comScore
Knossos picture in Crete
Banet12 / Getty Images

Key Info

Details

  • Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.0
Overall
US NEWS LOGO

Scorecard

  • Value
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

A labyrinth of massive columns and beautiful frescoes, the Palace of Knossos is a testament to the sophistication of the Minoan civilization that disappeared sometime in the 14th century. According to legend, it was also home to the mythical Minotaur of King Minos. The site was restored extensively by the famous archaeologist Arthur Evans in the early 1900s. Since then, it has become the biggest tourist draw on Crete.

Knossos is located about 3 miles south of Heraklion (city buses run regularly from Bus Station A). Make sure to budget a good chunk of time as the Palace of Knossos is a large site that begs for extended exploration. Many recent visitors suggested shelling out for a guided tour — the palace's history and mythology will really come to life. (Some travelers felt the placards didn't offer up enough information about the attraction.) If you're going to visit during the summer, travelers also strongly recommend arriving early to avoid crowds and beat the intense afternoon heat.

The ancient palace runs on seasonal hours and admission is €6 EUR for adults, but for €10 EUR you can get into both the Palace of Knossos and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum.

Powered by Viator See more Tours & Tickets

Hotels Nearby

  • Thing to Do
  • Hotel
Life Boutique Hotel

Life Boutique Hotel ...

  • 2.8 Miles Away
  • 2.0-star Hotel Class
Galaxy Hotel Iraklio

Galaxy Hotel Iraklio ...

  • 2.5 Miles Away
  • 5.0-star Hotel Class
Athinaikon

Athinaikon ...

  • 2.2 Miles Away
  • 1.0-star Hotel Class
See all hotels in Crete »

More Best Things to Do in Crete

Rethymnon Old Town picture in Crete
Neighborhood/Area Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Vai Beach picture in Crete
Beaches Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Elafonissi picture in Crete
Beaches Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Knossos picture in Crete
Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Samaria Gorge picture in Crete
Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Artifacts from Historical Museum of Crete picture in Crete
Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Venetian Fortezza picture in Crete
Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing Type
Heraklion Archaeological Museum picture in Crete
Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Cretaquarium picture in Crete
Zoos and Aquariums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
|

#1 Rethymnon Old Town If you're in Rethymnon, then you shouldn't miss the opportunity to wander the narrow alleys of Old Town, a seaside neighborhood that dates back to the 11th century ... Read more » Romtomtom / Flickr

#2 Vai Beach (Palm Beach) Also known as Palm Beach, Vai Beach is mainly known for its stunning landscape. The beach is home to the largest palm grove in Europe with 4,500 palm trees ... Read more » Paul Mannix / Flickr

#3 Elafonissi Located in the southwest corner of Crete, Elafonissi beach sparkles with pink-tinted sand and crystal-clear Mediterranean waters. If you're feeling adventurous, you can wade across Elafonissi's shallow lagoon ... Read more » George Tsartsianidis / Getty Images

#4 The Palace of Knossos A labyrinth of massive columns and beautiful frescoes, the Palace of Knossos is a testament to the sophistication of the Minoan civilization that disappeared sometime in the 14th century. According ... Read more » Banet12 / Getty Images

#5 Samaria Gorge National Park Stretching for about 10 miles through southern Chania Prefecture's White Mountains, Samaria Gorge is thought to be one of the longest canyons in Europe. The gorge trail begins ... Read more » Panagiotis Karapanagiotis / Getty Images

#6 Historical Museum of Crete The Historical Museum of Crete, located in the capital city of Heraklion, chronicles Cretan life from early Byzantine times to the Modern period. If you're interested in the older ... Read more » tedbassman / Flickr

#7 Venetian Fortezza Built atop a hill in Rethymnon Old Town, the Fortezza (for-TED-za) stands as a symbol of Crete's tempestuous past. The Venetian ruling class, who oversaw the construction of the ... Read more » StockThings / Shutterstock

#8 Heraklion Archaeological Museum The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is a must-see in Crete — and all of Greece, even — for its extensive collection of Minoan art. Highlights include a mini-statue of a Snake ... Read more » Narisa&James / Flickr

#9 Cretaquarium Located approximately 9 miles east of Heraklion, the Cretaquarium is home to 2,000 sea animals and 200 different Mediterranean species. If you're an animal lover, traveling with kids ... Read more » Lourakis / Wikimedia

Rethymnon Old Town picture in Crete
Vai Beach picture in Crete
Elafonissi picture in Crete
Knossos picture in Crete
Samaria Gorge picture in Crete
Artifacts from Historical Museum of Crete picture in Crete
Venetian Fortezza picture in Crete
Heraklion Archaeological Museum picture in Crete
Cretaquarium picture in Crete
Rethymnon Old Town picture in Crete
Vai Beach picture in Crete
Elafonissi picture in Crete
Knossos picture in Crete
Samaria Gorge picture in Crete
Artifacts from Historical Museum of Crete picture in Crete
Venetian Fortezza picture in Crete
Heraklion Archaeological Museum picture in Crete
Cretaquarium picture in Crete

Rethymnon Old Town is filled with Venetian and Turkish architecture, beckoning to be observed and explored. Romtomtom / Flickr

Many agree that a visit to the palm forest and its beach, even though it's a big tourist destination, is worth sharing space with crowds.  Paul Mannix / Flickr

Elafonissi is famous for its pink sand, which is actually thousands of broken up pieces of colorful shells. George Tsartsianidis / Getty Images

The Palace of Knossos is an impressive reminder of the accomplishments of the Minoan civilization. Banet12 / Getty Images

At 10 miles long, Crete's Samaria Gorge is thought to be the longest canyon in Europe. Panagiotis Karapanagiotis / Getty Images

The Historical Museum of Crete houses unique relics spanning the island's entire history. tedbassman / Flickr

The Venetian Fortezza, which towers over Rethymnon Old Town, was built in the late 16th century to protect Crete from Ottoman invasion (it failed). StockThings / Shutterstock

This museum is renowned for its extensive collection of Minoan art and it features a tablet whose symbols have yet to be deciphered. Narisa&James / Flickr

The Cretaquarium, about 11 miles east of Heraklion, displays thousands of underwater species. Lourakis / Wikimedia

×

See full list of Best Things to Do in Crete »

Explore More of Crete

Find the Best Price

Enter your check in and check out dates to find the best price

PriceFinder powered by TripAdvisor Primary Logo