12 Incredible Things to Do in Chania

20/09/2022Melissa Keeling
Beautiful Chania Bay. Photo Credit: Chris K, Pexels

The picturesque town of Chania in Crete is home to a charming Venetian harbour, waterfront eateries and an array of beautiful beaches. Add to the mix monasteries, museums and mystical buildings and you can see why it’s one of the most popular parts of the island. Here’s our lowdown on the most incredible things to do in Chania.

Firstly, let’s talk about where this delightful town is located. Chania can be found on the largest of the Greek islands, Crete. About 160km south of mainland Greece and surrounded by the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Crete has a unique history and culture. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting, then be sure to stop by Chania, even for a day trip, as there is a plethora of incredible things to do in Chania.

Charming Chania’s Top Picks:

1. Old Venetian Harbour

2. Chania Old Town

3. Firkas Fortress

4. Maritime Museum of Crete

5. Lighthouse of Chania

6. Archaeological Museum of Chania

7. White Mountains

8. Greek National Football Museum

9. Minoans World

10. Best Beach

11. Venizelos Graves

12. Cathedral Temple of Chania

Old Venetian Harbour

Dating back to the 14th century and built by the Venetians, the harbour is widely recognised as one of the most significant historical landmarks on the island. The harbour was a prime trade centre in the Mediterranean during that period, when it would have been bustling with imports and exports from neighbouring islands.

Fast forward to today and the harbour is one of the most popular locations in Crete. It comes alive with visitors who flock here to dine at the many seafood restaurants and to sample the fare on offer at the local cafes. When evening descends the area glistens and enchants everyone who passes by.

Chania Old Town

Discover the epicentre of Chania with a visit to the Old Town. This area encompasses the Old Venetian Harbour and is easily identified though an abundance of distinct quarters and squares adorned with ancient mansions. Take a stroll through the labyrinth of narrow streets and admire the impressive architecture and style. Uncover hidden boutiques and bistros plus the usual mix of souvenir shops. Alongside the Venetian houses, visitors can also see the Ottoman influences including houses and mosques as you travel back in time to explore the area.

Firkas Fortress

The imposing fortress was built back in 1629 by the Venetians in order to protect the harbour and town. The remnants now house the Maritime Museum of Crete, which is another one of our Chania highlights which we’ll tell you more about later. To this day there is still a series of underground tunnels that were once used to house rebels and prisoners.

Boasting panoramic views of the harbour the fortress is located on the waterfront and offers some amazing photo opportunities

Maritime Museum of Crete

Across from the lighthouse and housed within the Firkas Fortress is the Maritime Museum of Crete. Spanning two floors visitors will be enthralled by the collections on display. Look out for a host of nautical memorabilia that documents Crete’s long history with the sea through the ages. Learn how vessels are created and admire the reconstruction of a traditional Minoan ship.

Lighthouse of Chania

The significant lighthouse is positioned at the entrance of the port and whilst not being open to visitors it is possible to climb the stairs to the first level which offers excellent views to the city and out to sea. Initially constructed by the Venetians in the late 1500s, the lighthouse saw its distinctive minaret added by an Egyptian architect in 1839. Visit at night to see this gem lit up in all its glory

Archaeological Museum of Chania

As you’d expect from a town with so much history, Chania has a museum packed with relics. Visit this museum and discover a wealth of artefacts from time gone by. Some of the exhibits include Minoan ceramics, jewellery and vases excavated from ancient tombs.

White Mountains

Located in the Chania area are the White Mountains, aptly named after the white granite rocks on the peaks, which reflect the sunshine in summer and are often topped with snow in winter. The mountains divide the island into north and south and have created some impressive ravines and gorges.

Greek National Football Museum

Here’s one for all you football fanatics, celebrating the Greek national team, this museum is a must. Located amidst a row of shops you’d be forgiven for missing this if you don’t know where to look. Step inside the Aladdin’s cave and explore a treasure trove of match-worn shirts, original balls from important games, tickets and so much more.

Owner Nikos, is himself an avid fan and will open the doors with a warm welcome as he invites you inside to view the thousands of pieces. If you tell him your favourite team it’s likely he’s also got some memorabilia in his collection. His position as President of Fans sees him travel the globe following the Greek team so on occasions the museum may not always be open so it’s best to check before visiting.

Minoan’s World

Lovers of ancient Greek mythology will have a fun few hours at Minoan’s World. This is your chance to experience the history of Crete like never before. Dedicated to the Minoan civilisation this is the perfect introduction to the ancient history of Greece. Enter the 3D museum where there are plenty of opportunities for a photo with life like statues from the past. Next, its onto the 9D cinema experience so buckle up and prepare for the ride of your life as you become immersed in the tales of ancient mythology. We won’t give too much away here, but expect some surprises along the way! 

Best Beach

Whilst the Greek coastline in the Chania region boasts many beautiful beaches, this stunner really caught our eye!

Agii Apostoli Beach can be found just 3km west of Chania. Here you can expect to find plenty of sun loungers, an array of water sports and taverns lining the beach offering authentic Cretan delights.  Or stop by one of the many beach bars when you need to take a break from the Greek sun.

Venizelos Graves

If a sublime panoramic view is your thing then don’t miss out on visiting the Venizelos Graves where you won’t be disappointed. These ancient tombs are the resting place of the famous Greek statesman Eleftherios Venizelos and his son Sophocles. Located in a peaceful park you can wander round and enjoy the scenery before enjoying the magnificent view over Chania town.


When you’ve taken your fair share of snaps, Koukouvayia Café serves up some tempting treats to round up your time here and also offers an incredible view.

Cathedral Temple of Chania

In the centre of Chania it’s hard to miss the Cathedral Temple of Chania in the old town area. This impressive building is dedicated to the patron saint of Chania and is proudly still an active place for worship. Whilst the building itself has had many previous uses, namely a storehouse during Venetian times and a soap factory during Ottoman times, it became a church in 1860. The cathedral dominates the square and as you’d expect the interior is highly decorated and worth a visit for a moment of quiet reflection.

If we’ve given you a taste for life in the Mediterranean, why not explore the stylish collection of Domes Resorts, all perfectly placed for enjoying this incredible region. 

6 Dazzling Domes Resorts
6 Dazzling Domes Resorts

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