Rhodes is the largest settlement and capital city of the island of the same name. It is famous as the former site of the Colossus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and as the oldest inhabited medieval town in Europe.
6000 people live and work in the same buildings the Knights of St. John lived in 6 centuries ago.
For the traveller, Rhodes City falls into four more or less distinct areas.
- Rhodes Old Town, still enclosed by its medieval wall.
- Rhodes New Town, north and west of the Old Town, is an extensive and fairly non-descript modern city.
- Commercial Harbor, New Town's eastern waterfront
- Mandhraki Harbor, the yacht and ferry harbour
- Elli Beach
- Acropolis of Rhodes, the ruins of the ancient city, are about 2 km southwest of the Old Town.
The only airport of the island is the Rhodes International Airport (IATA: RHO) or Diagoras International Airport. "Diagoras" (Greek: Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Ρόδου, "Διαγόρας"). The airport is situated on the west coast about 14 km from Rhodes Town. From there, you can reach Rhodes city with a bus, car or taxi.
There are two bus routes that go down either side of the island and terminate in Rhodes town. The bus station is just outside the Old Town wall, near the waterfront, making buses a convenient way of getting to the city.
In the Old Town, the primary method of travel are your feet.
Medieval buildings, mosques, traditional fountains, oriental motifs, Byzantine and Gothic churches, shops and cafeterias are scattered throughout the Old Town of Rhodes, There are approximately 200 streets or lanes that have no name so getting lost is a distinct possibility.
Rhodes Old Town itself is surely the main attraction here. A UNESCO World Heritage Site , it is one of the best preserved and most extensive medieval towns in Europe. As you wander from the bus station, and over the outer wall and moat, it's like stepping back in time and reliving all your childhood dreams of being a knight and attacking exotic castles in distant lands. It is also the location of many monuments and several museums - make sure to get a good map. If you want to see it all, plan for at least a day, and two will not be amiss if you want to see all the museums.
- Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. can be split into outside, courtyard, outside wall, first floor and second floor. Open in season till 8PM, entry is €6, outside wall is an additional €2. The first floor (photos prohibited) contains some artifacts of Ancient Rhodes but is closed - in it's absence, the entrance fee is entirely not worth it. The Archaeological Museum offers more selection and allows photos. Second floor has a variety of later "artifacts" such as mosaics from Kos and other odd bits and bobs, but it has almost no descriptions (probably to force people to wait for a tour guide). The Palace of the Grand Masters was demolished by a gunpowder explosion in 1856 and reconstructed by the Italians as a summer residence for Mussolini in 1940. This knowledge (that this isn't actually an authentic swords and knights castle and is instead basically a souped up country mansion) somewhat lessens the excitement. Take your photos outside, and come back to look inside when the ground floor exhibitions on Rhodes are open.
- Aquarium (Institute of Marine Biology).
- Archbishops Palace, Evrèon Martyron Square.
- Annunciation church.
- Central Post Office
- Town hall, Theatre and Government House (Italian architecture)
- Rhodes Archaeological Museum, Megalou Alexandrou Square, ☎ +30 2241 075674, +30 2241 034719, fax: +30 2241 031048, e-mail: email@example.com. Open in season till 8PM. It has two floors, and most of the exhibits are on the second, past the big stairs. The museum operates a tour of the city walls Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8AM leaving from the Palace of the Grand Masters. Visitors are simply allowed up on the walls to walk along the top of them at their own pace. This walk offers views of the town not otherwise available and is the best way to get an idea of the size of the town and the variety of its architecture.It is not guided. €3.
- Museum of Decorative Art.
- Walk throughout this medieval city and its many streets and lanes by foot.
- New Market
- Many brand name products such as t-shirts, towels, hand bags and similar items for sale in the tourist shops may be fakes and/or unlicensed.
- Labyrinthos Arts & Crafts, Theofiliskou 1 (Near Roloi clocktower). Original arts and creations by local artists, also the only place in the Old Town to sell historically accurate coat of arms of the Knights, medieval style heraldry and illuminated manuscripts.
- Hatzikelis, Solomou Alhadef 9, ☎ +30 2241 027215. One of the best tavernas, serving innovations on traditional Greek dishes. The stuffed, roasted eggplant is notable.
- Laganis, Solomou Alhadef 16. A more traditional taverna with good mezedes.
- Mikes (A Greek name prounounced MEE-kehs), Old Town (In a tiny lane by 17 Socratous Street,). A hole-in-the-wall place with outdoor seating in a cosy backstreet, tucked away from the tourist masses. Serves fish, salad, and wine, and not much else. Mikes is a very simple place to eat, but it is very pleasant, and the seafood, whilst being simple, is fresh, well prepared and tasty. The dorado is particulaly tasty, and at €10 is good value. A decent sized meal with drinks will cost around €15 per person.
- Pizanias (The Sea Star), Sofokleos 24. A decent sea food taverna with outdoor seating on the square. Fish is caught locally, then cooked on a grill built into the wall which means the smell of grilled sea food wafts over the local square! (Great publicity!) Because it's at the end of Sofokleos, you won't find quite as many people that come all the way down here, but it is worth giving the rest a miss and holding out for. The homemade tzatziki is very good, as is the grilled octopus. A reasonable meal for two will cost about €30, with drinks on top.
- Bekr Karakuzu, 76 Sokratous. Not open on Sundays. A rare, wonderfully atmospheric survival of Ottoman old Rhodes in the middle of the tourist hordes. Run by a charming couple, it serves excellent coffee and a small range of other drinks. Not much food except for a few snacks.
- Avalon Cafe (In the courtyard of the Avalon hotel on the backstreet behind the Spanish Tongue Auberge on Ippoton St). Set in the quiet courtyard of an imposing 14th century town mansion, the Avalon cafe serves great drinks in a corner of Rhodes Old Town that most people don't even know exists. The courtyard is an oasis away from the bustle of Socratous St - make sure you head there when the cruise crowds get too much! Drinks are homemade, and the coffees are great, if a little expensive.
- Socrates Garden, Socratous 124. Coffee shop snack bar with a nice atmosphere in a fake Greek kind of way - but it's not too fake. A good, shaded place to grab a cold drink and rest from the sun and the busyness and tourist rat race that is Socratous St (so much so that you'll even find Greeks in there...) Coffees about €3-4, beer about €4.50.
- Colorado Disco Club, 53, Orfanidou St..
- Elli Disco Club, Kontourioti sq (Mandraki Harbour).
- Alia Studios, Haraki Beach, ☎ +30 2244 051269, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. €35 incl. breakfast.
- Apollo Guesthouse, Omirou 28-C, Rhodes (About a 10 min walk south of the St John's gate in Old Town), ☎ +30 2241 032003. Check-in: Afternoon, check-out: 12 noon. US$35-$60 per person.
- Carina Hotel, 56, Griva Street (Rhodes Town) Rhodes, ☎ +30 2241 022381, fax: +30 2241 036541, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 2:PM, check-out: noon. Surrounded by shops, bars and restaurants, this hotel is a 3-minute walk from the beach, with easy access to old Rhodes city and the roads to ancient Lindos and Kalithea. Prices from €25.
- Mango Rooms, Sq. Dorieos 3, Rhodes (In Old Town square, behind San Fanourios church). Check-in: 1PM, check-out: 12 noon. US$25-$50 per person for a double room, depending on season. Nice man Dimitrius and his family run this hotel in the middle of the walled town..
- Rodos Youth Hostel, Ergiou 12 Rhodes Old Town, ☎ +30 2241 030491. Backpackers hostel in Rhodes Old Town. Excellent location. Very basic facilities. €10.
- Spot Hotel, Perikleus Street 21, Rhodes Old Town,, ☎ +30 2241 034737, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Simple, well run hotel with good prices and location
- Europa Hotel, 94, 28th October St. (Psaropoula area, 1.5 km from harbor). Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. US$50-$100 / person.
- Sun Beach Resort Complex, lalyssos Trianta Area (Approx 10 km from Rhodes Old Town), ☎ +30 2241 093821, fax: +30 2241 095688, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Comfortable and elegant rooms, studios and apartments. 4 star hotel ideal for couples and families just a few km away from Rhodes Town. Prices from €57/night.
- Elysium Resort & Spa, Kallithea Ave, ☎ +30 2241 045700, fax: +30 2241 087060, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Beachfront location. Modern and chic with minimalist design. Public areas and spacious rooms overlook the beach. 5 star high standard hotel. Prices from €115.
- Rhodes Boutique Hotel, 28 Panetiou Avenue, ☎ +30 6945 106268, e-mail: email@example.com. Boutique hotel dedicated to fashion. Medieval and traditional oriental design influences and beds with silk bedspreads. €90-312.
- Rodos Palladium Leisure & Wellness, Kallithea Avenue, ☎ +30 2241 057300, fax: +30 2241 086424, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2:PM, check-out: noon. 18 awards since its opening, accommodation with first class services. Right on the beach of Kallithea, 9 km away from Rhodes Town and 15 km away from the airport. Prices from €142.
The local tourist information office for the Dodecanese Islands is located in Rhodes city at Makariou & Papagou Corner. ☎ +30 2241 044335, +30 2241 044336, Fax+30 2241 026955.