To list all of the cities in Greece to visit would be impossible. This is an aristocratic land of beauty with an endless variety of landscapes. From rugged snow-capped mountains to turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, Greece can satisfy every traveler’s needs. Along with the stunning Greek Islands, some of the major cities in Greece are the country’s amazing historical sites. Greece is the birthplace of democracy and the cradle of Western civilization. With its awe-inspiring beauty and history, there are many top cities in Greece to visit.
List of The Best Cities to Visit in Greece
Athens is an obvious best cities in Greece for vacationers heading to Greece. Its airport is the first stop for Northern European and North American visitors. And they take a whistle-stop tour of the Acropolis and the neighborhood known as the Plaka before flying off for their sun and sand break.
But Athens is worth exploring for at least a few days. After visiting the Acropolis and the Ancient Forum, enjoy the cafe culture of Kolonaki, Thissio, near the New Acropolis Museum. Explore the street art in Psyrri. Sample some of the best modern cuisines in Europe. Climb Lycabettus Hill for the breathtaking views of the city. And scratching the surface Athens will surprise you, and you might just fall in love with it.
Greece’s second largest city is a bewildering blend of old and new. Compact and set around a beautiful and curving waterfront is the gateway to Macedonia and Alexander the Great country. The city is a UNESCO site and listed as an Open Museum of Early Christian and Byzantine Art. You can spend your time, exploring the 15 different buildings and sites that map the transition from Roman through early Byzantine Christian times and also the Ottoman occupation. The city’s symbol, The White Tower, pictured and originated as a 15th-century Ottoman fortification.
Or, you can completely ditch the past and dive into Thessaloniki’s youth culture. This is a university city having a nightlife and live music scene, great street food, and an extraordinary range of festivals. There’s an international film festival, music festivals, celebrations of Greek culture, and festival of European street entertainment.
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Pireaus, generally known as the port of Athens, on the Athens Metro and only 12 miles from the center of that city, but it is one of the major cities in Greece in its own right. Visit to explore the streets which were originally laid out in the 5th century B.C.
The central port is the main ferry and industrial port, and you could spot some of the city’s ancient walled-fortifications, at Freatida. If looking at some of the fabulous yachts in the world is your thing head for the Zea Marina area. It’s good for cafes, bars, and high-end shopping, too. There’s an archaeological museum with objects found in the harbor, including massive bronze statues, and next to it, the Ancient Theatre of Zea, since the 4th century B.C. Head up to Kastella to see the houses with great views or explore 3,000 years of maritime history in the Hellenic Maritime Museum, the largest in Greece, though surprisingly small.
Kalamata spreads her arms around the Gulf of Messina and this is the region that produces those fat purple olives of the same name. But there is more to discover. An archaeological museum was created in the city’s marketplace in the mid of 1980 after an earthquake destroyed the market building. The local area includes rare antiquities and jewelry from Mycenaen tomb, the ancient and legendary period of heroes, Helen of Troy and the Trojan War.
Before relaxing at bars and cafes along Navarinou on the seafront, head for the center of the old town to 23rd of March Square to discover the birthplace of the modern Greek republic. Kalamata was the first city to be unfettered from the Ottoman Turks in the Greek War of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was signed in the 11th century of the Holy Apostles Church in the center of this square. Amias Street is lined with several tavernas and cafes. While you are in Kalamata, try to get some of the lasagna to dip in your strong Greek coffee.
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Patras is Greece’s third largest city and top cities in Greece is a busy port handling Greece’s trade with Italy and Western Europe. It is a university town too with two free universities and a big student population. The nightlife, as you guess, is pretty buzzy.
Starting as a Mycenaen settlement, Patras has lived through a Hellenic and Roman period to Byzantine and Ottoman. It was the first cities to join the Greek War of Independence, the revolutionary soldiers encircle the Ottoman garrison for nearly eight years before it fell in 1828. But you’ll get history about everywhere in Greece.
Crete is the biggest of the Greek islands, and unlike the others have one or two large, main towns, Crete has three cities, largest of these and the island capital is Heraklion which is the best cities in Greece. It has a Venetian harbor for fishing boats and yachts overlooked by a Venetian fortress, as well as a ferry port and large commercial docks. Just to make things little confusing, the fortress is also known by its Turkish name, Koules and by its original Venetian name, Castello de la Mare.
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Chania is Crete’s second largest city and different in character from Heraklion. Its Venetian harbor is charming, and its streets are lined with brightly painted houses. This is a small city to walk and browse. There are good shops, plenty of restaurants and several luxury hotels. Venetian fortress houses the National Maritime Museum, which houses a display of ancient and modern ship-building along the sea wall. And most of the people grab a selfie near Chania’s Instagram 16th-century Venetian lighthouse. It is not only picturesque but also the oldest working lighthouses in the world.
Rethymno, on the north coast of Crete, between Heraklion and Chania, is another of the island’s Venetian gems. Its old Venetian harbor is tiny and lined with restaurants, bars, and shops which light up the water at night. It has a substantial mosque, the Neratze Mosque, which is now used as a music center. This is an impressive, multi-domed remnant of Ottoman occupation, with a dramatic minaret. The Venetian fortress called the Fortezza was created as a citadel to protect the residents of the city during the Ottoman-Venetian wars. It was never big enough for that, so walled fortifications were created on the landward side of the city.
Rethymno is a nice city to visit Greece if you are looking for urban pleasures such as shopping, restaurants, bars, museums, and galleries along tropical beach vacation.
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Perhaps the most charming seaside cities in the entirety of Greece, Nafplio offers gorgeous natural scenery, as well as a beautiful contemporary culture and gastronomical delights to visitors. One of the best things to do in Nafplio, if you are visiting during summer, is to wander around the city’s Old Town, gazing the beautiful bright colored buildings and street-art, perhaps even stopping for a glass of local wine at one of the many authentic Greek style bars. Nafplio is romantic and is the perfect place to escape to if you looking for a weekend getaway trip with your partner.
One of Greece’s lesser-known cities, but the most beautiful is Kavala which is fine cities in Greece to visit. This is a traditional port city, and has a great gastronomical charm, serving some of the most authentic and Greek food in the whole country. Today, Kavala is split between the Old City and modern city, which is full of Neoclassical mansions, quirky shops, bars, and restaurants, whereas the Old City is full of winding, the narrow little lane that could lead anywhere, having a unique charm and character. One thing you will remember the most is that the locals are incredibly friendly, charming and welcoming, and will go out of their way to make your stay comfortable.
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