Rhodes (Greek: Ρόδος, Ródos) is the largest settlement and capital city of the island of the same name. It is famous as the former site of the Colossus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and as the oldest inhabited medieval town in Europe.
6000 people live and work in the same buildings the Knights of St. John lived 6 centuries ago.
Medieval buildings, mosques, traditional fountains, oriental motifs, Byzantine and Gothic churches, shops and cafeterias are scattered throughout the Old Town of Rhodes. There are approximately 200 streets or lanes that have no name, so getting lost is a distinct possibility.
For the traveller, Rhodes City falls into four more or less distinct areas.
- Rhodes Old Town, still enclosed by its medieval wall.
- Rhodes New Town, north and west of the Old Town, is an extensive modern city, with various places of interest.
- New Town's eastern waterfront, containing Commercial Harbor, the yacht and ferry harbour Mandhraki Harbor, and extensive Elli Beach.
- Acropolis of Rhodes, the ruins of the ancient city, are about 2 km southwest of the Old Town.
1 Tourist information office (corner of Makariou & Papagou st), ☏ , .
1 Rhodes International Airport (RHO IATA also known as Diagoras International Airport [Greek: Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Ρόδου, "Διαγόρας"]) (on the west coast about 14 km from Rhodes Town). It is the only airport of the island. And it has scheduled flights from Athens and Thessaloniki and many other seasonal flights.
- Buses depart once or twice per hour from the central bus station (Averof st.), €2.50, ride takes 35 min. Online timetable.
- Taxi cost €25-30 (Apr 2019).
Two bus stations are just outside the Old Town wall, near the waterfront, making buses a convenient way of getting to the city.
- 2 West coast bus station (D.E.S. RODA bus station). Station for the buses going down the west side of the island, including airport. Operated by Δ.Ε.Σ ΡΟΔΑ company.
- 3 KTEL bus station. Stations for the buses run by KTEL bus company.
4 Blue Star Ferries Dock.
In the Old Town, the primary method of travel are your feet.
There are several bus routes within Rhodes city, operated by Δ.Ε.Σ ΡΟΔΑ bus company.
Taxi fares: €5-6 inside the city, Kalithea €15, Faliraki €20.
5 Taxi stand. The main taxi stand close to the old city.
Rhodes Old Town itself is surely the main attraction here, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the best preserved and most extensive medieval towns in Europe. As you wander from the bus station, and over the outer wall and moat, it's like stepping back in time and reliving all your childhood dreams of being a knight and attacking exotic castles in distant lands. It is also the location of many monuments and several museums - make sure to get a good map. If you want to see it all, plan for at least a day, and two will not be amiss if you want to see all the museums.
- 1 Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. can be split into outside, courtyard, outside wall, first floor and second floor. Open in season till 8PM, entry is €6, outside wall is an additional €2. The first floor (photos prohibited) contains some artifacts of Ancient Rhodes but is closed - in it's absence, the entrance fee is entirely not worth it. The Archaeological Museum offers more selection and allows photos. Second floor has a variety of later "artifacts" such as mosaics from Kos and other odd bits and bobs, but it has almost no descriptions (probably to force people to wait for a tour guide). The Palace of the Grand Masters was demolished by a gunpowder explosion in 1856 and reconstructed by the Italians as a summer residence for Mussolini in 1940. This knowledge (that this isn't actually an authentic swords and knights castle and is instead basically a souped up country mansion) somewhat lessens the excitement. Take your photos outside, and come back to look inside when the ground floor exhibitions on Rhodes are open.
- 2 Archbishops Palace, Evrèon Martyron Square.
- 3 Suleymaniye Mosque.
- 4 Rhodes Archaeological Museum, Megalou Alexandrou Square, ☏ , , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Open in season till 8PM. It has two floors, and most of the exhibits are on the second, past the big stairs. The museum operates a tour of the city walls Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8AM leaving from the Palace of the Grand Masters. Visitors are simply allowed up on the walls to walk along the top of them at their own pace. This walk offers views of the town not otherwise available and is the best way to get an idea of the size of the town and the variety of its architecture.It is not guided. €3.
- 5 Museum of Modern Greek Art.
- 6 Folk Museum (Museum of Decorative Art). Very small museum with only one room.
Acropolis of Rhodes
Acropolis of Rhodes is located on the highest part of the city. The monuments were built on stepped terraces, with substantial retaining walls. Free admission.
- 7 Temple of Athena Polias and Zeus Polieus.
- 8 Nymphaeums (southeast of the Temple of Athena Polias and Zeus Polieus). Four subterranean "structures" cut into the rock, featuring entrance steps, passages, a large opening in the central roof, along with water cisterns, foliage and interior niches for statuettes. These "caves" were used for worship and recreational purposes.
- Temple of Pythian Apollo (on the southern end, just west of a large rectangular terrace). Part of the northeast side of this porous peripteral temple has been restored.
- 9 Odeon (northwest of the Stadium). Small marble theatre which held approximately 800 spectators. It was used for musical performances and rhetoric lessons of prominent Rhodians.
- Stoa building. The impressive façade was visible from even the harbor. Today just one foundation wall remains.
- 10 Artemision. The Artemis cult's place of worship is situated on the northeast side of the hill, amidst the ruins of other structures of similar function.
- 11 Ancient Stadium. 210-metre north-south Stadium, restored by the Italians.
- 12 Central Post Office.
- Town hall, Theatre and Government House - Italian architecture.
- 13 Aquarium (Institute of Marine Biology).
- 14 Annunciation church.
- 15 Rodini Park. Historical park featuring Roman water supply system of the ancient city of Rhodes. It runs along a creek gorge and has a lot of birds, including peacocks. Free admission.
- Walk throughout this medieval city and its many streets and lanes by foot.
- New Market
- Many brand name products such as t-shirts, towels, hand bags and similar items for sale in the tourist shops may be fakes and/or unlicensed.
- Labyrinthos Arts & Crafts, Theofiliskou 1 (Near Roloi clocktower). Original arts and creations by local artists, also the only place in the Old Town to sell historically accurate coat of arms of the Knights, medieval style heraldry and illuminated manuscripts.
- Hatzikeli - Sea Food Taverna, Solomou Alchadef 9, ☏ . One of the best tavernas, serving innovations on traditional Greek dishes. The stuffed, roasted eggplant is notable.
- Laganis, Solomou Alhadef 16. A more traditional taverna with good mezedes.
- 1 Mikes (A Greek name prounounced MEE-kehs), Old Town (In a tiny lane by 17 Socratous Street,). A hole-in-the-wall place with outdoor seating in a cosy backstreet, tucked away from the tourist masses. Serves fish, salad, and wine, and not much else. Mikes is a very simple place to eat, but it is very pleasant, and the seafood, whilst being simple, is fresh, well prepared and tasty. The dorado is particulaly tasty, and at €10 is good value. A decent sized meal with drinks will cost around €15 per person.
- 2 Pizanias (The Sea Star), Sofokleos 24. A decent sea food taverna with outdoor seating on the square. Fish is caught locally, then cooked on a grill built into the wall which means the smell of grilled sea food wafts over the local square! (Great publicity!) Because it's at the end of Sofokleos, you won't find quite as many people that come all the way down here, but it is worth giving the rest a miss and holding out for. The homemade tzatziki is very good, as is the grilled octopus. A reasonable meal for two will cost about €30, with drinks on top.
- Mevlana Turkish Coffee and Shisha Bar, 76 Sokratous, ☏ . Not open on Sundays. A rare, wonderfully atmospheric survival of Ottoman old Rhodes in the middle of the tourist hordes. Run by a charming couple, it serves excellent coffee and a small range of other drinks. Not much food except for a few snacks.
- Avalon Cafe (In the courtyard of the Avalon hotel on the backstreet behind the Spanish Tongue Auberge on Ippoton St). Set in the quiet courtyard of an imposing 14th century town mansion, the Avalon cafe serves great drinks in a corner of Rhodes Old Town that most people don't even know exists. The courtyard is an oasis away from the bustle of Socratous St - make sure you head there when the cruise crowds get too much! Drinks are homemade, and the coffees are great, if a little expensive.
- Socrates Garden, Socratous 124. Coffee shop snack bar with a nice atmosphere in a fake Greek kind of way - but it's not too fake. A good, shaded place to grab a cold drink and rest from the sun and the busyness and tourist rat race that is Socratous St (so much so that you'll even find Greeks in there...) Coffees about €3-4, beer about €4.50.
- 1 Colorado Nightclub, 53, Orfanidou St, ☏ . Not good if your epilepsy is prone to photosensitivity.
- 2 Elli Disco Club, Kontourioti sq (Mandraki Harbour).
- 1 Alia Studios, Haraki Beach, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. €35 incl. breakfast.
- 2 Apollo Guesthouse, Omirou 28-C, Rhodes (About a 10 min walk south of the St John's gate in Old Town), ☏ . Check-in: Afternoon, check-out: 12 noon. US$35-$60 per person.
- 3 Carina Hotel, 56, Griva Street (Rhodes Town) Rhodes, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2:PM, check-out: noon. Surrounded by shops, bars and restaurants, this hotel is a 3-minute walk from the beach, with easy access to old Rhodes city and the roads to ancient Lindos and Kalithea. Prices from €25.
- 4 Mango Rooms, Sq. Dorieos 3, Rhodes (In Old Town square, behind San Fanourios church). Check-in: 1PM, check-out: 12 noon. US$25-$50 per person for a double room, depending on season. Nice man Dimitrius and his family run this hotel in the middle of the walled town..
- 5 Rodos Youth Hostel, Ergeiou 12 Rhodes Old Town, ☏ . Backpackers hostel in Rhodes Old Town. Excellent location. Very basic facilities. €10.
- 6 Spot Hotel, Perikleus Street 21, Rhodes Old Town,, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Simple, well run hotel with good prices and location
- Europa Hotel, 94, 28th October St. (Psaropoula area, 1.5 km from harbor). Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. US$50-$100 / person.
- 7 Rhodes4vacation (Rhodes holiday villas vacation rentals), Tlipolemou (old town), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. portfolio of vacation villas holiday rentals on Rhodes Island Greece € 25 - 1200.
- Camelot Hotel, Rhodes Old Town, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 24/7.
- 8 Elysium Resort & Spa, Kallithea Ave, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Beachfront location. Modern and chic with minimalist design. Public areas and spacious rooms overlook the beach. 5 star high standard hotel. Prices from €115.
- Nikos Takis Fashion Hotel, Panaitiou 26, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Boutique hotel dedicated to fashion. Medieval and traditional oriental design influences and beds with silk bedspreads. €90-312.
- 9 Rodos Palladium Leisure & Wellness, Kallithea Avenue, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 2:PM, check-out: noon. 18 awards since its opening, accommodation with first class services. Right on the beach of Kallithea, 9 km away from Rhodes Town and 15 km away from the airport. Prices from €142.