The biggest town on the island and the seat of the local government. The city is divided in two. The New Town with its modern buildings and shopping areas and hotel-lined beachfront, and within it sealed behind a double ring of high walls and a deep moat, the Old Town. Nearly half the population live in the area, with 6,000 living within the walls of Rhodes Old Town.
The Medieval section is a true gem in Greece, few cities can boast so many layers of architectural history, with ruins and relics of the Classical, Ottoman and Italian eras entangled in a mind-boggling maze of twisting lanes.
One of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe, it is inscribed in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. Imposing stone-built buildings, paved alleys, cozy shops, restaurants and bars create a unique scenery and vividness in a living legend. Passing through one of the seven gates into the old-town, you move into a different world. Over 200 rambling, narrow, pedestrian-only streets wait to be explored, many without street names. Take the time to meander through these incredible streets and eat a great meal in a taverna or restaurant. Be sure to include a stroll down Knights Street, which takes you to The Palace of the Grand Master. Restored by the Italians in 1940 it holds an extensive collection of priceless antiquities. The Archaeological Museum includes a myriad of artefacts, as well as a small room housing Aphrodite of Rhodes. Climb to the top of the clock tower for photographic views across the city. Visit the port to watch the giant cruise liners nosing their way in and out, or enjoy a day relaxing on the beach.
As dusk falls, night-time restaurants, bars and clubs open up. With majestic buildings silhouetted against the night sky, the old-town takes on a new relaxed, even romantic ambience, ideal for those special occasion meals. If you want lively, then head for Orfanidou Street with its busy bars and clubs, where you can party into the early hours.
The New Town, meanwhile, is a modern Mediterranean resort, with decent beaches, upscale shops, lively nightlife and waterfront bars, cafes, restaurants and tavernas.
If you only have time to visit one place on the island, Rhodes Town should top your list. You can also stay inside the Old Town in one of the numerous hotels.
The local tourist information office for the Dodecanese Islands is located in Rhodes city at the corner of Makariou & Papagou Streets (opposite the New Market). ☎ +30 2241 410 44335 or +30 2241 410 44336.
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