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Der venezianische Hafen mit Leuchtturm in Chania, Bild: Neirfy / shutterstock

Chania, a port city that enchants

Anyone visiting Crete, the beautiful, largest Greek island in the Mediterranean , should definitely plan a day in Chania. The lively, second largest city in Crete is located on the northwest coast and has over 60,000 inhabitants. It captivates with its many winding alleys, where you can stroll and shop wonderfully. If you want to fortify yourself with culinary delights after a walk along the Venetian harbour with its landmark lighthouse, one of the many romantic taverns around the harbour basin is the right place for you. Chania has flair that no one will soon forget. The old town and the Venetian harbour have been almost spared from modernisation and economic growth. This means that visitors to the picturesque town can still enjoy the wonderful magic to the fullest today.

Attractions in Chania

The Venetian Harbour with Lighthouse

Chania Lighthouse
The lighthouse of Chania, Image: DaLiu / shutterstock

There are plenty of interesting sights to discover in Chania. Already from the harbor basin, the landmark of the city, the imposing lighthouse, can be seen. If you want to get very close to him, you have to take half an hour’s walk. But the walk around the harbour basin is worth it. The view of the beautiful city from the lighthouse is completely different.

Just a few steps from the harbour is the archaeological museum. It was founded in 1962 in the former Venetian monastery of St. Francis. An exhibition shows the history of Chania and the surrounding area. There are exhibits from the Neolithic Age to Roman times to see. The extensive coin and jewellery collection is also fascinating. For those interested in culture, a visit to the archaeological museum is certainly worthwhile.

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Schiavo Hill
The Schiavo Hill, Image: kavalenkau / shutterstock

An insider tip not only for photo enthusiasts is the Schiavo Hill. In the middle of the old town to the west there is a small climb to the Schiavo Bastion. From here there is a breathtaking view over the entire old town, as well as to the new districts of Chania.

The imposing market hall in Chania has existed since 1913. On 4000 square meters, traditional, regional food is offered daily by locals in the star-shaped building. Fresh fish, meat and fruit are traded. In addition, there are stalls with various types of cheese and herbs. Soaps and creams round off the versatile range. The scent and soundscape in this market hall alone are an experience. If you feel hungry or thirsty in between, you can fortify yourself in the small restaurants and cafés.

If you’ve had enough of the hustle and bustle and spectacle of the city, you will find peace and quiet in the city park of Chania and a bit of shade in the hot summer months. The green oasis is equipped with numerous statues and a beautiful fountain. The park is not only a popular meeting place for tourists. Films are regularly shown on a small stage with a screen and concerts are organized to join in. For families with children, there is a playground and a small zoo with a white peacock. The park café has drinks and small snacks ready for visitors.

Mosque Chania
Mosque in the harbor basin of Chania, Image: DaLiu / shutterstock

Tourists who are not so good on foot or want to discover a wider radius can experience Chania in double-decker buses. At 13 stops, you can interrupt the city tour at any time and resume it comfortably if necessary. Some stops are also located outside the city, so there’s really a lot to see on these tours. On the city trip, interesting facts about the city are told via headphones in eight languages.

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A carriage ride is very romantic. Especially newly in love like to be driven by horse and cart through Chania’s old town. But also for families with children, a city tour in a carriage at a fair price is an unforgettable experience.

If you want a refreshing swim at the end of the city sightseeing and activities, then the best choice is Chania Beach, located in the west of the city. Cafes, souvenir shops and small taverns enliven this popular beach area. The beautiful sandy beach is equipped with showers, changing rooms, sunbeds and umbrellas.

Evening in Chania

Even in the evening it is very lively in the charming old town. The great heat is over and in the narrow streets there are plenty of small shops that invite you to look and shop. In addition to tourist knick-knacks, there are many offers of noble, high-quality jewelry. In the so-called Ledergasse, tourists are literally overwhelmed by handmade bags, purses, belts and shoes by the selection of goods. If you are looking for olives, fragrant herbs, spices or handmade soap, you are sure to find what you are looking for in the shopping alleys. Later in the evening, night owls can party until dawn in the countless bars, clubs and discos.

If you travel to Crete, you should not miss a day trip to Chania. A city trip in this enchanting city is sure to be an unforgettable experience.