Chania, which also goes by the name Hania, is the jewel in the Greek island Crete’s crown, with a stunning Venetian style to the architecture and a vibrant harbor.
Chania is one of the most remarkable cities on the island of Crete, and its population swells with tourists when the hot summer months roll around. It’s a popular destination due to its rich Venetian and Ottoman heritage. Chania is an idyllic coastal city perfect for evening strolls by the water, relaxing coffees in the quaint cafes, and lively nightlife in the old center. There’s something for everyone in this small city, and it’s a great place to hang your hat for a while if you’re living the digital nomad lifestyle. The city’s history is storied and shares some of the Minoan heritage that Crete is well-known for. But there’s also an Ottoman influence here too, and Chania was once an essential city-state of Ancient Greece. Once named Kydonia, this city is lucky enough to be mentioned in Homer’s epic tale, the Odyssey, so it’s well worth a look if you’re a self-confessed history buff.
Where to live in Chania
Chania is home to several fine districts; from the vibrant and colorful to the laid-back and authentic, you should be able to find a great place to call home in the city. Whether it’s ancient architecture and historical charm you’re looking for or a coastal retreat, there’s a neighborhood for you here. And remember, wherever you decide to live in the city, you’ll have the lively old center and waterfront a stone’s throw away.
Best Neighborhoods in Chania
The best neighborhoods in Chania are widely considered to be Splantzia, Koum-Kapi, Topanas, and Chalepa. Each of these neighborhoods has something special to offer and should cater well to the digital nomad lifestyle. Splantzia is home to much of the Ottoman influence in the city, given that it was one of two districts targeted by their conquests. While Topanas is one of the most beautiful old town districts, offering up a maze of narrow streets and alleyways to explore.
Amazing Apartments, Coliving Spaces and More
We've been rounded up the best housing options in Chania. All are available on flexible terms, so you can stay one month or as long as you want
Quick Facts About ChaniaWhile by now you know about the historical allure of the city, it’s always nice to go into a new place armed with key information regarding what makes it worth visiting or living in. To make sure you’re well-equipped with knowledge, here are some of the most interesting facts about Chania:
Its Maritime Museum is a must-visitThe Maritime Museum of Chania was first built in 1973 and features a variety of nautical equipment and memorabilia, such as navigational instruments, paintings, and old photographs. Exhibits show what the city used to look like under Venetian rule, and you can also learn more about the Battle of Crete too.
It has a traditional covered marketplaceChania has a covered market known locally as an ‘agora.’ The market was built at the beginning of the 20th century and is an excellent market for buying fresh produce year-round.
Once ruled by Republic of VeniceAs already alluded to, Chania was once ruled by the Republic of Venice, who, interestingly enough simply purchased the island of Crete from Boniface I. Venice’s influence began to seep into the fabric of Cretan society, to the extent that now the island has a mix of Greek and Venetian culture.
It produces traditional leather goodChania has a thriving leather good scene and even has a street called ‘Leather Street,’ where people go to pick up their traditional Cretan boots. It’s a great street to head to if you want a memorable souvenir or something to make you feel more connected to the city’s culture.
There’s an Egyptian lighthouseAlthough it may be referred to as the Egyptian lighthouse, the Venetians built this structure in the 16th century. However, it was given the name because Egyptian troops occupied Crete at the time.
It has a Venetian harborChania is home to an ancient Venetian harbor, which was constructed around 1320 AD when the city was under the Republic of Venice’s rule. It used to be a very important Mediterranean trade center, and today it is one of the most culturally significant buildings on the island.
It’s home to the gorge of SamariaLocated within the region of Chania, Samaria gorge is the longest gorge in Europe at 16km long. You can get there by bus and spend many hours enjoying the National Park’s breathtaking natural beauty, which is understandably one of the island’s biggest tourist attractions.
It was one of the sites of the Battle of CreteIn 1941, the Battle of Crete was fought during the Second World War between Nazi Germany and the Allied Forces, which included Greece. Chania was a key location in the battle and the site at which German paratroopers landed during one of the raids.
Work in Chania
Your best bet of securing a job in Chania is to go for something in the hospitality or tourism sectors since these are the most popular employment markets on the island. One of Crete’s biggest employers, unsurprisingly, is TUI Group, a large travel agency. Aside from that, there are plenty of opportunities with the University of Crete, the US Navy, Coca-Cola HBC, and H & M. Though as we already mentioned, a good knowledge of the island and/or history will get you far, given the large number of tourists that flock to the island year-round.
How good is Chania for Digital Nomads or Remote Work
Remote work is changing how the global workspace operates. In a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down, remote work is rapidly on the increase all around the world—especially in a place like Chania. And about 25% of remote workers describe themselves as digital nomads—those who like to travel or stay in cities around the world while they work. So, how good is Chania for both of these growing movements?
Average Internet SpeedThe average internet speed in Chania is around 20.4Mbps download and 4.1Mbps upload. These aren’t the fastest internet speeds, but the island’s beautiful surroundings should be more than enough to make up for that.
Work-friendly Coffee ShopsThere are several coffee shops in Chania that are well worth your time if you’re interested in getting some work done with the friendly ambiance of a cafe. Here are the top options: Coffee Lab: Coffee Lab is a fun little cafe with a range of specialty coffees to try. Here you can choose your own beans and brewing method and then take a seat and plug away on your latest project. Monogram: Monogram coffee shop is another upmarket cafe with great coffee and a sunny terrace out on the street. It’s conveniently located and a good spot to people-watch in between work sessions. London Coffee and Pastries: This is the coffee shop to head to if you want to soak up the afternoon sun as you work. The outdoor terrace is great, and the snacks even better.
Coworking SpacesAs a small city on the island of Crete, there’s just a single coworking space in Chania, but that’s more than can be said for many other cities its size: Workhub Chania: Workhub Chania is located right in the heart of the city center, and despite being the only one in town, it knocks it out of the park. Everyone who uses this coworking space seems to have nothing but good things to say about it, praising the social atmosphere, excellent facilities, and reliable internet connection. The one coworking space Chania has is conveniently located in the center of the city, however, if you’re willing to drive, you can head to Heraklion to find a handful of other coworking spaces.
Suitable Level for Digital NomadsChania is an idyllic coastal city that would make the perfect seaside retreat for any digital nomad. This is a place you can truly disconnect after the workday is done and spend hours relaxing on the glorious beach, or exploring the nearby gorge or just the island of Crete in general. There’s also a lively atmosphere to the city, despite its aged appearance. It’s easy to pass away the time in Chania sipping on coffee in one of the many outdoor terraces or enjoying the historical charm of the old center with a stroll through its mazy streets and alleyways.
Visa RequirementsTo enter Greece, you will need to apply for the right visa. Unless you’re looking to stay for a brief period of time (less than six months), you’re going to want to consider the options that can lead to residency. The long-term visa options include an employment visa, student visa, and the Greece Golden investment visa. While the first two options are self-explanatory, the third is one of the most popular investment programs for visas in the European Union. It implies residency-by-investment, and applies to non-EU citizens who make a significant investment in the Greek economy. One way to get the Greece Golden visa is to buy a property worth at least a quarter of a million euros.
Food and Drink in Chania
Chania is home to some fantastic restaurants serving some of the best authentic Greek cuisine on the island; you just have to know where to look to find it. For food, you should give Adespoto a go, as it is full of character with crimson red brick and serves up sumptuous Mediterranean cuisine. If you prefer seafood, then we highly recommend Glossitses, which is located right on the harbor near the old town and has a wide array of exquisite seafood dishes. Hands-down, the most memorable dining experience, though, can be found at the Oinoa Wine Restaurant. It’s here that you’ll be treated to awe-inspiring views of the sea inside a grand building with wonderful food. For your nightcap, the Avalon rock pub is an excellent choice, as it is right next to the old harbor and plays some of the best classic rock music as you sip on your ice-cold beer. For a unique drinking experience, head to Kibar: The Monastery of Karolos for evening drinks in a renovated 16th-century Venetian monastery.
Top 6 Things To Do in Chania
The number one thing to do in Chania is soak up the majestic old Venetian Harbor and the Egyptian lighthouse, which you can do before or after a bite to eat or a drink at one of the many fine establishments nearby. Other than that, you should dive into the city’s history, and there are many ways to do so. There’s the family-friendly immersive Minoan’s World 9D experience or the Maritime Museum of Crete. Alternatively, you can head straight to the beach for hours on end, soaking up the Greek sun and talking in the island’s beautiful surroundings.
Mosque of the Janissaries
Allied War Cemetery
Byzantine and Postbyzantine Collection of Chania
Theotokopoulou 78, Chania
Agorastaki 4, Chania
Str. Tzanakaki 82, Chania