Archaeological Museum of Rethymno

Top choice in Rethymno

Set inside the atmospheric Venetian-built Church of St Francis, this well-curated museum features a stunning collection of well-preserved relics unearthed from major archaeological digs around Rethymno Province. Its collection offers a comprehensive snapshot (without leaving you overwhelmed) that predominantly covers pieces from the Minoan, Byzantine and Venetian periods. Highlights include exquisite hand-painted Minoan ceramics, a 9000-year-old limestone deity statue and a bronze lamp from the Hellenistic period (1st century BC) depicting Dionysus riding a panther.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Rethymno attractions

1. Neratzes Mosque

0.05 MILES

This triple-domed mosque began life as an Augustinian church and was converted by the Turks in 1657, although the recently restored minaret wasn't added…

2. Historical & Folk Art Museum

0.08 MILES

In a lovely 17th-century Venetian mansion, the five-room permanent exhibit here documents traditional rural life on Crete with displays of clothing,…

3. Porta Guora

0.09 MILES

At the southern edge of the old quarter, this arched stone gate is the only remnant of the Venetian city wall. It was built in the late 16th century and…

4. Rimondi Fountain


Another vestige of Venetian rule is this small fountain where water spouts from three lions’ heads into three basins flanked by Corinthian columns. Above…

5. Municipal Park

0.12 MILES

Located between Iliakaki and Dimitrakaki, the trails and tree-shaded benches found here offer respite from the heat and crowds. Old men doze and chat…

6. Loggia

0.12 MILES

This nicely restored 16th-century landmark originally served as a meeting house for Venetian nobility to discuss politics and money, and morphed into a…

7. Venetian Harbour

0.17 MILES

Rethymno’s compact historic harbour is chock-a-block with tourist-geared fish tavernas and cafes. For a more atmospheric perspective, walk along the…

8. Museum of Contemporary Art

0.17 MILES

The cornerstone of the permanent collection of this well-curated modern-art museum, founded in 1992, is the oils, drawings and watercolours of local lad…