Chania boasts a romantic Venetian vibe with narrow shopping lanes winding through Venetian mansions, old Turkish architecture and modern bars. This Crete city is centred around a thriving harbour with a promenade running alongside artisan craft stores and waterfront restaurants serving creative Greek cuisine.
Things to do in Chania
Stroll along Chania’s harbour to find delicious Greek food at cosy family-run restaurants. The 14th-century harbour is the beginning of Chania’s Old Town and home to a 16th-century lighthouse with a 21-metre-tall tower. If you’re interested in historical architecture, check out Firkas Fortress, a Venetian-built fortification with the Nautical Museum of Crete and scenic harbour vistas.
More history awaits on the south-east part of Old Town, where you can visit the Archaeological Museum of Chania, home to Roman, Minoan and Neolithic artefacts. Located nearby, the Folklore Museum of Chania offers a deeper understanding of Cretan life in the 18th century with ancient tools, furnishings and embroidery.
Venture into the city’s Venetian quarter and embrace the maze-like laneways that transport you to glamorous boutiques. This area appeals to shoppers and cultural travellers alike, thanks to its collection of historic buildings and designer stores. Rest your legs in an alfresco cafe, before finding an atmospheric bar such as Beans&tales or Safe as Milk.
The greater Chania region is blessed with not one, but 40 beautiful beaches, offering a cherished reprieve from everyday life. These beach escapes range from the secluded islet of Elafonisi and the pebbled coastline of Sfakia Beach to the crystalline water of Loutraki and the family-friendly Agioi Apostoloi.
Getting around Chania
Chania is accessible on foot, but there is also a handy bus for longer trips, as the central Giannari bus stop services multiple destinations. It’s also possible to hire a car for trips to the beaches or nearby towns, with ample parking found along the waterfront.