Chania Town

General information

Chania Town is the capital of the Chania regional unit in Crete. It’s an essential cultural and commercial center, with its own port, airport, and a great number of museums and historical sights. The place attracts thousands of visitors every year, as it combines traditional architecture with modern facilities and extraordinary natural beauty.

In Chania, you can enjoy delicious Cretan specialties at the charming Greek taverns, have fun after the sun sets at the local bars and clubs, and admire the gorgeous landscape and the endless blue sea.
Chania Town is a real treasure with a unique charm. A visit there is guaranteed to give you the sweetest memories and offer you an unforgettable experience!

Hotels in Town

We have made a selection of the best hotels in Town.
Recommended by Greeka

Domus Renier Boutique


Domus Renier Boutique Hotel is housed in one of the best-preserved historic buildings in the old town of Chania. Dating back to the Venetian Period, the hotel started as a mansion where many prominent persons have lived during the past. These days, it is fully renovated and its suites have a modern ...

Recommended by Greeka

Madonna Del Mare

Hotel4 stars

The suites of Madonna del Mare stand next to the ruins of an old monastery in the area of the Old Harbour in Chania. They offer wonderful views of the surroundings and their relaxing atmosphere promises an amazing experience of modern luxury in an environment with beautiful architecture.

Recommended by Greeka

Metohi Kindelis

Traditional Houses 

Metohi Kindelis is a rural, secluded hotel offering three high-end, comfortable villas, private swimming pools, private gardens, a large fruit farm, fulfilling breakfast options, and a variety of massage and relaxation services.


Things to See & Do in Town

Check out the things to see & do in Town during your stay and explore what the area has to offer.

Top Activities & Tours in Town

Experience once-in-a-lifetime moments by participating in well-organized tours related to Town.
  • Best Seller

    Tastes of Chania walking tour

    Category: Gastronomy, Walking

    Explore Chania Old Town Little Secrets and live as a local for a few hours in small groups. Taste traditional Cretan products, talk with local people and have the chance of Cretan wine tasting.

    4 - 4.5 hours Map
    from € 110.00
    Book now
  • Best Seller

    Olive oil and wine tasting at Anoskeli jeep adventure

    Category: Gastronomy, Island, Shore Excursions

    During the guided safari tour you will learn about life in Cretan villages, olives pick, olive oil production, Cretan wine, honey production, distillation of "raki" - "tsikoudia", and Cretan cuisine, culture, history and tradition. You will learn also about the "secret school", when Crete was under ...

    7-8hours Map
    from € 135.00
    Book now
  • Milia Mountain, wine and olive tasting jeep adventure

    Category: Gastronomy, Island, Shore Excursions

    Guided jeep safari tour during which, participants learn about life in Cretan village, olives pick, olive oil production, Cretan wine, honey production, distillation of “raki” - “tsikoudia”, and Cretan cuisine, culture, history and tradition.

    7-8hours Map
    from € 135.00
    Book now

Town Map

Explore our interactive map of Town.

Brief History

Chania Town has a long history dating back to ancient times. It was built where the city of Kydonia used to be, which was one of the most important cities on the island of Crete according to the Greek poet Homer. It was a prosperous city, thanks to agriculture and commerce. During the post-Mycenaean period, the Samians established classical Kydonia. They built many temples in the area, the most noteworthy of which is the temple of Asklepios in Lissos.

It went through numerous periods of occupation, with the most significant conquerors being the Romans, the Venetians, the Byzantines, and the Turks, until it finally gained its independence. The city’s architecture has been heavily influenced by those civilizations, who all contributed to the image it has today. The discoveries from the period of Roman occupation are truly remarkable, including sculptures, ceramic kilns, and buildings adorned with fascinating mosaics. When the Byzantines got the city back from the Saracens, they built a fortress around it, known as the Castle of Varyptero or the Castelos of Agia Kyriaki. Additionally, during the 400 years of occupation, the Venetians constructed a Catholic cathedral inside the castle and various sumptuous mansions. It was during that period that the city started getting called La Canea, which eventually resulted in the name Chania. When Chania was conquered by the Turks in 1645, it experienced significant changes, like the transformation of the Catholic churches into mosques and the building of new ones, as well as fountains, bathhouses, hospitals, and various military stations.

Chania also got destroyed several times: by fire during the Late Minoan times, during the Saracens’ invasion, after its burning by the Genoese, and after its bombing by the Germans during World War II. It was finally declared autonomous in 1897, becoming the capital of the Cretan State. The island was reunited with Greece in 1913, under the initiative of its governor and later prime minister of Greece, Eleftherios Venizelos, who himself came from Chania. In 1965, Chania Town was declared a heritage monument.


In Chania Town, you have the chance to visit plenty of historical sites, museums, and churches that will make the history of Crete unfold right before your eyes!


Archaeological Museum of Chania: One of the most important museums in Crete, housing a significant amount of ancient findings from different time periods, offering visitors a deep dive into the island’s history. The most remarkable exhibit of the museum is the Minoan collection, which includes some of the oldest and best-preserved pieces in the world.

Naval Museum of Crete: It is located inside the Venetian Firka Fortress, at the entrance of the old harbor. Being the place where the Greek flag was raised to honor the union of Crete with Greece, its location holds great historical significance.

Minoan’s World 3D Museum and 9D Cinema: A unique augmented reality experience of Crete’s ancient history and mythology, combining a 3D museum and cinema screenings with the addition of special effects.

Typography Museum: It is located close to Souda Village, in the Park of Local Industries. It houses a big collection of typography tools and devices, from the 1800s until today.

Byzantine Museum: The church of San Salvatore hosts an impressive collection of exhibits from the Byzantine, post-Byzantine, and Venetian periods. The items were either discovered in excavations in Chania or came from donations.

Folklore Museum: It is located in the Old Town, next to the Catholic Church of Chania. Inside the museum, which is actually a traditional house, you can find a vast collection of household items that people who lived in Crete used during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Greek National Football Team Museum: Being the first and only museum of its kind, established after the country’s 2004 UEFA European Football Championship, it features a huge collection of rare items and memorabilia from Greece’s football history.

Historical Landmarks

Venetian Lighthouse: One of the oldest lighthouses in the world, adorning the Old Port of Chania. It is located at the end of the pier and is considered to be the city’s trademark.

Ancient Kydonia: Kydonia is said to have been one of the most important Cretan cities during ancient times. Most of the ruins are located in the old port of Chania, on the hill of Kastelli, while many of the findings have been transferred to the Archaeological Museum of Chania.

Kydonia Byzantine Walls: Firstly built by the Byzantines and later modified by the Venetians and the Turks, the priceless ruins of the walls’ past glory are the only thing that remains.

Splantzia Square: Located right in the heart of the Old Town, it is one of the greatest historical places in Chania. To honor the events that happened there during the Greek War of Independence against the Turks, it is now known as “1821 Square”.

Clock Tower: It is located in the northeastern part of the Municipal Garden of Chania, which offers a wonderful escape from the crowded city. “To Roloi," as it’s called in Greek, is one of the most prominent landmarks of the town.

Sabbionara Rampart: A historical monument at the old port of Chania, where the only one of the three Venetian gates that has remained to this day is located. It nowadays functions as a cultural center, occasionally housing exhibitions.

Venetian Arsenals: Being one of the longest-lasting structures in the city, the Venetian shipyards are located on the right side of the Chania harbor. The structures were built specifically for shipbuilding, which thrived in Crete in the 1500s.


Saint Francis Catholic Church: Also known as the Monastery of Agios Fragkiskos, it is one of the oldest and most prevalent edifices of Venetian architecture in the Old Town of Chania. It also used to house the Archaeological Museum of Chania until 2020.

Church of the Virgin Mary: Also known as “Panagia Trimartiri," it is located in the Old Town of Chania and is the Metropolitan Church of the city. It is dedicated to the Annunciation of Mary, which is celebrated annually on November 21st.

Other temples

Küçük Hasan Pasha Mosque: Located in the Old Venetian Port, it is the only one of its kind in Chania. Due to the fact that it’s very close to the sea, it is also known as Yali Tzami, meaning “mosque of the sea”.

Etz Hayyim Synagogue: The only Jewish monument in Chania, built by the local Jewish community that had lived there for 2,000 years before being eradicated during World War II.


Ottoman Baths: They were built by the Turks when they conquered Chania during the 17th century. Hamams, as they’re called, constitute an ancient Muslim tradition, playing a major role in the social lives of Middle Eastern people.

Arsenali Center of Mediterranean Architecture: Aiming at promoting Mediterranean art and architecture and the way these connect Greece with other Mediterranean and European countries, it organizes workshops and seminars offering the opportunity to dive deeper into the charm of Mediterranean culture.

Restaurants and Nightlife


In Chania, you can find a wide variety of places to eat, from fish taverns to sushi bars and vegan restaurants. Whether you’re a fan of traditional places or prefer a modern atmosphere, Chania Town is guaranteed to leave you satisfied. You can enjoy Greek and Mediterranean specialties made with local ingredients, such as ntakos and kaltsounia while gazing at the sea and listening to live music. And if you have a sweet tooth, there is also a variety of desserts you can find at the restaurants in Chania. Prices may vary depending on the place, but there are plenty of budget-friendly choices.

Cafes and Nightlife

There are various cafes and bars in Chania Town. You can find plenty of cozy spots with relaxing and friendly vibes, ideal for young people or families. You can have a morning coffee or taste high-quality wine, refreshing cocktails, and Cretan drinks such as raki and tsikoudia. If you prefer to party, Apon Club is the perfect choice for you, featuring Greek as well as international music from the 90s until today!


If you’re looking for accommodations in Chania Town, you have a variety of options to choose from. If you have a strict budget, you can find cozy dorms and traditional boutique hotels at very affordable prices, depending on the time of the year. On the other hand, if you’re willing to pay a little more, you can enjoy a luxurious stay at a modern villa or an elegant suite. However, it is important to mention that a lot of the accommodations were established in quite old buildings. It is certain that no matter your budget, you have plenty of comfortable and relaxing accommodation choices where you can admire the view of the sea and have access on foot to the city center.

Ways to move around

Chania Town is full of things to do and places to see and admire. In order to move around town and enjoy the sights, you can take a taxi, rent a car, or use the local bus. The bus ticket price is 1,20 EUR per ride.


4 Reviews
  • demi55 11 Mar 2012
    Best memories from Chania
    A short visit in Chania some years ago left me with the best memories. The old town is so charming and romantic with historical elements and lively atmosphere. I think June and September is the best period if you want to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and the chilly days. In July and August it is way too hot for me in Greece. Chania is an interesting place with Venetian mansions and beautiful stone churches. I personally love Crete because people are warm and friendly and they always cater to the needs of tourists. I was quite lucky to stay at a friend's house, a beautiful old building in the middle of the town where we could enjoy many walks around. Without exaggerating, in Chania you will taste the most amazing food, in every delicious bite, homemade dishes and mezes. A bus from Chania Town will get you to many nice places in the region. We visited Rethymnon Town, also beautiful and picturesque, Kissamos and Paleochora. Also there are many nice beaches close to the town. In August, they get very windy, but in other months they are very enjoyable.
  • binst 14 Mar 2010
    Old charm from the past
    The first thing that comes to you when you arrive at Chania is its rich past, occupied as it was by Turks, Arabs and Venetians, all of who have left an incredible mark on this city. The Venetian Harbor, the old lighthouse, the narrow alleys lined with shops and the waterfront restaurants are so full of the old world charm that it is difficult to alienate Chania from its long history of occupation. I spent hours looking at knick knacks and local products in the numerous craft shops in the Old Town.

    We woke up in the morning and went directly to the Old Port to have a coffee and see the living of the people. It was October when we went to Chania so obviously we were not opting for the beaches, but for the local life and the beautiful nature of Crete. The Archaeological Museum was nice but exhibits should be better labelled. The Folklore Museum was also very interesting and we were happy to see a totally different culture from us before our eyes!!

    Rent a car for a couple of days and drive around Chania to the lonely beaches of October and the mountainous villages with the rural authentic life. On the way to the villages, we frequently saw kiosks selling traditional products, like honey, herbs, cheese and wine.
  • agelikoni 16 Oct 2009
    Delicious local drinks
    Chania town is probably the most beautiful town in Crete. Keeping all the Venetian culture and architecture, the buildings give a strange, forgotten and romantic feeling. The Old Town of Chaniais divided in many neighborhoods and districts, with many mansions, churches, squares, cafes and restaurants. Walking to the the port of Chania, the sea view is fantastic.

    The place is great by day and by night. During the day, there are many restaurants and tavernas with traditional Cretan food. If you have the opportunity to try raki, do not miss the chance! If it is not too hot, ask the waiter to get you hot raki. It is better than cold but it will warm you up, so be careful if it is August and the sun is burning. Cretans are famous for their drinks and for their hospitality.
  • rosaff24 08 Aug 2008
    Enjoy every corner
    Chania is the most picturesque town of Crete to me. You will find a lot of beauties there and many things to do. There are many beaches around to swim and many cafes at the seaside to relax. The best way to explore this lovely town is of course walking!! Go to the Arsenals and the war museum, take a photo of the impressive turkish hammams and see the sunset from the lighthouse, right on the edge of the port. Your eyes will be filled with new pictures and you will have nice moments to remember when you leave.