Hania (also spelled Chania) is Crete’s most evocative city, with its pretty Venetian quarter, criss-crossed by narrow lanes, culminating at a magnificent harbour. Remnants of Venetian and Turkish architecture abound, with old townhouses now transformed into atmospheric restaurants and boutique hotels.
Although all this beauty means the old town is deluged with tourists in summer, it’s still a great place to unwind. The Venetian Harbour is super for a stroll and a coffee or cocktail. Plus it's got a university and a modern portion to the city, which means that it retains its charm in winter. Indie boutiques and an entire lane (Skridlof) dedicated to leather products provide good shopping and, with a multitude of creative restaurants, you'll likely have some of your best meals on Crete here.