The Best Things To Do In Heraklion

Heraklion is the biggest city in Crete and is the main port of the island, making it a favourite destination for many, especially during the summer months. The island has so much to offer everyone, especially those who love to explore the history of the island but also embrace its laid-back atmosphere and beaches.

 

Heraklion Fortress

This magical fortress dates back to Venetian times and was also known as Koules or Castello but it is nothing short of impressive as it surrounds the harbour of the city. It was built by the Venetians in the 13th century when they eventually conquered the town. 

Today, the fortress is used for a different purpose and often you will find art exhibitions, concerts or plays taking place here. This is a fortress that is well worth a visit.

Saint Minas Cathedral

The patron saint of Heraklion, Saint Minas has his feats day n the 11th November, which is a public holiday. This grand cathedral was designed by architect Thomas Mousis and was established in 1862 as a way of expressing the gratitude of the residents for the way in which they were protected by the saint of the city. 

This is one of the largest cathedrals in Greece and next door to it is the church of Saint Catherine as well as Saint Catherine Square.

Saint Titos church

Located on 25th Avgoustou Street, the Church of Saint Titos is considered to be one of the most important monuments in the city. It has a history that dates back to 961 when Nikiforos Fokas pushed the Arabs out of Crete and took back control of the island as part of the dominant Byzantine Empire. 

It was built as a way of restarting the Orthodox influence and tradition on the island and in the following centuries, the building continues to be seen as a symbol of Heraklion. This impressive and timeless Church still stands proudly today and is positioned near the beautiful Agios Titos Square, where you find bars and cafes.

Natural History Museum of Crete

Built in 1981, the National History Museum of Crete is one of the best museums on the island and there is a lot of them. It can be found in an industrial building that was once an electric power plant. However, the museum is all about the study, protection and promotion of the Easter Mediterranean region's flora and fauna. If you are interested in nature and want to learn about the natural habitat of the island then it is well worth a trip.

Take a trip to the markets

There is plenty on offer here including the bazaars of Heraklion where you can explore the vibrant colours, aromas and flavours of the goods on offer. The Patales open market is where you can find anything you could ever want but it is a hive of social activity. It is chaotic but mesmerising but something that you should certainly experience if you head to Crete. 

There are many markets dotted throughout the city but one worth visiting is the fish market on 1866 street. Take a look in the lively taverns where you can sample the catch of the day all of which can be washed down with Ouzo.

Archaeological Museum of Heraklion

This is one of the biggest museums in the whole of Greece and is in fact, one of the most important throughout the whole of Europe. It includes exhibits that relate to the prehistory and history of Crete, dating back around 7,000 years from the Neolithic age through to the Roman Empire. There are many amazing artefacts on display that belong to the Minoan civilisation that will really amaze you.

Explore Ancient Architecture

The Palace of Knossos is worth a visit, as it will leave you breathless because of its amazing architecture. If Greek history is your thing, or even if it isn’t, there is no doubt that this will astound you. A trip to the Palace of Phaestos is also worthwhile but this is more a ruin than an in-tact structure but the views are still every bit worth the trip.

Hit the Water

Crete is an island and that means that it is surrounded by gorgeous azure water. Try one of the many water sports on offer including jet skiing, windsurfing and kayaking. There are man sailing trips available that can take you on a lazy trip around the island or if you want to explore the underground then you really will find some of the best scuba diving trips around.

 

Heraklion Tours & Attractions

Map of Heraklion

Pictures of Heraklion

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