Rhodes Town, situated on the northeastern tip of the island is without a doubt one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval fortress towns. Rhodes Town can be divided into old and new quarters: medieval buildings and narrow streets within the old town walls as well as vibrant and historical attractions by the waterfront in the new town.
There are so many interesting things to see and do in Rhodes New Town that it is difficult to decide where to start. I want to share my best experiences with you, the following 12 things to see and do in Rhodes New Town are the ones that I enjoyed the most during my visit.
Morning run along coastal paths at sunrise
The best way to start a new day on a holiday is to wake up early in the morning and go for a morning run at sunrise when most people are still fast asleep. This is what I did in Rhodes Town almost every morning. The coastal pathways at the southwestern edge of the town leading to Ixia and Ialyssós Bay and further down the west coast provide a perfect place for exercise. Here the sea breeze is very refreshing, and vistas over the sea and Rhodes Town are unbeatable.
Climb up Monte Smith Hill to discover Acropolis of Rhodes
One morning I jogged up to the summit of Monte Smith (Hill of Agios Stefanos) 2 km outside Rhodes town centre where the site of the ancient Hellenistic city of Rhodes, today known as the Acropolis of Rhodes, is located. The small road up the hill was steep and curvy, and together with absolutely gorgeous views over the coastline literally took my breath away before reaching the top of the hill.
Once I made it to the top I first found the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, not that much left of the temple anymore though, four of the remaining pillars being under repair. Then I descended down the hill to discover a recreated ancient amphitheater. After that I continued to the ancient Stadium of Diagoras where I took a short break. I sat down on the stadium bench and let my imagination go all wild back to the very original Olympic Games in ancient Greece.
Take a walk along the waterfront
Located on tip of a peninsula, Rhodes Town is surrounded by water on three sides making it a perfect place to explore plenty of historical places on foot along the seaside promenade that stretches for kilometres after kilometres.
Head to Mandraki Harbour to see the best of Rhodes New Town
Many of the town’s historical places and monuments are found in the lively Mandraki Harbour, originally constructed with the founding of the ancient city. Gorgeous municipal buildings such as the Bank of Greece, General Post Office, Court House, Town Hall, National Theatre and the Governor’s Palace can all be found in Mandraki Harbour. This place also seemed to be a popular place for an evening stroll among locals and visitors alike.
See Agios Nikolaos Fort and Platoni Bronze Statues
At the entrance to Mandraki Harbour two imposing landmarks guard the scenery. Agios Nikolaos Fort together with Platoni, two stone columns topped with bronze statues of a stag and a doe.
Admire Medieval Windmills
A proud reminder of the past is three of the original 13 medieval windmills that still remain on the breakwater in Mandraki Harbour.
Shop local products at Nea Agora New Market
This gorgeous building, Nea Agora, the New Market, with Moorish style arches dating back to the Italian rule houses lots of inexpensive cafes and restaurants as well as small shops selling traditional Rhodian and Greek products in the inner courtyard.
Enjoy sun and sea at Elli Beach
Elli Beach stretching for 400 metres in front of the Casino of Rhodes is the main beach in Rhodes Town. The water at Elli Beach is incredibly clear in all shades of turquoise and blue. This beach was very popular among local young people and it was absolutely packed on the weekends. I found Elli Beach way too crowded for my taste so I mostly sunbathed at the tip of the cape by the Aquarium.
Explore underwater world at Rhodes Aquarium
This stunning art deco building constructed by Italians in the 1930s as a biological research station houses today an aquarium, museum and research centre where you can explore marine life of the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean sea.
Get lost in the narrow alleyways
One day when I was on my way to the beach I accidentally found myself getting lost in the labyrinth of narrow alleys in Rhodes new town. No cars, no people, lots of cats, colourful doors and windows, pretty flowers. What could be better than this in a busy town full of tourists!
Do some serious shopping
Rhodes Town has got it all when it comes to shopping. There is a good selection of international brand stores, designer shops, small shops selling traditional Greek and Rhodian products, as well as plenty of tourist shops selling anything and everything.
At this stage of life clubbing all night long is not really my cup of tea any longer. But walking around in Rhodes town after dark, especially along the bar street, Orfanidou Street, I found out that nightlife in Rhodes town is pretty wild and goes on all night long until the sun comes up no matter what day of the week it is. A perfect holiday destination for all party animals.
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