The Palace of Knossos picture
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Details

Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.0scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

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.

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#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. Here you'll find prime examples of Venetian Renaissance architecture along with splashes of Turkish influence spread throughout the city.

The food and shopping options in Old Town are seemingly endless, but the maze-like streets can be perplexing. If you do get turned around, don't despair: The area isn't huge, and once you see the Venetian Fortezza or the harbor, you can easily regain your bearings. Recent travelers have actually embraced getting lost in Old Town because the streets are so charming, the locals are so kind and the food is so good. Case in point, Old Town Rethymnon is simply beautiful.

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