Unique Things to Do in Rethymnon at Night

Rethymnon is no doubt a must-see city if you are visiting Crete. There are so many choices to spend your time in this marvelous place during the day. But what about nightlife in Rethymnon? Believe me when I say that Rethymnon never really sleeps! Dig a little deeper than the relaxing atmosphere of cafes and beaches and you will find a whole new city to discover.

Best things to do in Rethymnon at Night

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Last-minute plans? Check these top picks

Getting there
Book your ferry tickets in advance at the lowest price, with no hidden fees or extra costs.

Where to stay in Crete
For a boutique experience, Casa Delfino in Chania or Avli in Rethymnon. Mrs. and Mr. White (affordable luxury) is a gorgeous resort near Chania. Budget? Check Archipelagos in Rethymnon. Hostel type? The best ones are So Young in Heraklion and Cocoon City in Chania.

Top-rated tours in Crete
Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon from Kissamos (Bestselling tour from US$ 29.65).
Samaria Gorge Trek: Full-Day from Rethymno (Another best-seller, from US$ 36.73).
Day Trip to Elafonisi Island from Chania (From US$ 41).
Knossos Palace: E-Ticket & Audio Tour (Check Knossos at your own pace, from US$ 19.34).

Touring Crete by car?
I use both Discover Cars and Rentalcars.com to reach places where my old jalopy won’t take me.

Need cash?
I’m obsessed with Transferwise! The best online money transfer service: Ridiculously low fees to exchange currency and debit cards accepted all over Greece.

Are you covered?
It’s always better to have travel insurance. Check quotes on World Nomads.

Three items you need in Crete
Don’t forget your daypack for beach days and excursions. Add a good map, the Lonely Planet Guide, or get a copy of my own guide to West Crete!


    General info about Rethymnon, Crete

    The Egyptian Lighthouse, Rethymnon.

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

    The capital of the region, also called Rethymnon, is a popular summer destination on the island. However, the city is pretty much alive all year long, 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

    The Venetian Harbor in Rethymnon.

    Of course, Summer is the best moment to discover the region. The beaches are at their best, both in the north as well as on the magnificent Rethymninan southern coast.

    However, you can also visit from February to March, you can have fun during the famous Carnival of Rethymnon, which every year attracts thousands of visitors with its romantic Venetian atmosphere.

    Those who visit in Spring or during Autumn, find mild, pleasant temperatures, and fewer tourists all over the island. Rethymnon, however, with a substantial number of young inhabitants, is a great destination for fun and entertaining days on Crete.

    Sunset over the city of Rethymnon, Crete.

    And when the sun goes down, Rethymnon puts on a shiny day for you to fall in love with it, no matter the time of the year… So, are you ready for a midnight walk? Let’s see what are the top things to do in Rethymnon at night!

    Top things to do in Rethymnon at night

    Old Town after the clock strikes 12

    The beautiful alleys of the old town.

    Rethymnon’s Old Town has few secrets to reveal during the night time. After 10 PM the shops are closing and slowly the crowd is disappearing. So don’t rush to return to your hotel and stay a bit longer. 

    Enjoy delicious Cretan dishes at traditional tavernas accompanied by live music. Whether it is a jazz piano or folk Greek musical instruments you won’t regret it. 

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

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

    Evenings near Rimondi Fountain.

    Do you think you are done for the night? Oh no, other amazing things are waiting for you!

    >> Keep in mind that the kitchen in the restaurants and tavernas operates till midnight, so if you stop for a late dinner, be sure to make your order till 11:30 PM.

    Only a little time in town?
    >>Discover what to do in Rethymnon in two days<<

    Venetian Harbor under the moonlight

    Old Venetian Harbor at night.

    If you are still up to the night walking then continue to the Venetian Harbor. After the quiet streets, the Harbor is overwhelming with the lights and the music from numerous tavernas and bars.

    You can stop in one of them for a drink or a nice seafood dinner.

    But the most charming is the view over the whole Rethymnon covered with lights. The silhouette of the Psiloritis mountain in the background finishes the breathtaking picture.

    The silhouette of the Cretan mountains in the background.

    Walk till the Egyptian Lighthouse and enjoy the view over the Venetian Harbor itself (be careful as the way is a little bit bumpy and slippery).

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

    Walk all the way to the Lighthouse.

    Wondering where to stay in Rethymnon?
    >>Check the best hotels in the area<<

    Rethymnon beach stroll

    Keen to continue discovering Rethymnon at night? Then I suggest having a walk along the city beach. Walk all the way from the old building of the former Customs (now it is a Tourist Information Center) in the Old Harbor, along the street of Eleftherios Venizelos till the Square of the Unknown Soldier (Plateia Agnostou Stratioti). This place becomes a pedestrian area after 6 PM during summer months.

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

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

    The city beach at night.

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

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

    Rethymnon’s Fortezza at night.

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

    Nighty night… or not?

    Forget about Hersonissos! There are some great clubs in Rethymnon too!

    If the quiet night is not your type then you should definitely visit one of the Rethymnon’s best night clubs. Coffee shops that are calm during the day turn into lively night bars with great music, both Greek and international. It can be a live DJ, live musicians, or just 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 night club are the best of the best. Great dance floors, famous DJs, and endless fun are waiting for you.

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

    Some of the first-rate night clubs can be found in the Old Town. For instance, you can check Ice Club near the Rimondi fountain, or you can visit Fortezza Light Bar & Club or Metropolis in the Old Venetian Harbor.

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

    Beach party never killed anybody

    Go beach partying in Rethymnon!

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

    First of all, the bars along the city beach of Rethymnon often organize beach parties with live DJs and different thematics. 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 the city of Rethymnon city 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!

    Beach parties are one the best things to do in Rethymnon at night!

    Greek nights

    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.

    What’s even more interesting is that the evening is accompanied by live Greek and Cretan music and traditional dances. Dancers in authentic costumes perform various traditional dances and engage customers to take part too. This is an unforgettable experience when one dance can gather dozens of people!

    Antikristò, traditional Cretan meat on the spit.

    Usually, such parties start around 9 PM and last till midnight.

    By the way, many hotels organize Greek nights too, so don’t forget to find out at the reception about that. 

    In case you are searching for an even more exceptional experience, then you can visit one of the nearest villages that host such events.

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

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

    >> If you wish to spend an amazing night in either of these villages, it is better to organize your transfer in advance, so you will not have trouble getting back to your hotel later.

    Annual Festivities

    Renaissance Festival of Rethymno

    Each summer during June, Rethymno runs a Renaissance Festival 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, or theatre plays, a comic show, or an orchestra performance, among many other activities, you’ll definitely find your cup of tea!

    Renaissance evenings in Rethymnon.

    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

    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 26 Cretan wineries. If you don’t know what to try first, then a professional sommelier is always there to give you a hint. The buffet with Cretan cheese and smoked meat will help to intensify the taste of wines.

    And of course, live music created an even more pleasant and romantic atmosphere.

    The event usually starts around 8 PM and lasts till 11:30 PM. The entrance fee is 7-10 Euros per person and includes one beautiful wine glass that you can take home with you!

    The beautiful atmosphere of Rethymnon at night.

    As you can see, Rethymnon city has plenty of choices to offer you during your holidays, both day and night. In order not to miss anything amusing, don’t hesitate to ask locals (or to get in touch with us) about the latest events, as not all of them are well promoted. 

    Are you ready to explore Greece? It can be the trip of your lifetime. Get in touch if you need extra help to plan your itinerary. If you happen to also tour West Crete, check this guide. You’ll find detailed info about where to go, what to see, where to eat, and more!

    Want more? Join my Private Facebook Group to connect with like-minded travelers who love Crete as much as you do!

    Coming to Crete any time soon? These resources will help you organize the trip!

    Start by reading these helpful tips to plan a trip to Crete, which covers details such as when it’s best to travel, what documents you need, or how to get a SIM card. Check family holidays in Crete if you travel with kids.

    To visit Crete’s heavenly beaches, check my guide to the best beaches in Crete. Discover what region is best to stay or check what things you can do in Crete.

    For updated information about the island, join my private group on Facebook, or get my West Crete Guide!

    Finally, make sure you’ve got everything you for a hassle-free trip!

    I never move around Crete without my Osprey backpack, a sturdy, light, roomy, and super comfortable travel partner I just love. To visit villages, sites, and museums instead, I carry this little crossbody bag.

    When driving around, I pack my Crete Michelin map and my Nikon D7200. In Summer I also carry good sunscreen lotion, the sun on the island can be pretty aggressive.

    Airfares to Crete can change from one airline to the other, make sure to compare prices with a powerful search engine. Planes are fast, but nothing like the romantic experience of traveling by sea in Greece. With Ferry Hopper, you can book your ferry tickets in advance at the lowest price.

    If I need to book accommodation, I personally use different search engines. Booking.com
    and Hotels.com are my go-to options.
    Sometimes, the best way to make the most of your time on Crete is to join an organized tour. GetYourGuide has top-rated tours to save time and money. From cooking lessons to archaeological site tours, skip-the-line attractions, and airport transfer!

    Do you have everything you need? Then you just have to get ready to discover Crete, Greece’s most beautiful island!

    If you want to read further about Crete check these posts

    If you would like to learn everything about the practical aspects of planning a trip to Crete, you should also check what to pack for a road trip around Crete and this crazy useful guide to renting a car and driving on the island. This 3-week-in-Crete itinerary is super flexible and can be adapted for less (or even more) time on the island. However, you might already know that the island is quite big, and it’s not always easy to decide which region to visit or where to stay. I’ve written a post about the best regions to stay in Crete according to your interests and travel style, and it’s a must-read before your trip.

    Once on the island, make sure you check some of the best archaeological sites in Crete as well as the stunning Balos Beach, on the western coast. Make some time to discover Crete’s beautiful monasteries and to taste the most delicious street food in Chania while exploring the Turkish district in the old town!

    Have you ever experienced nightlife in Rethymnon?
    Let me know in the comments below!

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    Best things to do in Rethymnon at Night
    Best things to do in Rethymnon at Night
    Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

    About the Author

    Hola! I’m Gabi. Welcome to The Tiny Book – Crete Travel Blog! I moved to Crete to explore the island all year round. I love taking pictures and driving on the mountain roads of Crete. I’m a beach freak and on this island I’ve found heaven on earth!

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