Rhodes Town: Things to Do – 2021 Guide

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Rhodes island is the largest of the Dodecanese islands. It is situated at the southeast of the Aegean sea in Greece. Rhodes is also known as the island of the knights. The island of Rhodes is full of history and rich heritage. At the town of Rhodes, the visitor has a wide choice of things to do and see.

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view of the walls of the medieval town from the port
view of the walls of the medieval town from the port

Top things to do and see in Rhodes Town

Rhodes town was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is considered the largest and best preserved fortified city in Europe. Rodos town has many influences. You will see spread around the town buildings from the Hellenistic, Ottoman, Byzantine and Italian period.

Here is a list of places worth seeing in the town of Rhodes.

Medieval Town

At the alleys of the medieval town Rhodes
At the alleys of the medieval town Rhodes

Many of Rhodes tourist attractions can be found within the walls of the Medieval City. You can walk within this picturesque town with the small alleys and the traditional buildings. The main road that crosses the medieval town is called the Street of Knights. It is a very well-preserved street that starts from the Archaeological Museum and ends at the Palace of the Grand Master.

Around the Medieval Town Rhodes
Around the Medieval Town Rhodes

Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes

The Palace of the Grand Master Rhodes
The Palace of the Grand Master Rhodes

The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes (more simply known as Kastello) is one of the grandest sites in Rhodes Old Town.

This medieval castle was built at as Byzantine citadel and later became the palace of the Grand Master under the reign of the Knights of Saint John. As with most buildings in Rhodes Old Town, the castle was taken under Ottoman reign in the 1500s and later still by the Italian occupation during World War II.

A room-at the Palace of the Grand Master
A room-at the Palace of the Grand Master

Today the castle serves as a tourist attraction and landmark with 24 of the rooms being open to the public. Visitors can explore the Hall of the Council, the Knights’ dining hall and the Grand Master’s private chambers and there are two permanent archaeological exhibitions on display.

Wandering at the Grand Master's Palace Rhodes
Wandering at the Grand Master’s Palace Rhodes

Tickets Cost: Full: 9 € Reduced: 5 €

There is also a special ticket package available that costs 10 € full price and 5 € reduced price and includes the Grand Masters’ Palace, the Archaeological Museum, the church of Our Lady of the Castle and the Decorative Arts Collection.

Winter:
Tuesday to Sunday 08:00 – 15:00
Monday CLOSED
RHODES 2400 YEARS EXHIBITION : CLOSED
MEDIEVAL RHODES EXHIBITION : CLOSED

Summer:
From 1-4-2017 to 31-10-2017
Daily 08:00 – 20:00
RHODES 2400 YEARS EXHIBITION
Daily 09:00 – 17:00
MEDIEVAL RHODES EXHIBITION
Daily 09:00 – 17:00

The lower level part of the RHODES 2400 YEARS Exhibition is temporarily closed for maintenance.

Street of the Knights of Rhodes

The street of Knights Rhodes
The street of Knights Rhodes

The Street of the Knights is one of the many impressive sights in Rhodes Old Town. Best reached by coming through the Liberty Gate entrance, The Street of the Knights is an inclining medieval street that runs from The Archaeological Museum up towards the Grand Masters Palace.

At the street of the Knights Rhodes
At the street of the Knights Rhodes

The street was once home to many of the high-powered Knights of Saint John before being taken over by the Ottomans and later being used and restored by the Italians. The street features sites like the Italian Langue Inn, the Langue of France Inn, the Chapel of the French Langue and various statues and coats of arms.

Towards the end of the street lies a grand archway which you pass through to reach the palace. While it may just sound like yet another ancient road, The Street of the Knights of Rhodes is a certainly a must-see when visiting the Old Town.

Archaeological Museum of Rhodes – Hospital of the Knights

The entrance of the Hospital of the Knights which is now an archaeological museum
The entrance of the Hospital of the Knights which is now an archaeological museum

The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes is housed at 15th century building of the Hospital of the Knights. It has a vast collection of findings from the excavations of the island of Rhodes and the surrounding islands.

As you enter the hospital of the knights Rhodes
As you enter the hospital of the knights Rhodes

Tickets Cost: Full: 8 € Reduced: 4 €

There is also a special ticket package available that costs 10 € full price and 5 € reduced price and includes the Grand Masters’ Palace, the Archaeological Museum, the church of Our Lady of the Castle and the Decorative Arts Collection.

At the yard of the hospital of the Knights
At the yard of the hospital of the Knights

Winter:
From 1st November – 31st March
Tuesday-Sunday: 08:00-15:00
Mondays : Closed
Prehistorical and Epigraphical Collection: CLOSED

Summer:
From 1-4-2017 until 31-10 2017
DAILY: 08.00-20.00
Epigraphic Collection and Prehistoric Exhibition: 09:00-17:00

Medieval Clock Tower

The Medieval Clock Tower
The Medieval Clock Tower

The medieval clock tower of Rhodes dates back to 1852 and is the highest point in Rhodes Old Town. This means that when you climb the tower (entrance fee 5) you can enjoy a lovely panoramic view of the historic town as well as getting a free drink at the top!

The clock tower is located on Orfeos Street and even if you don’t want to climb the tower you can still admire the view from street level. The clock still works too so it can be a good point of reference if you don’t have a watch to hand!

Suleman Mosque

The Suleiman Mosque Rhodes
The Suleiman Mosque Rhodes

While many of the Greek islands are known for their churches and Greek Orthodox monasteries, Rhodes is also famous for the rose-hued Suleymaniye Mosque that stands at the end of Socrates Street. Suleymaniye was the first mosque built in Rhodes by the Ottomans in 1522 and features a towering minaret and beautiful domed interiors

Panagia tou Kastrou – Lady of the Castle Cathedral

Lady of the Castle Cathedral

Despite being fairly unassuming from the outside (so much so that you might miss it altogether if you don’t know where to look), Our Lady of the Castle Cathedral is quite an interesting building, with high ceilings, intricate icons that date back to the 1500s and a real sense of calm in the centre of the city. The ticket is included in the Rhodes Combo ticket or can be purchased separately from the Rhodes Archaeological Museum opposite.

Church of Panagia tou Bourgou (Our Lady of the Bourg)

The Lady of the castle Cathedral
The Lady of the castle Cathedral

The remains of the Church of Panagia tou Bourgou located in the ancient part of the city are one of the excellent free sites you can explore in Rhodes Old Town. This iconic site features Gothic/Byzantine ruins of old chapels and vaulted tombs that were built during the rule of Grand Master Villeneuve and later added to by the Knights of Saint John.

Byzantine Museum

The Byzantine Museum in the heart of Rhodes Old Town is located on the Street of Knights and features a number of tapestries, frescoes and artefacts that were rescued from other buildings and churches during the reign of the Ottoman Empire as well as ceramics, sculptures, coins and crosses. The museum is open 9am to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday.

Jewish Museum of Rhodes

The Jewish Museum of Rhodes is located in the former women’s prayer rooms of the Kahal Shalom synagogue and features old family photographs, artefacts, documents and textiles from the Jewish community in Rhodes and beyond. The museum was established by a third generation ‘Rhodesli’ who wanted to display the history of the Jewish community to those visiting Rhodes Old Town. The museum is open during the summer season (April – October) 10am to 3pm and in winter by appointment only.

Square of Jewish Martyrs, Rhodes

The Square of Jewish Martyrs is a memorial square dedicated to the 1,604 Jews of Rhodes who were sent to their deaths at Auschwitz during the Second World War. The square is located in the Jewish Quarter of Rhodes Old Town and features a black marble column inscribed with a memorial message.

The square also comprises a number of bars, shops and restaurants where you can enjoy a moment of pause. It is also sometimes referred to as Sea Horse Square due to the sea horse fountain located in the centre of the square.

Museum of Modern Greek Art

While Greece is mostly known for its ancient relics and artefacts, it is also home to some excellent works of more modern art and this is what is displayed in the stunning Museum of Modern Greek Art in Rhodes. Set over four different buildings, the Museum of Modern Greek Art houses works from the 20th century onwards such as pieces by Valias Semertzidis, Konstantinos Maleas and Konstantinos Parthenis.

Temple of Aphrodite

One of the archaeological sites you’ll want to explore while visiting Rhodes Old Town is the Temple of Aphrodite that dates back to the 3rd century BC. Dedicated to the Greek goddess of love and beauty, this site features ruins of columns and building blocks that would have been part of the temple and shrine and there are images on the informational boards showing what the Temple of Aphrodite would have looked like. The site is quite small, so it won’t take long to explore, but it’s still worth a visit.

Ippokratous Square

Hippocrates’ Square or Plateia Ippokratous is a picturesque square in the heart of the UNESCO Old Town with a grand staircase, pristine fountain and a range of cafes and shops dotted around the edge that add to the atmosphere of the place. The square can be easily reached by coming into the Old Town through the Marine Gate and you can’t miss it!

Municipal Garden of Rhodes (Sound and Light Show)

The Municipal Garden of Rhodes is a breath-taking attraction in itself but for those that want even more entertainment, there is a regular Sound and Light Show that displays the island’s rich history through a colourful production of illumination and music. The show tells stories of ancient myth and legend as well as tales of sieges by the Ottoman Empire against The Knights of Saint John. This show is fun for all the family and runs throughout the summer months.

Check out the walls and gates of the medieval town

As the capital of Rhodes is centred around a medieval town, there are many walls and gates that enclose the Old Town and signify it as separate from the more modern part of the city. The original stone walls were built in the Byzantine era (in a rubble masonry style) and were reinforced years later by The Knights of Saint John.

Visitors can walk all around the Old Town admiring the large stone walls and eleven imposing gates, seeing some that have been left in their original form and others that have been restored to a more modern standard. Some of the most impressive gates are The Gate of Saint Paul, The Gate of Saint John, Marine Gate, The Gate of The Virgin and Liberty Gate.

Church of our lady of Victory

The Church of Our Lady of Victory, also known as Sancta Maria, is a prominent Catholic church in Rhodes with a fairly tumultuous history. The church stood here during the reign of the Knights of Saint John but has since been destroyed, rebuilt, expanded, damaged in an earthquake and renovated again! Today stands a facade built in 1929 after the 1926 earthquake, a wrought-iron gate brought over from Italy, a Rhodian marble altar and a Maltese Cross.

This combination of different styles shows the ever-changing history of this Catholic church and as you’ll see when you visit, it’s quite different to the majority of Greek Orthodox churches that you’ll see across the island.

Rejep Pasha Mosque

Thanks to the Ottoman influence on the island of Rhodes there are a number of different mosques scattered throughout the Old Town. One such mosque is the Rejep Pasha Mosque thought to have been constructed back in 1588.

The mosque features classic examples of Ottoman minarets and mosaics as well as a large dome and fountain, but the site needs considerable repair work to bring it back to its original, impressive form. The hope is that the mosque will become a museum of Islamic art so that both the building and the artwork within its walls can be displayed to the public.

The Acropolis of Rhodes or Monte Smith Hill

The Acropolis of Rhodes, or Monte Smith Hill, stands on the hill of Agios Stefanos to the west of the Old Town. It is an ancient archaeological site dating back to the 3rd century BC with the large temple, stadium and theatre ruins. Unlike the grand Acropolis in Lindos, this site is notably less grand, most probably because this Acropolis was not fortified and was instead built on steeped terraces. Entrance to the site is free and the vantage point offers great panoramic views!

The Fort of St Nicholas

The Fort of St Nicholas in the harbour of Rhodes was originally constructed by the Grand Master Zacosta during the mid-1400s as a stronghold against intruders to the island and was adorned with a relief of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of seafarers.

After being severely damaged during a siege in 1480, it was added to become a larger bastion by Grand Master d’Aubusson. While the fort itself isn’t open to the public, visitors can still walk up to the fort, take photos from the outside and admire the nearby windmills and harbour.

Mandraki Harbor

It used to be the port of ancient Rhodes. At the entrance of the port, you will see a female and male deer that are the symbols of the city. You will also see three medieval windmills and the fort of St Nicholas. If you are staying in Rhodes island longer than a day you can take from here a boat and make a day trip to Symi islands.

The three windmills at Mandraki harbour Rhodes
The three windmills at Mandraki harbour Rhodes
Restaurants at Mandraki harbour
Restaurants at Mandraki harbour

There are some other places to visit in Rhodes island that I didn’t have the time like the Rodini Park which is situated 3km away from the city to the road that goes to Lindos. It is a park with a rich fauna and a small zoo. You can also visit the Aquarium especially if you are travelling with children.

Restaurants within the Medieval town Rhodes
Restaurants within the Medieval town Rhodes

Rhodes Old Town Travel Guide

How to get to Rhodes Island Greece

By Air: Rhodes international airport “Diagoras” is located just 14km away from Rhodes city centre. From the airport you can either take a bus to the city centre or a taxi.

By Boat: Rhodes harbour is located in the city centre. There is a daily connection from Piraeus port in Athens to Rhodes with stopovers to a couple of islands. The trip lasts approximately 12 hours. There is also a ferry connection from Rhodes to the other Dodecanese islands like Kos and Patmos, and other islands like Crete and Santorini. Rhodes is also a popular destination for cruise ships.

Click here for the ferry schedule and to book your ferry tickets.

view of the medieval city walls Rhodes
view of the medieval city walls Rhodes

Where to stay in Rhodes Town

Staying in Rhodes Town affords visitors the option of going into the old town for dinner or drinks, and there are some great little hotels here. Here are my top picks for accommodation in Rhodes Town:

The Evdokia Hotel, just minutes from the port of Rhodes, has small, basic rooms with ensuite bathrooms in a restored 19th-century building. They offer guests a homemade breakfast each morning, and recent reviews indicate that it is absolutely wonderful. – Check here for more information and to book your accommodation.

In the heart of the old town is the Sperveri Boutique Hotel. It is a short ten-minute walk to the beach and steps from local restaurants and bars; there is also a bar within the hotel. Some rooms have a small terrace or balcony, while others feature a seating area; if you have a request, don’t hesitate to ask when booking! Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Built in the early 1900s, the beautiful A33 Rhodes Old Town House is an excellent choice for couples and families seeking a charming, well-equipped property in the heart of Rhodes Town. The home has been sympathetically decorated throughout with an amazing blend of modern and traditional styling, and its location just 100 yards from the central Clock Tower and 300 yards from The Street of Knights, it really is the ideal destination. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

The Kokkini Porta Rossa is a small yet elegant boutique hotel in the centre of town. With only five suites, it is exclusive, but you will feel right at home in the sumptuous bedding, the private ensuites with spa tub, complimentary minibar and evening receptions, and the prepared towels and beach mats you can take to the nearby beach. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices

You might also be interested in: Where to stay in Rhodes.

Megalou Alexandrou square at the medieval town Rhodes
Megalou Alexandrou square at the medieval town Rhodes

How to get from and to Rhodes Airport

If you are staying in Rhodes Old Town you will want to take a bus or a taxi from the airport to reach your destination. Taking a taxi is the fastest option but the bus is a cheaper alternative. You could also check to see if your hotel offers airport transfers to save you the hassle of arranging anything yourself!

Bus

For the cheapest route from Rhodes Airport into the main town centre, you’ll want to catch the public bus which leaves from outside a coffee shop outside the main terminal. This is fairly easy to find and any airport staff will be able to point you in the right direction.

Buses run from 6.40 am – 23.15 pm and have wait times that range from 10 – 40 minutes depending on the time of day. Tickets are purchased directly from the driver (in Euros cash) when you board the bus and costs just 2.50 EUR.

The last top arrives into Rhodes city centre and lies around 5 minutes from both the waterfront and Old Town. From here you can either walk or take a short taxi to your hotel. Approximate travel time 30 to 40 minutes.

Taxis

Taxis are available from Rhodes Airport day and night and depending on the time you arrive there may be a short wait at the taxi rank before you can start your journey. In general, the route from Rhodes Airport to the town centre takes around 20 minutes and costs 29.50 during the day and 32.50 between the hours of midnight and 5am.

Private Airport Transfer with Welcome Pick-Ups

For added convenience you can book a pre-booked taxi through Welcome Pick-Ups. This service will allow you to have a driver waiting for you at arrivals who will help you with your bags and offer you travel tips on what to do in Rhodes.

Click here for more information and to book your private transfer.

Have you ever been to Rhodes?

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16 thoughts on “Rhodes Town: Things to Do – 2021 Guide”

  1. Rhodes looks like such a beautiful place — especially the medieval buildings. I would love to go there someday. And I think I would want to spend much more than one day there!

    Reply
  2. Rodes Town is such a beautiful place. I went there once when I was younger and remember the positive impression it left on me. Can’t wait to go back.

    Reply
  3. We are going to Rhodes for a day on our cruise. Should we pay for a professional tour of the medieval city or just go there ourselves and explore?

    Reply
    • Hello, I think it’s easy to explore the medieval city on your own as we did. It;s not very big and youonly need a map. Now I would reccommend a professional tour only if you want to learn a lot about the history of the place. Note that in every museum there is an english sign underneath.

      Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by. Rhodes has one of the prettiest towns I have ever seen. You should cdefinitely visit.

      Reply
  4. We’re visiting in June from Turkey for an overnight stay and very much looking forward to it now. Thank you for all this information.

    Reply
  5. Hello Chrissy, I just found your blog via Pinterest as I’m planning our one day stay on Rhodes Island. We will be arriving via cruise and have only about 9 hours on the island. You mentioned seeing both Rhodes town and Lindos during your one day stay, do you think it is possible to visit both in 9 hours? Would you suggest going to Lindos first and then Rhodes Town or just staying in Rhodes Town for the whole day? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hello Danielle, I did see both in about 12 hours. It will be a tiring day but it is worth it. As soon as you get off your cruise ship go and take the bus to Lindos. Don’t stay in Lindos more than two hours so that you have time to see Rhodes old town too. The good thing is that Rhodes medieval town is walkable and relatively small. Enjoy your time in Rhodes.

      Reply

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