The ancient agora is an open site south of the castle. A massive 3rd-century-BC stoa, with some reconstructed columns, stands on its western side.
This side-street restaurant exudes authenticity, with stone walls, wood floors and walls frescoed with Greek gods (see how many you can name with your kids).
North of the ancient agora is the lovely cobblestone Plateia Platanou, where you can pay your respects to the Hippocrates Plane Tree, under which Hippocrates is said to have taught his pupils. Plane trees don't usually live for more than 200 years, though in all fairness this is certainly one of Europe's oldest.
You can now reach the once impregnable Castle of the Knights by crossing a bridge over Finikon from Plateia Platanou. The castle, which had massive outer walls and an inner keep, was built in the 14th century and separated from the town by a moat (now Finikon).
On the east side of town, Kos Town Beach has a thin strip of sand and deep water for swimming. It tends to be dominated by the restaurants and hotels along this stretch. West of town, Kritika Beach is a long sandy stretch that’s polka-dotted with umbrellas in the summer. It gets crowded but is within easy walking distance from the town centre.
The city's glitziest salt-lick is patronised by urbanites and fashionistas and makes for a great stop for a healthy lunch or dinner, out on the decked terrace facing Bodrum. Choose from bruschetta, grilled veg, battered shrimp, chicken risotto, or simply plump for a sundowner mojito (€7.50).
Next to an exquisite mosque, this lovely cafe with wrought-iron chairs and shade is a pleasant stop for an iced coffee or espresso. Treat yourself to their delectable spectrum of chocoloate (try the forest fruit and strawberry €3.50). They also serve juices, cake and brownies.
Peaceful and balmy, this graceful restaurant has a leafy terrace shaded by bougainvillea. An upscale menu features octopus, lobster, saganaki, red snapper, and carnivore's delight of steak, rack of lamb and various souvlakia. Overlooking the ancient agora (marketplace).
If you're suffering movie withdrawal, this cinema shows English-speaking blockbusters with Greek subtitles along with some local flicks. Three shows per day at: 5pm, 7.30pm and 10pm; the earliest of which is usually a kids' film. In high summer their open-air cinema is open.
The archaeological museum is based in an old Italianate building and hosts local sculptures from the Hellenistic to late Roman eras. The most renowned statue is that of Hippocrates; there’s also a 3rd-century-AD mosaic in the vestibule that’s worth seeing.
Chiming with the sound of youths playing backgammon, this courtyard bar is fresh, with stone walls, canvas sail canopies, shabby chic furniture and an easy soundtrack. Read, work, drink a beer, fruit juice or cocktail, and then grab a sandwich.