Here’s our simple guide for how to see the best of Irakleio in a day including the Archaeological Museum, Icon Museum, Historical Museum and Venetian Harbour.
You can just about fit Irákleio’s main sights into one long day if you take advantage of early and late opening times. But check the hours for each attraction first, as you may need to switch this itinerary around a little on certain days.
Get an early start at the Archaeological Museum. If you haven’t had breakfast yet, start your visit with a coffee and pastry in the museum coffee shop.
Walk down Odos Dedalou, the main shopping street, and turn right when you reach the end at Platia Venizelou. Continue down Odos 25 Augoustou, stopping to admire the Venetian Loggia. Just beyond, peek into the lovely Áyios Títos church, set back on a small square. Continue to the end of the street, where it reaches the waterfront.
Walk out along the colourful harbour and visit the Venetian Fortress. Be sure to climb to the top for the city’s best views. See our full page about Irakleio's Harbour and Venetian Fortress.
Have an early lunch by the waterside at Taverna Paralia, with lovely views out to sea. It’s one of our favourite places to eat in Irakleio, and we always try to get a table with great views of the harbour and the Venetian Fortress.
From Paralia, walk along the waterfront to the Historical Museum, which is only 5 minutes away. It’s not a huge museum and you’ll probably spend an hour or so here. You can certainly see the highlights in that time. See our full page about the Historical Museum.
Return to Platia Venizelou and have a closer look at the Morosini Fountain. You’ve got some time to kill, but there’s no better spot for people-watching. Have a welcome rest at Bougatsa Kirkor and try Crete’s traditional custard pastry, the bougátsa, or relax in the adjacent El Greco Park.
Visit the Icon Museum, which should take you less than an hour, and see the cathedral and church of Áyios Mínas, both on the same square. See our full page on Irakleio’s Icon Museum.
Afterwards, there’s still time for a last look at the Minoan treasures in the Archaeology Museum, which is open until 8pm. You can then have a pre-dinner drink in one of the bars behind Dedalou Street and congratulate yourself for seeing Irakleio in a day!