Known as the largest town in Crete, Heraklion is home to remarkable museums and ancient sites, all being part of the Cretan history that begins from antiquity. The Archaeological Museum of Heraklion impresses with its outstanding collection of findings from excavations in Knossos, Phaistos, Gortyn, Aharnes, Matala and other regions. The museum also features exhibits from the Minoan civilization as well as a vast collection of traces from the Neolithic period including ceramics, pottery, sculptures from the Hellenistic period, statuettes, rings, coins and other findings from the ancient tombs.
The Historical Museum of Heraklion is dedicated to the Cretan culture where you can see an interesting collection of artifacts, frescoes, icons, portraits and many other findings from the Minoan sites. The finds are arranged in a chronological and thematical order offering visitors the chance to discover the rich Cretan heritage.
The beautiful basilica of Saint Ekaterini houses the interesting Byzantine collection of various manuscripts, frescoes, and Byzantine icons. If you travel to Myrtia village, you shall pay a visit at the museum dedicated to Nikos Kazantzakis, one of the most famous Greek writers. El Greco Museum is also an ideal stop for the lovers of art who will admire a great collection of the painter's works.
Heraklion provides excellent facilities for children as well like the Cretaquarium which is the largest aquarium of the Mediterranean. There you can see the rich marine life, the outstanding landscapes and rare sea creatures. Likewise, families can also visit Aqualand water park, a place that protects the sea animals and hosts a vast collection of reptiles.
The Archaeological Museum of Heraklion Crete is one of the richest in collections. It houses findings exclusively from Crete and the most important collections come from Knossos, Phaestos, Gortyn, Aharnes and other ancient sites.
Founded in 2005, this is the largest aquarium in the Mediterranean. It depicts marine life with upgraded and impressive presentations of natural landscapes, offering visitors a chance to see rare sea-living creatures.
The Kotsanas Museum- of Ancient Greek Technology studies, highlights and presents to the Greek and foreign visitors the technology of ancient Greeks, an extremely important but relatively unknown aspect of the ancient Greek culture.
Located in the village of Hersonissos, east of Heraklion, this museum offers an original and creative approach to the culture and nature of Crete. Frequently it organizes many cultural events, such as educational seminars for kids, audiovisual performances or traditional dancing events.
The Historical Museum of Heraklion was established in 1953 by the Society of Cretan Historical Studies. The museum presents the history and culture of Crete from the early Christian times till modern era.
This collection is housed in the beautiful 15th-century basilica of Saint Ekaterini, Heraklion Town. It houses valuable ecclesiastical items and rare Byzantine icons.
Minos Winery was the first to bottle the delicious wine of Crete. Its premises in Peza, about 18 km southeast of Heraklion Town, also work as a museum and visitors can see the wine production process and buy local products.
El Greco Museum
Close to the Gate of Bethlehem, in the Venetian Walls of Heraklion, a new museum recently opened dedicated to the famous Cretan painter Domenicos Theotokopoulos, also known as "El Greco". He was born in Heraklion in 1542 but worked and died in Spain in 1614. The museum includes copies of his paintings and costumes of the awarded movie "El Greco" (2007), directed by the Greek director Iannis Smaragdis.