Best Things to Do in Rethymnon at Night

Rethymnon at Night

Rethymnon is a must-see city if you are visiting Crete. Spending time in this fantastic place during the day offers many choices. But what about nightlife in Rethymnon? Believe me when I say that Rethymnon never really sleeps! Dig deeper than the relaxing atmosphere of cafes and beaches, and you will discover a whole new city.

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Rethymno at Night – General Info About Rethymnon, Crete

things to do in Rethymnon at night
The Egyptian Lighthouse, Rethymnon.

Rethymnon (also known as Rethymno) is Crete’s third most important region. It’s home to magic landscapes and nature, beautiful churches and monasteries, traditional villages, and a wonderful coast with stunning beaches

The capital of the region, also called Rethymnon, is a popular summer destination on the island. However, the city is alive all year, as it’s home to one of the most important universities in Crete. This makes Rethymnon a perfect place to spend your nights when in Crete.

Best Time to Visit Rethymnon

things to do in Rethymnon at night
The Venetian Harbor in Rethymnon.

Of course, summer is the best time to discover the region. The beaches are at their best in the north and on the magnificent Rethymninan southern coast. From February to March, you can also enjoy the famous Carnival of Rethymnon, which attracts thousands of visitors yearly with its romantic Venetian atmosphere.

things to do in Rethymnon at night
Sunset over the city of Rethymnon, Crete.

If you visit Rethymno in spring or autumn, you will find mild, pleasant temperatures and fewer tourists. With a substantial number of young inhabitants, Rethymnon is a great destination for fun and entertaining days on Crete.

When the sun goes down, Rethymnon shines for you to fall in love with, no matter the time of year. So, are you ready for a midnight walk? Let’s see the top things to do in Rethymnon at night!

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Top Things to Do in Rethymnon at Night

Check out some of the best things you can do in Rethymnon after a long day at the beach or exploring the region, these are some of my favorite activities when I spend an evening in Rethymnon…

Old Town After the Clock Strikes 12

things to do in Rethymnon at night
The beautiful alleys of the old town.

Rethymnon’s Old Town has a few secrets to reveal at night. After 10 PM, the shops close, and slowly, the crowd disappears. Don’t rush to return to your hotel and stay longer. If you think you are done for the night, you will be surprised to discover that amazing things are waiting for you!

Enjoy delicious Cretan dishes at traditional tavernas accompanied by live music. You won’t regret it whether it is a jazz piano or folk Greek musical instrument band. 

things to do in Rethymnon at night
Evenings near Rimondi Fountain.

Otherwise, find secret bars hidden in the gardens of the houses or old buildings and try some of the signature cocktails made with top local ingredients. 

If neither tempts you, just wander the streets and rediscover the narrow alleys under the stars. Don’t miss passing by the Rimondi Fountain, which is beautifully illuminated during the evenings.

Remember that the kitchens in most restaurants and tavernas operate until midnight, so if you stop for a late dinner, be sure to make your order by 11:30 p.m.

Venetian Harbor Under the Moonlight

things to do in Rethymnon at night
The Old Venetian Harbor at night.

If you are still up for night walking, continue to the Venetian Harbor. After the quiet streets, the harbor dazzles with lights and music from numerous tavernas and bars. You can stop in one for a drink or a nice seafood dinner. But the most charming is the view over Rethymnon, which is covered with lights.

things to do in Rethymnon at night
The silhouette of the Cretan mountains is in the background.

The silhouette of the Psiloritis mountain in the background finishes the breathtaking picture. Walk to the Egyptian Lighthouse and enjoy the view over the Venetian Harbor (be careful as the way is slightly bumpy and slippery).

things to do in Rethymnon at night
Walk to the Lighthouse.

The little fishing boats slowly rock on the quiet waters of the marina, creating an atmosphere of peace and calmness. Stay some time and feel the vibes of the Cretan night.

Rethymnon Beach Stroll

things to do in Rethymnon at night
One of the best things to do at night in Rethymnon is to walk at the beach.

Keen to continue discovering Rethymnon at night? Then I suggest having a walk along the city beach.

Walk from the old building of the former Customs (now a Tourist Information Center) in the Old Harbor along the street of Eleftherios Venizelos to the Square of the Unknown Soldier (Plateia Agnostou Stratioti). This place becomes a pedestrian area after 6 p.m. in summer.

The street is beautifully illuminated with the lights from the bars, while live music can be heard all around. Trolleys with sweets are here and there, and souvenir sellers are sending flying lights high in the sky, giving a feeling of shooting stars. Real summer vibes come from all around. 

things to do in Rethymnon at night
The city beach at night.

During the winter, the bars continue to be open in this part of the beach. Even though traffic is allowed at this time of year at night, there are still great pedestrian passages from both sides of the road.

One is wooden along the seaside, the other is next to the entrances of the bars. Either way, summer or winter, it is worth a stroll during the night hours.

things to do in Rethymnon at night
Rethymnon’s Fortezza at night.

Make your final stop at the Rethymnon Marina, situated directly after the Square of the Unknown Soldier. It’s an amazing viewpoint over the Old Harbor and the Venetian fortress, the Fortezza, which is wonderfully lit all around.  

Nighty Night… Or Not?

things to do in Rethymnon at night
Forget about Hersonissos! There are some great clubs in Rethymnon too!

If quiet nights are not for you, you should visit one of Rethymnon’s best nightclubs. Coffee shops that are calm during the day turn into lively night bars with great Greek and international music. It can be a live DJ, live musicians, or an awesome playlist for the night. Some of the bars offer a small dancing space.

But those few places that you can call a real nightclub are the best of the best. Great dance floors, famous DJs, and endless fun are waiting for you.

things to do in Rethymnon at night
There are great things to do at night in the old harbor.

Some of the best nightclubs in Crete are in Rethymnon Old Town. For instance, you can check out Ice Club near the Rimondi fountain or visit Fortezza Light Bar & Club or Metropolis in the Old Venetian Harbor.

Pay attention to the signs when exploring Rethymnon, and you will be surprised at how many hidden places can turn your night into an unforgettable adventure!

Beach Parties in Rethymnon

things to do in Rethymnon at night
Go beach partying in Rethymnon!

Beach parties in Greece are a must-experience if you love partying. Even though Rethymnon is not as popular a party spot as Herssonisos or Malia, it still has a few great places to crash. 

First, the bars along the city beach of Rethymnon often organize beach parties with live DJs and different thematic. So choose yours and hit the dancefloor sandy beach! Some of the top-rated bars are situated on Ari Velouchioti Street.

For a bigger scale, make a little trip just outside Rethymnon city and get to Adelianos Kampos (you can easily get there by bus), which also has a great choice of beach bars.

Baja Beach Club is believed to be a one-of-a-kind place in the Rethymnon area. Here you can spend all day… and all night! They organize parties featuring international DJs, and the nights get crazy! After all, beach parties are one of the best things to do in Rethymnon at night!

Greek Nights

things to do in Rethymnon at night
Unique Cretan evenings happen all over the island.

Many tavernas organize the so-called Greek nights. This is an evening event when the taverna offers especially regional dishes, including lamb and pork cooked on the open fire.

Even more interesting is that live Greek and Cretan music and traditional dances accompany the evening. Dancers in authentic costumes perform various traditional dances and engage customers to participate. This is an unforgettable experience when one dance can gather dozens of people!

things to do in Rethymnon at night
Antikristò, traditional Cretan meat on the spit.

Usually, such parties start around 9 p.m. and last until midnight. Many hotels also organize Greek nights, so don’t forget to ask at the reception about that. 

If you are searching for an even more exceptional experience, you can visit one of the nearest villages hosting such events.

things to do in Rethymnon at night

For example, the lovely mountain village of Axos hosts a Cretan night in Axos Tavern. Axos is a 1-hour drive from Rethymnon, so hire a car or get there by organized tour.

Another great location for Greek night is the village of Argyroupoli, a 30-minute drive from Rethymnon. The place hosts many traditional tavernas surrounded by breathtaking nature and unique water springs. You will need a car to get there.

This tour leaves from Rethymnon every night to enjoy one of these events in a Chania winery. The trip is relatively short, and the fun is guaranteed!

If you won’t be driving while staying on the island but still wish to spend an amazing night in either of these villages, it’s better to organize your transfer in advance so you won’t have trouble getting back to your hotel later. Click here for transfer services in Crete.

> This guide with tips for driving in Crete has essential info about renting a car and driving on the island.

>> Which car rental service is the best to choose? If you want to rent a car for your trip, consider Discover Cars, a worldwide car rental booking engine.

Annual Festivities in Rethymnon

These are some great things you can do at night in Rethymnon once a year…

Renaissance Festival of Rethymno

things to do in Rethymnon at night
Renaissance evenings in Rethymnon.

Rethymno runs a Renaissance Festival each summer during June dedicated to music, dance, theatre, poetry, and art. Each evening, the Fortezza fortress has something to surprise you with. Whether it’s a ballet performance, theatre plays, a comic show, or an orchestra performance, among many other activities, you’ll find your cup of tea!

Can you imagine a more beautiful amphitheater stage than the one inside the Venetian Fortress under the moonlight? Add also a stunning view over Rethymnon city illuminated by thousands of lights. Incredible!

So if you are lucky to be in Rethymno during June, don’t miss this unique and wonderful occasion.

Wine Tasting at the Fortezza

things to do in Rethymnon at night
The Venetian Fortress at sunset.

Once per year, the Wines of Crete organization and the Municipality of Rethymno organize exclusive wine-tasting sessions at night in the fabulous fortress. Usually, it’s held during one of the evenings in the last days of June.

The wine fair highlights the best wines from over 25 Cretan wineries. If you don’t know what to try first, a professional sommelier will always give you a hint.

things to do in Rethymnon at night
The beautiful atmosphere of Rethymnon at night.

The buffet with Cretan cheese and smoked meat will help intensify the wine taste. And, of course, live music created an even more pleasant and romantic atmosphere.

The event usually starts around 8 p.m. and lasts till 11.30 p.m. The entrance fee is about 10 Euros per person and includes one beautiful wine glass you can take home with you!

As you can see, Rethymnon City offers plenty of choices during your holidays, both day and night. To avoid missing anything amusing, don’t hesitate to ask locals about the latest events, as not all of them are well promoted.
Are you ready to experience nightlife in Rethymnon?

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More resources to enhance your Crete adventure

Start by checking this guide to plan a trip to Crete. Remember to explore the articles on prices in Crete, common mistakes to avoid, and helpful insider secrets. This comprehensive Crete packing list ensures you have everything you need.

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 Rethymnon or Chania, I’ve got detailed guides to help you make the most of your time.

Suggested accommodation in Rethymnon

More useful travel resources

  • Check out all the digital travel guides I’ve specifically written about Crete. They are affordable and practical to check from your mobile.
  • Welcome Pickups offers a convenient pre-paid airport transfer service.
  • To book adventures, tours, and cultural experiences, I always recommend Get Your Guide.

Don’t Leave Before You Pin!
Local’s Guide to Enjoy Rethymnon at Night

Top things to do in Rethymnon (Crete) at night
Things to Do in Rethymnon at Night

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 Crete. 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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