Nightlife in Crete: What to Do and Best Places for a Fun Stay on the Island!

Nightlife in Crete

Coming to Crete this summer and eager to enjoy the nights as the locals do? Or looking for the best places to go out at night in Crete? Either way, this post has the right answers. Read on to find out everything about nightlife in Crete!

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Best Places to Stay in Crete for Nightlife

nightlife in crete

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Nightlife in Crete

nightlife in crete
Nightlife in Crete.

Although the island does not have the same party vibe you might find in the Cyclades, there are some areas in Crete better known for nightclubs and fun atmospheres.

There are great clubs and discos, but also entertaining places for Cretan nights (also known as Greek nights) that often include plenty to eat and drink as well as singing and traditional dances.

Things to do at night vary greatly according to your age and the style of nightlife you prefer. Platanias in Chania or Hersonissos and Malia in Heraklion are the places to be if you’re into clubbing.

However, despite being the island so big, discos are not really a thing in Crete. If that’s your style, you’ll be better in Mykonos, Ios, or other Cycladic islands.

Lounge bars, speak-easy, pubs

nightlife in crete
Chania at night.

Nightlife for young adults in Crete is usually quite relaxed. People meet for a drink in lounge bars where decibels actually allow them to have a conversation. Check them out on the waterfront of Chania’s Old Town, and the center of Heraklion.

In Agios Nikolaos, choose the bars close to the port and on the pedestrian road. There are also pubs in the Old Town of Rethymnon.

For many, night entertainment is about a good dinner. Or a traditional Greek night with live Cretan music. There are plenty of options like this all over Crete. You just need to ask around.

Let’s see a bit more about the local nightlife in each region.

Chania at Night

nightlife in crete

Concerning Crete nightlifeChania Town is the right place to find bars and clubs, some of them well-hidden in the picturesque alleys of the old town and others lining the waterfront with a gorgeous view of the night sky and the sea.

Some of the most visited places are:

  • Chania: Peacock Tail Bar, Chania Irish Pub Conor Pass, Kibar: The Monastery of Karolos, Synagogi Bar (the last two are my favorite in Chania!).
  • Platanias: Eyes Live Lounge, Dielefsis Scandinavian DJ Bar.
  • Agia Marina: Level Cocktail Bar, Oki Bar.

You will find a complete list of the best Chania bars, pubs, and discos in this article.

Where to Stay in Chania for Nightlife

nightlife in crete
Disco in Platanias (Mylo).

If you’re a night animal, the best areas to stay in the region are the old town, with lots of boutique hotels but also rooms to let and studios for those on a budget.

Alternatively, if you also want to catch some sunlight by the sea, check out the hotels in Agia Marina and in Platanias, where there are dozens of clubs and pubs open until late at night (… well, until early in the morning, to put it better!).

Rethymnon at Night

nightlife in crete

The third most important city on the island, Rethymnon comes first when it comes to nightlife! Home to an important university, there are discos, pubs, beach clubs, and music bars scattered all around the pretty town of Rethymno.

There are also plenty of taverns and restaurants offering Greek nights for those interested in learning about the local traditions.

  • Most of these pubs concentrate along the old Venetian port of Rethymnon. Some of my favorite ones include Fraoules, Living Room, and Queens Room. Check out this page for the best bars and pubs in Rethymnon 

Check out more fabulous things to do in Rethymnon at night!

Where to Stay in Rethymnon for Nightlife

Rethymnon at Night

Arguably, the best area to stay in Rethymnon if you want to be close to pubs and discos is the old town.

Over here, you can find affordable accommodation as well as luxury resorts that are also close to the beach. In town, there are many beautiful boutique hotels, some of them quite affordable too!

Heraklion at Night

Best things to do in Heraklion at Night
Heraklion at night.

As you would expect, there are many things to do at night in Heraklion. Crete’s capital is a city that hardly ever sleeps at night…although siestas are still respected!

If you stay in the town center, you can discover the best restaurants, some offering traditional Greek music shows. However, there are also incredible pubs and music bars for younger travelers.

The wildest nightlife scene in Crete is in the Malia and Hersonissos. There are many clubs in Malia and a few in nearby Stalis, the two places that are mostly frequented by British tourists.

In the rest of the tourist places of Crete, there are lounge bars with soft music and exotic cocktails, but on the famous Malia Strip, there are clubs, beach discos, and crazy party venues all over the place. These are some of the best nightlife venues:

  • Heraklion: Jailhouse
  • Hersonissos: New York Beach, Enigma Nightlife, Matrix, Club Sensation, Mojo Bar, Nostos Irish Bar, Palm Beach Club, Y.O.L.O (gay bar), Cameo.
  • Malia: Hideout, Zigzag, Apollo, Squeeze Bar, Help Bar.
  • Stalis: Slainte Irish Bar.
  • Agia Pelagia: Nefeli.

For a peaceful night, enjoy a long dinner in the taverns in the small villages of Heraklion. These taverns have delicious recipes and local wine or raki. If you have the chance, do not miss Crete’s famous panigiri and festivals with traditional music and dancing till sunrise.

Where to Stay in Heraklion for Nightlife

The gorgeous beach in Malia.

You can stay in the center of town to have fun at the different pubs and bars and explore the city and important sites such as Knossos Palace or the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.

If you care only about dancing, check out Malia and Hersonissos for a stay close to the beach and the wildest nightlife in Crete.

Nightlife in Agios Nikolaos, Lasithi Region

Agios Nikolaos, Crete
Agios Nikolaos.

Agios Nikolaos is a small town in Eastern Crete and the capital of the Lasithi region. The area is traditionally quieter than other towns in Crete, yet there are a few interesting places, especially in Elounda and the small settlement of Sissi.

  • Elounda: SixtySix Shisha Cocktail Bar.
  • Sissi: The Jolly Roger, Peggy Gordon’s Irish Bar.

Where to stay in Lasithi for Nightlife

Agios Nikolaos.

Choose a place to stay near the lake for nightlife in Agios Nikolaos; there are some great pubs for snacks and cocktails. You can spend the evening enjoying a drink by Lake Voulismeni.

Alternatively, you can book a hotel in Sissi, which offers quite affordable accommodation, or choose a hotel in Elounda, a bit more exclusive and expensive.

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Are you dreaming of a getaway to Crete but feeling overwhelmed with planning?

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More resources to enhance your Crete adventure

Start by checking out my guide to planning your trip to Crete, packed with helpful essential information. Explore the articles on prices in Crete, common mistakes to avoid, and insider secrets. You can also get one of the digital travel guides I’ve written about Crete. They are affordable and practical to check from your mobile.

When it’s time to plan, explore the best places to visit on Crete Island, discover my tours and activities, and be amazed at Crete’s incredible beaches. If you are exploring specific areas like Heraklion, Rethymnon, Lasithi, and Chania, I’ve got detailed guides to help you make the most of your time.

Suggested accommodation in Crete

No time to read all my accommodation guides? Check out these places to stay:

Pin this Guide to the Best Places to Stay in Crete for Nightlife

nightlife in crete

About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the island. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

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