Untitled design 2024 02 20T105409.758 Rhodes Town in Autumn
Rhodes Town in Autumn
February 20, 2024
Untitled design 2024 02 20T111739.692 Aquarium of Rhodes
Aquarium of Rhodes
February 20, 2024
Untitled design 2024 02 20T105409.758 Rhodes Town in Autumn
Rhodes Town in Autumn
February 20, 2024
Untitled design 2024 02 20T111739.692 Aquarium of Rhodes
Aquarium of Rhodes
February 20, 2024


Spanning across centuries of history, Rhodes Old Town is a shining testament to the island’s storied past, seamlessly integrating Hellenistic, Byzantine, and Ottoman influences within its fortified walls.

At its heart lies the Mandraki District, once the stronghold of the famous Knights of St. John, where every cobblestone whispers tales of Crusader chivalry and intrigue.

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rhodes Old Town not only stands as an open-air museum but continues to function as a vibrant community, with local artisans and traditional eateries maintaining the cultural fabric of this intriguing locale.

It is here that visitors can experience a tapestry of architectural marvels, from the Palace of the Grand Master to the Street of the Knights, each echoing the footsteps of a bygone era awaiting discovery.

Why visit Rhodes Old Town

Rhodes Old Town beckons with a blend of cultural treasures and captivating history, making it a must-visit destination for travelers:

  • Cultural Immersion: Walk through history in the Mandraki District, once the cradle of knightly valor and now a mosaic of cultural exhibitions and boutiques.
  • Architectural Wonders: The majestic Palace of the Grand Master and the historic Street of the Knights offer architectural aficionados a glimpse into medieval grandeur.
  • Vibrant Atmosphere: Contemporary life thrives among ancient stones. The local markets, infused with the aroma of traditional spices, present a sensory delight.
  • Strategic Location: Rhodes Old Town serves as an ideal base for exploring the island, providing easy access to beaches, valleys, and other notable attractions.
  • Year-Round Appeal: Regardless of the season, the town’s mild climate makes it an excellent choice for an enriching getaway, weaving historical exploration with the joys of Mediterranean weather.

By placing history alongside modernity, Rhodes Old Town delivers an incomparable travel experience, inviting visitors to unravel its mysteries and charm with each step they take.

Rhodes Old Town Highlights

Cultural Immersion in Rhodes Old Town

Engage with the Past:

  • History enthusiasts will find solace in the Old Town’s Medieval Museum, showcasing a collection of artifacts that paint a vivid picture of the town’s illustrious history.
  • Preserved mosaics and frescoes in various locales across town offer an unadulterated glimpse into the artistic endeavors of ancient craftsmen.

Experience Living History:

  • Witness locals who still reside within the city walls, preserving age-old traditions and crafts right before your eyes.
  • Traditional workshops give life to the ancient arts of weaving and pottery, a testament to the Old Town’s ongoing cultural legacy.

Authentic Culinary Delights:

  • Gastronomy in Rhodes Old Town is as rich in history as its architecture, with taverns and cafés serving timeless recipes such as moussaka and mezze platters, often accompanied by Ouzo or local wines.
  • The Rhodian Wine Festival offers an oenological journey through time, celebrating the island’s viticulture dating back to the era of the Knights.

Architectural Marvels of Rhodes Old Town

Rhodes Old Town offers an awe-inspiring array of architectural wonders, each telling its own story of the island’s rich history:

  • The Palace of the Grand Master, dominating the skyline, is a fortress-like palace that was the administrative center for the Knights of St. John. This massive Gothic structure has been restored to showcase period furniture, elaborate mosaics, and exhibits on the history of Rhodes.
  • The Street of the Knights stretches with a solemn grandeur, lined by inns once occupied by knights of different origins. The street culminates at the Palace, reflecting the organization and hierarchy of the Knights Hospitaller.
  • Fortifications of the Old Town, including towers, gates, and battlements, illustrate the defensive strategies of the past. Visitors can explore these medieval defenses, gaining insight into the architectural ingenuity of the era.

Vibrant Atmosphere of Rhodes Old Town

Rhodes Old Town not only serves as a historical treasure trove but also boasts a lively and dynamic atmosphere, breathing life into its ancient stones:

  • Bustling Marketplaces: The Old Town’s markets are a bustling maze of stalls and shops, where visitors can hunt for souvenirs, hand-crafted jewelry, and leather goods amidst the calls of local merchants.
  • Eclectic Nightlife: As the sun sets, the town transforms into a sociable hub with a mix of traditional tavernas, sophisticated bars, and lively street performances, offering nighttime entertainment with a historic backdrop.
  • Festivals and Celebrations: Year-round cultural events and medieval reenactments bring the town’s history to vivid life, allowing tourists to partake in Rhodes’ rich heritage.
  • Local Commerce: Authenticity permeates the shopping experience, with family-owned shops providing products ranging from local spices and olive oils to hand-made ceramics and textiles, forged by local craftsmen using age-old techniques.

Strategic Location of Rhodes Old Town

Rhodes Old Town is strategically positioned as the crossroads of major sea routes in the Aegean Sea, melding its storied past with a gateway to numerous attractions:

  • Proximity to Beaches: Visitors can easily venture from the historical confines of the Old Town to the island’s famed beaches, such as Faliraki and Tsambika, renowned for their crystalline waters and golden sands.
  • Access to Island Landmarks: The town is conveniently positioned for day trips to landmarks like the Acropolis of Lindos and the ancient city of Kamiros, illustrating the island’s diverse historical landscape.
  • Gateway to Neighboring Islands: Regular ferry connections provide opportunities for island-hopping to nearby Dodecanese islands like Kos and Patmos, or even to the Turkish coast.
  • Transportation Hub: As a pivotal link in the region, Rhodes Old Town is well-served by the island’s transport infrastructure, including roads featuring scenic drives and a port offering commercial and leisure maritime links.

Year-Round Appeal of Rhodes Old Town

The enduring charm of Rhodes Old Town is magnified by its year-round appeal, making it an attractive destination for tourists regardless of the season. The following points highlight its perennial allure:

  • Mild Mediterranean Climate: Rhodes enjoys a temperate climate with mild winters and warm, sunny summers, ensuring that the Old Town can be comfortably visited at any time.
  • Cultural Events: Throughout the year, Rhodes Old Town hosts a variety of cultural festivals and events that showcase traditional music, dance, and customs, providing visitors with an authentic and immersive experience.
  • Less Crowded Off-Season: Traveling during the off-peak months offers a more relaxed and intimate atmosphere, allowing visitors to explore the town without the bustle of high-season crowds.
  • Diverse Experiences: The changing seasons bring new perspectives and experiences, from the different blooms in the spring to the festive decorations during the winter holidays, each adding a unique touch to the historical setting.

Where is Rhodes Old Town and how to get there

Rhodes Old Town is readily accessible through various modes of transportation available on the island. To provide visitors with an informative and professional guide on reaching this historic site:

By Car or Taxi:

  • For those staying elsewhere on the island, driving is a convenient option. The Old Town is well-signposted, and there are several car parks outside the city walls. Taxis are also readily available and offer a direct and stress-free option to get to the Old Town from anywhere in Rhodes.

By Public Transport:

  • Local Buses operate regular services connecting popular tourist areas and the New Town of Rhodes with Rhodes Old Town. Route information and timetables are available at local tourist information centres.

By Bicycle or On Foot:

  • For the active visitor, bicycle hire is popular, with dedicated bicycle lanes in some parts. For those already in the vicinity of the New Town or nearby beaches, a pleasant walk to the Old Town can be part of the day’s exploration.

History of the Rhodes Old Town

The enigmatic history of Rhodes Old Town is remarkably encapsulated within its walls and cobblestone paths. Constructed in the 14th century by the Knights of St. John, a Christian military order, the Town was a pivotal center of power during medieval times.

The architectural marvels and the strategic fortifications were primarily established to serve the dual purpose of administrative functionality and protection against potential invasions. The legacy of these knights from the Order of St. John is still evident in the majestic Palace of the Grand Master and the Street of the Knights, where each inn represents the various languages or ethnic groups of the knights.

As centuries passed, Rhodes Old Town evolved under different sovereignties, bearing witness to a fusion of cultures and historical narratives. The Ottomans captured Rhodes in 1522, under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent, and the town’s character changed significantly as mosques and baths were added to the eclectic architectural mix.

Centuries later, the island was occupied by the Italian Army in 1912, further contributing to the diversity of cultural influences with Italians restoring many of the medieval buildings and leaving their mark on the town’s design.

Through these layers of history, Rhodes Old Town emerged as an amalgamation of architectural styles and historical tales. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, today’s Old Town is not only a testament to past grandeur but continues to pulse with life, resonating with the footsteps of tourists and the vibrant activities of locals.

Things do Do Nearby Rhodes Old Town

Explore the Surrounding Wonders of Rhodes Old Town

A visit to Rhodes Old Town is complemented by numerous attractions that beckon just beyond its formidable walls. The Acropolis of Rhodes stands as a testament to ancient Greek architectural ingenuity, offering panoramic views of the island.

Built in the Hellenistic period, its remnants include the Temple of Apollo, an ancient stadium, and an odeon. A short journey will transport visitors from the medieval streets of the Old Town to this beacon of classical antiquity.

For those seeking a tranquil retreat, the Rodini Park—believed to be one of the world’s oldest parks—is situated within close proximity to the Old Town. The park’s lush landscape, dotted with peacocks and crossed by meandering streams, invites a serene escape from the bustling town.

Its venerable history includes it being the site of a School of Rhetoric where prominent Romans, such as Julius Caesar and Cicero, once studied.

Immerse in the Local Culture and Leisure

Venturing slightly further, the Valley of the Butterflies enchants nature lovers with its seasonal spectacle from June to September, when thousands of butterflies converge in this unique habitat.

Meanwhile, culture enthusiasts can appreciate post-Byzantine art in the Our Lady of the Castle church, an Orthodox cathedral that encapsulates the island’s layered religious heritage from its Byzantine to Ottoman and Italian eras.

Rhodes Old Town’s advantageous location serves as an ideal base for exploring these attractions and many others—each with histories intertwining with that of the Old Town, enriching the collective cultural fabric of the island. From the ancient to the pastoral, the area surrounding Rhodes Old Town offers an array of experiences that cater to the curiosity and relaxation of every traveller.

Frequently asked Questions about Rhodes Old Town

Q: What is Rhodes Old Town?

A: Rhodes Old Town is a historic medieval town located on the Greek island of Rhodes. It is renowned for its well-preserved walls, charming cobblestone streets, and ancient landmarks.

Q: What are the opening hours?

A: Rhodes Old Town is an open-air archaeological site accessible for exploration at any time of the day. However, specific attractions within the town may have individual operating hours.

Q: How can I purchase tickets to visit Rhodes Old Town?

A: Tickets to enter Rhodes Old Town are not required as it is an open public space. However, certain museums, attractions, and historical sites within the town may have admission fees.

Q: What is the ticket price for visiting the museums and historical sites?

A: Ticket prices for museums and historical sites within Rhodes Old Town vary. It’s advisable to check the official websites or inquire locally for updated ticket information.

Q: Are there guided tours available for exploring Rhodes Old Town?

A: Yes, guided tours led by knowledgeable local guides are available for those seeking a deeper understanding of the town’s history and culture. Information about guided tours can be obtained from tourist information centers or guide companies in the area.

Q: Are there any special events or exhibitions held in there?

A: Various cultural events, exhibitions, and festivals take place in Rhodes Old Town throughout the year, showcasing the island’s rich heritage. Visitors can check local event listings or the official tourism website for event schedules.

Q: What should I know before visiting Old Town?

A: Before visiting, it’s recommended to wear comfortable footwear suitable for walking on cobblestone streets. Additionally, carrying sun protection, water, and a camera for capturing the picturesque scenery is advised.

Q: Can I take photographs in there?

A: Photography for personal use is generally permitted in Rhodes Old Town. However, some museums and specific sites may have restrictions on photography, so it’s best to inquire locally.

Q: Is Rhodes Old Town accessible to individuals with mobility challenges?

A: Rhodes Old Town’s layout includes cobblestone streets and uneven terrain, which may pose challenges for individuals with mobility issues. However, certain areas and attractions may have accessibility provisions. It’s recommended to inquire about accessibility beforehand.