Where to Stay in Heraklion: Insanely Helpful Accommodation Guide For Crete’s Capital

Venetian fortress Heraklion - Koules at sunset

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It’s common for travelers to Crete to spend at least a few days in Heraklion. People are curious about discovering the capital of the island and the attractions in the area. A short stay in Heraklion is great to visit the Archaeological Museum, the Palace of Knossos, and Matala Beach.

The capital of Crete is also close to the island’s most important wine region, ideal for you to discover the stunning Cretan wines. With this guide, I want to help you choose where to stay in Heraklion in order for you to visit the top landmarks in the region.

Disclaimer: Posts include affiliate links to products or services. I might earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you.

Let’s Start by Getting Ready for Crete!


Book your flight: I use Skyscanner to compare prices before booking a plane ticket.

Book your ferry: When ferries are more convenient than air travel, I use Ferryhopper.

Book your accommodation: I’ve tried many different platforms for accommodation, but none of them beats the advantages of Booking.com.

Book your car: The best way to find an affordable car to rent is to use a powerful search engine that compares all the rental companies in the market. I use Discover Cars.

Book your tours: Live unforgettable adventures and cultural experiences with Get Your Guide. For instance, you can Visit Elafonisi, discover Balos Beach, hike Samaria, or explore Knossos.

Don’t forget travel insurance: Things can go wrong at times, but travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. I recommend Safety Wing for peace of mind.

Best Places to Stay in Heraklion

where to stay in Heraklion

If you plan to stay in Heraklion for one or two nights, the best thing you can do is forget everything about going to the beach. Focus on visiting the city and the archaeological sites.

There aren’t beautiful beaches or great beachside resorts close to the city center. And I personally believe that the best beaches in Heraklion are on the southern coast.

Located on the north coast, Hersonissos and Malia, are two important beach resorts, appealing to young couples and groups of friends.

They’re about 30 minutes from the center of Heraklion. I’ve included them in this guide, however, they don’t truly represent the most authentic side of Crete. 

City Hotels

There are several city hotels in Heraklion to spend a few days that are close to the main attractions in the area. From very convenient options to more expensive and exclusive accommodations.

You can also rent an apartment or go to a hostel to save a few bucks. 

The choice of city hotels is wide enough for you to find any kind of accommodation no matter the budget. To make things easy, I’ve divided this guide into three categories: budget, mid-range, and luxury accommodation.

And always remember that booking your place in advance is the best tactic to get good deals and cheaper fees.

You might also like: Best Day Trips from Heraklion.

No time to read all the list? Check these suggestions:

Quick Guide: Where to Stay in Heraklion, Crete

Best Hotels in Heraklion
Affordable: Candia Studios & Rooms or Rea Hotel in the city center.
Mid-range: Capsis Astoria and Veneziano Boutique Hotel in town.
Luxury: GDM Megaron H. M. Hotel or Galaxy Iraklio in the center.
Check also Heraklion Accommodation Guide and Best Places to Stay in Crete.

Best Places to Stay in Heraklion

where to stay in Heraklion

Heraklion is Crete’s capital and the most populated area. Likewise, most of the flights arriving in Crete land in Heraklion, so there’s a chance that you’ll go through the city during your trip.

Moreover, Heraklion hosts Crete’s most important archaeological site, Knossos, attracting visitors all year round. Everyone makes a point to visit Knossos, and you probably will too.

On the North coast, Hersonissos and Malia, are important vacation resorts with all-inclusive structures, a must if you are into package holidays. There are 8 municipalities in Heraklion where you can book a stay:
– Heraklion
– Hersonissos
– Viannos
– Malevizi
– Minoa Pediada
– Gortyna
– Phaistos
– Archanes-Asterousia

Highlights in the Region of Heraklion include…

– Knossos Palace
– Archaeological Museum of Heraklion
– Rocca a Mare Fortress
– Archaeological Site of Malia
– Archaeological Site of Phaistos
– Heraklion Wine Region
– Matala Beach
– Archanes Villages

Accommodation Guide:
Where to Stay in Heraklion on a Budget

Crete can be quite a convenient destination in terms of budget holidays. Having a somewhat limited budget will also let you find a good place to stay without having to spend millions.

This is as true for Heraklion and small towns, as it is for any other region on the island. Let’s begin by checking the best places to stay in Heraklion for a reduced fee.
These are some of the best places to stay in Heraklion within a budget limit of €50-€60 per day.

So Young Hostel

where to stay in Heraklion
Courtesy: So Young Hostel

Let’s start with this great hostel in the center of town, one of the best areas for a stay in Heraklion.
So Young Hostel is only 4 minutes away from Heraklion Archaeological Museum while the Minoan Palace of Knossos is just 5 km away.

The bus station to reach the palace is very close to the hostel, which makes it a perfect place if you don’t want to rent a car.

On the premises, you can either book a room with shared or with private bathrooms. To make the offer more tempting, there’s a communal kitchen with a coffee machine (personally, this is something I cannot do without no matter where I stay!).

And if you’re still craving some beach time, the hostel offers a free shuttle service to Amoudara Beach, minutes from the center of Heraklion.

The hotel is a short walk away from the port of Heraklion, about 10 minutes on foot, while the international airport is a 10-minute ride away.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Rea Hotel

Another place to stay in the center of Heraklion is Rea Hotel starting from €50 per night. It’s a simple but functional hotel, very close to the Historical Museum of Crete.

The hotel is also minutes away from the Archaeological Museum, the Venetian port, and Heraklion’s open market.

Although this hotel is basic, it is very clean and super comfortable for a short stay in Heraklion.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Sofia Hotel

Courtesy: Sofia Hotel.

There are not so many hotels in town with a nice swimming pool, so I always suggest to people wanting to stay in Heraklion: book the minute they find one!

Why? Well, the beaches are not really the best in Crete around the capital, so, it’s always a refreshing idea to know that, after a day exploring under the scorching sun of Crete, you can go to your hotel and swim until it’s dinner time.

Sofia Hotel is one of those places you cannot miss. Besides, it’s in a great location, just a few minutes from the center, and every room has been recently refurbished.

The hotel is close to Heraklion Airport (about 2 km away), so your transport or transfer fees will also be quite contained.
According to most reviews, their breakfast is truly delicious!
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Studio 21

If you prefer the comfort of an apartment, then do not miss the great offers that Studio 21 gives to early bookers. It’s right in the town of Heraklion, only 1.5 km from the Venetian Fortress. 

If you plan to rent a car to visit the island, the apartment also offers private parking, another feature that you shouldn’t miss, since parking in the center of Heraklion is quite a hassle.

To spend some hours at the beach, you can choose Amoudara, just 1.8 km from Studio 21.

The apartment is excellent for two travelers or a couple with one kid. It has a comfortable kitchen and dining area and a comfortable terrace too.

The Historical Μuseum of Crete and the Natural History Museum of Crete aren’t far from the flat. The airport is just 5 km away.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

where to stay in Heraklion

Cozy Little Home

One more excellent apartment you can book in Heraklion is Cozy Little Home. It’s not just an inviting name, it’s truly a fantastic flat you can rent.

Just 1.5 km from the old port of Heraklion and 2.5 km from the Archaeological Museum, the flat is ideal for 2-3 guests. 

Amoudara, which is Heraklion’s favorite city beach is just 1.8 km from the apartment. The main landmarks in town and the international airport are quite close as well.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Mid-Range Accommodation in Heraklion

For those of you with a more flexible budget, the offer widens quite a lot. There are some unique places to stay within a budget between €60 to €150 per night.

Let’s take a look at the most convenient mid-range hotels and flats in the capital of Crete.

Capsis Astoria Heraklion

Courtesy: Capsis Astoria Heraklion.

Still thinking about that swimming pool in the center of town? Then you should go for it with a room at the Capsis Astoria Heraklion.

One of the best accommodation options in the capital of Crete is right next to the Archaeological Museum. Besides, the hotel has a magnificent rooftop swimming pool overlooking the old Venetian port of Heraklion.

The charming atmosphere of the hotel is enhanced with fantastic black-and-white pictures of old Heraklion.

The hotel has two restaurants. They serve an amazing Greek breakfast as well as very convenient buffet proposals both for lunch and dinner.

The Aegean View Cocktail & Food Bar serves snacks and cocktails right next to the pool.

The hotel is within a walking distance of the most important landmarks in the city center, while the airport is under 5 km from the hotel.

One more perk? Right opposite the hotel, you’ll find frequent bus service to beaches and other places of interest in town.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Veneziano Boutique Hotel

where to stay in Heraklion
Courtesy: Veneziano Boutique Hotel.

Many hotels try to call themselves boutique hotels, but they don’t always offer authentic boutique services.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Heraklion for an unbeatable boutique experience, check out the Veneziano.

Veneziano Boutique Hotel is a historical building in the heart of Heraklion, it’s elegant, and traditional, and offers one of the best services in town.

If you book your stay here, don’t miss the comfortable internal courtyard for an afternoon cold coffee.

The hotel is just a few steps from the Venetian Walls and the Archaeological Museum.
The Minoan Palace of Knossos is about 5 km away.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Gaia by Agora Luxury Apartments

where to stay in Heraklion
Courtesy: Gaia.

If you want to enjoy the comfort of an apartment without giving up on the boutique features, check out the spectacular facilities of Gaia, definitely one of my favorite places to stay in Heraklion.

At Gaia, every detail is taken care of. The flat is in the center of Heraklio. It’s 2 km from Amoudara Beach and 1 km from the Koules fortress. Among the amenities, you can enjoy a fantastic garden, a terrace, and private parking, as well as bike and car rentals.

The apartment also offers a wonderful continental breakfast as well as a prepaid airport shuttle upon request.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Are you staying in Heraklion for a short time? Check this itinerary for 1-3 days to know what to do in Heraklion.

19th Century Luxury Maisonette

where to stay in Heraklion
(Courtesy 19th Century Luxury Maisonette).

If you’re traveling with the whole family, you should check out the elegant 19th Century Luxury Maisonette in Heraklion’s city center with a unique patio and nice.

The villa features two bedrooms and a comfortable kitchen and it can accommodate up to five guests.

Other great features include the hot tub and the barbecue on the terrace.

The position is quite comfortable to visit the main town of Heraklion and it’s close to the airport. Hersonissos is only 27 km from the property.

Before arrival, it’s possible for you to arrange a paid airport shuttle service too.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Creticum Suites

where to stay in Heraklion
Courtesy: Creticum Suites.

I absolutely recommend this amazing place to stay in Heraklion, it’s really comfortable and decorated with great taste!

Any of the suites by Creticum are magnificent spaces to feel like you’re at home!

The property offers both free parking as well as free wi-fi and it’s centrally located, not far from the Heraklion Archaeological Museum and the Venetian Walls nearby.

The kitchen in every suite is fully equipped featuring even an oven, an electric kettle, and a coffee machine.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Luxury Places to Stay in Heraklion

where to stay in Heraklion

There are amazing hotels in Heraklion and just a few minutes from the center.

You can choose unique hotels, beautiful houses restored into amazing rental homes with every kind of comfort for a five-star experience.

A stay in any of these beautiful venues starts from €160 per night.

Remember though, that these prices are not really so high if compared with other Greek islands, so availability can sometimes be scarce. Don’t book at the last minute and secure yourself the top possible accommodation in Heraklion.

GDM Megaron, Historical Monument Hotel

where to stay in Heraklion
Courtesy: GDM Megaron.

A classic landmark hotel in the center of Heraklion, the GDM Megaron is a fantastic place to stay in Heraklion to enjoy a luxury vacation.

The hotel is right opposite the old bus station, from where the city buses to Knossos depart every hour. The Megaron, as locals call it, is a historic building. It was built back in 1925 and it’s one of the monuments in town.

It faces directly the old city port and has panoramic views f the city and the sea. It features a fantastic health club as well as a rooftop plunge pool. Parking is free of charge for the hotel’s guests.

If you stay at the Megaron, don’t miss a visit to the Plaza Café, a casual indoor café to enjoy your breakfast, any other meal, or just a cup of coffee with the views of the old port as a frame.

On the top floor, don’t miss Megaron 5th, a restaurant serving contemporary Cretan cuisine paired with the best views of the Sea of Crete Cretan cuisine.

On the 4th floor, the hotel features a luxurious health club with a steam bath, sauna, and massage.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Galaxy Iraklio Hotel

Galaxy Hotel - POOL - HERAKLION
(Courtesy Galaxy Hotel).

Another favorite of mine in Heraklion (you can read my review here).

Galaxy Iraklio Hotel is a great place to stay in town as it is in a central position but not in the noisiest part of town.

What I loved the most about the Galaxy is the fantastic pool and its open courtyard, with comfortable lounge chairs and lots of plants.

Their Cretan breakfast is truly to die for too!

Do check the comfort of their family rooms as well as the allergy-free hotels… Everything is perfect for family holidays!

My days at the Galaxy were one of my best stays in Heraklion and I honestly recommend you to try the venue.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Blossom Premium Living Residence

The Blossom-Premium living residence at Heraklion
The living room area at the property was super comfy.

Another great place where I’ve stayed in town is Blossom Premium Living Residence, and I loved every minute of this stay.
This amazing apartment has been completely renewed a very short time ago. Honestly, it’s so impeccable that we felt we were the first guests to set foot in the residence.

All the spaces are very well-thought and very comfortable, it can accommodate four travelers and it is a great place for families.

The seating room features a big smart tv with Netflix, there are table games, and there is also a terrific balcony, with a wooden deck, three different seating areas, and a small but fragrant herbs garden.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Aquila Atlantis Hotel

where to stay in Heraklion
Courtesy: Aquila Atlantis Hotel.

The Aquila Atlantis is another superb place to stay in Heraklion.

It’s comfortably located only 200 meters from the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion and features one of the most beautiful swimming pools in the city. In the hotel, there’s also a semi-covered pool.

Every room is elegant and has unique views of the city and the harbor. Don’t be surprised if, when reading the reviews of previous guests, you find that their breakfast is highly praised.

Aquila Atlantis serves one of the most delicious breakfasts in Heraklion.

The cocktails in the lounge bar and the Mediterranean dishes served in the hotel’s restaurant are also remarkable.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Best Places to Stay Close to Heraklion

Many people prefer to visit the city without staying in the heart of town. And it’s quite a reasonable idea since Heraklion is Greece’s 4th biggest city, so it tends to be busy, crowded, and nosy, while the traffic is usually a serious issue too.

Some of these resort areas on the northern coast represent a great compromise to enjoy some beach time and the crystal clear water of the Cretan Sea not far from the city.

Where to Stay in Agia Pelagia

where to stay in Heraklion
Courtesy of Peninsula Resort & Spa.

The small fishing village of Agia Pelagia is about 25 km west of the city center, facing the northern coast.

Agia Pelagia’s main beach is a wide bay, with tranquil waters, and there are several nice restaurants facing the beach.

In the area, you can splurge by staying in one of the most exclusive hotels in Crete, or you can check out the following accommodation.

Peninsula Resort & Spa

where to stay in Heraklion
Courtesy of Peninsula Resort & Spa.

The Peninsula Resort & Spa is a lovely beachfront hotel in the best part of Agia Pelagia with endless facilities for you to enjoy.

It’s located overlooking the deep blue bay of Agia Pelagia, surrounded by lush gardens. It has two private beaches, 2 large pools, 2 pools for kids and 2 tennis courts. In the area, there’s also a certified diving center.

The rooms are elegant and equipped with every amenity, including air conditioning, satellite TV, and a fridge. Do check their buffet restaurant and the Cretan and Greek dishes.

There are also 4 different bars available for a cocktail with a magnificent view.

Other remarkable facilities include multi-use courts for football, basketball, and volleyball, as well as a spa center with an indoor pool.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Alexander House Hotel

A less expensive option in Agia Pelagia, the Alexander House Hotel is great value for money.

The hotel is only 150 meters from the main Agia Pelagia beach and features a stunning outdoor pool with a shallow area for children.

Among the key features are the fantastic buffet breakfast, as well as the possibility to enjoy lunch and dinner at the on-site premises when booking an all-inclusive room. The homemade desserts are really delicious.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Sunday Life

sunday life heraklion
(Courtesy Sunday Life)

Probably my favorite place to stay in Agia Pelagia, Sunday Life has super convenient rates as it’s not really on the beach.

However, it is one of the best places you can choose for a short stay, conveniently close to the center of Heraklion, and just a few minutes from Agia Pelagia’s main beach from where you can embark on a boat trip to see the beautiful coast in the area.

I do recommend their Cretan restaurant, serving their dishes in an open restaurant facing the bay. If you are traveling with your partner, book their Sky Suite for a very romantic stay!
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Where to Stay in Amoudara

Not far from the center of town, this small village is home to the most popular beach in Heraklion for those staying in the city center.

Only 5 km from the center of Heraklion, Amoudara is a great choice as it’s close to the city and comfortable to reach Knossos and other landmarks of the region.

These are two of the best places you can pick in Amoudara.

Civitel Creta Beach

where to stay in Heraklion
Courtesy: Civitel Creta Beach.

A convenient hotel in Amoudara, the Civitel Creta Beach is a 4-star resort hotel that offers varied room options on the 9 km white sandy beaches of Amoudara. Parking is also offered for free.

Other than the standard rooms, it’s also possible to stay in one of the several bungalows surrounded by beautiful gardens with direct access to the beach.

Buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in the main restaurant with great sea views.

There is also a large swimming pool and tennis courts too. A mini club and a dedicated pool are some of the features that kids can enjoy in the hotel.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Enorme Lifestyle Beach (Adults Only)

where to stay in Heraklion
Courtesy: Enorme Lifestyle Beach.

For a romantic escape, Enorme Lifestyle in Amoudara is just about the perfect choice in Heraklion.

The resort features stunning sea views as well as 5 sharing and 2 common swimming pools surrounded by a beautiful garden and terrace.

In the main restaurant, you can enjoy a well-assorted buffet station, show cooking, and delicious Greek cuisine.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Check ferry tickets to Greece here!

Where to Stay in Malia and Hersonissos

where to stay in Heraklion

These are the two most important beach resort towns in the Heraklion region, on the northern coast of Crete. Hersonissos is known for its unique variety of shops, restaurants, theme parks, and endless activities to enjoy, such as water parks, theme parks, and more.

Both towns are on the road that takes you from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos.

Malia is a favorite for its unique nightlife and the huge variety of discos, beach bars, pubs, and clubs that attract young travelers all summer.

You might also want to read: The best hotels in Hersonissos.

where to stay in Heraklion

Although none of the towns represent the most authentic Cretan spirit, they are certainly popular for lovers of package holidays, night entertainment, and a wonderful beach.

These are the top places to stay both in Hersonissos (24 km from Heraklion city center), and Malia (34 km from the capital).

Abaton Island Resort & Spa (Hersonissos)

Courtesy: Abaton Island.

Abaton Island is a top resort, featuring exclusive services right at the beach of Hersonissos.

It has a modern design and luxury rooms, suites, and villas each of them with a private outdoor terrace, private pool, or outdoor hot tub. The hotel also features 5 unique gastronomic spaces inspired by the flavors of Cretan gastronomy.

The main bar is an ideal place to unwind during sunset and a great place to enjoy cocktails and drinks. Instead, the Buddha Beach Bar serves beverages and wines and a selection of light snacks and inspired platters.

The hotel is only 22 km from the airport of Heraklion.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Sunvillage Malia Boutique Hotel and Suites (Malia)

Sunvillage Malia is a comfortable place to stay in the area. Cozy and friendly, the hotel is a few minutes from the beach of Malia and features beautiful gardens with a pool and a terrace.

Guests can choose to stay in studios or apartments with beautiful balconies facing either the sea or the mountains.

The hotel is about 5 km from Hersonissos and 28 km east of the capital of Crete, Heraklion.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.


Where to Stay in Stalida

Less chaotic than Malia or Hersonissos, but still charming, Stalida (also known as Stalis) was one of the first places I ever visited on Crete (many years ago and when I was still not a permanent resident on the island).

The resort is not huge, and it’s great for holidays with the family. It’s close to Heraklion and the sea is quite shallow, great for small kids.

In my opinion, Stalida is a great place to stay in Heraklion, with easy access to many theme parks, the archaeological sites of Malia and Knossos, and Heraklion’s city center.


Blue Sea Beach Hotel

Known among the guests for their frequent free upgrades, the Blue Sea Beach Hotel in Malia is a great accommodation option just a few minutes from the center of Heraklion.

Courtesy: Blue Sea Beach Hotel.

One of the top places to stay in Stalida, the hotel offers 2 different restaurants and features a beautiful spa with an indoor pool, massage rooms, steam bath, and sauna.

Among my favorite features, their welcome baskets with delicious Cretan treats have to be my favorite.

The hotel has a daily animation program for small kids who can also have fun at the exclusive sweet-water pool for children.

For parents, the free parking area is a great addition to the hotel facilities. The Blue Sea is only 32 km from the International Airport of Heraklion.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Where to Stay in Matala Beach, South Heraklion

Matala beach, Crete, Caves, Sunset

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Heraklion, you’ve probably already learned everything about the hippie village of Matala and its legendary caves that face the beach.

Before moving forward, don’t waste one more second and head to this article about the best things to do in Matala. The article features a dedicated section with more places to stay.

If you decide to spend a few days on the south coast, and especially in Matala while enjoying the best of Heraklion, why not check these hotels too?

Marina Hotel

No more than 800 meters from the legendary hippie beach, Marina Hotel is a family hotel featuring a pool and a pool bar surrounded by a pretty garden with rooms overlooking the mountains of Crete.

A tasty buffet breakfast is served in the dining area while drinks, coffee, and snacks are available throughout the day right by the pool.

The hotel also features free parking facilities.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Valley Village

Courtesy: Valley Village.

Simple yet super comfortable and with convenient fees even during the peak season, Valley Village is one of the best places to stay in Matala.

It has a pool for kids and another one for adults, a restaurant, a bar, and a barbecue.

The gorgeous bungalows are surrounded by palm trees and a curated garden, only 800 meters from the famous beach of Matala.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Want to check out more places to stay in Matala? You might enjoy: Best hotels in Matala.

Have you decided where to stay in Heraklion yet?
Let me know in the comments below!

You might also enjoy reading:
Amazing things to do in Heraklion – A guide to all there is to do in Heraklion.
Outstanding Things to See in Knossos Palace, Crete – A guide to visiting and understanding Knossos.
Top tours, day trips, and excursions from Heraklion – A guide to the best day trips and excursions in the Heraklion region and beyond.
Comfortable rental homes in Heraklion – Not a hotel type? A guide to the best rental homes in Heraklion.
What to do in Heraklion in 1, 2, or 3 days – A guide to the essential things to do in Heraklion if your stay is a short one.
The Most Exciting Things to Do in Matala, Crete – A visit guide to Matala, the hippie village in south Heraklion.

Don’t Leave Before you Pin this Useful Accommodation Guide to the Best Hotels in Heraklion For Your Next Trip to Crete!

Best Places to Stay in Heraklion, Crete

About the author of this blog:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

Gabi has been living in Crete for the last five years. On the island, she juggles being a solo mom, hosting culinary tours in summer, translating, and freelance writing.
She’s written for Greek Reporter, published several travel guides about Greece, and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person would be able to handle.


Get in touch and let me know!

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