Thinking about heading to Rhodes this summer and wondering what there is to do? Well follow me and explore the Rhodes Town… But first things first:
The Island of Rhodes
Rhodes, the largest island in the Dodecanese islands, holds some seriously good cards in the race of most intact and variants of archaeological history in the Aegean. There is a lot this island has to offer from; countless beaches, to medieval cities, to ancient Greek temples, to bustling nightlife and of course to the meandering cobbled white streets typical of those beautiful Greek islands.
Rhodes Town, is actually split into two sections, the old and the new, the new in-fact encasing the old in a medieval citadel. The new part of town, is bustling with restaurants, shops and beach bars that cater the the masses. Plenty to occupy your time, particularly with the marina offering day excursions around the Aegean but if you are looking for the world renowned history and culture that Rhodes Town has to offer your best bet is within the slowly crumbling walls of the citadel.
The Old Town
The Old Town; where getting lost is not only an inevitability but the goal. The hundred plus winding cobbled streets take you touring the Grand Master’s Palace, to the streets of the Knights of St John to the Jewish Quarter. The UNESCO World Heritage sight will have you dizzy with the amount of history that is held and preserved all in the one place.
The Grand Master’s Palace
Built in the 7th Century as a Byzantine Citadel, it then changed hands through the Ottoman Empire, then through the Italian’s hands, this place is steeped in history and is well worth a visit. Go in, take a wonder and enjoy.
As the castle sits within the Old Town, modern amenities surround it such as quaint market stalls filled with everything from paintings and miniature replicas, to sea shells as large as your head and woven towels.
Archaeological Museum of Rhodes
Moving into the Knights Quarter, a main site to explore is the archaeological museum which is housed within the old hospital of the Knights of St John. Filled to the brim with sculptures from the Hellenistic, Classical and Roman period this place surrounds you in history. Though fear not, even if ancient history is not really your thing, it still is a stunning building to walk around and is all part of the experience of the Rhodes Old Town.
Street of Knights
Lining the way from the Hospital to the Grand Master’s Palace is the stunning road where the Knights convened and dined in the separate Inns.
If Medieval history is something you are really interesting in, then you are going to love it here. If not, this entire city is steeped in a culture that is difficult not to love, from the cobbled narrow streets, to the locals singing in small squares around the citadel you are bound to find an allure that this place has. You could also explore just as much of the this old town without even stepping in the main attractions, as I initially said, getting lost here is one of the aims and you will never be bored with what you come across as you explore.
And as always once you’ve had enough of walking, take a seat in one of the many cafes that the Old town has to offer, most of which serve traditional Greek food, though as always with a tourist hot spot like this there are the generic restaurants in the main squares of which I personally would steer clear in search of something a little more authentic. So if you are coming here for an evening meal, research in advance to find some good authentic restaurants.
Outside the Walls
Now as much as I fell in love with the winding streets, emerging from the walls of the citadel to overlooking the harbour really is something to also admire.
Ancient History grad, but give me a beach and I am a sucker. Been to Rhodes Town yourself? What’s your favourite part?