The best attractions you should see and the best things to do in Chania, Crete

Last Updated on November 7, 2023 by

Chania is one of the most beloved Greek travel destinations, known for its rich history and stunning landscapes. The capital of the Chania region offers an abundance of things to do in Chania, from exploring historic sites to enjoying the beautiful beaches. With so many attractions, it’s worth visiting more than once to experience all the things to do in Chania. It’s no coincidence that many choose to go back year after year to discover new adventures in this captivating destination

CHANIA AT A  GLANCE

First, before you decide to go to this destination, it’s good to read some basic things and decide if it’s what you’re looking for in your holidays this year. Although you’ll find it hard to find something that “spoils” Chania, let’s summarize it so you can make an informed decision. So, what should you know about Chania before you go:

  • It’s quite a romantic city. Let’s be honest, Chania is one of the top destinations for a romantic 5-day getaway. This doesn’t mean you can’t go with friends: you’ll have just as much fun, but for a vibrant nightlife, it’s better to choose Mykonos or Ios.
  • It’s affordable: you can easily get there by plane or by ferry. Especially if you’re going with a large group, and everyone needs to depart from a different city, and you’re wondering where to go to accommodate everyone, Chania is your best bet. It also has countless accommodation options. You’ll find hotels with very good prices, B&Bs with views, and Airbnb with incredible hosts.
  • You won’t get bored easily. Crete is huge, and if you rent a car and see all the attractions in the Chania region (which, honestly, are so many!), you can then explore the other regions.
  • I’ll put Cretan food, the fairytale beaches you’ll find in Chania, traditional music, and of course, the adorable people you’ll meet, on the list of reasons to go!
  • A 5-day or a whole week should be enough for Chania.

THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN CHANIA 

 #1. THE VENETIAN HARBOR 

things to do in chania, the harbor

The Venetian Harbor is featured on all postcards, and it’s impossible not to take dozens of photos. The Chania harbor is an attraction in itself and is one of the top things to do in Chania, worth visiting in the late afternoon or evening. This part of the city will help you understand the multicultural history of Chania. Behind the bars, cafes, and restaurants, you will discover signs left by the Venetian and Ottoman periods. The best thing to do is to sit down for a coffee, ice cream, or meal and enjoy the most beautiful harbor in Crete.

 #2. THE EGYPTIAN LIGHTHOUSE

things to do in chania - go to the lighthouse

Continue your stroll and reach the Egyptian Lighthouse. One of the best things to do in Chania is to enjoy the view from the lighthouse.  The view is mesmerizing, and the best time to go is when the sun is setting to enjoy the magnificent sunset. Alternatively, you can go early in the morning.

Tip from My Pretty Travels: The lighthouse might seem closer than it actually is, so don’t underestimate the time it takes to get there and back. It’s a good idea to bring water and go after the sun has set a bit.

 #3. THE ALLEYS OF THE OLD TOWN 

χανια ενετικο λιμανι

Wander through the enchanting alleys of the old town in Chania and admire the architecture, beautiful mansions, and shop for handmade souvenirs. Exploring the old town is one of the top things to do in Chania. The Topanas district, in particular, is the most beautiful neighborhood and will transport you back in time. Get lost in the narrow streets, admire the remnants of Venetian buildings, and have a meal in one of the restored mansions

 #4. CRETAN FOOD AND UNIQUE BARS 

fagito kriti

Cretan cuisine is famous worldwide and is unlikely to disappoint. There are numerous taverns, meze restaurants, and excellent eateries to try. Don’t leave without tasting the traditional Cretan raki (served everywhere), trying apaki (smoked pork), paximadia (rusks), and the incredible Cretan cheeses!

Tip from My Pretty Travels: Don’t leave before trying the complimentary dessert. In all the places I went for a meal, they brought a sweet treat or some fruit at the end.

Regarding nightlife in Chania, unfortunately, you won’t find notable options for dancing, but there are many incredible bars with fantastic drinks.

  • Synagogi Bar in Chania is a favorite spot among locals, and trust me, they know! The place is unique, located in a restored building in the Jewish quarter of the old town.
  • Monastiri tou Karolou was another favorite bar I discovered in Chania. The place is extremely summery, and you can enjoy your drink under the stars with perfect music!

 #5. THE DREAMY BEACH OF CHANIA

balos beach in crete

Few regions in Greece can boast such dreamy beaches. Do you want golden or pink sand? Crystal-clear blue waters? Scenery that will leave you breathless and fill your camera with photos? You’ll find it all in Chania. You’ll need to take a bus or rent a car (the best option), but don’t leave Chania without visiting Balos Beach. Everything about Balos Beach can be found here.

ACCOMMODATION IN CHANIA

The accommodation options in Chania are numerous and cater to every budget. If you’re wondering where to stay in Chania, there are many choices. I chose to stay near the Venetian Harbor. The view was simply magical, and you are just a step away from wherever you choose to go for coffee, drinks, or food. Of course, the downside to this choice is that you’re not close to a beach.

The hotel I stayed at is Julies Studios. It’s located in the small Koum Kapi harbor, about a 10-minute walk from the Venetian Harbor. The view and sunsets from the apartment were magical, and the owner was incredibly kind and accommodating. You can book it directly from here.

Other unique accommodation options in Chania include the Domus Renier, a boutique hotel that offers elegant rooms and all the amenities while maintaining this ‘traditional’ feeling. Honestly, if you’re looking for something romantic, boutique hotels are perfect for Chania! Alternatively, you can take a look at these offers from Booking.



Booking.com

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