The changeful history of Thrace, characterized by attacks by neighboring peoples, catastrophes, ethnic conflicts and civil wars, prevented a normal development of villages into cities. When the Ottomans conquered the region in 1361, they devastated the few settlements and infrastructures that had developed up to that point, settling populations from Asia Minor into the almost deserted region of Thrace. Hence the high proportion of Muslim population in this part of Greece.
The closest airport is "Alexander the Great" airport in Kavala, about 20 km away. Planes, mostly touristic charters, fly all over Europe.
By regional coach
The 1 Bus stand Interurban coaches ("KTEL" buses) are by far the most convenient way to travel around Greece, as well as for intra-regional travelling. There is frequent bus service from Athens Kifisos Station to Xanthi, as well as from Thessaloniki bus terminal "Macedonia" to Xanthi.
2 Railway station - Trains OSE connect Xanthi to other cities in Greece. Travelling with ordinary trains can be cheaper, although a little bit slower, whereas choosing a fancy faster Intercity train will cost the same amount of money, or even more than a KTEL bus.
As Xanthi is a small town, it's easy to explore it on foot.
- 1 Folk Art Museum, 7, Antika St. The museum is housed in two three-story buildings, built next to each other and dating back to 1860. They were the private residence of two tobacco tradesmen and still have their inside walls decorated by remarkable paintings
- 2 Public Paint Gallery, Orfeus & Pindaro St.
- 3 Old town. Xanthi is famous for its old town with many pubs and restaurants. A walk through the old town combined with pub visits along the streets or in the backyards is a really worthwhile experience. Once a year, in the end of summer, the Old town Festival takes place, with music, food and drinks everywhere along the old streets.
- 4 Monastery of Taxiarchon & Kaliva Castle (Ιερά Μόνη Παμμεγίστων Ταξιαρχών). The Byzantine castle ruins are uphill of the Taxiarchon monastery. The drive on the dirt track is worthwhile because of a small chapel on the hill, above the ruins. The view of the surroundings is more beautiful than the ruins itself.
- 5 Monastery of Panagia Archaggeliotissa (Ι.Μ. Παναγίας Αρχαγγελιώτισσας).
- 6 Monastery Panagia Kalamou.
- 7 House of Shadow. Very worth seeing art museum, in which the shadow cast of the exhibited objects creates fascinating impressions.
- 8 Rock chapel of St. Georg. Interesting chapel at the end of the trail along the river.
Outside the city:
- 9 Thracian Meteora. Rock formation at Iasmos, which reminds of the well-known Meteora near Kalambaka.
- 1 Walk along the river. next to the pedestrian bridge, which connects the old town with the district to the east of it, begins the approximately 500 m long promenade and plant path called "Monopati tis zois". Plants are labeled in Greek. The path leads along the river through beautiful countryside.
- Carnival of Xanthi. A two-week-long event held every year since 1966. It features a vast array of concerts, dance, drama and visual arts. The parade and the traditional puppet burning takes place to end the carnival event.
- Old town festival. In the first week of September, the Old Town Festival takes place with a lot of music, dance performances, food and drink.
- Kariokes - A tasty praline with walnuts and chocolate, one of Xanthi's specialties, which can be found in all the sweets shops around the old town.
- 1 Fanarakia tavern, Georgiou Stavrou 18 (1 minute walk from the central square of the city), ☏ . Traditional tavern since 1948
- 2 Xanthippi, 1st km Xanthis-Stavroupolis (northern part of the city). Xanthippi is a modern restaurant with traditional flavours from Greece and the Balkans. It offers a spectacular view of the city and the valley of Xanthi.
- 3 Palia Poli.
- 4 To Vareli.
- 5 O Kipos (on the edge of the old town in a small park). Nice seats in the shade of tall trees
- 6 Melathron. In the summer with beautiful seating under tall trees
- 7 Taverna Kottani (60 km from Xanthi). Exceptional local cuisine in a 200 year old traditional house in the Rhodope Mountains. Worth the very arduous approach
- 8 To Pilima. popular restaurant destination in beautiful surroundings about 10 km north of Xanthi
Because of the relatively high proportion of young people through the university, Xanthi has a good nightlife relative to its size. In and around the old town is the center of the nightlife. Many very nice bars are either directly in the streets or in backyards.
- Filoxenia Hotel, Toxotes (village of Toxotes, 10 km from Xanthi). Check-in: 1PM, check-out: noon. Filoxenia hotel is next to Nestos river.
- Xanthi Hotel, Lefkippou 14, ☏ , fax: .
- Xanthipio Hotel, 28 Oktovrìu, ☏ , .
- Orfeas Hotel, 40, M. Karaoli, ☏ .
- 1 [dead link] Elena Hotel, Leoforos Stratou 2 (next to the river Kosinthos), ☏ . Elena hotel is a 3-star hotel, a few steps from Emporiou square. from $63 par night.
- 2 Nestos Hotel (in the west entrance of Xanthi). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00 - 13:00. A 3-star hotel. from 36 euro.
- 3 Le Chalet, Pigadia Xanthis, ☏ .
- 4 Z Palace and Congress Center, Georgiou Kondili street (in the entrance of the city), ☏ . Z Palace is a 5-star hotel.
- 5 Elisso Xenia Hotel, Vas. Sofias 9 (next to the river Kosinthos), ☏ , . Elisso hotel is a 4-star hotel. 85$ par night (2016).
- 6 [formerly dead link] Hotel Casino Xanthi, Latomia (next to the casino), ☏ . 5-star hotel.
Most pubs and restaurants in the old town have free WIFI
- Nestos: natural reserve area of special beauty in landscape, and archaeological site such as Abdera.
- The villages and ancient ruins, such as Anastasiopolis (Peritheorion), around lake Vistonida
- Stavroupoli - Traditional village set on a scenic valley among forests and waterfalls. Some 30 km northwest of Xanthi by scenic Drama road or by train and gate to the Rhodope Mountains
- Kavala: one of the most beautiful towns of Greece
- Komotini: provincial town with strong influence of Muslim architecture
- Alexandroupolis: Harbour town with ferries to Samothrace Island