Chania is the second largest city on the Greek island of Crete and is a destination rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a popular spot for tourists from around the world. The city’s origins date back to the Neolithic period, but it was during the Minoan civilization that it began to grow and become an important city within the Mediterranean. Chania’s Old Town is the perfect example of its old history and showcases some beautiful artefacts from previous civilizations that have conquered the Island of Crete, such as Venetian mansions, and Byzantine churches.

In this article, we’ll showcase the top attractions in Chania and offer recommendations on where to visit, what to eat, and find the best accommodations with Oreo Travel for unforgettable Chania holidays.

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Discovering Chania on Holidays

Found on the northwest coast of Crete, Chania is a spectacular holiday destination. The historic Venetian Harbour, old town and markets, not to mention nearby natural reserves, make Chania a great place to relax and also explore nature.

Being an island, naturally, Crete is understood to be a summer vacation spot. And rightfully so Crete has so much to offer with its beaches. But, don’t let travelling in the off-season turn you off from visiting Crete and towns like Chania because you have so much to enjoy and do even in the cooler months. Let’s have a look at some of the places to include on your Chanian holidays!

Chania's Historic Old Town

Wandering through Chania’s old town gives you a small glimpse into the larger importance of this area and its influence on history and civilizations. Throughout many different moments in the island’s past, different cultures and groups of settlers have conquered the area, giving Chania the most unique blend of Minoan, Venetian, Greek and Byzantine influences that can be seen throughout various monuments and corners in the city.

The Venetian Harbour was built by the Venetians in the 14th century and is a lively harbour and seaside promenade that is adorned with colourful buildings, and has some of Chania’s best seafood restaurants…who doesn’t want to eat the catch of the day by the waterfront? Lively cafés and bars are also on the boardwalk of the harbour, making it a great place to take a stroll and enjoy the early evening hours. By the harbour’s entrance is the lighthouse of Chania, which has become one of Crete’s most photographed landmarks. Yes, you have likely seen it scrolling through Instagram. Walking a bit inland from the harbour is the Old Town of Chania. Within the city’s old centre, you can get lost in the winding alleys and squares full of small shops selling local crafts, and products produced on the island, such as olive oil and cheeses, and of course there are many traditional Greek tavernas found here.


The central market, or “Agora,” which was established in 1913, is where you can buy some great Cretian souvenirs, such as olive oil, cheeses, herbs, and sweets. If you’re looking to learn more about Crete’s interesting history, we recommend a visit to the Maritime Museum and the Archaeological Museum. Another great historical stop is Splantzia Square, known as the heart of Chania during the Ottoman rule. Originally, the Church of Agios Nikolaos was built in the square and used as a Venetian monastery but when the Ottoman Turks arrived and conquered the area, they converted it to a mosque, known as Hügar Mosque, which was later converted back to a Christian church but the Orthodox Christians in 1919.

Cretan Cuisine in Chania

If you are looking to indulge in Cretan cuisine, then Chania is a great spot to do so! For a truly local experience, we suggest you try the dakos, a traditional dish made with barley, tomatoes, mizithra cheese, and olive oil. Tamam Restaurant is known to have some of the best local dishes and the restaurant itself is cosy and familiar. Some other favourite dishes from Chania that you must try are Chochlioi Boubouristi (Fried snails) and Kaltsounia (Local cheese pies).

Don’t forget to try the locally produced olive oil, cheeses and wines that Crete is famous for. Have a look at some of the wineries on the island for day tours and excursions!

Beaches Near Chania

Your visit to Chania would not be complete without a visit to some of its beautiful beaches. Even in the spring and early autumn, you can enjoy laying out under the sun. Some recommendations for must-visit beaches in Chania are Balos Lagoon, with its turquoise waters and white sands. Truly a stunning beach! If you are looking for a more secluded spot, Seitan Limania Beach is a great option, it is a smaller cove that can fill up quickly in summer. Can it get busy? Sure, but again, as it is smaller and cannot accommodate as many people as some of the larger beaches in Chania, Seitan Limania Beach is a more private option. An ideal beach for families and couples is Falassarna Beach, widely known for its spacious beach and spectacular sunsets!


Day Trips from Chania on Holidays

Apart from checking out the previously mentioned vineyard tours throughout Crete, we highly recommend visiting the ancient ruins of Knossos. Entrance is only 11€ but we suggest reserving ahead of time, especially in the high season as entry times and the number of visitors are limited.

Located only 16km away from the centre of Chania is another must-see site of Crete, the Monastery of Agia Triada. This impressive Greek Orthodox Church sits on top of a cliff and is stunning when both looking at it and towards the vistas of Chania. The church also has a museum that houses some of the world’s rarest books and old scriptures.

Nightlife in Chania: From Sunset to Sunrise


As the sun sets, Chania is known to completely transform. The harbour area comes to life with many bars and clubs located along the boardwalk. We recommend Nostos Bar, where you can enjoy a cocktail with views of the sea. 

If you’re looking to dance the night away, Mylos Club has some of the best music in town, blending international hits with local classics.

Shopping in Chania: Local Crafts and Souvenirs


Chania’s narrow streets are lined with shops selling local crafts, jewellery, and souvenirs. The Leather Lane in the Old Town is famous for its quality handmade leather goods, such as shoes, wallets and bags. 

The Agora Market is another ideal shopping stop for buying local products.

Making the Most of Your Holidays in Chania

Spending your holidays in Chania, Crete gives you the perfect mix of relaxation, history and culture. From swimming in the clear waters to tasting local dishes and visiting historical sites, there is so much to do in Chania. At Oreo Travel, we’re passionate about introducing you to the unique beauty and charm of Chania, guaranteeing that your holiday in Chania, Crete is nothing but magical.