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Top Things to Do in Rethymno City, Greece: A Bucket List for Travelers


What to do in Rethymno city, Greece? Here are the most beautiful beaches, places to visit, family and boutique hotels in our article.

Welcome to the charming coastal town of Rethymno, nestled on the stunning island of Crete in Greece. With its captivating blend of Venetian and Ottoman influences, this picturesque city is a hidden gem waiting to be explored by adventurous travelers. From ancient ruins to sun-kissed beaches and vibrant nightlife, Rethymno has something for everyone. Join us as we uncover the top things to do in Rethymno City and get ready to add this must-visit destination to your travel bucket list!

Where is Rethymno City

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Rethymno City is located on the northern coast of the island of Crete in Greece, between the bustling cities of Heraklion and Chania. This charming town boasts a rich history dating back to ancient times, evident in its well-preserved old town area with narrow cobblestone streets and Venetian architecture.

The city overlooks the deep blue waters of the Cretan Sea, offering breathtaking views and a laid-back coastal atmosphere that attracts visitors from around the world. Rethymno’s strategic location makes it an ideal base for exploring other parts of Crete, including archaeological sites, pristine beaches, and rugged mountain landscapes.

With its mix of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and warm hospitality, Rethymno City truly encapsulates the essence of Greek island life. Whether you’re a history buff, beach lover or food enthusiast, this enchanting destination has something special waiting for you to discover.

How to get to Rethymno Town

all airports of crete island

Rethymno Town is a charming destination in Greece that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and stunning beaches. If you’re wondering how to get there, don’t worry – it’s easier than you might think!

One of the most common ways to reach Rethymno is by flying into Chania or Heraklion airport on the island of Crete. From either airport, you can easily rent a car or take a bus to make your way to Rethymno.

For those looking for a more scenic route, taking a ferry from Athens to Heraklion and then driving along the coast towards Rethymno is also an option. The picturesque views along the way are definitely worth it!

Once you arrive in Rethymno Town, getting around is quite convenient as well. Walking or renting a bike are great options for exploring the narrow streets and historic sites within the town.

No matter how you choose to travel to Rethymno Town, one thing is for sure – you’re in for an unforgettable experience!

Weather in Rethymno

Nestled on the northern coast of Crete, Rethymno City boasts a Mediterranean climate that attracts visitors year-round. With hot, dry summers and mild winters, this charming town is a perfect destination for those seeking sunny days and pleasant temperatures.

During the summer months, from June to August, you can expect temperatures averaging around 30°C (86°F), making it ideal for beach lounging and outdoor activities. The crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea offer a refreshing escape from the heat.

In contrast, winter brings milder weather with average temperatures hovering around 15°C (59°F). While you may need a light jacket in the evenings, daytime explorations are still enjoyable without being too cold.

Whether you prefer basking in the sun during summer or strolling through historic streets in cooler months, Rethymno’s weather ensures an enjoyable experience no matter when you choose to visit.

What to do in Rethymno City

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Rethymno City in Greece offers a myriad of activities for travelers to enjoy during their visit. Explore the charming Old Town with its narrow streets filled with shops, cafes, and historical sites. Don’t miss the Venetian Harbor, a picturesque spot perfect for strolling and taking in the beautiful views.

Visit the Fortezza, a massive fortress that dates back to the 16th century and offers panoramic views of the city and sea. Immerse yourself in history at the Archaeological Museum or admire local artwork at contemporary galleries scattered throughout the city.

For nature lovers, head to Mount Ida for hiking or relax on one of Rethymno’s stunning beaches. Indulge in delicious Cretan cuisine at traditional tavernas or sip on local wines at cozy bars.

With so much to see and do, Rethymno City is sure to captivate visitors looking for a mix of culture, history, nature, and relaxation.

Preveli Monastery

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One of the must-see attractions in Rethymno City is the Preveli Monastery, located on the southern side of the city. This historic site consists of two monasteries, the Lower and Upper Preveli, dating back to the 16th century. The monasteries have stood the test of time, despite being destroyed multiple times throughout history. In fact, it was thanks to the contributions of the noble Preveli family from Rethymno that these monasteries were restored in the 18th century. Be sure to add a visit to this cultural and religious landmark to your list of things to do in Rethymno City.


fortezza, rethymno city, crete, greece

For those visiting Rethymno City in Crete, a must-see attraction is the impressive Fortezza, located on top of Paleokastro hill. Built by the Venetian maritime power in the 16th century as a defense against Turkish pirates, this grand fortress offers a glimpse into the city’s turbulent history. Take some time to explore and learn about its past while enjoying stunning views of Rethymno Town below.

Arkadi Monastery

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When exploring Rethymno City, make sure to visit the historical landmark of Arkadi. This monastery holds significant cultural and historical importance, as it was the site of a revolution in 1866. Located 23km southeast from Rethymno and situated 500m above sea level, this monastery is a must-visit for all visitors. With its initial fortressing built in the 12th century by an Arkadian monk, and another myth suggesting it was named after Byzantine emperor Arcadius, Arkadi is a fascinating place to learn about Crete’s past.

Archaeological Museum

Looking for things to do in the beautiful city of Rethymno? A must-visit is the Archaeological Museum, founded in 1887 by the Society of Friends of Education. Located in the historic Pentagon bastion and featuring a gift shop in Lotzia, this museum showcases fascinating artifacts from ancient sites, caves, and excavations all over the prefecture of Rethymnon Crete. Don’t miss out on this unique and educational experience during your visit to Rethymno City.

Kourtaliotiko Gorge

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If you’re wondering what to do in Rethymno City, one of the most impressive places to visit is Kourtaliotiko Gorge. This 3-kilometre long gorge offers breathtaking hiking opportunities with its dense vegetation, caves, and massive rock formations surrounding a river and the stunning Kourtaliotis waterfall. You can even take a dip in the ponds along the way. Don’t miss the chance to cross the old stone-built bridge and continue your hike all the way to Preveli beach. Beyond its natural beauty, this gorge is also home to various species of fauna and flora, making it an essential part of Rethymno’s local biodiversity.

Is Rethymno Town worth a visit?

Nestled on the northern coast of Crete, Rethymno Town is a gem waiting to be explored. With its charming old town, Venetian harbor, and picturesque streets lined with bougainvillea-covered buildings, Rethymno offers a delightful blend of history and modernity.

Visitors can wander through the narrow alleyways of the Old Town, where they will stumble upon ancient churches, Ottoman mosques, and traditional tavernas serving up delectable Cretan cuisine. The imposing Fortezza Castle stands proudly overlooking the town, offering panoramic views of the azure sea below.

For those seeking relaxation, Rethymno boasts beautiful beaches like Preveli Beach and Bali Beach where visitors can soak up the Mediterranean sun or take a dip in crystal-clear waters. Additionally, the vibrant nightlife scene ensures that there is something for everyone after dark.

Whether you’re a history buff, foodie, beach lover or party-goer – Rethymno Town has something special to offer every traveler who decides to explore its enchanting streets.

What is Rethymno City known for?

Rethymno City is known for its enchanting Old Town, a maze of narrow streets filled with Venetian and Ottoman architecture. The iconic Fortezza fortress overlooking the city stands as a reminder of its rich history. Visitors can wander through the alleys lined with charming shops, tavernas, and cafes, immersing themselves in the local culture.

One of Rethymno’s highlights is the beautiful Venetian Harbor, where colorful boats bob in the gentle breeze against a backdrop of picturesque buildings. The city also boasts stunning beaches like Preveli Beach, offering crystal-clear waters and golden sand for sun-seekers to enjoy.

Art enthusiasts will appreciate Rethymno’s vibrant arts scene, with galleries showcasing contemporary and traditional works by local artists. Foodies will delight in the diverse culinary offerings, from fresh seafood to traditional Cretan dishes bursting with flavor.

Rethymno City is a destination that seamlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty into an unforgettable travel experience.

Is Rethymno City a party region in Crete?

Rethymno City in Crete offers a vibrant nightlife scene that caters to all tastes. While it’s not as wild as some of the party hubs on the island, like Malia or Hersonissos, Rethymno still knows how to have a good time.

You can find cozy bars where you can enjoy cocktails with friends or dance the night away at energetic clubs playing the latest hits. The atmosphere is lively and fun, perfect for those looking to unwind after a day of exploring.

During the summer months, the streets come alive with music and entertainment, creating a festive ambiance that draws locals and tourists alike. Whether you prefer sipping drinks by the sea or hitting up late-night venues, Rethymno has something for everyone.

So while Rethymno may not be classified as solely a party region in Crete, it certainly has its fair share of options for those seeking nighttime excitement.

Where to Eat & Drink in Rethymno City

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When visiting Rethymno City, you’ll find an array of dining options that cater to every palate. From traditional Greek tavernas serving up local specialties to trendy cafes offering international cuisine, the city has something for everyone.

For a taste of authentic Cretan dishes, head to one of the family-run restaurants in the old town. Here, you can savor dishes made with fresh ingredients sourced from local markets and enjoy warm hospitality that will make you feel right at home.

If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, there are plenty of chic restaurants along the waterfront where you can indulge in gourmet seafood or innovative fusion cuisine. Pair your meal with a glass of local wine or raki for the full Mediterranean dining experience.

After dinner, explore the bustling streets lined with cozy bars and stylish cocktail lounges. Whether you prefer a laid-back atmosphere or vibrant nightlife scene, Rethymno City has plenty of options for enjoying drinks into the evening hours.

Nightlife in Rethymno Town

When the sun sets in Rethymno Town, a vibrant nightlife scene emerges, offering something for everyone. From cozy tavernas serving local wines to lively bars with live music, there is no shortage of options to enjoy a night out in this charming town.

Stroll through the picturesque streets lined with cafes and bars buzzing with locals and tourists alike. Stop by a traditional ouzo bar to savor the famous Greek spirit or head to a trendy cocktail lounge for some innovative drinks.

For those looking to dance the night away, Rethymno has several clubs playing everything from international hits to Greek tunes. The atmosphere is always electric, making it easy to let loose and have a great time with friends old and new.

Whether you prefer a laid-back evening sipping wine by the sea or hitting the dance floor until dawn, Rethymno Town offers an exciting nightlife experience that will leave you wanting more.

Things to do and see in Rethymno City

Exploring Rethymno City is a delightful mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. Start your day by wandering through the charming Old Town with its narrow alleys filled with Venetian architecture and Ottoman influences. Don’t miss the impressive Fortezza fortress offering panoramic views of the city and sea.

Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Venetian Harbor lined with colorful buildings, cafes, and tavernas where you can savor fresh seafood dishes. Visit the Archaeological Museum to immerse yourself in Crete’s rich past or wander through the quaint boutiques for unique souvenirs.

For nature lovers, head to Preveli Beach to relax on its golden sands framed by palm trees or hike through Samaria Gorge for breathtaking scenery. End your day with a romantic sunset at Lighthouse Beach before indulging in traditional Cretan cuisine at a local taverna.

Beaches of Rethymno Region

With its crystal-clear waters and stunning sandy beaches, the Rethymno region in Greece is a paradise for beach lovers. Whether you prefer lively spots with water sports or secluded coves for relaxation, this area has something for everyone.

One of the most popular beaches in Rethymno is Preveli Beach, known for its palm forest and river that flows into the sea, creating a unique setting. For those seeking a more tranquil experience, head to Triopetra Beach with its three majestic rocks emerging from the sea – perfect for peaceful sunbathing.

If you’re looking for a bit of adventure, visit Damnoni Beach where you can try your hand at various water activities like snorkeling or windsurfing. And don’t miss out on Plakias Beach, famous for its long stretch of golden sand and clear blue waters – ideal for swimming and sunbathing all day long.

Whether you’re seeking excitement or relaxation by the shore, Rethymno’s beaches offer an unforgettable seaside experience that will make your trip truly memorable.

Rethymno City Beach

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Rethymno boasts one of the best beaches in all of Greece, with its endless stretch of soft sand and crystal clear waters. Located just a short distance from the town, this fully-organised beach is equipped with sunbeds, umbrellas, and beach bars for a comfortable day by the sea. For added safety, weather flags are used to inform swimmers about any potential hazards caused by strong winds. Just west of Rethymno lies Episkopi, another popular and well-maintained sandy beach perfect for a relaxing day in the sun.

Bali Beach

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Bali, the charming coastal village situated just 32 km east of Rethymno Town, is home to some of the best beaches in the area. With picturesque mountain views and crystal-clear waters, visitors can relax and soak up the peaceful atmosphere while enjoying a swim in one of the small inlets scattered along the coast. For those looking for a bite to eat or a place to stay, there are plenty of tavernas, cafes, and accommodations available both in the village and its surrounding area.

Preveli Beach

When visiting Rethymno, make sure to check out the beautiful Preveli beach, which is often considered the best beach in the area. Located 40 km south of the main town, this idyllic beach boasts crystal-clear green waters and soft sand, creating an exotic lagoon-like atmosphere. The Kourtaliotis River also adds to the picturesque scenery as it flows into the beach, surrounded by lush vegetation and palm trees. Don’t miss out on experiencing this dreamy landscape during your trip to Rethymno.

Panormos Beach

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One of the most popular and highly recommended beaches in Rethymno is located just 22 km east of the town. Panormos, a picturesque fishing village, boasts a fully organized sandy beach with crystal clear waters and a tranquil atmosphere. Visitors can also enjoy various taverns and accommodations with stunning views overlooking the sea in the surrounding area.

Agios Pavlos Beach

Considered by many as the best beach in Rethymno, Agios Pavlos (Saint Paul) is a hidden gem located 58 km south of the town and 50 km from Agia Galini village. Its secluded location makes it a peaceful and serene spot with fine grey sand, crystal clear waters, and stunning rocky inlets. Although not organized, this beach offers a nearby village with accommodations for rent and delicious traditional Cretan food at its taverns. Don’t miss the chance to visit this beautiful and tranquil paradise on your next trip to Rethymno.

Where to stay Rethymno Region


Looking for the perfect place to stay in Rethymno? The region offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. From luxurious beachfront resorts to cozy boutique hotels nestled in the old town, there is something for everyone.

For those seeking a more laid-back experience, consider booking a room at one of the charming guesthouses or traditional cottages scattered throughout the countryside. These hidden gems provide a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

If you prefer modern amenities and convenience, opt for one of the many hotels located in close proximity to popular attractions and dining spots. Some accommodations boast stunning views of the sea or mountains, allowing guests to wake up to breathtaking scenery each day.

No matter where you choose to stay in Rethymno Region, rest assured that Greek hospitality will make your visit truly unforgettable.

Best Hotels in Rethymno City

Looking for the best hotels in Rethymno City to make your stay unforgettable? From luxurious resorts to charming boutique accommodations, this vibrant city has something for every traveler’s taste and budget.

For a truly indulgent experience, consider staying at a 5-star beachfront resort offering stunning views of the crystal-clear waters. These upscale hotels boast top-notch amenities such as spa facilities, fine dining restaurants, and private pools.

If you prefer a more intimate setting, boutique hotels nestled in the heart of the old town offer a cozy atmosphere with personalized service. Wake up to picturesque views of cobblestone streets and historical landmarks right outside your doorstep.

For those looking for a blend of luxury and local charm, traditional guesthouses provide an authentic Cretan experience with warm hospitality and homely touches. Immerse yourself in the culture while enjoying modern comforts during your stay in Rethymno City.

Aquila Porto Rethymno

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Experience the best hotel in Rethymno city at Aquila Porto Rethymno. With three refreshing pools, a private beach, and two delicious restaurants, this hotel complex offers the perfect balance of relaxation and activity. Enjoy massages and yoga lessons during your stay and take advantage of the convenient location just 600 meters from Rethymnon Port. Plus, with Heraklion International Airport only 84 km away, traveling to this top destination is a breeze. Book your stay at Aquila Porto Rethymno for an unforgettable vacation experience.

Hotel Ideon

Located in close proximity to Rethymno’s charming Old Town, Hotel Ideon is the top choice for accommodations in the city. With a refreshing pool and convenient poolside snack bar, guests can relax and enjoy the beautiful garden surroundings. The friendly reception is available 24/7 to assist you during your stay. Each room at Hotel Ideon boasts a balcony with stunning views of the pool and city. Featuring modern amenities such as air conditioning and a safe, the rooms ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Start your day off right with the delicious buffet breakfast, or indulge in Greek and International cuisine for dinner. Don’t miss out on visiting nearby attractions like the ancient fortress and Venetian port, both just 200 meters away, or take a short stroll to the sandy beach located only 300 meters from Ideon Hotel.

Atlantis Beach Hotel

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Experience the best hotel in Rethymno city at Atlantis Beach Hotel. With a Blue Flag sandy beach, luxurious rooms featuring balconies and stunning views, and a 170-m² swimming pool surrounded by lush gardens, the 5-star hotel is the perfect choice for your next vacation. Located on the beautiful sandy beach of Rethymno, just 1.5 km from the charming old town and Venetian harbour, hotel also offers convenient private parking in the garage for an additional fee.

Nautilux Rethymno by Mage Hotels

Enjoy a luxurious stay at the best hotel in Rethymno city, Nautilux by Mage Hotels. This 5-star accommodation offers stunning beachfront views and top-notch amenities including a restaurant, seasonal outdoor pool, and fitness centre. Relax in the beautifully landscaped garden or unwind on the terrace with a drink from the bar. With an indoor pool, spa center, evening entertainment, and 24-hour front desk service, your stay will be nothing short of exceptional. Plus, its prime location puts you just steps away from Rethymno Beach and only 2.8 km from Platanes Beach. For added convenience, the hotel also offers a paid airport shuttle service for guests traveling via Chania International Airport, just 74 km away. Book your stay at Nautilux Rethymno by Mage Hotels now for an unforgettable experience.

Aegean Pearl

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Aegean Pearl is the ultimate choice for the best hotel in Rethymno city. Located on the Blue Flag beach with stunning views of the Cretan Sea, this 5-star hotel boasts stylish rooms and a delicious Greek breakfast. With 3 pools and 2 gourmet restaurants, guests can enjoy a luxurious stay while being just a 3-minute drive from the center of Rethymno and its iconic Venetian fortress. The tour desk can also assist with car rental arrangements, and free private parking is available on site. For those traveling by air, Chania International Airport is only 66 km away.


Rethymno City in Greece is a charming destination that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From exploring the Venetian Harbor and wandering through the narrow streets of the Old Town to relaxing on the beautiful beaches and enjoying the vibrant nightlife, there is something for everyone in Rethymno. Whether you are interested in history, outdoor activities, or simply soaking up the Mediterranean sun, Rethymno has it all. Plan your visit to this picturesque town and create unforgettable memories in one of Crete’s most enchanting destinations.

The date of this article on our blog may seem new due to some updates. The content of the article reflects the author's own opinion and it is possible that some information in the article, such as price and transportation, may have changed. We kindly ask you to take it into consideration.

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