The Old Town’s most eye-catching feature is the grand French-built Liston arcade, facing the Old Fort across the lawns of the Spianada, and lined with packed cafes. At its northern end, the neoclassical Palace of St Michael & St George contains the excellent Corfu Museum of Asian Art. Head inland and you can lose yourself for a happy hour or two amid the maze-like alleyways, seeking out sumptuous Orthodox churches or cosy cafes as the mood takes you.
Continue southwest, skirting the mighty Neo Frourio (New Fort), to reach the New Town, busy with everyday shops and services and centring on Plateia G Theotoki (also known as Plateia San Rocco). To the south, around curving Garitsa Bay, the ruin-strewn Mon Repos Estate marks the site of the ancient settlement of Palaeopolis.
All sorts of tours can help you explore in and around Corfu Town, whether on foot with Corfu Walking Tours, by bus with Corfu Sightseeing, or in the toy-train and horse-drawn carriage tours that start from the Spianada. Cruises along the coast or to neighbouring islands start from the New Port, with operators including Ionian Cruises and Sarris Cruises, while if you fancy learning to sail, contact Corfu Sea School at Gouvia marina not far northwest.
Venturing further afield, you can go horse riding with Trailriders in the village of Ano Korakiana, 18km northwest of Corfu Town, or enjoy a round on one of Greece's finest courses at the Corfu Golf Club not far from Ermones, 15km west.
The entire island has excellent walking. The Corfu Trail (www.thecorfutrail.com) traverses the island from north to south and takes between eight and 12 days to complete. You can organise a trip through Aperghi Travel, or simply arrange a day’s guided hiking with Corfu Walks & Hikes.
As most island visitors head straight to the beaches and resorts, Corfu Town holds fewer accommodation options than you might expect. Those that do exist tend to be relatively pricey, even in low season.
Corfiot cuisine shows the delicious influences of many cultures, especially Italian. Great restaurants and tavernas are scattered throughout the Old Town.
Drinking & Nightlife
Perhaps the best place to kick-start the evening is on the stylish Liston arcade, where Corfiots go to see and be seen; after that, the choices are legion.
For dance venues, head after 11pm to Corfu’s disco strip, starting west beyond the New Port, along Ethnikis Antistaseos; take a taxi, as it’s a busy, unlit road without walkways. A €10 admission fee usually includes one drink.
Corfu Town has a lively cultural life; check www.corfuland.gr (in Greek) for current listings.
The Old Town is crammed with shopping opportunities. The heaviest concentration of souvenir shops, which sell everything from 'evil eye' amulets and olive-wood carvings to pashminas and perfume, is along narrow Filarmonikis between the two main churches, while N Theotoki is good for idiosyncratic boutiques.