Chania city, Crete

Chania city, Crete: Welcome to the most elegant city in Greece!

According to most Greeks, Chania city is the most beautiful city in Crete and Greece. It’s no surprise that, year after year, Chania city is voted the No.1 destination in Greece. After your visit to the city, we think you’ll most possibly agree!

Chania city is an eclectic destination in Crete that combines tradition and comfort, tourism and culture. It can suit different kinds of people. You can chat, drink and dance all night long, in the city’s impressive nightspots. Or, you can relax and escape from it all, strolling around the elegant alleys of the Old Town.

For thousands of years, Chania city has been a place where East meets West, and different cultures co-exist harmonically. Minoans, ancient Greeks, Venetians, Arabs, Saracen pirates, Ottoman Turks and modern Greeks have all left their mark on the unique personality of the city.

During the last thirty years, the development of the famous resorts of Platanias and Agia Marina just a few kilometres outside Chania city has made Chania region one of the most visited in the Mediterranean.

The Old Town of Chania city

The Venetian Port is at the heart of Chania Old Town, the historical centre of Chania city. Starting your walk from the west end of the Venetian Port you come across Firkas fortress, wherein Greek rebels were imprisoned during the Turkish occupation. Firkas houses the Naval Museum, offering a great panoramic view of the Venetian Port. Near Firkas, and at the opposite side, you can see the Old Sea Wall and the Arabian Lighthouse.

Going east, and at the other side of the Venetian Port, you find the Venetian “Neoria” (dockyards). Today, these huge, stone buildings are being renovated and turned into stylish exhibition centres.

The elegant alleys of the Old Town of Chania city surround the Venetian Port. Here, you can instantly sense the warm atmosphere and the famous Cretan hospitality. There are fine taverns and restaurants, many of them housed in well-maintained Venetian-era buildings. No matter which you choose, you’ll enjoy excellent Cretan food, together with the famous traditional local drink, “tsikoudia”, also called “raki”. You may also have the opportunity to listen to traditional Cretan music, or even dance to the rhythm of “lyra”, Crete’s traditional musical instrument.

Shopping in Chania city and the Old Market

In the Old Town, and especially around Chalidon and Zambeliou streets you can find some of the best shopping places in Chania city. Our recommendations are fine handmade jewellery, unique clothing and rare decorative articles – most of them are sold at very competitive prices.

If, on the other hand, you want something really exotic, try the Old Market. In this large cross-like building, you can discover every kind of traditional Cretan taste and lose yourself in the colours and aromas of different flavours of honey, olive oil and eastern spices.

East of the Old Town of Chania city

Walking alongshore and east of the Venetian Port, you find yourself in Koum Kapi district. In Turkish, “Kum Kapisi” means “Gate of Sand”. In the old times, this was one of the most infamous areas of Chania city. Today, after many waves of development, it bustles with life and music, due to its fashionable bistros and cafes.

If you continue your walk along the shore, you will soon arrive at the chic and stylish area of Chalepa. Chalepa, lying on the hill, was the most prestigious place in Chania city about a century ago, as rich families used to build their summer houses here. Thus, in Chalepa you will see large, impressive mansions, as well as the house of Eleftherios VenizelosEleftherios Venizelos was one of the most influential politician in modern Greek history. This was the main reason that, in the early 20th century, when Venizelos was the prominent political figure, Chalepa gathered all the consulates in its posh surroundings.

Venizelos’ Grave, considered a historic site for Greeks, is situated some kilometres East of Chalepa and towards the Akrotiri peninsula. Next to Eleftherios’ grave is his son’s , Sofoklis, who also was a famous politician in his time. Apart from its historic flavour, the spot presents arguably the best panoramic view of Chania city and its surroundings.

Finally, under the Chalepa district you can visit Tabakaria, the city’s old tan houses. These large, stone buildings, although abandoned, come to life under the charming light of the sunset, creating an idyllic scene that is hard to forget.

Chania city sights info

Archaeological Museum:
Chalidon 25, Old Town, Chania city, Crete
Tel.: 0030 28210 90334
Open: 8:30 -15:00 (except Mondays)

Naval Museum (Firkas fortress):
Akti Koundourioti, Venetian Port, Chania city, Crete
Tel.: 0030 28210 91875
Open: 9:00 -16:00 (1/4 -31/10), 9:00 -14:00 (1/11 -31/3)

Eleftherios Venizelos House:
Helena Venizelou Square, Chalepa, Chania city, Crete
Tel.: 0030 28210 56008

Centre for Mediterranean Architecture (Grand Arsenali):
Akti Tobazi 31, Venetian Port, Chania city, Crete
Tel.: 0030 28210 40101/40201

Kioutsouk Hasan Mosque (Yali Tzami):
Venetian Port, Chania city, Crete
Tel.: 28210 87901


Search for hotels in Chania >>