A typical 24-hours in the city of Rhodes delivers countless images and strong emotions.
The people of Rhodes are early risers. Some take morning walks in Mandraki and Psaropoula. Some exercise by the sea, while others drink coffee at Aktaion and Grand Café, two of the most popular cafés in the city centre. Begin your day at Plateia Kyprou for shopping. You will feel its international and cosmopolitan vibe. Ono by Marouli, one of the most popular hangouts in the city for vegan and vegetarian fare, is a great place to have lunch.
Once you have had your fill of traffic and people, continue to the waterfront. Walk from the windmills to the church of Evangelismos, latter with unique murals by Fotis Kontoglou. Gaze at the passing ships and admire the Italian architectural edifices. Nearby is the Museum of Modern Greek Art, housing a wonderful collection of paintings and sculptures.
If you fancy a dip in the sea, you have come to the right place. Days at the beach are a way of life in Rhodes. Take a stroll on Elli beach, famous for the Instagram-worthy diving platform. Grab a table at a beach bar, or if you prefer a little peace and quiet, at one of the many tavernas in the city.
Reminders of the medieval history of Rhodes are evident in the city castle, palace and cobbled streets – former haunts of crusading knights – now home to a modern population. Start from the main square with the fountain and wander the alleys with colourful doors and even more colourful courtyards. The city of Rhodes is one of the most well-preserved medieval cities in Europe, an ideal place for evening strolls. Buy a ticket to the Melina Merkouri Medieval Moat Theatre to see one of the many artistic performances in summer. Visit the Archaeological Museum, its rarities and stunning garden at the medieval hospital of the Knights Hospitaller. Go to Socratous Street for coffee at Kamberis, one of the oldest traditional coffee mills on the island. Breathe in the exotic scents of the East just opposite at the Turkish café and hookah parlour.
Ascend to the 14th-century Palace of the Grand Master, once the site of a 7th-century Byzantine fortress; you will be awestruck. Then descend to Knights Street, where seven inns once represented the seven nationalities of the Knights Hospitaller. Today, the façades of each bear emblematic details representing their country of origin.
Grab a bite to eat wherever you like. Restaurants compete over the quality of their food. If seafood is what you crave, you must try the steamed mussels at the historic tavern Pizanias Sea Star. Do not stop there! Summer nightlife in Rhodes packs more fun than most can handle. At Todo Bien, grab a beer and dance to Latin music in the street. At Macao Cocktail Bar, the tribal rhythms of Afro House music will have you moving till morning. Only then does the city finally go to sleep!
TEXT : MAKOS TSIMETTAS
PHOTOS : PERIKLES MERAKOS