Last updated on January 21, 2024 by Stefano Ferro, founder of MEL365, following extensive travelling in Crete

Where to Stay in Chania: Ultimate Guide to the TOP 4 AREAS

Wondering where to stay in Chania on your next trip? This is a beautiful town offering a romantic Venetian harbour, fascinating history, and access to the most amazing beaches in Crete.

With its range of neighbourhoods, each unique in its own way, finding the best places to stay in Chania can be a bit overwhelming.

This guide aims to simplify your decision, providing insights into the best areas for different needs and preferences.

Whether you’re after a romantic getaway, a budget-friendly stay, or an immersion into the local vibe, Chania has it all!

Let’s dive in and explore the best neighbourhoods to stay in Chania.

Lovely cafes of Chania and Heraklion
Lovely cafes of Chania and Heraklion

Where to stay in Chania – In a nutshell

Here is a quick table that summarizes the best 4 areas to stay in Chania.

Swift left or right on the mobile to see it all. Click on the area name to check all the pros, cons and a full description, including top attractions and restaurants.

AreaProsConsHotelAccessibilityAttractionsRestaurantsFamiliesNightlifeCharacter
Old TownRomantic, full of character, plenty of dining and drinking optionsCan be noisy, most expensiveCasa DelfinoGoodHighExcellentModerateExcellentRich history and stunning architecture
Nea Chora – New TownFamily-friendly, good beach, well-priced restaurantsFar from the Old Town and Bus Station, lack of characterChristina VillasModerateModerateVery GoodExcellentModerateModern and beach-focused
City CentreBudget-friendly, close to Old Town and Bus StationLack of characterDiana RoomsExcellentModerateGoodGoodGood
(local)
Busy urban centre
Koum KapiLocal experience, not too touristyFar from bus stop, lack of character, tiny beachApolafsiModerateModerateGoodGoodModerateLocal and laid-back
Best areas to stay in Chania

And if you are wondering about where to stay in Crete next, you should read my full guide for an itinerary through the island.

Map of where to stay in Chania - Crete
Map of where to stay in Chania – Crete (OpenStreetMap)

Old Town – Best place to stay in Chania for couples

  • Pros: Ideal for couples, very romantic, historic charm, plenty of dining options, great nightlife.
  • Cons: Some streets can be noisy, and relatively pricey.

Attractions

Restaurants and cafes

  • The Well of the Turk
  • Tamam
  • Kariatis
  • Kouzina EPE
My favourite street for restaurants in Chania - Chatzimichali Ntaliani
My favourite street for restaurants in Chania Old Town – Chatzimichali Ntaliani

The Old Town is like an open-air museum, made of cobbled lanes that meander past colourful Venetian-era buildings adorned with blooming bougainvillaea.

Everywhere you look, there’s history to uncover, from the ancient city walls to the imposing Firkas Fortress.

However, don’t let the historic atmosphere fool you into thinking the Old Town is stuck in the past. Quite the opposite, actually. It’s a vibrant neighbourhood buzzing with life.

Along the beautiful Venetian Harbour, trendy restaurants and bars compete for space, their tables spilling out onto the pavement.

The view here is remarkable, especially at sunset when the lighthouse is bathed in a golden glow. For this reason, I always say that the Old Town is the best place to stay for couples, especially on a romantic trip.

Exploring this neighbourhood is a treat for the senses. The narrow streets are a riot of colour, and there’s always the scent of something delicious wafting from the many eateries.

Speaking of food, the Old Town is a foodie’s delight. You’ll find everything from traditional Greek tavernas to upscale modern restaurants.

The Old Town is centrally located and perfect for walking to top tourist spots. It’s also a great place to relax, people-watch, and take in the charming ambience.

While it’s true that the Old Town can get a bit noisy, especially during high season, and it’s one of the pricier areas to stay in Chania, the benefits far outweigh these drawbacks.

The unique combination of history, beauty, and vibrancy make the Old Town an unforgettable place to stay in Chania.

Here are 3 of the best accommodations in the Old Town:

Casa Delfino Hotel & Spa ($$$): boutique style, lovely interior design, trendy

Kasteli Studios & Apartments ($$): cosy, centrally located, family run

Boutique Hotel Fortino ($$): well positioned, part of a 15th century mansion, very characteristic

Nea Chora (New Town) – Best place to stay in Chania for families

  • Pros: Best for families, lovely beach, a good selection of restaurants, reasonably priced.
  • Cons: Far from the Old Town and the Bus Station, lacks character.

Attractions

Restaurants and cafes

  • Achilleas
  • The Five Restaurant
  • Mikrolimano
Sunset in New Town Beach
Sunset in New Town Beach

Stepping into Nea Chora feels like a breath of fresh air, a place where the old seamlessly blends with the new.

Located west of the Old Town, this charming new neighbourhood is one of the best places to stay in Chania for families.

Nea Chora’s biggest draw is undoubtedly its beach. The golden sand stretches out invitingly, the water is crystal clear, and there are plenty of facilities nearby, including cafes and restaurants.

I particularly loved my time there, very relaxing, playing with the kid, and splashing around in the shallow water. The beach itself has a free and organised area, perfect for any budget.

Beyond the beach, there’s still plenty to do in Nea Chora. The neighbourhood has also a couple of interesting sites, such as the St. Konstantinos and St. Helen church and the local swimming pool (a bit run down but ok for some swimming lessons).

When it comes to dining, Nea Chora doesn’t disappoint. You will find plenty of restaurants facing the beach offering great local food at a very reasonable price. Walk 1 or 2 streets up from the beach to save some Euros, but still not compromise on quality

In terms of location, Nea Chora is a bit farther from the Old Town and the Bus Station, which could be a disadvantage if you’re planning to do a lot of sightseeing.

The neighbourhood has its own distinct charm and plenty to offer. Yes, it may lack the historic character of the Old Town, but Nea Chora offers a more relaxed, laid-back vibe.

The beach, the restaurants, the family-friendly atmosphere – all these factors combine to make Nea Chora a fantastic option for where to stay in Chania with kids.

Here are 3 of the best accommodations in the New Town:

Christina Luxury Villas ($$$): Great location close to the beach, all you need in the kitchen. With breakfast

Tamar’s place ($$): new 1BR place, well equipped, cot available

Mare Civitas ($$): Spacious 2BR, amazing balcony, within 5 minutes of the beach and the restaurants

City Centre – Best place to stay in Chania on a budget

  • Pros: Best for a trip on a budget, within walking distance of the Old Town, close to the Bus Station
  • Cons: Lacks character

Attractions

Restaurants and cafes

  • Kapari Restaurant
  • The Italian Job
  • Bougatsa Chania
Crete - Picturesque streets of the venetian town of Chania
Crete – Picturesque streets of the venetian town of Chania

If you’re wondering where to stay in Chania without breaking the bank, the City Centre might be your answer. It’s an ideal option for those travelling on a budget, offering a range of affordable accommodation options.

Don’t be fooled by its less historic appeal; the City Centre is a hive of activity and offers much to its visitors. The best part? Everything is within walking distance, including the charming Old Town and the bustling Bus Station, making it a convenient base for exploring the rest of Chania and the West side of Crete.

Just a stone’s throw away is the Municipal Market of Chania, a lively market offering everything from fresh produce to local crafts.

Green spaces such as the Public Gardens offer a tranquil retreat in the heart of the city. And if you’re travelling with kids, they’ll love Minoan’s World, an interactive museum that brings Crete’s ancient civilization to life.

Dining options in the City Centre are varied and delicious. For a taste of local flavours, head to Kapari Restaurant, known for its traditional Cretan food. Totally off the beaten path, it is one of the best value-for-money places in Crete, I believe.

For the best bougatsa (a creamy or cheesy pie) in Chania head to the Bougatsa bar. And if you had enough of the Greek food (how can that be possible), book a table at The Italian Job.

On the downside, the City Centre lacks the character of Chania’s more historic areas. But keep in mind that you will be saving some money and the location is still great, a stone away from the Old Town and not too far from the Venetian Port.

Here are 3 of the best accommodations in the City Centre:

Diana Rooms ($): Quiet, clean and very well located close to the bus station.

Apollon Hotel ($): big rooms, daily clean and close to Old Town

Tina Hotel ($): Family-run hotel, well-cleaned, spacious rooms, close to the bus station and the market

Koum Kapi – Best place to stay in Chania for a local experience

  • Pros: Best for a local experience, not as touristy, within walking distance of the Old Centre.
  • Cons: There is a beach but it’s very tiny, lack of character, far from the bus stop.

Attractions

  • Koum Kapi Promenade & Beach
  • Chania Municipal Stadium

Restaurants and cafes

  • PiLi Bar Restaurant
  • Drandaki Bakery
  • Cozy Cafe
The cityscape of Chania at sunset with the Old Town in the foreground and Koum Kapi in the background
The cityscape of Chania at sunset with the Old Town in the foreground and Koum Kapi in the background

If you’re after a less touristy, more authentic experience, then Koum Kapi might be the best place for you to stay in Chania.

Named after the sandy beach that lines its coast, this district offers an enticing blend of city life and seaside relaxation.

What sets Koum Kapi apart is its local atmosphere. The pace of life here is slower, much slower.

The area is also just a short walk from the Old Centre, allowing you to enjoy its historic charm while still returning to a quieter neighbourhood.

Koum Kapi isn’t just about the beach, though. The Koum Kapi Promenade, lined with trendy cafes and restaurants, is the perfect place to enjoy an evening stroll while watching the sunset.

Sports enthusiasts might also be interested in the Chania Municipal Stadium, which hosts regular football matches.

Although not technically in Koum Kapi, within walking distance, you will find also the Chania Archaeological Museum, a must-visit for history buffs.

For those interested in a great coffee, with some local pastries, head to Cozy Cafe, surely not close to the beach, but definitely worth the walk there.

Head to Drandaki Bakery for the most traditional bread in Crete. With over 100 years of experience, you will get the best quality at a local price, cooked with a wood fire.

And for a sophisticated night head to the PiLi Restaurant where you will find local cuisine with a modern twist (the saganaki is a must-try)

However, it’s worth noting that there are some downsides to staying in Koum Kapi. The beach, while charming, is relatively small compared to others in and around town.

The area also lacks the distinct character of the Old Town, and it’s a bit far from the central bus station.

But if these factors aren’t deal-breakers for you, Koum Kapi can provide an immersive, local experience that you won’t find in more tourist-oriented districts.

Here are 2 of the best accommodations in the Koum Kapi:

Apolafsi ($$): 1BR with plenty of space. Easy for parking, perfect if you are renting a car in Crete.

Kumba ($$): amazing view of the bay from the balcony

Stefano Ferro - MEL365.com Founder and Editor

About the Author

Stefano is a seasoned travel expert and the visionary founder of MEL365.com, a leading travel website with traffic across 6 continents. With a rich background in the travel industry, Stefano spent four pivotal years at Amadeus Travel Distribution System, gaining invaluable insights into travel technologies and distribution.

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