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The official population of Chania is 55,838 but around 70,000 people live in the greater area of Chania. The city lies at the east end of the Gulf of Chania, overlooking the Akrotiri peninsula in the east and the Spatha peninsula (also called Rodopos) in the west.
Its location is the perfect place for exploring the likes of Kissamos, Souda Bay, Balos Beach, Samaria Gorge and of course the party town of the West; Platanias.
Chania is a city of amazing history and has been ruled by many civilizations throughout the ages. The Turks, Venetians, Byzantines have all had control over the city of Chania and the influences can be seen in the architecture can be seen all round the city. But there is a lot more to do in Chania apart from just sightsee, the city is buzzing with life all through the day and night, looking down the page you will see we have compiled information on the famous cross shaped market of Chania, and also the stunning beaches that lie with the prefecture of Chania.
The city of Chania can be divided in two parts: the old town and the modern city which is the larger one. The old town is situated next to the old harbour and is the centre around which the whole urban area was developed. It used to be surrounded by the old Venetian fortifications that started to be built in 1538; of them the eastern and western parts have survived. From the south, the old town is interwoven with the new, and from the north the physical border is the sea. The centre of the modern city is the area extending next to the old town and especially towards the south.
Despite being heavily bombed during World War II Chania’s Old Town is considered the most beautiful urban district on Crete, especially the crumbling Venetian harbour. You can still see a lot of bombed out houses that were abandoned during this time, and provide you with excellent photographic opportunities.
Chania and the famous cross shaped market
The modern part is where most locals live and work. It is less traditional than the old town, but there are still areas of charming beauty or of some historical interest. We recommend when you visit the sprawling city of Chania that you try to experience the best of what each town has to offer, the winding alley ways of the Old Town with hidden Taverna’s and cafes to the shopping heaven and stunning architecture that is Chania New Town.
Agora market is one of the things that draws people to Chania and something that makes Chania famous across Europe. Agora market is right in the bustling town centre, holding place as a Chania landmark it bustles with vendors and shoppers.
The sight and the sounds of this market are something to be experienced, but just imagine the scent of many Cretan herbs, spices, olive oils, meats and honey all combining to make and unforgettable aroma of Crete.
The market is shaped like a cross, relating to the Greek orthodox religion and is a great place for locals and tourists alike to congregate and barter for goods.To find the market just ask for Agora market and the locals will always point you in the right direction of the market square.
Beaches and eating out
The beaches here are wonderful and varied with a choice of quiet with little or no cafes to busy beaches just outside the main town. The closest beach to the city is Golden Beach which is within easy walking distance or a cheap taxi ride.
Next try Agioi Apostoloi which is a few km from Chania and offers a wealth of cafes and restaurants. Travel further out of Chania into the prefecture and you will find Agia Marina beach 10 km away and Kiani Akti a pleasant and somewhat organised beach.
If you’ve spent a day sunning it and relaxing on the beaches of Chania, then you need to spend a perfect evening enjoying the culinary delights that Chania has to offer. In Theotokopoulou street you will find some of the best restaurants with great traditional local cuisine and live music playing most nights, from experience we can recommendParadosiako Restaurant, and also the wonderful KAFENEIO Ouzeri both are traditional Cretan Tavernas with amazing food.
Try wandering down to the old harbour and port and you will find some excellent fish restaurants with the food cooked fresh from the daily catch. One thing you will notice about Chania is the warm hospitality and friendliness. Get out and explore and find yourself a slice of real Cretan cuisine.