How to Visit Rhodes Old Town: 2024 Guide & Best Things to Do

Rhodes Old Town

Strolling through the walls of Rhodes Old Town in Greece is like taking a step back into time. From the moment we entered the D’ambrose Gate we couldn’t believe our eyes! For a place with so much incredible history, it’s still the heartbeat of the city on one of the most beautiful islands in Greece. Join us as we take you through all the must-see spots and best things to do in Rhodes Old Town! 

Quick History of Rhodes Old Town

Before we dive into things to do in Rhodes Old Town, you should know how this magical medieval city came to be! People have been living on the island for thousands of years. Yet, it wasn’t until the Knights of St. John arrived in 1309 that the walls were built into what you see today.

Over the next two centuries, Rhodes would be transformed into a stronghold on the largest island of the Dodecanese. After surviving many attacks from large Muslim armies the city finally fell to the Ottomans in 1522.

The Knights Hospitaller came from all over Europe in the name of the Christian crusades. This created a blend of cultures that is still seen today within the walls. Now let us take a deeper look into the ancient fortifications and what’s going on inside Rhodes Old Town!

Planning a Trip to Rhodes Greece: 10 Step Easy to Follow Travel Guide

History of Rhodes Old Town

Entering the Walls of Rhodes Old Town

There are 10 different and beautiful entrances into Rhodes Old Town. The gates are clearly labeled on the map so you can walk into the city from all sides.

Once you arrive, you’ll immediately notice just how lively it is! Rhodes Old Town still has over 6,000 people living and working inside the walls, making it the oldest inhabited medieval city in Europe. 

The old town of Rhodes is made up of over 200 streets and alleyways, many with no names attached to them. 

The main roads that connect it all are Orfeos Street and Sokratous Street. Take as many hours as you need to get lost in Rhodes Old Town Greece, and enjoy the sights and sounds of this special UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

Rhodes Old Town Gate

8 Best Things to do in Rhodes Old Town 

1. Palace of the Grand Master

Out of all the things to do in Rhodes Old Town, The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights is a must! Towering high over the city walls, it’s a constant reminder of this storied past of the medieval town of Rhodes. The palace was destroyed in 1856 and then restored by the Italians in the early 20th century.

Enjoy different exhibits as you roam the halls of this historic castle. On our visit, they had mosaics from the island of Kos lining the floors. The colors and architecture will leave you spellbound, and the rooms are filled with antique furniture from over 400 years ago. 

Rhodes Old Town Tip: Buy the combined ticket pass as soon as you arrive in old town. This will give you entrance to 4 different museums which you can see over the course of two days for just 10 Euros.

Palace of the Grand Master Location 

Knights of Rhodes Palace

Old Town Rhodes Palace of Grand Master

2. Street of the Knights

Leading up to the great palace is the famous Street of the Knights. This is where 7 different buildings were constructed for each of the tongues, or countries the Knights of St. John were made up of. 

The Auberge de France is known as the most impressive, and a great example of the stunning European architecture you see around the narrow streets. As you walk up the cobblestone hill surrounded by the high walls it’s easy to imagine what life was like back in ancient times. 

Street of the Knights Location

Street of the Knights Rhodes

3. Archeological Museum of Rhodes 

There are many great museums around Rhodes Old Town in Greece, but this was our favorite. The Archeological Museum is located in the former hospital of the Knights of St. John.

Inside you’ll find artifacts, sculptures, and mosaics that date back to over 2,000 years ago! After literally walking through a living museum in Rhodes Old Town, we were shocked to see even more unbelievable history.

We found the vases and jewelry of the 9th to 4th century BC and the insanely in-tact Roman sculptures particularly interesting. It’s truly amazing how many different cultures and peoples have inhabited Rhodes throughout history.

Archeological Museum Location

Archeological Museum of Rhodes

Rhodes Archeological Museum

4. Eat an Authentic Greek Meal

While you’ll see history everywhere you go, there are also many great restaurants around Rhodes Old Town in Greece. Honestly, it’s overwhelming how many tasty places to eat there are in the centre of the old town.

Our only advice is to not settle for the first spot you see on the main streets and squares. Wander the backstreets and get local! Also, don’t limit yourself to eating in Rhodes Old Town. Some of the best meals we had were located just outside the massive towers and city walls.

Beef Giouvetsi

5. Walk the Walls of Rhodes Old Town

Once you’ve thoroughly explored the inner streets of Rhodes Old Town, it’s time to see this historic city from above! At the time of our visit, the walls were open every weekday from 12-3pm and the entrance was free. It was so much fun to view the colors and architecture of the city from higher up.

The first known fortifications around the ancient city were in the 7th century AD. However, most of the work you see today was done by the Knights of St. John in the 200 years they held the island. With how thick and tall the stone is you can tell they were very serious about defending it!

Take in the different angles and viewpoints as you stroll around the outside of the fortified city. You can enter from the front of the Palace of the Grand Master and exit back inside the walls. It will only take you less than an hour to walk the walls around Rhodes Old Town.

Walls of Rhodes Old Town

Wall of Rhodes

6. Have a Drink in Hippocrates Square

In the very middle of Rhodes old town sits Hippocrates Square. This is a fun spot to grab a drink at one of the many bars and cafes that surround the fountain. If you’re not feeling any of these establishments, don’t worry. 

There are some steps that you can sit on with your own beverage or an ice cream and have a nice view. This is also the start of the popular Sokratous Street which doubles as the main shopping street in town.

Cellar of the Knights Location

Cellar of the Knights

Cellar of the Knights Rhodes

7. Admire the Rhodes Old Town Minarets

Some of the most impressive things to see from the walls of Rhodes town are the two minarets and Mosque of Suleiman. Just as there is history from all over Europe in Rhodes, the old town features architecture from the Middle East.

This shouldn’t be surprising as the Ottomans occupied Rhodes for over almost 400 years. The Mosque of Suleiman was built after the siege of Rhodes in 1522, and the 16th-century minarets shortly afterward.

For some interesting backstory on this, you should know Suleiman the Magnificent led the 1522 siege with over 200,000 men. Although vastly outnumbered, the Knights held out for over 6 months until they were eventually overtaken.

Suleiman was reportedly so blown away by their courage that he let them leave Rhodes for Malta without harm. Rhodes went under Italian occupation at the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but the two minarets still stand high above Rhodes Old Town.

Rhodes Town

8. Spend a Night in the City Walls

It is a unique experience to spend the night inside the city walls and something every traveler to Rhodes should do. On our recent visit to Rhodes, we stayed at 10GR Hotel & Wine Bar and we loved being in the middle of the action.

Set inside the historic walls of Old Town, Hotel 10GR also doubles as the best wine bar on the island. The luxury rooms offer a cave-like atmosphere yet with modern amenities.

It’s really amazing how they transformed this building with a history of over 400 years into a luxury hotel! Each room also has a colorful mural of a famous Greek person that’s contributed to the countries culture.

The 10GR Hotel bar has wines from 250 vineyards all over Greece. The restaurant offers a tasty menu and culinary experience any foodie will enjoy. The best part is you’ll be steps away from the Palace of the Grand Master, Hippocrates Square, and other great attractions.

While you may find other boutique hotels in this area, 10GR is the perfect place to relax after a long day of walking the cobblestone streets.

10GR Hotel & Wine Bar

After Visiting Rhodes Old Town

Once you’ve had your fun in Rhodes Old Town know that there is so much more of the island to explore. Just a short walk from the walls is a fantastic place to swim called Elli Beach. This can be the best place to cool off on a hot summer day. You’ll walk by the very spot that the legendary Colossus of Rhodes statue was said to have been built.

Another great place for a swim is at the ancient thermal spa of Killithea Springs. It’s just a 15 minute drive from Rhodes Old Town and fun place to spend the afternoon.

One of our absolute favorite places on Rhodes is a stunning village called Lindos. It’s about 1 hour from the medieval city of Rhodes and well worth a visit. 

The Lindos Acropolis sits high above the town and is one of the most important archeological sites in all of Greece. After that, you’ll find two epic beaches in Pallas and St. Paul’s Bay.

If you’re up for a trip to a traditional mountain village then we recommend heading to Monolithos. Here you can watch the sunset from a 15th century castle to end your trip. 

Obviously, you may need more than a few days to fully experience Rhodes! This is a great reason to consider a renting a car after your time in old town. Be sure to check out our one week itinerary and more of the best things to do on Rhodes in the article below.

23 Epic Things to do in Rhodes Greece 

Lindos Rhodes

Have any questions on Rhodes Old Town in Greece or want to share your own experience? Leave us a comment below!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

Where to Stay in Rhodes Greece

LindosMelenos Art Boutique Hotel – At Melenos, luxury mixes perfectly with a special design that includes historical artifacts from around Rhodes. Enjoy stunning ocean views while being just a quick walk from the Lindos Acropolis and town.

Monolithos Limeri Traditional Guesthouse – At Limeri you’ll find a traditional design equipped with modern amenities. Each room has a nice view from the balcony, and some even have a private jacuzzi! 

Old Town Budget– Mascot Garden Rooms & Mascot Boutique Hotel – These sister hotels are unique and fun places to stay just outside of Rhodes Old Town.  They are beautifully designed and a simple, but charming place to sleep after exploring all day. 

Old Town Hostel – Stay Hostel Rhodes – What separates Stay Hostel from others in town is that it offers a kitchen, multiple lounges, games room, gym, and home cinema! It’s also a great place to meet other travelers from around the globe. 

For more places to stay in Rhodes Greece you can explore the latest prices here!

Pin For Later 

Rhodes Old Town Guide

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Greece Travel Planning 

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!

When island hopping use FerriesinGreece to compare different routes, prices, and companies. 

 Flights: We always check Skyscanner and Kayak to search for cheap flights. That’s how we got from Crete to Athens for under $50 USD!

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also,  Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

 Rental Car: You can book a rental car for around $20 a day in Greece! We use Discover Cars to explore the larger islands with a vehicle.

 Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for activities in Rhodes Greece. You can find everything from a boat cruise with snorkeling and lunch, to a hop on hop off bus, and sunset dinner cruise

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

Greece Travel

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