Planning a Trip
By Train -- There are frequent trains from the Stathmos Peloponnisou (railroad station for the Peloponnese) in Athens (tel. 210/513-1601 or 210/522-4302). The Patras train station, on Othonos and Amalias (tel. 2610/273-694), is on the waterfront near the boat departure piers. If you're catching a ferryboat, keep in mind that Greek trains usually run late, and allow extra time for your journey.
By Bus -- There are some 15 buses to Patras daily from the Stathmos Leoforia Peloponnisou (bus station for the Peloponnese) in Athens, 100 Kifissou (tel. 210/512-4910; www.ktel.org). The Patras bus station (tel. 2610/623-886) is on Othonos and Amalias. For general Athens-Peloponnese schedule information, try tel. 210/512-4910 or www.ktel.org.
By Car -- The drive on the National Highway from Athens to Patras takes about 5 hours. Note: In the Patras city center, the system of one-way streets, not always obviously marked, along with the profusion of foreign drivers who have just arrived from Europe by car ferry, means that you should drive with particular care.
If you're heading from Patras across the Gulf of Corinth into Central Greece, you'll probably want to take the spectacular new Rio-AntiRio Bridge which opened in 2004 (10€/$13). If you prefer -- and if it has not been discontinued, as threatened -- you can still take the Rio-AntiRio car ferry, which runs twice an hour from early morning until about 11pm (3€/$3.90).
Tip: The bridge's official, and seldom used name, in honor of a 19th century statesman, is the Harilaos Trikoupis Bridge. Most people simply refer to simply call it "e gefyra" (the bridge).
There is a tourist information office in an old factory building at Othonos and 6 Amalias; it's usually open weekdays (8am-8pm; tel. 2610/461-740; www.patras.gr). The tourist police are at 53 Patreos (tel. 2610/220-902 or 2610/451-833). The website of Patras's year as the European Capital of Culture, has some useful information at www.patras2006.gr.
A number of banks on the waterfront and on Plateia Georgiou exchange currency and have ATMs. The post office is signposted at the intersection of Mezonas and Zaimi. There is a telephone office (OTE) on the waterfront by the Customs sheds. Most of the car-rental agencies (Avis, Hertz, Kemwell) have clearly marked offices on the waterfront. The hospital (tel. 2610/22-3812) is signposted in town. There is also an emergency first-aid station (tel. 2610/277-386) at the corner of Karolou and Ayiou Dionysion. For Internet access, try Netp@rk (tel. 2610/279-699), 37 Gerokostopoulou; or try Netrino Internet Café (tel. 2610/623-344), 133 Karaiskaki. Both charge 5€ ($6.50) per hour, and both are off the waterfront; it is entirely possible that by the time you visit Patras, someone will have opened an Internet cafe on the harbor. Inquire at the tourist office . English-language newspapers and magazines are widely available at kiosks along the waterfront.