Many ancient cities boast an “old town” but the Old Town of Corfu is a UNESCO world heritage site. The beautifully preserved site is located between two fortresses and showcases a collection of Renaissance, Baroque and Classical styles harnessed to artistic traditions.
Visitors will find palaces, fortresses, ascetic public buildings all united by a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets, alleyways, small secluded squares, and lines of laundry drying. These streets are known as “kantoúnia” and offer the feel of visiting Genoa or Naples.
Things to See in Old Town Corfu
Visitors to Old Town enjoy walking the cobblestone streets as they discover a variety of interesting and beautiful places in the city of Corfu.
- Churches: Corfu offers a number of historic churches. One favorite is the Church of St. Spyridon, the island’s patron Saint, whose relics are said to be kept there. You can easily spot this church by its tall bell tower.
- Museums: Old Town Corfu features a number of museums including: The Museum of Asian Art, which was founded in 1927 and the Archaeological Museum which showcases important finds from the temple of Artemis as well as finds from the ancient city of Corfu. The Byzantine Museum which is found in the Church of the Virgin Mary Antivouniotissa where you’ll see a collection of iconic religious items from the 15th – 19th century. There’s also the Banknote Museum which features a collection of Greek coinage from 1822 to today, and the Dionysios Solomos Museum.
- Old Fortress: (and New Fortress which is also old) an impressive 15th century fortress.
- Spianáda: At the center of the city, Spianáda is the largest square in the Balkans. It’s embellished with 19th-century French architecture and is the place to visit to watch cricket games or attend musical concerts that take place throughout the year. Be sure to visit the Saint Michael and George Palace at the northern part of Spianáda.
If your stay is long enough, it’s also worth visiting the suburbs of Mandoúki, Garitsa and Sarókos.
Photo credits: UNESCO