25 Amazing Things To Do In Corfu Town

Corfu Town is the capital of the island Corfu and is also referred to simply as the old town or Kerkyra in Greek. It is the biggest city on the island and the main travel hub to get to and from the island as the airport and ferry port are both located close to the historic old center. In this guide we’ll share everything you need to know about Corfu Town, from whether it’s worth visiting and for how long, how to get around, and what you can see and do in this historic city.

Why Visit Corfu Town

Corfu is known for its stunning beaches and many people come to the island to spend their holidays relaxing at the beach, having drinks under the sun and cooling down with a swim. However, the island also has a lot of historical and cultural heritage, including the old capital city.

So is Corfu Town worth visiting? Yes, absolutely and we think you should definitely not skip it on any trip to Corfu. The historic streets of the old town are very charming and great for souvenir shopping, there are plenty of historic sights, two fortresses, many lovely churches and several museums.

When To Visit Corfu Town

So what is the best time to visit Corfu Town? Although Corfu is a very popular beach holiday destination and therefore very seasonal, with very busy summers and quiet winters, Corfu Town is actually nice to visit all year round. Many hotels, resorts, and restaurants around the island close during the winter, but Corfu Town is still very alive during the entire off-season.

During the summer holidays, Corfu Town is at its busiest and the small streets of the old town can get very crowded. Even though winters are mild and relatively nice with lots of sunshine, it can also get wet from time to time, so the best time to enjoy a city trip to Corfu Town is during the shoulder seasons, so from April to June, and from September to November.

How Long To Spend In Corfu Town

How long you should spend visiting Corfu’s old town depends on yourself and what type of traveler you are. Do you enjoy spending time in a vibrant city, with culture, monuments, museums and good food, or do you prefer nature or beaches? If you only have a few hours to spare before catching your flight or ferry, you can easily get some impressions of the old town and even see some of the highlights, but we recommend spending at least a full day to see most of the historic old town. But ideally, you should rather spend two or tree days to see the most important attractions without rushing it and still have time to relax and enjoy some good food and drinks. However, even if you spend a full week or longer in Corfu Town you will absolutely not have to get bored as there are more then enough things to see and do to keep yourself entertained.

How To Get Around In Corfu Town

Corfu Town is a fairly compact city and many streets in the old town are car-free, making the city easy to navigate by foot. Most of the sights are at a walkable distance from each other and concentrated in and around the historic part of the city. Other ways to get around the town are by bus with the Blue City Buses or by taxi. Ridesharing app Uber has also recently made its introduction in Corfu, although unlike in other countries, you can only hail official taxis via this app. For more information about getting around the island check this guide.

Things To Do In Corfu Town

From fortifications and amazing view points to beautiful churches, and from visiting museums to other ways to spend your time in this beautiful city, here are the best things to see and do in Corfu Town.

Old Fortress of Corfu

1. Old Fortress

The Old Fortress in Corfu Town is one of the most important landmarks on the island, and one of the first things you’ll see when you arrive by boat from the mainland. The fortress is located on a rocky hill right in front of the old town. Although fortifications were already present at this place from the 6th century, the fortress you see now was built during the Venetian rule over Corfu which started in the 15th century.

You can visit the fortress and climb all the way up to the cross on the top of the rock from where you have the most stunning view over the city. While wandering around the premises of the fort you can also visit the British Church of Saint George, watch the Clock Tower and several of the barracks, climb on the defensive walls, and walk around some artillery that is displayed in the fortress.

New Fortress of Corfu

2. New Fortress

Another Venetian fortress can be found on the other side of the old town, near the Port of Corfu. Although it’s called New Fortress, it was built towards the end of the 15th century, so not much later than the Old Fortress. This fortress can also be visited and you can find the entrance facing the old town. Although there’s less to see at the New Fortress compared to the old one, it’s still worth a visit because from its terrace you have another great view over the city from another angle.

Spianada Square in Corfu Town

3. Spianáda

Spianáda is a the largest square in the Balkans and is located between the old town and the Old Fortress. The square is flanked by a beautiful historic gallery of arches on the Liston boulevard on the western side, and the Boschetto Garden and the Mandrakina Church on the the eastern side in front of the fortress. On the northern side of Spianáda stands the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George with the People’s Garden next to it. The square itself consists of a cricket field and a park with a few monuments, including the Maitland Monument honoring the British Lord High Commissioner Thomas Maitland, and the Monument of the Union of the Ionian Islands, which commemorates the unification with the rest of Greece in 1864.

Spianáda is a great green space to hang out away from the busy streets of the old town and it’s a popular place for the local Corfiotes to meet up and socialize.

Palace of St. Michael and St. George in Corfu Town

4. Palace Of Saint Michael And Saint George

The Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George was built by the British Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands, Thomas Maitland in the early 19th century and is one of the most impressive historic buildings in Corfu. The building was initially a residence for the High Commissioner, but later also housed the Ionian Sentate and a British order of chivalry. Nowadays the palace houses the Museum of Asian Art of Corfu, with a collection of paintings, sculptures, wood carvings, and other art objects from the 11th century to modern times.

Liston in Corfu Town

5. Liston

Liston is the boulevard flanking the Spianada Square and forms the gateway into the old town. The buildings date from the first decades of the 19th century, when Corfu was under French rule. The design with a long gallery of arches was inspired by the Rue di Rivoli in Paris. Nowadays you’ll find some nice cafes and restaurants located on the ground floor here with outdoor seatings under the porticos.

Cobbled street in the historic old town of Corfu

6. Wander Around The Cobbled Streets Of The Old Town

Most of the streets in the old town are car-free which makes it a nice area to just wander around and observe the beautiful facades you pass by. You can also find several attractions here which we will talk about below. The old town is also the best place in Corfu to go souvenir shopping as there are many nice shops and boutiques selling all kinds of hand crafted items, clothing, food items, and other souvenirs to take home. For the best souvenir ideas, make sure to check out our suggestions of the most wonderful and unique souvenirs from Corfu. If your legs are getting tired of al the walking, you’ll also find many cosy cafes and restaurants within the old town.

St. Spyridon Church in Corfu Town

7. Churches Of The Old Town

While exploring the narrow streets of the old town, there are a few beautiful churches to look out for. The most famous is the Church of Saint Spyridon from the 1580s, which is hard to miss because of its tall bell tower that sticks out above the city. On the nearby Kipriakou Agona Square you’ll find two churches next to each other: the Church of Saint Ioannis the Precursor from 1480 and the Church of the Virgin Mary of Foreigners from the 17th century. Another church that is worth checking out is the 16th-century Metropolitan Church Of Spelaiotissa which is located on top of the stairs facing the old port in the northwest of the old town. The last church that you should not miss is the 15th century Cathedral of Saints Jacob and Christopher on Dimarchiou Square. After visiting the church you can sit back and relax on one of the terraces on the square and enjoy a well-earned drink.

San Giacomo Theater in Corfu Town

8. San Giacomo Theater

Opposite the Cathedral of Saints Jacob and Christopher on Dimarchiou Square, which is also know as the Town Hall Square, stands the former San Giacomo Theater. The historic theater was built in 1691 as a meeting place for the Venetian nobles of Corfu, but was later turned into a theater. Due to its success it had to move to another location and the former building of the San Giacomo Theater was turned into a town hall, hence the nickname of the square. Nowadays the building houses commercial spaces.

9. Go Shopping At Corfu’s Central Market

For the most authentic shopping experience, go to Corfu’s Central Market where the local Corfiotes shop for fresh fish, fruit, vegetables, and other produce. You can also find other products here like nuts, olives, honey, or other souvenirs and get a drink among the locals at one of the cafes.

Bell Tower of Annunziata in Corfu Town

10. Bell Tower of Annunziata

Another sight to look out for in the old town is the Bell Tower of Annunziata, which belonged to a church that no longer exists. The tower has a significant historic value since it was built with the church in the 14th century and many noble men who died during the Battle of Nefpaktos, one of the greatest naval battles of all time, were buried in the church. Unfortunately the church was destroyed during the bombing of World War II, but the bell tower still remains.

Faliraki Beach in Corfu Town

11. Faliraki Beach

Corfu Town is not only about sucking up culture and history as there are many other amazing things to do as well, like going for a swim. Faliraki Beach is the most famous beach in the town and is located at the foot of the defensive wall of the city. When walking there, you’ll pass under the Gate of Saint Nicholas and right at the waterfront you’ll see the Church of Saint Nicholas of the Baths. In the summer the seasonal bar and restaurant are open but it can get pretty busy at this beach as well.

Anemomylos Windmill in Corfu Town

12. Anemomylos Windmill And Beach

Other beaches can be found in the Garitsa Bay, alongside the beachfront boulevard and at the Anemolymos Windmill. The old windmill was built by the Venetians but after a recent renovation it’s been turned into a restaurant. The area is nice for its beach, to go for a walk across the bay, and from there you have a nice view at the Old Fortress.

Church of the Holy Apostles Jason and Sosipater in Corfu Town

13. Church of Saints Jason and Sosipatros

At a short walk from the windmill you can also find the Church of Saints Jason and Sosipatros. The Byzantine church was built in the 11th century and is worth a visit for its beauty and historic value.

Monastery of Agia Eythimia in Corfu Town

14. Monastery of Saint Efimia

The Monastery of Saint Efimia is located to the south of Corfu’s old town and is one of the oldest monasteries on the island. It was probably built in the 14th century.

Mon Repos in Corfu Town

15. Mon Repos

To the south of Corfu Town you can find the estate of Mon Repos. The villa was built by the British Commissioner Frederic Adam for his wife in the 19th century, but it is better known as the birthplace of Prince Philip. The estate is open for visitors and is a great place for a walk in the forest, where you can also find some archaeological excavations of the ancient city of Paleopolis. The villa itself hosts a small museum about the ancient city.

Basilica of ancient Paleopolis in Corfu Town

16. Visit The Ancient City Of Paleopolis

The history of Corfu Town goes back to the 8th century BC, when settlers from Corinthia arrived on the island. The city they build was called Paleopolis and flourished later during the Roman times, but finally got destroyed by the Ostrogoths. A new city started to be built to the north which developed into the Old Fortress, while the ancient city of Paleopolis was abandoned.

Nowadays you can find several archaeological excavations of the ancient city, with the most prominent ones just south of the old town, near Mon Repos. The best preserved building is the Basilica of Paleopolis in the picture above. Next to it you can also find the remains of the Ancient Agora and the Roman Baths. A bit further to the south is the Temple of Artemis, and in the forest of Mon Repos you can visit the Temple of Hera and the Temple of Kardaki. A bit closer to the old town you can also find the ancient Tomb of Menecrates.

17. Museums

There are also several museums in Corfu to learn more about history or culture, which can also be a great alternative on a rainy day. So far we already mentioned the Museum of Asian Art of Corfu and the Museum of Paleopolis inside Mon Repos, but there’s also the Archaeological Museum of Corfu where you can find more historic objects that were found around the island, including from Paleopolis. If you like art you can also visit the Byzantine Museum of Antivouniotissa which houses a collection of religious artwork from the 15th to the 20th century. If you’re interested to see how the elite used to live in the 19th century, you should visit the Casa Parlante Museum. Other thematic museums include the Serbian Museum of Corfu about the Serbs who fled to Corfu during the First World War, the Banknote Museum inside the former Ionian Bank, and the Museum of the Corfu Philharmonic Society, which is dedicated to the composer of the Greek national anthem.

Vlacherna Monastery in Corfu Town

18. Vlacherna Monastery

In the southern suburb of Corfu Town, called Kanoni, you can find the 17th century Vlacherna Monastery, which is beautifully located on a tiny islet. Via a pedestrian bridge you can simply walk to the island and visit the monastery. On the rocks of Kanoni there are also a few cafes from where you have a stunning view at the monastery.

Mouse Island

19. Hop On A Boat To Mouse Island

Behind Vlacherna Monastery lies another tiny island called Pontikonisi Island, which is Greek for Mouse Island. At the pier in Kanoni you can find boatsmen who offer to bring you to the small island to visit the Byzantine Chapel of Pantocrator, which dates back to the 11th of 12th century.

Plane taking off in Corfu

20. Go Plane Spotting In Kanoni

From Kanoni there is also a pedestrian bridge to the other side of the Chalkiopoulos Lagoon. This is a favorite place for plane spotters because it is very close to the end of the runway of Corfu Airport. Depending on the wind, planes are either landing at, or taking off right over the bridge at a very low altitute which is spectacular to see.

Holy Monastery of Platytera in Corfu Town

21. Holy Monastery Of Platytera

To the east of the old town, in the Mandouki neighborhood, you can visit the Holy Monastery of Platytera. The monastery was founded during the Venetian rule in 1743 and has a large remarkable bell tower. Inside the monastery you can find the grave of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first Governor of Greece.

22. Take A Boat Tour

There’s no need to get bored in Corfu Town, because even if you’ve seen the city and have some time left, you can always take a boat trip. There are many options of varying lengths and itineraries like a short cruise around the waters of the town, a trip to Vido or to other small islands with deserted beaches, but you can also get a regular ferry boat to the other Ionian Islands Paxos and Antipaxos.

Panounis' Soap Factory in Corfu Town

23. Watch Traditional Craftmanship

Traditional crafts are still very much alive in Corfu and you can watch some of the skilled craftsmen perform their traditional jobs. One of the places to see this is at the Patounis’ Soap Factory where they still make olive soap using traditional recipies that are generations old. They also have a small shop where you an buy some of the natural soap products. Another place is the Olive Wood Workshop by Tom, where you can see how olive wood is carved into the most amazing products which you can obviously buy as a souvenir as well.

24. Make A Day Trip To Albania

Did you know that Corfu Town is only half an hour away from Albania? From Corfu Port you can hop on a ferry which brings you to the Albanian coastal city of Saranda in just 30 minutes. This makes it perfect for a day-trip during which you can also visit the stunning beaches of Ksamil, the historic UNESCO site of Butrint, or the Blue Eye water spring.

25. Enjoy Some Amazing Food

After all the walking and sightseeing you deserve to treat yourself with some amazing food! Corfu Town has the largest variety of restaurants and food options on the island so you can always find something to your taste. But we suggest you try some of the delicious traditional Greek dishes to finish your day in style. Enjoy some homemade tatziki, fresh locally grown salad, delicious sofrito, or some fresh fish of the day with a glass of Greek wine for the perfect experience.

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