Corfu Town

General information

Corfu Town happens to be one of the most important and monumental island capitals in the Mediterranean region.
With a very rich historical background and architecture quite unique amongst the Ionian Sea, due to the town's long-lasting ties with the Venetians, Corfu Town flaunts impressive fortresses and is full of monumental churches, museums, elegant mansions and tourist streets. Since it is full of historical and cultural heritage, walking through the old town will make you feel like you are in a well-preserved, open-air museum, in the heart of Italy. 

The area makes for an architectural jewel and the ideal destination for every person that wants to experience a Greek island that is out of the ordinary. 

Best Hotels & Accommodations

Recommended by Greeka

Porta Spilea

4 keys

Conveniently located in the heart of Corfu Town, Porta Spilea Boutique Apartments offers accommodation in elegantly furnished apartments with a traditional style that overlooks the historic part of Corfu Town. Their luxurious atmosphere is combined with excellent amenities for an unforgettable ...

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Recommended by Greeka

Siora Vittoria Boutique

4 stars

Siora Vittoria Boutique Hotel is housed in a fully restored building that dates back to the 19th century. With its authentic atmosphere, the hotel will introduce you to the elegance of the Venetian style, while also providing a warm and cozy ambience. Various local monuments are within a short ...

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Divani Palace

4 stars

The luxurious Divani Corfu Palace is located in the beautiful Kanoni, a place of unique beauty with green hills and majestic lagoon views. The 4 star hotel is a short drive away from Corfu centre, close to tourist attractions, cultural events and vivid nightlife. It offers elegant guestrooms and ...

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Things to See & Do

Top Tours and activities

  • Best Seller

    Parga Sivota Blue Lagoon cruise with BBQ

    Category: Day Trips, Sailing, Shore Excursions
    Show description

    Enjoy yourself on a day cruise from Corfu to the Islands of Nea Sivota, the town of Parga as well as the Blue Lagoon, with on-board barbeque lunch and not only!

    10-12 hours
    from € 30.00
    Book now
  • Best Seller

    Sivota Blue Lagoon tour with BBQ

    Category: Boat
    Show description

    Enjoy yourself with us by a day tour from Corfu to the Greek mainland of Epirus (opposite Kavos) at the Islands of Nea Sivota, with on-board barbeque lunch and not only! The small port village of Sivota is situated in the northwest coastline of mainland Epirus 22 kilometers away from the International harbor town of Igoumenitsa.

    10-12 hours Map
    from € 25.00
    Book now
  • Best Seller

    Cruise to Paxi Antipaxos and Blue caves

    Category: Boat
    Show description

    This boat cruise will take you to the fabulous islands of Paxi and Antipaxi, two islands that distinguish for the lush greenery and the exotic water.

    10 hours Map
    from € 50.00
    Book now

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Brief History

Due to its strategic placement between the Ionian and the Adriatic Seas, Corfu had always been a point of conflict. From 750 BC onwards, many inhabitants and conquerors (like the Romans, the Byzantines, the Venetians, the Goths, the English, and the French) have left their mark on the island and, especially, Corfu Town. The town served as the administrational and commercial center of the island and was also the ideal spot to control trades and military routes from all around the sea. So, to no surprise, large and awe-inspiring castles were built atop two of the city's largest hills by the Angevins in the 13th century, although the fortresses are mostly associated with the Venetians. Soon, under Venetian rule, new fortresses were built, and along with these new thicker defenses, the town became almost impenetrable. Their architectural aesthetic left a cultural mark in Corfu Town, with Campiello and Nobile Teatro di San Giacomo (which now houses the Town Hall) being prime examples of it.

After the Republic of Venice crumbled, Napoleon was the one to step foot onto Corfu for a few years, enough to create even more eye-catching sights and streets, while the British were next in line, leaving an aristocratic and Neoclassical flavor behind, with grandiose art statements and palaces, like the Palace of St.Michael and St.George.

Around the middle of the 19th century, Corfu became a part of the Greek independent state while still being a meeting point for high-class society. However, during the Corfu Incident in 1923 and the Second World War, a large part (around a quarter) of the town was obliterated due to successive bombings. What remains sound is still a cultural landmark of the Mediterranean and a global tourist attraction, and UNESCO inscribed Corfu Town as a World Heritage Site in 2007.

Sights

Fortresses

The Old Fortress (Fortezza): Originally built around the early 15th century to defend the region from various sieges, this monumental castle near Spianada square (8 mins away on foot) is one of the most recognizable sights in all of Corfu.

The New Fortress (Fortezza Nuova): Placed on top of the hill of St.Mark around the mid-1570s, this Venetian-built imposing structure is visible from the very first moment you step foot on Corfu Town.

Churches

There are about 20 beautiful churches scattered around Corfu Town, the most significant of which are:

Saint Spyridon Church: Arguably the most famous religious structure around the island, known for its staggering bell tower and for hosting the remains of St.Spyridon, this Orthodox church is located at the city center, close to Spianada square. Saint Spyridon is considered the patron saint of the island. 
Saint Spiliotissa Church: This Byzantine-era building, named after a cave near the New Fortress, also hosts a saint's remains (St.Theodora Augusta), while also being filled with gorgeous paintings and unique sun-shaped characteristics. It is located right in front of the New Fortress.
Byzantine Church of St.Jason and St.Sosipater: This is the oldest Christian church in Corfu, built in the 11th century, and located quite close to the airport.

Spianada/Liston

Spianada (also called Esplanade) is the central square of Corfu Town plus the largest square in all of the Balkans. A meeting point for many people and a great event host, Spianada is also next to Liston, a pedestrian street constructed by the French in the late 1800s, which offers a wide variety of cafes and taverns for all intents and purposes.

The Campiello

This district, founded during the Angevin times, is a narrow labyrinth filled with impressive Venetian buildings, due to the overpopulation of the times. It's suited for a long walk as you gaze around, strolling your way through these streets, also called candounia. Full of Italian-themed shops and restaurants, the Campiello is located near Spianada as well.

Mon Repos Palace

Situated within a verdant 258-acre area, Mon Repo was built in 1831 to serve as a summer residence for the British Commissioner Adams and his wife. The mansion has become a museum, while the park around it is open to everyone.

Pontikonisi

A small island near the airport, Pontikonissi (Mouse island) is a large tourist attraction, mostly because of its mythological backstory (linked to Homer and Odysseus), and also its impressive Byzantine chapel of Pantocrator (only open once a year, on August 6th). There's a pier filled with small boats near the Monastery of Vlacherna that can take you to this beautiful island!

Museums

The Archaeological Museum: Hosting exhibits that date back to the Paleolithic Era, this must-visit museum is located close to the Town Hall.
The Byzantine Museum: Hosted in the Panagia Antivouniotissa church (which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary), this museum is characterized by distinctive ecclesiastic iconography, and it's placed towards the northern part of Corfu Town, within walking distance from Liston.
The Dionysios Solomos Museum: Right next to the Byzantine Museum, the burial place/mausoleum of Greece's national poet Dionysios Solomos gives you the chance to take a journey through his life, as well as the lives of many other Corfu-based poets, whose exhibits are placed in the museum.

Other Sights

The Palace of St.Michael and St.George: Built at the request of Sir Thomas Maitland, a British Lord, this fancy residence has been the host of the Greek Museum of Asian Art for over 100 years and, after its numerous renovations due to damages dealt during the Second World War and Greece's very own Civil War, it still stands as a highly impressive building. It is located only 150 meters away from Spianada, too!
The tomb of Ioannis Kapodistrias: The first head of state of post-liberation Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias, is buried in the Holy Monastery of Platytera, about 15-20 minutes away from the port on foot.

→ Discover some of the most popular tours in Corfu Town!

Beaches

Most beaches are spread around the island of Corfu, yet there are still a couple of choices for you, should you decide to take a dip without leaving the city center.

Faliraki Beach: An easily-accessed beach, preferred by the ones that don't want to stray far away from everything the capital has to offer, Faliraki has a simple, sand-filled shore, without any extra facilities around, so it is suggested that you bring your own supplies.
Mon Repos Beach: Next to the large Corfu windmill, Mon Repos is a little further away from Spianada and the Town Hall (much closer to the Corfu airport, about 15 mins away on foot), which has a small pay-to-enter admission fee, although it is mostly used for maintenance reasons. Again, a sandy beach next to the Mon Repos palace (hence its name) is mostly used for those who'd prefer staying close to their residences instead of driving outside of Corfu Town.

Restaurants and Nightlife

Restaurants

A wide variety of restaurants are found around Corfu Town, serving some of the island's top traditional dishes (like Sofrito, Pastitsada, Bianco, and Tsigareli). There are dozens in the area around Spianada, due to the fact that it is the city's cultural center and many more restaurants are spread around. Prices may vary, depending on budget and how acquired one's taste is.

Cafes and Nightlife

Ranging from famous franchise powerhouses like Starbucks to local made-with-love coffee breweries, the city center (and especially the area around Liston) oozes fresh grounds and tons of locally produced wine and tsipouro. It's highly likely that you find your own sweet spot, amongst a wide selection of cozy bars and energetic cafeterias, regardless of the time of day.

Hotels

Knowing that Corfu is a big island in the Ionian Sea that attracts numerous tourists (about 900 thousand people per year visit the island by air alone), it should be no surprise that it is filled to the brim with all kinds of accommodations. Prices start at about 45 euros per night and can reach up to three-digit price tags, depending on your needs, budget, and the time of year.

Ways to Move Around 

Corfu Town is the center of most activities around the island. To approach its countless sights, you can rent/use a car or taxi, or use the inner city's blue bus line, specifically designed for easier access to the town's focal points. The bus fare is 1,10 euros per ride.

Corfu Town is a crossover between a modern city and a rural village, filled with historical monuments and spectacular works of art, while also being an ideal and somewhat cost-efficient tourist attraction for all ages and preferences!

Reviews

5/5.0
4 Reviews
  • Peter 19 Oct 2020
    Ferry Boat
    We sailed across to mouse island on the little ferry boat and the man that took us across was so nice he made our day with his friendliness, we had a great day in the area, thanks again to our ferry captain.
  • Guest 13 Nov 2018
    At last!!
    After a complete renovation and many delays in opening the Archaeological Museum of Corfu has finally reopened its doors.
    Not huge but an interesting, well documented series of exhibits.
    Well worth a visit.
  • vasilikiang 20 Apr 2011
    Best view in town
    Probably the most impressive view from all cafes in Town. View to the sea, the old fortress and the opposite mountains of the mainland. After a tiring day of sightseeing in the town, have a seat in the outdoor paved yard of Aktaion and enjoy your coffee. It works as a bar at nights, but in the daytime you will enjoy it better.
  • bethth 03 Apr 2009
    Have your coffee at Liston
    Corfu Town will remind you of Venice is many corners. This is actually not surprising as the Venetians built it following their architecture. Walk along the narrow paths, visit the many churches you will find on your way, get into the museums, enjoy the sunset from the highest point of the old fortress. A coffee at Liston is a must, this is probably the most photographed place in Corfu town. I was impressed that there is a gorgeous cricket ground right next to Liston, but they told me that this is a remain from the British rule in the 18th century.

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