depending on where you’re staying you could even go on foot as well as use some shared bikes that are available. However, even getting a taxi isn’t that expensive occasionally. You can also rent a car varying from 25€ to 50€ per day.
Digital Nomads specifics
Top coworking places in Patras
Patras has several Coworking Places available on-demand and centrally located. Let’s take a look at the two most reputable.
A small coworking space with open-plan offices, a conference room, and a lounge area, as well as high-speed internet and complimentary coffee. On nearby streets, parking is always accessible and free of charge. It’s in a peaceful area about 10 minutes from the city center. Individuals or small groups of up to four persons can book the place on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Is the first Co-working Space in Patras, great for startups, freelancers, and remote workers. It also hosts amazing technological and entrepreneurship seminars, events, and workshops. It is centrally located, close to the Castle with access to amenities (printer and scanner), free coffee and of course a high-speed internet connection.
Both places are digital nomad friendly. You can book the first place also by the day, but the second one you need to contact the space beforehand and book it by the month.
Best Coffee Shops to work from Patras
This is the best coffee to work from in the city. Most University students use it for studying during exam periods. Just go early during those periods (September, January, June) to catch a table. The internet is free, and the connection is strong. Usually, it is quite busy during lunchtime, but it’s generally tolerable.
Great food, generous portions, and great prices. Also, great options for vegetarians. It is a meeting point so it can get quite noisy depending on the hour, but the internet is free. You just need to ask for the password.
This is a healthy café with options for vegetarians or not. Famous for its brunch, just book as the place is in demand! Try the smoothie bowls and the buddha bowls. You won’t regret it. During the week it’s quiet, perfect for working while enjoying a good cup of coffee, but on the weekend, it is usually buzzing with students.
A good place that is ideal for all times and perfect for meetings. It’s a small place with lovely music, strong and free Wi-Fi connection.
Best Digital Nomads Friendly Places to live in Patras
Central location and easy to get around. The internet connection to this part of the city is exceptional so you can stay home if you don’t feel like going out. It has a great view over the sea.
Central location close to downtown of Patras. A popular location for students and you can find good and affordable places to rent.
Far from the center but close to the University of Patras. The only drawback is that the connection with downtown isn’t good enough, so you’ll need to get a taxi or have your own car, if you wish to stay out at night or party downtown.
Internet Speed/Mobile Coverage
The Patras 5G facility is operated by the Network and Management Architecture Group, of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, at the University of Patras in Greece. This 5G facility is an exemplary Open Source 5G and IoT facility. This means that most of the installed components are offered as Open Source but there are also dedicated components and services to support 5G and IoT scenarios. Numerous partners have deployed their technologies in the Patras 5G facility, thus creating a unique 5G playground for KPI validation and support on future verticals. The average internet download speed is 13.7 Mbps.
Living expenses in Patras
The average accommodation cost is 200€ to 500€ per month for a single person and the utilities are up to approximately 100€ per month. However, you can obtain a mobile internet Wi-Fi stick and be able to work from your place or from wherever you wish. The average meal varies from 7€ to 30€. An espresso costs approximately 2€ and a cappuccino varies from 3€ to 5€.
Learn Greek in Patras
There are a few suggestions when someone wants to learn Greek. If you are an intermediate level speaker it is strongly recommended to attend the meetings of the Language Exchange Club (LEC). It is free and held by volunteers that are University Students. When it comes to beginners’ level, check the University of Patras, sometimes they have immersion classes for foreigners, or check the Greek language school, which has been running since 1997.
There is a vibrant digital nomad community. Patras is not only a cultural center but a business one too. It gets quite touristic during the Summer mainly by people either going to Athens or the other way round visiting the Ionian islands. As for digital nomad events or for remote workers, you should keep up with Facebook events as they are usually published there.
What you should do in Patras
Patras offers many activities that combine relaxation and fun. Some of the activities you can do in Patras are climbing, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, etc. In Patras and throughout Achaia there are many beautiful landscapes and numerous activities which can satisfy sports lovers.
Patras is noted for its wonderful wines produced by the lush region, some of which are famous globally, such as Mavrodafni. Local meat prepared with local delicacies such as rabbit stew, rooster spaghetti, veal, lamb, and goat in the pot or with oil and oregano, boiling goat, are flavors you will never forget at the local restaurants. Fresh fish of all types may be found at the beach taverns, and don’t forget to try the fish bourgeto and lubricator anchovies. Pair your meal with a glass of local wine, ouzo, or raki. Don’t forget to try or buy local cheese, beans, bread, eggs, rustic pasta (trachana, noodles, etc.), raisins, herbs, fish, honey, and other local delicacies during your stay in Patras. Before you leave the neighborhood, pick up some sweets or local halva, which you will never forget.
What you should do near/around Patras
You can see and visit many destinations in the surrounding area, just a few kilometers from Patras. Some of these are Rio, Kato Achaia, Agios Vasilios, Chalandritsa, Kalentzi etc.
Kalentzi: A short distance from Patras, you will find the mountain village Kalentzi, where George Papandreou (ex-prime minister of Greece) was born. In the village school is housed a museum with his personal items. Visit the monastery of All Saints located 6 km. from the village. On July 26 a festival is organized.
Chalandritsa: Chalandritsa is on the provincial road Patras-Kalavryta and connects the city with Kalavryta. There you can see the ruins of the Frankish castle and a large square tower and several old churches like St. Theodore, Assumption, St. Athanasios, and St. John.
Patras is not well- known for the sightseeing it offers. But there are some certain places that are worth visiting.
Patras’s Medieval Castle is perched on the town’s tallest point, and over the Roman Odeon. This stronghold was built in the 6th century BC on the site of an ancient Acropolis and was seized by the Franks, Byzantines, Ottomans, and others. It remained in constant operation until the Second World War, and it served to safeguard the town throughout wars and sieges. The Castle is available to the public nowadays and contains a small theatre where cultural events are hosted throughout the summer. Its location provides spectacular views over the town, the harbor, and the adjacent Sterea coastlines.
The Roman Odeon is located on Patras’s western outskirts. It was extensively damaged by several invasions, battles, and earthquakes, and was nearly buried beneath the ruins of other structures and the ground. The neighboring regions were proclaimed archaeological sites as part of the restoration project. The Roman Odeon now serves as the main location for the Patras International Festival, which takes place every summer, as well as other cultural events. It seats 2,300 people and has all the theatre’s essential features, such as a pit, orchestra, proscenium, scene, and wings.
Church of Saint Andrew
The Cathedral of Saint Andrew (Agios Andreas) is the protector saint of Patras. A massive church has been constructed on the site of Apostle Andrew’s crucifixion. The dome of the cathedral is the biggest in the Balkans. It was founded in 1974 and has Byzantine style, including several arches and a bell tower.
The facilities of the vineyard Achaia Clauss are one of Patras’ most notable attractions, which still stand out today. It’s about 8 kilometers from Patras’ downtown, on a grassy hill with magnificent views. Wines of remarkable quality, such as Mavrodaphne, have swept the Greek and worldwide markets. Visitors may marvel at the century-old carved oak barrels, stone structures, and superb wines in the traditional wine cellar for tourist greeting. Around 200.000 tourists visit each year because of the unique scenery and spectacular vistas.
The Apollo Municipal Theatre (a copy of Milan’s ladder) dominates the center of Patras, in Geogiou square and it was built in 1872 by the German architect Ernst Ziller, who also designed the beautiful building of the Merchants’ association and several temples in Aigio.
Folk Art Museum
The Museum of Folk Art in Patras was founded in 1977 by the Cultural Centre of Patras, with the main objective of preserving the cultural heritage of the town. The museum exhibits a wide variety of artifacts and other folklore items.
Food and drinks
Patras has a huge population and a vibrant student community, so there are plenty of places to eat and drink. The port promenade has the most popular restaurants and bars, all of which provide wonderful food and have a nice view of the sea. Many cafés and bars can be found in the city center, especially around King George Square and along Patras’s main thoroughfares. Seafood taverns may also be found in nearby beach settlements such as Vrachneika and Rio. Some of the most important are Salumeria, Cucuvaia, Troufa, Voukamvilia, Aptaliko, Peinakothiki, Bodegas and Notos Jazz Bar.
Patra has a vibrant nightlife. There are a lot of choices in different clubs, pubs, and bars. Young people prefer going to Gerokostopoulou street and drinking their beers sitting in the stairs. The Disco Room is a great choice, with nice cocktails and good music. For sure you will love Patras’s nightlife.