Chania is a town that throws opens the lush and golden legs of Crete.

With beaches that would make a Hawaiian cry, think crystal clear waters of Marathi Beach, or the golden shores of Chrissi Akti. The gateway to hikes that deserve travel insurance accompanied by a general disregard as to how many Gyros’ one consumes… Chania is the key to the kingdom.

And what a key it is! Chania in itself is very pretty, an ancient town turned city when the neighbourhoods joined forces. The Old Town attracts a flock of tourists each and every year, especially over summer (June to August) so dodge these months if you want to avoid the swarms of sunburnt tourists. This being said, don’t let me stop you if this is what you came for!

Alack! Any town that attracts tourists necessarily attracts those who will charge you a small fortune to dine on the shrivelled tentacles of an inept and disappointing squid no amount of lemon can remedy.

My mission therefore, in this guide of where to stay in Chania, is to squeeze those lemons for every drip of value, and make sure your stay is as juicy as possible!

Onwards we forge!

View of a bay with crystal clear blue water on a Roadtrip, Crete Greece
If this place gets any prettier I will sue for damages.

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Where is the Best Place to Stay in Chania?

Backpacking through Greece scintillates many palates. And yours could be next… Chania’s Venetian harbour is packed with stunning ancient buildings that can be your home for a night, a week, or however long you keep on extending for!

Here are my top three best hotels and other accommodation options in Chania…

Monastery Estate Venetian Harbor | Best Hotel in Chania

Sunsetting over the pool at Monastery Estate Venetian Harbor

If you’re looking to seriously impress a significant other or otherwise indulge yourself in the Cretian world of pleasure, this Chianian hotel is certainly at the top of my Christmas list. Housed in a 16th-century mansion, this historic building has a collection of stunningly outfitted and decorated suites that await you. At one of Crete’s top places to stay, only one question remains.

How do you take your private pools? As a hot tub inside, outside on the private terraces, or both?

Cocoon City Hostel | Best Hostel in Chania

Digital nomads at the breakfast table, Cocoon City Hostel

Beating out the competition like some kind of hostel Sith lord, the Cocoon City Hostel is by far the most interactive, comfortable and reliable backpacker abode in town. With an outdoor pool, a love of WhatsApp group chats, and adequate work spaces for the DN’s, it crushes needs, wants and desires with ease.

On top of being awesome, it is also ideally located, being two blocks away from the main bus station, and just five minutes from the old town…

Time for some chaos.

Domicilechania – Venetian Residence | Best Airbnb in Chania

Historic building Domicilechania - Venetian Residence ready to welcome up to five guests

Step up the holiday game by staying in an authentic historic building in Chania’s eclectic old town. Providing a comfy home for up to five guests, this Cretian gem is just sitting here, waiting to be holidayed in. So what are you waiting for…?!?!

Overlooking Chania’s Venetian harbour and lighthouse, this Airbnb is a perfect base for exploring Chiana’s old town. The closest beach is just a short walk away too!

Chania Neighborhood Guide – Best Places to Stay in Chania

FIRST TIME IN CHANIA
Roadtrip Crete Greece
FIRST TIME IN CHANIA

Chania Old Town

The Chania old town has been around for years, making it instantly a great choice for any prospective traveller. It’s old, so it is interesting, and just like a tasty beer or fine wine, it is only getting better with age.

ON A BUDGET
A taken from the beach of photo of clear waters in Greece
ON A BUDGET

Nea Hora

Nea Hora offers Chania accommodation that’s a little cheaper than the city center but is still close enough to everything to be convenient.

NIGHTLIFE
Roadtrip Crete Greece
NIGHTLIFE

Kastelli

Kastelli is one of the best places in Chania to stay if you want to be close to everything. It’s a part of the old city and is actually the oldest district in Chania.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Roadtrip Crete Greece
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

The Venetian Harbor

The old Venetian harbour used to be a port of much interest and wealth, bringing a mix of European and Middle Eastern powerhouses together. Wares were exchanged, stories told, and probably a bunch of debaucheries executed alongside it all.

FOR FAMILIES
shutterstock - chania - halepa
FOR FAMILIES

Halepa

Halepa is filled with historic buildings and architecture that will take you back to the time of noblemen and kings. In fact, one of the most interesting things you can do in this area is to wander and check out the streets.

Chania is a fairly small city that was once several smaller villages that merged over time into one. As a result, you’ll find that many of the best suburbs in Chania are quite different to each other.

Except in one key aspect: Holidaying promise.

Yes, Chania is a great base for sampling some of Crete’s top attractions, beaches and history. There is not only a wealth of culture, tasty food, and ancient rocks, but you can be assured of your comfort too…

Chania’s rustic Old Town is my first recommendation for where to stay. It is exciting and beautiful, and there is enough going on that you may finally decide to turn Netflix off for half an hour. It is the beating heart of this perplexing city.

The Venetian Port (harbour) is a sub-area of the old town and is unquestionably the prettiest part of the city. Think sea view restaurants and bars that pop. If you’re searching for the romantic, this fantastic central location offers an ambience that cannot be beaten. It is one of the most historically intriguing places to stay in Greece.

Photo looking behind a boat over the ocean showing a greek flag waving behind the boat.
The Venetian Harbour is for Boating!
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

Nea Hora is a little further from the city centre but only a short walk away. The real attraction of this area is the beach, and this is the best neighbourhood to stay in if you want some serious sun and sand time. The bus station is pretty near too, making it excellent for knocking out a top-tier Cretian itinerary.

A more specific area to consider is Kastelli. This is part of the old city up near the old harbour, where most of the historic attractions are. It’s also the best choice if you’re searching for where to stay in Chania for nightlife, as it’s filled with bars, restaurants, and clubs.

If you’re trying to decide where to stay for families in Chania Town and want a calmer vibe, then try Halepa. This is a more refined local neighborhood, where you’ll find some of the city’s most elegant hotels and homes.

Chania’s Five Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

The broke backpacker has been serving many needs over the years, from the laissez-faire casual user to the holiday architects and travel maniacs. These cheeky top five neighbourhoods are sure to sort you out whatever needs you have, including those of an economically fallible digital nomad or withered parent.

Let’s check out the top Chania areas!

1. Chania Old Town – Where to Stay in Chania for Your First Time

The Chania old town has been around for years, making it instantly a great choice for any prospective traveller. It’s old, so it is interesting, and just like a tasty beer or fine wine, it is only getting better with age.

Despite the fact many of the streets of the old town are clearly not made for any car post-1985, it is charming, quirky, and lively as hell. Seaside bars, restaurants and baffling alleyways are all part of the charm.

sandy coloured buildings in Old Town
Old Towns are always the best bit.

However, everyone knows this is the best bit! Although there are some deals to snatch up, and Greece is generally inexpensive, Old Town is still a relatively stung bit of the city. If you’re snoozing on a budget, I advise you to snooze elsewhere…

Chania town is part of the city that holds the most interest touristically, so it definitely makes it worth the spend. Chania hotels in the Old Town are generally excellent.

Ambassadors Residence | Best Hotel in the Old Town

Ambassadors Residence, Chania Greece

Oh, my Zeus… The Ambassadors Residence is something truly special, an elegantly restored 1890s house with six suites to choose between. Perfectly situated in Old Town you can wander the streets, patronise the taverns, and feel like a Cretian local.

This Chania hotel’s units come with Cretan Sea and old harbour views, while others feature a hot tub. Choosing between a roof terrace or rooms with private balconies, your morning is sure to be a delight with breakfast on the house.

Boho City Hostel | Best Hostel in the Old Town

view down the street from private balcony at Boho City Hostel

Despite its photo collection last being updated sometime in the 1920s, this hostel gets rave reviews and has an exceptional central location in Chania’s old town. Having been fully renovated in 2020, its comfortability now matches its placement, and travellers are bound to have a lively, social and very Cretian stay…

The Iris Seafront Suite | Best Airbnb in the Old Town

The Iris Seafront Suite, light and airy with a spacious feel

Excited for a light summer made of unobstructed sea views, wood, and several exotic elements? This apartment is spot on for a luxurious old town stay, and can comfortably sleep up to three guests. The host also offers to help arrange Chania airport transfer, car rental, and any special needs you may or may not have!

Things to Do in Old Town:

  1. Spend some time in Splantzia Square, the heart of the city.
  2. Check out what’s on at the Old Town Performance Arts Theatre, Theatro Anatolikis Tafrou.
  3. Stroll around the old Ottoman and Jewish Quarters and discover the Old Town “Street of Knives”… with a guide!
  4. If you’re a football fan, then learn more about the Greek version of it at the Greek National Football Team Museum.
  5. Meet a local at the Old Town market to sample the flavours of Cretan cuisine as you enjoy this tasty street food tour
  6. Discover Chania by bike and find both the highlights and hidden gems of Old Town on this unique, environmentally friendly, and fun tour.
  7. See and taste great food… Cretan herbs, traditional wine, raki, honey and olive oil on this epic 4×4 adventure through the wider area.
  8. Learn about the history, myths & legends of the Minoan civilization at the 9D Cinema and 3D Museum.
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2. Nea Hora – Best Place to Stay in Chania on a Budget

Nea Hora offers Chania accommodation that’s a little cheaper than the city centre but is still close enough to everything to be convenient. This area is right along the beach, so you can enjoy the sun and sand, and it’s also a short walk from the city centre and all its sites.

Basically, this is the best in Chania to stay in if you want the best of both worlds!

A taken from the beach of photo of clear waters in Greece
Clearwater forever!
Photo: @hannahlnashh

As a beach destination, Nea Hora has a lot to offer in terms of restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. Tourists love the offerings here, which means that it can get fairly crowded, particularly in the peak season.

Nea Hora is also close to several interesting and popular tourist sites as well as some great hotels at every budget point.

Danaos Hotel | Best Hotel in Nea Hora

Danaos Hotel, Chania Greece

This is one of the coolest places to stay because it combines beach access with the city sites. It’s in a great location, surrounded by popular restaurants, boutiques, and cafes and offers a hot tub, bicycle rental, and tour desk.

The rooms are comfortable and include all the modern amenities as well as air conditioning. There’s also a bar and restaurant on-site for when you don’t feel like heading out to eat.

Cocoon City Hostel | Best Hostel in Nea Hora

Cocoon City Hostel, Chania Greece

This hostel is an exceptional example of how to succeed in running a hostel and has excellent hang-out spaces, fast wifi, and free lockers. There is a swimming pool, great workstations and self-catering facilities. If you are a dodgy backpacker looking for a piece of fabric to curl up on, this is it!

Pearl Seaside Apartments | Best Airbnb in Nea Hora

Pearl Seaside Apartments, Chania Greece

Whether you’re trying to decide where to set up for one night or for a longer visit, you want to be close to the beach. That’s exactly what this modern, comfortable apartment offers, so close to the beach that you can stare at it from the outdoor pool on the roof.

Working on your fitness is a breeze at the Airbnb, whether you’re soft exercising, getting in your steps, or pumping iron at the in-house gym. The beach is basically on your doorstep and Old Town is only 20 minutes walk away.

Things to Do in Nea Hora:

  1. Spend all day relaxing on the beach!
  2. Explore the local restaurants and boutiques for the best eating and shopping in the city.
  3. Spend a relaxing day on the small island of Elafonisi, take a boat and soak up the sun on a pink sand beach. 
  4. Learn about the history of the sea at the Nautical Museum of Crete.
  5. Explore the packed Archaeological Museum of Chania and experience the very long history of this area.
  6. Rove the island on a search for some of Crete’s most ancient and exotic villages.
  7. Check out the Etz Hayyim Synagogue.
  8. Marvel at natural wonders on a challenging trek through Samaria Gorge, one of Europe’s longest gorges. 

3. Kastelli – Best Area to Stay in Chania for Nightlife

Kastelli is one of the best places in Chania to stay if you want to be close to everything. It’s part of the ancient city and is the oldest district in Chania, blending into the Old Town.

This area has lasted through long years of strife and trouble but was badly damaged during the Second World War. Despite that, it remains strongly traditional and is a fascinating glimpse into the very old culture of this part of Crete.

Roadtrip Crete Greece
This is actually a laser blaster

If you’re interested in history, then this part of the city is saturated in it. It’s popular amongst tourists but is still determinedly local with an authentic charm that is hard to beat.

Kastelli is also close to the beach and to all the other sites in the old part of Chania town too, so you can spend your days exploring on foot. It’s also the best choice when you’re deciding where to lay your head after making the most of the nightlife as it’s close to all the best bars, clubs, and restaurants.

Another bonus is that Kastelli is your first port of call from the Chania Airport, where you’ll most likely be landing. Anti jet-lag cocktails are a thing… Right?!

Suites Pandora | Best Hotel in Kastelli

Suites Pandora

Located close to the old port, this is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay with kids or with friends in Chania town. It’s close to everything, which makes for convenient explorations, and offers bicycle rental and free Wi-Fi.

The charming traditional apartments include private bathrooms, a kitchenette, and private terraces if you feel like dining outside.

Kumba Hostel | Best Hostel in Kastelli

Kumba Hostel, Chania Greece

Is that a cafe bar with the best coffee around?

Excellent. The Kumba hostel matches Cretian and African styles to create a social and euphoric space that is wonderfully suited to travellers. If you fancy heading out around the Island, there is a bus stop just around the corner. You can almost spit all the way to Koum Kapi Beach!

Chania Old Town | Best Airbnb in Kastelli

Chania Old Town, Chania Greece

Located right in the centre of Old Town, this apartment is on a quiet street that offers peace and quiet. It’s close to everything, from the bus station to shops and restaurants.

This is what makes it the perfect choice when you’re deciding where to stay for one night or for a longer visit to Chania town.

Things to Do in Kastelli:

  1. Explore the history of the city at the ruins of 4 villas that were once part of the old Minoan city of Kydonia.
  2. Visit the Maritime Museum in the Old Harbor
  3. Indulge that appetite for the finer things with a luxury wine and olive oil experience.
  4. Head up to the Old Harbor for stunning views across the ocean.
  5. Spend a day relaxing on the beach.
  6. Fix a dreadful hangover with a full-day Knossos and Heraklion Tour.
  7. Get lost in the twisting streets and just see what you can find!
  8. Try the great food at local restaurants and enjoy the unique tastes of this part of the world.
  9. Take a day trip on a boat from Kissamos port to the uninhabited islands of Gramvousa and Balos.

4. The Venetian Harbor – Coolest Place to Stay in Chania

The old Venetian harbour used to be a port of much interest and wealth, bringing a mix of European and Middle Eastern powerhouses together. Wares were exchanged, stories told, and probably a bunch of debaucheries executed alongside it all. If you’re interested, visit the Maritime Museum to learn more of this epic history and the legends who’ve sunk pints long before you.

Nowadays it has become the traditionally ‘touristy’ part of the city. And while that label may scare you, it is still extremely cool! The views are excellent, the bars moist as a fresh pancake, and the streets as lively as you could ever wish.

Girl standing on the sideawalk on a Roadtrip in Crete Greece
Gorgeous views are what take this place to the top of the list!

The prominent Venetian lighthouse juts out from the pier and provides an excellent walk along the waterfront. Stop for a sunset dinner or aperitif alongside shocking views, and be happy that you have chosen wisely.

This part of Chania town isn’t something that people miss of their to-do lists, so staying here is quite an experience!

Porto Veneziano Hotel | Best Hotel in the Venetian Harbor

Porto Veneziano Hotel

Snatch up this waterfront wonderland whilst the world remains in economic turmoil! With 3 fat stars, it offers a sumptuous breakfast of freshly squeezed orange juice and home-baked pastries. In a great location with excellent views… Perfection.

With elegant rooms and the nearest beach only 0.9 miles away, this is one of the best hotels in Chania…

Boho City Hostel | Best Hostel in the Venetian Harbor

Boho City Hostel, Chania Greece

Chasing down the old Venetian Harbour like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s governorship, the Boho City Hostel is ideally located next to the intricate streets, buzzing bars and delectable restaurants of the old port area. With a comfortable hang-out area and recent renovation, it is clearly one of the top hostels in Chania. If not Greece itself…

Daedalux Tiny Street House | Best Airbnb in the Venetian Harbor

Daedalux Tiny Street House, Chania Greece

If you’re looking for a uniquely awesome stay in the heart of the old town and Venetian Port, this tiny home is a perfect fit. Aside from the great location, its groovy design leaves it as a stay that will not only impress but will convince you you are living an exceptional Cretian dream too. For couples, this is a big green tick, and I haven’t even mentioned the private balconies…

Things to Do in Venetian Harbor:

  1. Check out the Venetian Lighthouse, and make sure you pack a hat!
  2. Get out into wider Crete with a Balos Lagoon and Falassarna beach day.
  3. Wander the gorgeous streets and historical alleyways, and pick up a souvenir.
  4. Tour the Maritime Museum of Chania, which provides an insight into the interior design of the Firkas fortress.
  5. Get boozy and have a night of bar hopping through the gorgeous streets of Chania.
  6. Get out of the Old Town to the White Mountains to learn more about the culture and cuisine of Crete at this tasty cooking class
  7. Admire the sunset by boat across the Gulf of Chania and the Kissamos Mountains

5. Halepa – Best Neighborhood in Chania for Families to Stay In

Halepa is filled with historic buildings and architecture that will take you back to the time of noblemen and kings. In fact, one of the most interesting things you can do in this area is to wander and check out the streets.

These days, the ancient town buildings keep company with mansions and villas as this neighbourhood has become a beacon for the richest people in the city.

shutterstock - chania - halepa
The coastline is good for the health. Endless streams of cocktails are less so.

Halepa is one of Chania’s best neighbourhoods if you want a quieter vibe. You’ll find some of the most expensive accommodation options in this area as well as lots of historical sites that reflect the most important political events in the city.

This area is also fairly close to the coast, so you won’t miss out on the beach while you’re there either.

Rodon Hotel | Best Hotel in Halepa

Rodon Hotel, Chania Greece

This great hotel in Chania offers comfort and convenience at a budget price. It’s located close to popular attractions and has a stunning view of the city.

You can enjoy time on the sun deck or in the outdoor pool and each room includes a private bathroom, telephone, fridge, and view of the city. There’s even a kids’ swimming pool which makes this a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay for families in Chania town.

The Tanneries | Best Luxury Hotel in Halepa

The Tanneries, Chania Greece

This area is known for its luxury apartments and surroundings and this is a great hotel in Chania that won’t disappoint. Literally on the water. Stunning.

The indoor swimming pool, comfortable rooms, and exceptional breakfast make it worth spending a little extra money. It’s close to some of the city’s best attractions as well as to the beach.

Penthouse Apartment with Breathtaking Views | Best Airbnb in Halepa

Penthouse Apartment, Chania Greece

Whilst it is no surprise that Crete has some superb landscapes to take advantage of, there is nothing quite like having one chez-vous. Enjoy some sensational sunsets, fantastic vistas, and maybe a cheeky bottle of vino. This comfy apartment has an excellent kitchen and is perfect for a couple looking to explore Chania and bask in the warm weather and great Cretian vibes.

Things to Do in Halepa:

  1. Just wander the streets and take in the mansions and luxury villas.
  2. Get the teens engaged and active by signing them up for an introduction to scuba diving. The surefire way to make things interesting.
  3. Check out the house of Eleftherios Venizelos, which was the scene of some of the most important political events throughout the 19th century.
  4. Head up to the beach and walk beside the sea.
  5. Explore the beautiful palace and the Russian-style Agia Magdalini church with its amazing dome.
  6. This is one of the best areas in Chania if you like to eat, so make sure you head over to the Tabakaria area by the sea for the best fish taverns in the city.
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FAQs on the Best Places to Stay in Chania

Here’s what people usually ask me about the areas of Chania and where to stay.

What To Pack For Chania

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Do I need a Car in Crete?

You do you, boo! Short answer, no. Crete is a fairly large island but it does have an epic bus system and a lot of tours will pick you up. The main touristy areas are only a short walk from each other, taxis are readily available and you can rent bikes.

What Beaches in Chania should I Visit?

There are lurrrvely beaches in Chania like Nea Hora or Agii Apostoli is slightly further afield. Connected by paths that run through pine forests and along the coastline, it’s easy to find a quiet spot to relax

Buuut, if you’ve got time and the inclination to venture out, go to Agia Marina. Here you’ll find luxury resorts along the crystal clear water.

Where Do I Go to Treat Myself?

Slip into Minoa Palace Resort and Spa in Chania. This palace has been designed to take you on a sensual journey, in a world of rejuvenation and euphoria… can I get a hell yeah?!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Chania

Just get it… Everyone needs good travel insurance, be smart so you can afford to be silly!

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Chania

This Chania neighbourhood guide will help you have the trip of your dreams, no doubt. You’ll be able to stay in a great hotel, hostel, or apartment that suits your budget and travel preferences. Make an informed choice to be close to everything you want to see.

Since the 1990s, post WWII, Chania has put in the work to enter a new era. With a sparkly new port, the Chania Airport now receives international flights, making access easier for us travellers. These days this ancient town is considered a prominent tourist resort in the Mediterranean Sea.

SO, my fellow adventurer, go forth! Take advantage of the wonderful stretches of the Golden Coast, bathe in the sparkling crystal waters, and warm your body under the Cretian sun. Immerse yourself in the Old Town Markets, taste the great food, meet the wonderful people of Chania… Find out for yourself the magic of this gem. 

Well-equipped with all the juicy local goodies, you can enjoy yourself! Chania is the kind of place where people come for two days and stay for two weeks, so expect to be reluctant to leave. And when you do leave, remember to leave it better than you found it. 

dani hiking a volcano in greece
I hope you have an awesome time in Chania!
Photo: @danielle_wyatt
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