Corfu Town

Corfu Town is the capital of Corfu and of the Ionian Islands and has two forts, several museums, churches, and many other attractions.

Corfu TownCorfu Town

Nowhere is the pan-European background in the Ionians more evident than in Corfu Town. (It's actually a city but everyone calls it Corfu Town.) It may have hole-in-the-wall Greek tavernas in its back streets, and its residents may celebrate Easter even more exuberantly than they do elsewhere in Greece, but it also has very strong influences from Britain, France and Italy in its architecture and its cuisine. Residents of Corfu Town quite rightly regard themselves as more sophisticated than people from other Greek island capitals.

Corfu Town Esplanade

The Old Fortress in Corfu TownThe Old Fortress

And nowhere is this mix more evident than in the very centre of town, around the Esplanade. This combination of park and town square centres on what used to be a Venetian firing range, and later a British cricket pitch! At the far end, on a promontory sticking out into the Ionian Sea, stands the Old Fortress, which was completed in 1559 on a site believed to have been fortified since at least the 7th or 8th centuries AD. The Old Fortress (or Palaio Frotho) can be visited and has wonderful views over the town. See our full page about the Old Fortress.

Palace of St Michael and St George

In the Palace of St Michael and St GeorgeIn the Palace of St Michael and St George

At the north end of the cricket pitch stands the British-built Palace of St Michael and St George, constructed between 1819-24 as the residence of the British High Commissioner at the time. It was renovated in the 1950s and now contains administrative buildings, a library, the tourist office and, in one wing, the Corfu Museum of Asian Art. This collection, unique in Greece, was built up from 10,000 items amassed by Grigorios Manos (1850-1929), a Greek diplomat from Corfu who traveled extensively in the Orient. See our full page about the Palace of St Michael and St George.

The Liston

The Liston in Corfu Town at NightThe Liston

At the western end of the cricket pitch is a row of cafes and shops that could only be French: the Liston. It was built by a Frenchman in 1807 at the behest of Napoleon, who wanted its colonnades to echo the rue de Rivoli in Paris. Its name is Venetian, deriving from the ‘List’ of noble families whose names were kept in the Golden Book, the Libro d’Oro.

See our Walk in Corfu's Old Town, which starts and ends at the Liston, and also this page for more information about the Old Town.

The cafes along the Liston are where everyone comes to socialise, a buzz of activity at lunchtime and early evenings, with people meeting friends or relaxing with newspaper and coffee. Your coffee will cost more here than anywhere else in Corfu, but it’s the place to be.

Enosis Monument

At the southern side of the cricket pitch is a park with a splendid fountain and, nearby, the Enosis Monument. This Unification Monument celebrates the occasion in 1864 when the Ionian islands were at last united with the rest of Greece after their final period of foreign, British, rule.

Archaeological Museum

The Gorgon Frieze in the Archaeological Museum of CorfuThe Gorgon Frieze

There are numerous sites and museums around Corfu Town that ought to be seen, and which would merit a stay of at least a few days. Naturally the Archaeological Museum of Corfu is one of these, although it does not have the richness in its collection that you might expect from such a thriving town.

Its star attraction is worth the visit alone, though, a fearsome Gorgon frieze which was made in the 6th century BC for the Temple of Artemis in the southern suburbs of Corfu Town. See our full page on the Corfu Town Archaeological Museum.

The Banknote Museum

Historic Greek BanknoteHistoric Greek Banknote

The Banknote Museum sounds as if it might only have appeal to those with a specialist interest, but it is in fact a really enjoyable museum which tells not only the fascinating story of how bank notes are made, but also shows how Corfu’s currency reflects the political changes, including notes in German and Italian currency during World War II when inflation was rampant.

Byzantine Museum

Corfu Byzantine MuseumCorfu Byzantine Museum

The Byzantine Museum's official name is the Antivouniotissa Museum as it's in the church of the Panagia Antivouniotissa and has a small and stylishly-displayed collection of icons, some as old as the 15th century. Included are examples of work by the so-called Cretan school, from the days when Venice also ruled Crete and Cretan artists would visit Corfu on their way to study with the masters in Venice. 

See our full page on Corfu Town's Byzantine Museum.

Agios Spyridon

One church that must be visited in Corfu Town is dedicated to the island’s patron saint, Saint Spyridon. His mummified body is contained in a silver casket inside, and on four occasions a year this is paraded through the streets to celebrate the occasions when the saint is believed to have come to the rescue of the islanders, during battles and plagues.

It is a marvellous time to be in Corfu Town (Palm Sunday, Easter Saturday, August 11 and the first Sunday in November) to see the way that Greeks combine religious fervor with abundant partying. See our full page on the Church of Saint Spyridon.

See our YouTube slideshow of a quick visit to Corfu Town.

Where to Stay on Corfu



Other Corfu pages

  • The Corfu Climate page describes the hours of sun, the rain, the winds, to help you plan the best time to visit this Ionian island.

    Corfu Climate: Sun, Rain, Winds

    The Corfu Climate page describes the hours of sun, the rain, the winds, to help you plan the best time to visit this Ionian island.

  • Sidari is a popular holiday resort on the north coast of Corfu with beaches and unusual rock formations as well as plenty of places to eat and to stay.

    Sidari

    Sidari is a popular holiday resort on the north coast of Corfu with beaches and unusual rock formations as well as plenty of places to eat and to stay.

  • This guide to southern Corfu’s beaches and villages includes busy resorts, quiet beach, hill villages and the southernmost tip of Corfu at Cape Asprókavos.

    Southern Corfu Beaches and Villages

    This guide to southern Corfu’s beaches and villages includes busy resorts, quiet beach, hill villages and the southernmost tip of Corfu at Cape Asprókavos.

  • The Korission Lagoon on the west coast of Corfu is also called Lake Korission and has abundant wildlife, especially birds, and one of the best beaches on Corfu.

    Korission Lagoon

    The Korission Lagoon on the west coast of Corfu is also called Lake Korission and has abundant wildlife, especially birds, and one of the best beaches on Corfu.

  • Corfu’s special cuisine includes dishes like sofrito and pastitsade and the chance to try ginger beer and kumquats.

    Corfu’s Special Cuisine

    Corfu’s special cuisine includes dishes like sofrito and pastitsade and the chance to try ginger beer and kumquats.

  • Greece Travel Secrets’ pick of where to stay in southern Corfu including hotels in Moraïtika, Paramonas, Messonghi, Agios Georgios, and near Benitses.

    Where to Stay in Southern Corfu

    Greece Travel Secrets’ pick of where to stay in southern Corfu including hotels in Moraïtika, Paramonas, Messonghi, Agios Georgios, and near Benitses.

  • These fun facts about Corfu include how the island got its name, who wrote the Greek National Anthem, and the eccentric Englishman, the Earl of Guilford.

    Fun Facts about Corfu

    These fun facts about Corfu include how the island got its name, who wrote the Greek National Anthem, and the eccentric Englishman, the Earl of Guilford.

  •  Information for travelers on Corfu Food and Drink including restaurants and tavernas, Corfiot specialties, desserts, wine and other Greek drinks like ouzo.

    Corfu Food and Drink

    Information for travelers on Corfu Food and Drink including restaurants and tavernas, Corfiot specialties, desserts, wine and other Greek drinks like ouzo.

  • Information for travellers to Greece on Corfu festivals and events including Easter, the Feast of St Spiridhon, Carnival and Name Days.

    Corfu Festivals and Events

    Information for travellers to Greece on Corfu festivals and events including Easter, the Feast of St Spiridhon, Carnival and Name Days.

  • This Southern Corfu drive starts and ends in Moraïtika, taking in hill villages, secluded beaches, lovely views, and a visit to Gardiki Castle.

    Southern Corfu Drive

    This Southern Corfu drive starts and ends in Moraïtika, taking in hill villages, secluded beaches, lovely views, and a visit to Gardiki Castle.

  • Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in north-west and central Corfu including luxury mansions, inexpensive rooms, and resort hotels.

    Where to Stay in North-West and Central Corfu

    Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in north-west and central Corfu including luxury mansions, inexpensive rooms, and resort hotels.

  • These Corfu shopping tips include advice on buying souvenirs like ceramics, jewelry, gold, silver, wood carvings, and food and drink, with tips on haggling.

    Corfu Shopping Tips

    These Corfu shopping tips include advice on buying souvenirs like ceramics, jewelry, gold, silver, wood carvings, and food and drink, with tips on haggling.

  • Paleokastritsa is on the west coast of Corfu and is one of the most popular holiday spots. This page gives information on beaches, boat trips, weather and map.

    Paleokastritsa, Corfu

    Paleokastritsa is on the west coast of Corfu and is one of the most popular holiday spots. This page gives information on beaches, boat trips, weather and map.

  • This Mount Pantokrator drive takes you to the top of Corfu’s highest mountain with wonderful views to Albania, mainland Greece, and around Corfu.

    Mount Pantokrator Drive

    This Mount Pantokrator drive takes you to the top of Corfu’s highest mountain with wonderful views to Albania, mainland Greece, and around Corfu.

  • The best beaches on Corfu, chosen by Greece Travel Secrets, include Paleokastritsa, Mirtiotissa, Sidari and Cape Asprokavos.

    Best Beaches on Corfu

    The best beaches on Corfu, chosen by Greece Travel Secrets, include Paleokastritsa, Mirtiotissa, Sidari and Cape Asprokavos.

  • If you want to tour northern Corfu in three days you can see busy resorts, quiet fishing villages, Mount Pantokrator, and the Andinioti Lagoon.

    Northern Corfu in Three Days

    If you want to tour northern Corfu in three days you can see busy resorts, quiet fishing villages, Mount Pantokrator, and the Andinioti Lagoon.

  • The Achilleion Palace is one of the most visited sights on Corfu and contains a museum and impressive gardens with wonderful views over the coast.

    The Achilleion Palace

    The Achilleion Palace is one of the most visited sights on Corfu and contains a museum and impressive gardens with wonderful views over the coast.

  • Angelokastro is a 13th-century hilltop fortress with breath-taking views near Paleokastritsa on the Greek island of Corfu in the Ionian Islands.

    Angelokastro

    Angelokastro is a 13th-century hilltop fortress with breath-taking views near Paleokastritsa on the Greek island of Corfu in the Ionian Islands.

  • Corfu or Kerkyra is the main island in the Greek Ionian islands with Corfu Town being one of the most attractive of Greek island capitals.

    Corfu

    Corfu or Kerkyra is the main island in the Greek Ionian islands with Corfu Town being one of the most attractive of Greek island capitals.

  • Northern Corfu is the most diverse part of the island, with Corfu's highest point, Mt Pantokrator, and beach resorts like Sidari and Palaiokastritsa.

    Northern Corfu

    Northern Corfu is the most diverse part of the island, with Corfu's highest point, Mt Pantokrator, and beach resorts like Sidari and Palaiokastritsa.

  • North-West Corfu’s beaches and villages include busy resorts, quiet beaches, hill villages, and places ideal for watching the sunset,

    North-West Corfu Beaches and Villages

    North-West Corfu’s beaches and villages include busy resorts, quiet beaches, hill villages, and places ideal for watching the sunset,

  • This Lawrence Durrell walk takes you from Kaminaki Beach in northern Corfu to the White House in Kalami where the writer Lawrence Durrell lived for four year.

    A Lawrence Durrell Walk

    This Lawrence Durrell walk takes you from Kaminaki Beach in northern Corfu to the White House in Kalami where the writer Lawrence Durrell lived for four year.

  • Corfu’s marine life includes dolphins, loggerhead turtles, and rare Mediterranean monk seals.

    Corfu’s Marine Life

    Corfu’s marine life includes dolphins, loggerhead turtles, and rare Mediterranean monk seals.

  • There are two sides to every Greek island, the tourist and the traditional, and this drive from Corfu Town through northern Corfu shows the two faces of Corfu.

    Northern Corfu Drive

    There are two sides to every Greek island, the tourist and the traditional, and this drive from Corfu Town through northern Corfu shows the two faces of Corfu.

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