The capital of Kos is the beautiful Kos Town, built on the island’s south eastern side. Kos Town, besides the capital, is also the main port of the island. The modern Kos Town is built on the same location as its ancient predecessor, thus history and culture go hand in hand in every corner. The city combines various architectural styles from the ancient, medieval and modern years. Not just one walk, but several, in the historic streets of Kos Town are mandatory for all guests visiting the island.
One of the most prominent sites for all first-time visitors is the imposing ancient castle of the knights of Saint John, right in front of the harbor. It was constructed in 1436 and is connected to the rest of the town by a bridge that crosses the famous Palm Tree Avenue. Another major site is the governor’s office. Within short distance is the historic tree of Hippocrates, the father of medicine. Near the tree there’s the Archaeological Museum. Not far from there you can see the Ancient Agora (Greek for “market”), discovered after the earthquake of 1933. The complex included the Sanctuary of Hercules and was the political and social centre of the island in ancient times. Other must-visit places are the central square of Kos Town, with the Gazi Hassan Mosque and the Agia Paraskevi church. A bit outside of the city, on the north-east side, you can see the renovated ancient Odeon.
Popular beaches stretch in either direction from the harbour. Long sandy Kritika Beach is northwest and in easy walking distance of the town centre. On the southeast side the thin strip of sand known as Kos Town Beach is organised and offers deep water for swimming.
Where to Stay in Kos Town
Kos Town has a very sophisticated tourism infrastructure, offering many options. You can find hotels of all categories, or alternatively, accommodation in apartments, studios and rooms for rent. Have in mind that during the summer months, Kos Town is usually quite overcrowded, so it is advisable to arrange your stay as soon as possible so you can have bigger and better choices.
Another thing you should take into consideration is the distance from the city centre. In general, most (if not all) the 5-star hotels of the city, are around 3-4 kilometers of the city centre. That said, you may choose to use a bus, taxi, car or even walk to go downtown. If you still want to indulge into luxury during your vacations, then “Aqua Blue Boutique Hotel and Spa” could be a great choice, with a location not too inconvenient.
In terms of location, I will have to go with “Alexandra” hotel. It stands out, not only because it is the tallest building in town, but also because of its so convenient location – one step away from the harbour. 4 stars well-earned for all the facilities and services it provides.
For a more value-for-money option, “Afendoulis Hotel” should be top in your list. The hotel has a very distinctive character and ambience, and one of the most hospitable environments you’ll ever meet. Not to mention the original breakfast.
Where to eat in Kos Town
Not only Kos Town has a good variety in restaurants and taverns, but also you can enjoy a good meal in most of them, whether you sit in a cheap eatery or a fancy restaurant. And when I say variety, I mean actual variety: From the pretty “standard” Greek restaurants and fish taverns, to Italian, Mexican and Chinese restaurants.
One of my favorite restaurants in Kos Town is “Petrino”. It is located in the old town and has a marvelous garden, shaded by a bougainvillea. The looks are typical Greek, and so is the food. In the Turkish quarter, a bit away from the city centre is where you can find “Arap”, serving Turkish food. Disregard the distance and visit the place for the most mouthwatering kebab!
If you’re craving for a good pizza, then “Italiamo” is there to serve you, with gigantic wood fired pizzas, coming with a good price tag. Their spaghetti is also tasty and hearty, tryit and you won’t be disappointed! For fish lovers, “Sardelles” has not only a nice atmosphere, but also fresh fish and seafood throughout the year. Try the swordfish – it is a must! “Yorgos” is another great fish tavern – a choice of many locals as well. Extra points for its location on the beach.
Kos Town is famous for its raucous and intensive nightlife, so rest assured that your nights there will be full of drinking and dancing! It is not by accident that there is a whole street called the “Bar Street” after all! Here you can find plenty of pubs, bars and nightclubs. Most of the clubs are placed close to the quay in Nafklirou and Blessa streets, so a walk around there at night is a must. The variety is vast. Live music bars, English pubs, Mexican style bar-restaurants, oriental bars offering shisha, the list is endless.
Bar Street in particular tends to be very famous among youngsters. Most of the bars offer “happy hour” or “two for one” offers, making Kos Town’s nightlife not only exciting, but also quite cost effective for the low-budget visitors.
If you are visiting with family and you are looking for something more chilled, then the Town Square should be your place. Besides restaurants, you can find very interesting café-bars there, where you can relax and have some quiet moments with a glass of beer. There are a few nice bars in the old part of the town, along Apellou and Ifestou streets, with my favorites being the “Bitter Sweet Café” and “Global”.
Even if dancing till the morning is not your style, you should definitely visit “Fashion Club” even for one drink. It is one of the most popular clubs with a non-stop show of lights and lasers (and yes, dancing is involved too).