Corfu Town, the capital of the Greek island of Corfu, is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. Here, we delve into the top 10 must-visit tourist attractions in Corfu Town that define the charm and allure of this enchanting Greek city.
1. Old Town of Corfu
The Old Town of Corfu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the Greek island of Corfu. It is a charming and well-preserved town with a rich history and culture.
The Old Town is surrounded by Venetian fortifications, and its narrow streets and alleyways are lined with traditional Corfiot houses. The town is home to many churches, monasteries, and other historical landmarks, as well as a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes.
One of the most popular attractions in the Old Town is the Spianada, a large square that is surrounded by some of the town’s most important buildings, including the Old Town Hall, the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, and the Liston Arcade. The Spianada is a great place to people-watch and enjoy a coffee or drink.
Another popular attraction in the Old Town is the Old Venetian Fort, which offers stunning views of the town and the surrounding sea. The fort is also home to a museum that tells the story of Corfu’s history.
If you are interested in shopping, the Old Town is a great place to find traditional Corfiot handicrafts and souvenirs. There are also a number of boutiques selling clothing and other items.
The Old Town is also a great place to find food and drink. There are a variety of restaurants serving traditional Greek cuisine, as well as cafes and bars serving drinks and snacks.
If you are visiting Corfu, be sure to spend some time exploring the Old Town. It is a charming and atmospheric place with something to offer everyone.
Here are some tips for visiting the Old Town of Corfu:
- Wear comfortable shoes. The Old Town has many narrow cobblestone streets, so it is best to wear comfortable shoes.
- Bring a hat and sunscreen. The Old Town can get quite hot in the summer, so it is important to protect yourself from the sun.
- Drink plenty of water. It is important to stay hydrated, especially when visiting the Old Town in the summer.
- Be aware of your surroundings. The Old Town is a popular tourist destination, so it is important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions against pickpockets.
- Take your time and enjoy the atmosphere. The Old Town is a beautiful and historic place, so take your time exploring and enjoying the atmosphere.
2. Spianada Square
Spianada Square, also known as Esplanade Square, is the largest square in Greece and one of the largest in the Balkans. It is located in the heart of Corfu Town, on the Greek island of Corfu. The square is surrounded by important buildings and monuments, including the Old Venetian Fort, the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George, the Liston, and the Ionian Parliament Building.
Spianada Square was created in the 16th century by the Venetian rulers of Corfu. It was originally used as a military parade ground, but it has since become a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike. The square is home to a number of cafes and restaurants, as well as a cricket pitch, which is a legacy of British rule in the Ionian Islands.
Spianada Square is a beautiful and historic place, and it is a must-see for any visitor to Corfu Town. Here are some of the things you can see and do in the square:
- Visit the Old Venetian Fort: This impressive fort was built by the Venetians in the 16th century to protect Corfu from invaders. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction and offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding sea.
- Visit the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George: This palace was built by the British in the 19th century, and it was used as the residence of the High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. Today, it houses the Ionian Parliament.
- Take a walk through the Liston: This elegant arcaded walkway is one of the most popular spots in Corfu Town. It is lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops.
- Watch a cricket match: Cricket is a popular sport in Corfu, and there is a cricket pitch in the center of Spianada Square. If you are lucky, you may be able to catch a cricket match while you are visiting the square.
3. The Liston Arcade
The Liston Arcade is a beautiful arched stone colonnade in front of the Spianada, the main square in Corfu Town, Greece. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Corfu, and is known for its elegant architecture, lively atmosphere, and stunning views of the Spianada.
The Liston was built in the early 19th century during the French occupation of Corfu, and was designed to resemble the Rue de Rivoli in Paris. It is made up of two adjacent buildings with a long covered walk that overlooks the Spianada. The arches of the Liston are supported by slender columns, and the arcade is decorated with wrought-iron balconies.
Under the portico of the Liston are a number of cafes, restaurants, and shops. This is where Corfiots and tourists alike come to relax, enjoy a coffee or meal, and people-watch. The Liston is also a popular spot for evening drinks and entertainment.
The Liston is a must-see for any visitor to Corfu Town. It is a beautiful and elegant place, and it is a great place to experience the atmosphere of Corfu.
Here are some tips for visiting the Liston Arcade:
- The Liston is busiest during the summer months, so if you are visiting during this time of year, be prepared for crowds.
- If you are looking for a quiet place to enjoy a coffee or meal, try visiting the Liston in the morning or early evening.
- Be sure to take some time to admire the architecture of the Liston. The arches and columns are beautiful, and the wrought-iron balconies add to the elegance of the arcade.
- If you are visiting the Liston in the evening, be sure to check out the live music that is often played in the cafes and restaurants.
4. Old Fortress of Corfu
The Old Fortress of Corfu is a well-preserved Venetian fortification that sits on a rocky peninsula on the eastern side of Corfu Town. It was built in the 13th century to protect the island from invaders, and it has been used by the Venetians, the British, and the Greeks over the centuries.
The fortress is a popular tourist destination, and it is known for its impressive walls, its clock tower, and its stunning views of the Ionian Sea. Visitors can explore the fortress grounds, visit the museum, and climb to the top of the clock tower for panoramic views of the town and the surrounding area.
Here are some of the things you can see and do at the Old Fortress of Corfu:
- Visit the museum: The museum houses a collection of artifacts from the fortress’s history, including weapons, armor, and models of the fortress.
- Climb the clock tower: The clock tower offers stunning views of Corfu Town and the Ionian Sea.
- Walk the ramparts: The ramparts offer excellent views of the town and the surrounding area.
- Visit the British barracks: The British barracks are a reminder of the British occupation of Corfu from 1815 to 1864.
- Explore the hidden corners: The fortress is full of hidden corners and alleyways, so be sure to explore and see what you can find.
5. New Fortress of Corfu
The New Fortress of Corfu (Greek: Νέο Φρούριο; Venetian: Fortezza Nuova) is a Venetian fortress built on the hill of St. Mark in Corfu in stages. The original architect of the fort was the military engineer Ferrante Vitelli. The current buildings which exist within the fortress were built by the British during their rule of the island (1815–63).
The fortress is pentagonal in shape and has two main gates, one on the eastern side and one on the western side. The eastern gate is the main entrance to the fortress and is decorated with two winged lions of Saint Mark, the symbol of Venice. The western gate is smaller and is located near the moat.
The fortress has a number of bastions, which are fortified towers that were used to defend the fortress from attack. The two largest bastions are the Skorpionas Bastion and the Epta Anemoi (“Seven Winds”) Bastion. The Skorpionas Bastion is located on the northern side of the fortress and has a commanding view of the sea. The Epta Anemoi Bastion is located on the southern side of the fortress and has a commanding view of the mountains of mainland Greece.
The interior of the fortress is largely empty, but there are a few buildings that are still used today. One of these buildings is the British barracks, which now houses art exhibits and collections. Another building is the Naval Station of Corfu, which is still in use by the Greek Navy.
The New Fortress is a free tourist attraction and is open to visitors every day from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
Here are some additional details about the New Fortress of Corfu:
- The fortress was built between 1576 and 1645.
- It was designed to protect Corfu from attack by the Ottoman Empire.
- The fortress was never successfully captured by an enemy force.
- The fortress was used as a prison by the British during their rule of Corfu.
- The fortress was damaged by an earthquake in 1953, but it has been restored.
6. Church of Saint Spiridon
The Church of Saint Spiridon is a Greek Orthodox church located in the Old Town of Corfu Town, Greece. It is dedicated to Saint Spyridon, the patron saint of Corfu. The church was built in the 16th century and is one of the most important religious sites on the island.
The church is a large, three-aisled basilica with a Venetian-style bell tower. The interior of the church is richly decorated with icons, mosaics, and marble carvings. The most notable feature of the interior is the silver reliquary of Saint Spyridon, which contains the saint’s body.
The Church of Saint Spiridon is a popular tourist destination, and it is also an important pilgrimage site for Orthodox Christians from all over the world. The church is open to the public every day, and visitors are welcome to attend services or simply to admire the architecture and artwork.
Here are some additional details about the Church of Saint Spiridon:
- The church was built on the site of an earlier church, which was destroyed by fire in 1576.
- The construction of the current church began in 1580 and was completed in 1590.
- The church was designed by the Venetian architect Giovanni Battista Frangipane.
- The church’s bell tower was added in the 17th century.
- The church’s interior was decorated by a number of different artists, including the Greek painter Ioannis Komnenos and the Italian sculptor Francesco Terilli.
- The church’s reliquary of Saint Spyridon was made in the 17th century and is made of silver and gold.
- The church’s feast day is celebrated on December 12th.
7. Mon Repos Palace
Mon Repos Palace is a neoclassical palace in Corfu Town, Greece. It is located on the Kanoni peninsula, overlooking the Ionian Sea. The palace was built in 1826 by British Commissioner Frederic Adams as a summer residence for his wife, Nina Palatianou, who was from Corfu.
The palace is a modest building, but it is set in a beautiful location. The grounds include a park with gardens, a lake, and ruins of the ancient city of Corfu. The palace itself houses a museum with a collection of artifacts from the ancient city, as well as personal belongings of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who was born at Mon Repos Palace in 1921.
Mon Repos Palace is a popular tourist destination, and it is also used for events such as weddings and conferences. It is a beautiful and historic place, and it is well worth a visit.
Here are some additional facts about Mon Repos Palace:
- The palace was named after the Greek words for “single place” or “lonely place.”
- The palace was donated to the Greek government in 1967.
- The palace was renovated in 2007-2009.
- The palace is open to the public from April to October.
8. Achilleion Palace
Achilleion Palace is a neoclassical palace located in Gastouri, Corfu, Greece. It was built in the late 19th century by Empress Elisabeth of Austria (also known as Sissi). The palace is dedicated to the Greek hero Achilles, and its grounds are decorated with statues and sculptures of Achilles and other figures from Greek mythology.
The palace is a popular tourist destination, and is known for its beautiful architecture, its stunning gardens, and its connection to Empress Sissi.
Empress Sissi was fascinated by Greece and its mythology, and she fell in love with the island of Corfu when she visited in 1889. She decided to build a palace on the island, and she chose a location in Gastouri, which offered stunning views of the Ionian Sea.
The palace was designed by Italian architect Raffaele Caritto, and it was built between 1890 and 1892. The palace is built in the neoclassical style, and it is decorated with white marble columns and statues.
Empress Sissi spent many summers at the Achilleion Palace, and she often entertained guests there. She also used the palace as a place to retreat from the pressures of royal life.
After Empress Sissi’s death in 1898, the palace was sold to the German government. It was used as a military hospital during World War I, and it was later abandoned.
In 1962, the palace was purchased by a Greek businessman, who restored it and opened it to the public as a museum.
- Architecture and grounds
The Achilleion Palace is a three-story building with a central courtyard. The palace is decorated with white marble columns and statues, and it has a grand staircase that leads to the upper floors.
The palace’s grounds are just as impressive as the building itself. The grounds are home to a variety of gardens, including a rose garden, a statue garden, and a terrace with stunning views of the Ionian Sea.
- Connection to Empress Sissi
Empress Sissi was a complex and fascinating figure, and she is still remembered today for her beauty, her intelligence, and her tragic life. The Achilleion Palace is a reminder of her love for Greece and her passion for mythology.
- Visiting the Achilleion Palace
The Achilleion Palace is open to the public from April to October. Visitors can tour the palace and its grounds, and they can also learn about the life of Empress Sissi.
The palace is located about 10 kilometers from Corfu Town. Visitors can take a bus or taxi to the palace, or they can rent a car.
Paleokastritsa is a village on the island of Corfu in Greece. It is located on the northwest coast of the island, about 25 kilometers from Corfu Town. Paleokastritsa is known for its beautiful beaches, its crystal-clear waters, and its lush green hills.
The village is surrounded by six small coves, each with its own unique beach. The most popular beach is Agios Nikolaos Beach, which is a long, sandy beach with shallow water. Other popular beaches include Agios Georgios Beach, which is a small, secluded beach with a cave, and Agios Spiridon Beach, which is a rocky beach with stunning views of the Ionian Sea.
Paleokastritsa is also home to a 13th-century Byzantine monastery, which is perched on a cliff top overlooking the sea. The monastery is a popular tourist destination, and it offers stunning views of the surrounding area.
In addition to its beaches and monastery, Paleokastritsa is also known for its lush green hills. The hills are covered in olive trees, cypress trees, and pine trees. There are many hiking trails in the hills, and visitors can enjoy the stunning views of the island from the various viewpoints.
Paleokastritsa is a popular tourist destination, and it offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Visitors can relax on the beach, swim in the crystal-clear waters, hike in the hills, or visit the Byzantine monastery. Paleokastritsa is a great place to experience the beauty of Corfu, and it is sure to offer something for everyone.
Here are some tips for visiting Paleokastritsa:
- The best time to visit Paleokastritsa is during the summer months, when the weather is warm and sunny.
- Be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat, as the sun can be very strong in Paleokastritsa.
- If you are planning on hiking in the hills, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water.
- Be respectful of the local culture and customs.
- Enjoy the beauty of Paleokastritsa!
10. Glyfada Beach
Glyfada Beach is a popular beach located on the west coast of Corfu, Greece. It is situated about 5 kilometers south of Corfu Town, the capital of the island. The beach is known for its golden sand, clear blue waters, and stunning views of the Ionian Sea. It is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
Glyfada Beach is a long, narrow beach that is well-organized with sunbeds, umbrellas, and showers. There are also a number of restaurants and cafes located along the beach. The beach is suitable for all ages, and it is a great place to relax and enjoy the sun and sand.
Here are some tips for visiting Glyfada Beach:
- The beach gets quite crowded during the summer months, so it is best to arrive early in the morning to find a good spot.
- If you are planning on renting a sunbed and umbrella, be sure to do so early in the day as they tend to sell out quickly.
- There are a number of water sports operators located on the beach, so if you are interested in trying something new, be sure to check them out.
- Be sure to wear sunscreen and reapply it regularly, even on cloudy days.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- If you are traveling with children, be sure to keep a close eye on them as the currents can be strong in some areas.
In conclusion, Corfu Town, with its wealth of historical, cultural, and architectural marvels, promises an enriching experience for travelers seeking an immersive journey through Greece’s history and natural beauty. These top 10 attractions encapsulate the diverse essence of Corfu Town, offering a remarkable and memorable exploration for visitors from around the world.
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There is one airport in Corfu Town, Greece:
- Corfu International Airport (CFU), also known as Ioannis Kapodistrias Airport, is the only airport on the island of Corfu, Greece. It is located 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) south of the town of Corfu and is the main gateway to the Ionian Islands.
CFU is a medium-sized airport with one runway and a single terminal. It serves over 3 million passengers annually and is operated by Fraport Greece. The airport offers a variety of services and amenities, including shops, restaurants, a business lounge, and free Wi-Fi.
CFU is a popular destination for both leisure and business travelers. It is well-connected to major cities in Europe, and offers a variety of direct flights to popular tourist destinations in the Ionian Islands.
Here are some additional facts about Corfu International Airport:
- IATA code: CFU
- ICAO code: LGKR
- Elevation: 2 meters (6.6 feet)
- Owner: Public
- Operator: Fraport Greece
- Runways: 1
- Terminals: 1
- Passenger traffic: 3.5 million (2019)
CFU is a modern and efficient airport that offers a convenient and comfortable travel experience for passengers.
Here are some of the airlines that operate at Corfu International Airport:
- Aegean Airlines
- Aer Lingus
- British Airways
- TUI Airways
CFU offers a variety of direct flights to destinations in Europe, including: