Discover the charm and elegance of Chania, the most vibrant city in Crete, where history comes alive and tells its many stories. Admire the Venetian harbor and centuries-old sea walls, the narrow alleys of the Jewish community, and the aristocratic neighborhood of Halepa. A true crossroads of civilizations, this city offers a wealth of treasures at every turn.


Agios Nikolaos church

Originally part of the 13th century catholic monastery of Agios Nikolaos, the church was one of the most significant in the city during Venetian times. When Crete fell to the Ottomans it was converted into the Hunkar Mosque and Splanzia became the Muslim quarter of town. In 1918 it was converted back into a Christian church, but this time Orthodox. Agios Nikolaos is the only building in Greece to have both a bell tower and a minaret.
Address: Splantzia Square, 731 32 Phone: +30 2821 052229 Website:

Archaeological Museum of Chania

Newly opened in 2022 in a purpose built modern building in the Halepa district, the archaeological museum displays artefacts from all over western Crete and the collection bears witness to the influence of Minoans, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Venetians, and Ottomans on the island. The permanent collection offers insights into the daily lives of the people of Chania from prehistoric times onwards and is housed in three galleries on the ground floor. An upper gallery exhibits objects from the Mitsotakis collection. Archaeological Museum of Chania
Address: 15 Skra Str. Chalepa, 73133 Phone: +30 28210 23315 Website:


Following the harbour east from the mosque, there are a long line of Venetan Arsenali, shipyards and warehouses from the 16th and 17th century. By 1593, sixteen had already been built and they have served various purposes over time with today one of them serving as a part of the Maritime Museum shipbuilding exhibition.
Address: Mihael Afentoulief, 73132

Etz Hayyim Synagogue

Hidden away in what was once the Jewish quarter, a warren of streets known as Evraki, is Chania’s 16th century Etz Hayyim Synagogue. Originally a Venetian Catholic church, it became a Jewish place of worship during the Ottoman occupation. A memorial recounts how all but one of the city’s Jews were rounded up by the Nazi’s in 1944 and they died alongside 500 resistance fighters when their transport ship to Auschwitz was torpedoed and sank.
Address: Parados Kondylaki, 73110 Phone: +30 28210 862 86 Website:

Firkas Fortress

The Revellino del Porto fortress was constructed by the Venetians at the northwestern edge of the harbour in the 17th century. However, the city fell to the Turks in 1645 and the fortress was used as a garrison camp and armoury; Firka means barracks. The walk along the ramparts with unparalleled views of the sea, city and mountains is worth the price of admission alone. Today it houses the Maritime Museum.
Address: Old Venetian Port of Chania, 731 31 Phone: +30 2821 040095 Website:

Kastelli Hill

The hill that rises above the Old Harbour was where the Venetians first settled and their palaces, many in ruin from neglect and WW2 bombings, still line the ridge. It is believed that Kastelli was occupied much earlier; archaeologists believe they may have discovered the remains of Kydonia, a Minoan city state. There are also traces of two rings of old city walls; one defending Kastelli solely and another later set that circled the medieval city.

Kucuk Hasan Mosque

Kastelli Hill and the Old Harbour are the backdrop to the Mosque, the oldest Ottoman building in Crete. Also known as the Janissaries Mosque, it was built on the water’s edge in 1645 after a two month siege of the town. Its rear courtyard and minaret were damaged by Nazi bombs in WW2, and now it is used to hold temporary exhibitions and art installations but its presence in the Old Harbour serves to remind of the turbulent past of the island.
Address: Sourmelis 18, 731 32 Phone: +30 2821 044657

Minoan’s World

Europe’s oldest civilisation meets modern technology in a 3D exhibition and cinema experience. The first part of the adventure starts with 3D art and statues that come to life. Indulge in bull jumping or chase the mighty minotaur, then strap in for an immersive cinema event with wind, rain, lightning, and earthquakes as the story of the Minoan world is told. Minoan’s World
Address: Ipsilanton 10, 73135 Phone: +30 28210 97095 Website:

Venetian Lighthouse and Harbour

The harbour area is the oldest and prettiest part of town, most attractive at night when the taverna lights twinkle in the water and the crowds promenade around the seawalls. The original lighthouse was built in the 16th century and a chain could be connected from its base to the fortress of Firka to close the harbour. At the end of a long mole that protects the harbour from the sea, it is worth walking all the way to get a view of the town with the White Mountains behind and the lively harbour in front.
Address: Old Venetian Port of Chania, 731 31

Maritime Museum of Crete

Founded 50 years ago to celebrate the great Cretan nautical tradition, the museum traces the seafaring history of the island from the Copper Age until the present. Roman amphora from shipwrecks sit next to Ottoman weaponry and mementos from the Battle of Crete in WW2. A significant addition was the creation of an exhibition examining ancient shipbuilding techniques that culminated in the reconstruction of a Minoan ship in the Venetian shipyard in the Old Harbour. Maritime Museum of Chania
Address: Akti Kountourioti, 73136 Phone: 28210 91875 Website:

Read also:

First time in Chania: What not to Miss

Faros ‘Lighthouse’ Chanion, Crete, Greece

Chania: A City Of Many Tales