Rhodes is a stunning island off the coast of Greece, located in the Dodecanese Islands. It is the largest of these islands and offers a variety of activities for its visitors.
Rhodes is steeped in history and culture, with ruins from the Stone Age, the Romans and the Byzantine Empire still visible. You can explore the ruins of the ancient cities of Lindos, Kamiros, and Ialysos, as well as churches from the Christian period, Byzantine period, and the Colossus, a bronze statue of the sun god Helios.
It also has some of the best beaches and restaurants in Greece, and an exciting nightlife. The subtropical climate makes it a great destination all year round, while the refreshing westerly winds keep temperatures moderate throughout the summer.
Rhodes has something to offer everyone, from its vast history to its vibrant nightlife. Whether you are looking for a relaxing break or an action packed adventure, Rhodes is the perfect destination.
Some of the best things to do in Rhodes are explore the Rhodes Old Town, visit the Acropolis of Rhodes, relax on Faliraki Beach, shop at the Mandraki harbor, take a boat tour, taste local cuisine, visit the Palace of the Grand Master, admire the architecture of the Rhodes Jewish Synagogue, relax at the Therma hot springs.
19 Best things to do in Rhodes, Greece
1. Rhodes Town
Rhodes Town is the capital and largest city of the Greek island of Rhodes. It is located on the northeastern coast of the island and has a rich history that dates back to ancient times.
Rhodes Town is split into two areas, the Old City and the New City. The Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a fortified medieval settlement surrounded by strong walls. It is full of ancient buildings, narrow alleyways, stone arches, mosques, churches and palaces that blend different cultures and eras.
Walking through the narrow streets of Rhodes Old Town Town, you’ll find a blend of different architectural styles, including medieval, Ottoman and Italian. The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller is a prime example of medieval architecture and is now a museum showcasing the history of the Knights of St. John. Another must-visit site is the Street of the Knights, a well-preserved street that was once home to the knights during the medieval period.
The New City of Rhodes is a modern center of tourism, entertainment and shopping with luxurious hotels, parks, wide streets and a vibrant atmosphere. The New Town is also home to Mandraki Harbor and St Nicholas fortress, as well as Elli Beach, which is the main beach of the town.
Rhodes Town is also home to a vibrant cultural scene with both traditional Greek music and modern nightclubs, as well as lots of festivals and events during summer months.
2. Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes
The Grand Master’s Palace is one of the best things to do and see in Rhodes because it is one of the most iconic works of architecture in the island.
Built in the 14th century, it was a fortress surrounded by a 4 km wall, providing safe accommodation for the Grand Masters of the Order of the Knights of St. John and foreign conquerors.
The palace has a history of surviving battles and earthquakes, but an 1856 explosion at a nearby gunpowder warehouse caused significant damage and resulted in over 900 casualties. Despite being built to withstand military siege, it couldn’t survive the disaster.
The Palace has been restored in respect to the medieval style, although some parts were remodeled according to European and Italian tastes. It is a rectangular building with a large courtyard surrounded by galleries, and it is known for its beautiful mosaics on the floors, brought by the Italians from Kos island.
The Palace is now an Archeological Museum, open 6 days a week, showcasing its remaining glamor. In 1980, the Old City of Rhodes was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It’s conveniently close to Rhodes Town, making it a great opportunity for a walking trip to the past. It is a must-visit destination in Rhodes and a great example of medieval architecture.
3. Lindos Acropolis
Lindos is one of the best things to do and see in Rhodes island because it is one of the most impressive archaeological sites on Rhodes, boasting a dramatic natural landscape, a picturesque modern town, and an iconic Acropolis standing at 116 m.
At the Acropolis, visitors will find the ruins of the goddess Athena Lindia temple, Propylaea, the Hellenistic Stoa, and the Byzantine chapel of Saint John.
Outside of the Acropolis, visitors can explore the theater, four-portico building, Boukopion, cemeteries, Naiskos of the Taxiarch Michael Stratelates, Church of the Panayia, Ayios Georgios Chostos, Agios Minas Church, Agios Demetrios, and the Early Christian basilica.
The modern village of Lindos is also filled with interesting architecture and cultural features, including the square and fountain, graveyard, school, and various mansions. Visitors can immerse themselves in the history and culture of Lindos and Rhodes, making it a must-see destination for any traveler.
4. Archaeological Museum of Rhodes
The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes is one of the best things to do and see on Rhodes island for anyone interested in history and archaeology.
Located in the heart of the Medieval City, the museum is housed in a beautiful old building that was once occupied by the Knights Hospitaller. The museum holds an impressive collection of artifacts, including vases, jewelry, coins and sculptures from the Hellenistic times to Roman periods.
There are many side galleries off the inner courtyard showcasing remarkable antiquities, all labeled and organized by classical period.
In addition to the museum’s stunning artifacts, visitors can enjoy the well-kept gardens and stunning architecture of the building itself.
The museum also offers a great value combined ticket that grants entry to 4 sites over three days. The museum is open daily from 08:00 to 20:00 in the summer season and from 08:00 to 15:30 in the winter season.
Kamiros is an ancient city situated on Rhodes island, with ruins dating as far back as the 8th century BC. Excavations have revealed a long and diverse history, with the Hellenistic city built on three levels.
Visitors can easily explore the ruins, which are less crowded than the more popular Lindos acropolis, and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside and sea.
Kamiros is accessible by car in around 45 minutes from the center of Rhodes.
6. Mandraki Port
On the island of Rhodes, Mandraki harbor is the largest and most important port. Charter companies use it as a starting point for cruises and it is close to the island’s international airport. The yachts are moored tightly together and the sanitary facilities are basic.
The harbor is well-protected and there are power and water connections available. Shopping and leisure activities can be found in Rhodes town, such as restaurants and cafes.
Notable sights include the Colossus of Rhodes, the fort Agios Nikolaou and the 15th century windmills. UNESCO has declared the Old Town of Rhodes a World Heritage Site.
7. The Valley of the Butterflies
The Butterfly Valley in Rhodes is one of the best things to do and see in Rhodes for nature lovers and those looking for a unique experience. It is a stunning natural wonder that is home to the rare Panaxia Quadripunctaria Butterfly.
The valley is situated along the Pelekanos River, with wooden bridges, pools, falls, and footpaths along its 1 km route. The sweet aroma of Liquidambar trees attracts hundreds of butterflies, making it an unforgettable experience.
There are three entrances with parking areas and the valley is located 23 km from Rhodes Town and 10 km from the Airport. Studies of the valley have been conducted since the 1930s, when it was first discovered by Italians.
8. Prasonisi Beach
Prasonisi is a stunning beach that transforms itself from being an island to a peninsula depending on the season. It is located 92 km from Rhodes town and just 40 km from Lindos. Prasonisi is renowned for its strong and stable Meltemi wind, which makes it a popular spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
It is also a great place to relax and take in the scenery, with a picturesque lighthouse and nearby ancient settlement of Vroulia with its mosaic tiled floor.
However, the large influx of visitors during summer has caused environmental damage, so protective measures have been put in place to prevent motor vehicles from accessing the beach and to help revive the Caretta caretta turtle population.
Prasonisi is an exceptional beach to visit in Rhodes.
9. Tsambika Monastery
The Moni Tsambika Monastery is a popular tourist destination located on the east coast of Rhodes. It is a small white church with a beautiful courtyard, decorated with pebbles and shells and surrounded by colorful flowers.
Legends tell of a married couple who built the monastery after being blessed with a child, and of fishermen who found an icon of the Virgin Mary and built a monastery in her honor.
The monastery is set atop a 230 meter high mountain and offers breathtaking views of the nearby resorts and the sandy Tsambika Beach below.
There is also a second monastery, Kato Tsambika, located nearby. Visitors can climb the 300 steps to the top of the mountain to experience the stunning view, known as the “monastery in the clouds”.
10. Monolithos Castle
The Castle of Monolithos is a historical site, located on a 236 meter high rock near the village of Monolithos in Rhodes. Built by the Knights of St. John, in 1476, the castle was strategically placed to protect the island from pirate attacks.
Today, most of the castle is ruined but some of its external walls and towers remain in good condition. Visitors can also view the 15th century Chapel of Agios Panteleimon and the ruins of the small Chapel of St. George.
The castle offers stunning views of the Mediterranean coastline, Fourni beach, and the islets of Alimia and Halki. There is a small cafe and car park at the base of the rock where the castle is perched. It is the perfect spot for visitors to take in the beautiful scenery and witness a magnificent sunset.
11. St Paul’s Beach
St Paul’s Bay is a stunning beach located on the southeast coast of Rhodes. It comprises two bays with sandy pebbled beaches and crystal-clear waters, perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
There are also sunbeds, food, and music on one side of the beach for those who want a more lively experience. The beach is surrounded by rocks on all sides and is close to the historic village of Lindos.
It is believed that St Paul landed here in 51 AD to spread Christianity to the people of Rhodes, and a small church was built on the hillside. Couples from all over Europe often choose this location to get married due to the beautiful views of the bay and Lindos Acropolis.
The beach can get quite crowded during the summer months, so the best time to visit it is off season or very early in the morning.
12. Tsambika Beach
Tsambika Beach is one of the best things to do in Rhodes for families & youngsters as it is a popular sandy beach on the island’s east coast.
Its 800 meter long coastline is full of golden sand and crystal clear waters, perfect for swimming and watersports. The beach is surrounded by the Greek Orthodox Church, keeping it in its natural state.
Panaghia Tsambika Monastery is also visible from the beach. There are also facilities such as umbrellas, sun lounges, and beach bars.
13. Kalithea Hot Springs
Kalithea Springs in Rhodes, Greece is a remarkable complex of marble buildings and thermal springs that have been a popular attraction for centuries.
Visitors can take in the majestic architecture and mosaics, bathe in the clear blue waters, and enjoy the coffee shop. The combination of nature, architecture, and history transports visitors to a unique and cinematic experience.
From wedding ceremonies to the Rotunda, it’s a place that nostalgically brings us back to another era.
14. Monastery of Filerimos
The castle of Filerimos stands atop Filerimos hill in Ialyssos, one of the first ancient towns of Rhodes. Built during the Byzantine Era, it served as a summer home for the aristocracy and the elite.
Later, it became a strategic point for the Knights of St John, who fought to conquer the area from the Genoese in 1309. It was eventually taken over by the Ottoman ruler Suleiman the Magnificent in 1522.
Restoration work was done throughout the 200 year occupation, but after the Turks seized control, the castle was left to abandonment and ruin. It was restored by the British and Greeks after WWII.
The castle is located within a short drive by car from Rhodes Town and Ialysos.
15. Kritinia Castle
The Castle of Kritinia is one of the best things to do in Rhodes for history buffs because it is a spectacular medieval fortress perched on a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea.
Built by the Knights of Saint John, it is a blend of Byzantine and Venetian architecture with three levels assigned to different Grand Masters. It offers stunning views of the sea and nearby islands, as well as the remnants of a chapel.
During summer, the castle hosts events like the Medieval Rose Festival in June.
16. Anthony Quinn Bay
Anthony Quinn Bay is a stunning beach located on the island of Rhodes, 4 km south of Faliraki. It’s known for its emerald-green waters, natural stone surfaces and pine trees that extend to the water’s edge. It’s ideal for adults, groups of friends and those wanting to relax.
Snorkeling and canoeing are also available, and Faliraki is nearby with a water park and lively nightlife. Visitors can get to Rhodes by ferry or fly into Rhodes International Airport and take a bus or car to the bay.
17. Toy Museum, Archipoli
The Rhodes Toy Museum is located in beautiful Archipoli, with stunning vistas of olive groves, mountains and pine forests.
This museum is powered entirely by solar energy, and showcases toys from 1930 to 1990, from tin wind-ups to battery operated cars, board games, and Greek Playmobil. It’s a must-see for any toy enthusiast!
18. Modern Greek Art Museum
The Modern Greek Art Museum in Rhodes is a three-building complex, featuring a Main Gallery, New Gallery “Nestorideion Melathron” and Modern Art Centre.
It has a collection of works of sculpture, painting, drawing, engraving and documents of historical value, representing the history of Greece through its 20th century artists.
Visitors can explore 690 exhibits in the Main Gallery, contemporary art in the Modern Art Centre, and maps and engravings donated by Mrs. Zoe York in the New Gallery. There are also educational programmes, publications, posters and gifts available.
19. Symi Island
Symi is an enchanting Greek island with colorful architecture, beautiful beaches, viewpoints, and traditional settlements. Explore our travel guide to learn about the island’s hotels, restaurants, beaches, and activities.
Ferry connections are available from Rhodes airport and Piraeus port. With our guide, you can make the most of your Symi experience and have an unforgettable time!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Rhodes best known for?
Rhodes is particularly known for its stunning beaches and clear blue waters, its archaeological sites and cultural history, its vibrant nightlife, and its picturesque villages. It is also renowned for its delicious cuisine and Mediterranean climate.
How many days do you need in Rhodes?
You can spend 5-7 days in Rhodes to fully explore the island, visit its ancient sites, beautiful beaches and scenic villages. However, the exact number of days you need depends on your interests and travel style.
Is Rhodes island worth visiting?
Yes, Rhodes island is worth visiting due to its rich history, stunning beaches, and delicious cuisine. From the ancient streets of Lindos to the vibrant nightlife in Faliraki, there’s something for everyone.
Is Rhodes very touristy?
Yes, Rhodes is a popular tourist destination due to its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and historical sites. It can get crowded during peak season but still offers many beautiful sights and activities.
What are the best things to do in Rhodes for families?
Visit the ancient Acropolis of Lindos, explore Rhodes Old Town, relax on Faliraki Beach, discover the underwater world with snorkeling, take a scenic drive to Seven Springs, and enjoy water park fun at Faliraki Water Park.
What are the best things to do in Rhodes for couples?
Visit the ancient city of Lindos, relax on Tsambika Beach, tour the Palace of the Grand Masters, and taste local cuisine. Watch a sunset from the top of Mount Smith, walk hand-in-hand through the picturesque streets of Rhodes Old Town, or enjoy a romantic dinner at a local tavern.
What are the best things to do in Rhodes at night?
Rhodes offers a variety of nightlife options including exploring the medieval town, experiencing local music & dance at tavernas, visiting the bar street in Faliraki, or watching the sunset at Anthony Quinn Bay. You can also enjoy dinner at a beach restaurant or attend a cultural show.
What to do in Rhodes, Greece in one day?
Visit the medieval Old Town, explore the Acropolis of Lindos, relax on Anthony Quinn Bay beach, taste local cuisine, shop at the market, see the Colossus of Rhodes statue remains.
What are the free things to do in rhodes?
Discover ancient ruins, relax on stunning beaches, stroll through charming villages and explore lush forests in Rhodes for free.
See more: Where to Stay in Rhodes First Time
So there you have it, the best things to do in Rhodes, Greece for your next trip. If you enjoyed my post, please leave a comment below.