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How to Spend One Day in Corfu Town (Kerkyra): Itinerary, Map, Travel tips

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If you’re heading to the island of Corfu in Greece, then spending one day in Corfu Town is a must! In this guide, we’re sharing our experience in this beautiful city and the top things to see.

Corfu Town, locally known as Kerkyra, is the capital of the magical Greek island of Corfu. Earlier this year, we spent a weekend in Corfu during our month-long stay in Albania.

The island is only 2 kilometers away from Albania at its narrowest point, so we thought why not? We spent a day exploring the wonders of Corfu Town during our weekend trip.

While the town is quite touristy, we found ourselves smitten by the city’s stunning Venetian-style architecture, delicious cuisine, and friendly people.

While most people opt to spend their time in Corfu at fancy resorts or on a white, sandy beach (rightly so!), we think Corfu Town is more than worthy of a visit for a day.

In this post, we are sharing the highlights from our day in Corfu Town, including our favorite sights, local restaurants to try, and some essential travel tips.

One day in Corfu Itinerary

Grab breakfast at Starenio Bakery

Start your day off at Starenio Bakery, one of the best places to get traditional Greek pastries on the island. They serve vegetarian and vegan pies, but don’t let that fool you, they don’t taste vegan at all! And I’ve eaten a lot of vegan desserts.

The pies are buttery, flakey, and oh-so-flavorful. You can choose from a traditional spanakopita pie, a tomato and cheese pie, and so many other delicious flavors. Grab yourself a coffee to-go and enjoy a calm morning at one of their tables outside.

If you have a sweet tooth, then you can also get one of their many cakes, like the classic Greek walnut cake.

Enjoy amazing views from the New Venetian Fortress

The New Fortress is one of Corfu Town’s most notable landmarks, symbolizing the rich Venetian history of the island. The construction of the fortress commenced in 1576 under the Venetian rule and was completed in the early 17th century, a period when the threat of Ottoman invasions loomed large over many Mediterranean territories.

This fortress was built on the hill of St. Mark and was designed by Italian military engineer Ferrante Vitelli to reinforce the town’s defenses in complement to the existing Old Fortress.

Today, you can explore the New Fortress for yourself and enjoy some of the most stunning panoramic views of Corfu Town and the Ionian Sea.

It’s open from 8:30am – 3:30pm daily, and the cost is €4 per person.

Check out the central market

Located just below the New Venetian fortress is the bustling Central Market. This market is epicenter of the town’s daily life where locals convene to socialize and shop for their daily groceries.

There are an array of stalls selling fresh produce, delicacies, and local specialties. You can find everything from freshly caught fish, locally grown fruits, olives, herbs, and homemade bread.

We purchased some fresh olives and ripe oranges to snack on throughout the day. If we had been staying in an apartment in Corfu, this is where we would do our shopping.

Even if you aren’t looking to purchase food, it’s a wonderful place to go and get a feel for daily life in Corfu Town and check out some of the locally grown produce.

Walk through Saint Spyridon Church

Saint Spyridon Church is a famous Greek Orthodox church located in the heart of Corfu Town. Dedicated to the island’s patron saint, Saint Spyridon, the church was built in the late 16th century and is famed for housing the saint’s relics, which were brought to Corfu in 1489 after the fall of Constantinople.

Inside, the church is decorated with beautifully adorned ceilings, ornate chandeliers, and exquisitely painted icons. Saint Spyridon is deeply loved by locals and is credited with saving the island from various calamities throughout its history.

Please note – photos are not allowed inside of the church.

Wander through the old town

One of the best things to do in Corfu Town is to stroll through the streets and narrow alleyways in the charming old town. Admire the city’s beautiful buildings that are deeply influenced by the Venetian, French, and British periods of rule.

The town is filled with pastel-hued buildings and Venetian-style shutters making you wonder if you’re still in Greece or instead wandering the streets of Venice itself?

You’ll find many boutiques selling local crafts, Mediterranean style clothing, jewelry, and pottery. Unfortunately, much of it is the same stuff over and over again. You have to look really hard to find a unique souvenir.

One of the most popular items you’ll find throughout the old town is a variety of kumquat products. This fruit originally hails from Asia but has been grown in Corfu for around 100 years.

Around town, you’ll find kumquat jams, chocolates with kumquats, kumquat liquor, and more. We personally loved the chocolate nougats with nuts and kumquats – they were absolutely delicious.

Have lunch at a local favorite

After all of your morning sightseeing, you’ll be ready for a heavy traditional meal. Say hello to Taverna Ninos. One of the best traditional Greek restaurants on the island serving up amazing local specialties.

The food is served cafeteria style, meaning it was made earlier in the day and is ready to eat. All of the dishes line a glass counter in huge pots and pans.

Our go-to? Pastitsada, a dish made with veal that’s been slowly cooked in a cinnamon and clove sauce and served over pasta. Bourtheto is another classic that is made with cod and a red sauce served over rice.

This restaurant is as traditional as you can get. You really can’t go wrong with any of their dishes, but we highly recommend trying their specialties. You won’t find them at many other places on the island.

It can get crowded at lunch, so be prepared to wait a bit, or arrive early instead to beat the rush.

Walk around the Liston and Spianada Square

In the heart of Corfu Town, you’ll find Spianada Square – the biggest square in all of Greece and a vibrant hub of local life. Next to it, there’s the stylish Liston promenade, an impressive arcade that can’t help but remind you of the chic Rue de Rivoli in Paris.

That’s actually not a random comparison, the French engineers during the Napoleonic era were behind its design.

The arches of Liston house some lovely cafés and eateries, offering an ideal spot to sit back, enjoy a coffee, and watch the world of Corfu Town go by.

Just a few meters towards the water is Spianada Square itself, a wide-open green space perfect for a walk, a picnic, or simply a nice place to relax.

We spent 20-minutes hiding from the sun on a bench near Spianada Square during a hot spring day and enjoyed a bit of people watching before making our way to the Old Venetian Fortress.

Check out the Old Fortress

Dating back to the 6th century under Byzantine rule, the Old Fortress was built to protect the city from barbarian invasions. Built atop two peaks towering over the old city, this strategic placement of the fortress allowed the city to defend itself for centuries.

From the 14th to 18th centuries, the Venetians expanded and strengthened the fortress significantly to safeguard against Ottoman invasions. Originally, it was separated from the island by a manmade moat, which contributed to Corfu being one of the few parts of Greece never to fall under Ottoman control.

The main features of the fortress include the central fort or “castel vecchio,” the British-built Church of St. George built in the neo-classical “Georgian” style, and the Savorgnan bastion, a marvel of military engineering.

The Old Fortress is open daily from 8am to 8pm and the entrance fee is €6 per person.

Walk through the Boschetto garden

Located between the Old Fortress and Spianada square is the Boschetto garden, a small garden featuring an array of Mediterranean flora and fauna and wonderful views of the sea.

The garden features marble statues of notable figures from Corfu’s history. The last addition, in 2006, are two bronze busts of the Durrell brothers. The famous English writers who put Corfu on the map to the rest of the world.

The garden was renamed the “Durrell garden” around this time as well.

Wander your way through the garden to admire the endless sea views, enjoy the fragrant flowers, and unwind for a bit before making your way to the next stop.

Visit the Corfu Museum of Asian Art

The Corfu Museum of Asian Art, located in the elegant Palace of St. Michael and St. George, is the only museum in Greece dedicated exclusively to Asian art. It boasts an extensive collection of over 15,000 artifacts dating all the way back to the Bronze Age to more modern pieces.

The museum provides a fascinating exploration of Asian cultures spanning from Japan and China to India, Pakistan, and beyond.

You can marvel at Chinese porcelain, Japanese woodblock prints, Indian sculptures, and an array of beautiful artifacts including textiles, metalwork, ceramics, and jade.

The museum’s aim is not just to display art, but to foster an understanding and appreciation of Asia’s diverse cultures, traditions, and histories. For any art enthusiast, a visit to the Corfu Museum of Asian Art is a must-visit.

The museum is open daily from 8am – 8pm. Tickets cost €6 per person.

Relax at Faliraki beach

Faliraki Beach is a hidden gem tucked away in the heart of Corfu Town. This small, pebbly beach is a wonderful place to enjoy the crystal clear, Mediterranean waters and is the perfect spot for a refreshing swim.

The beach doesn’t necessarily have space to lay down a towel; instead, you can lay on the concrete next to the water. There are a couple of bars at the beach where you can grab a drink and enjoy the views of the Old Fortress.

Despite its city location, it never feels too overwhelming and is a peaceful respite from the bustle of Corfu Town.

We spent the evening watching the sun set and taking in the incredible island views with Albania in the distance.

Eat delicious Greek food for dinner

The food in Corfu Town is some of the best we’ve had during our travels in Greece. You can find everything from cheap gyros and greeks salads to more traditional fish and meat dishes like moussaka and sofrito.

If you’re in the mood for some fish, head to Fishalida to taste some locally caught fish, such as octopus, prawns, anchovies, and more.

For a classic Greek meal, try Marina’s Taverna, another local dining option similar to Taverna Ninos. Diporto is another solid choice offering local dishes.

Don’t forget to stop by Stazei Meli for some traditional loukamades (Greek donuts) for dessert! We love the honey and pistachio ones.

One day in Corfu Town Itinerary Overview

Here is an overview with a complete itinerary for your day in Corfu Town. We’ve included times as suggestion, but of course, you can take things at your own pace.

  • 8:00am – Starenio Bakery
  • 8:45am – Visit the New Fortress
  • 10:00am – Walk around central market
  • 10:30am – Visit Saint Spyridon Church & Wander around the old town
  • 12:00pm – Lunch at Taverna Ninos
  • 1:30pm – Visit the Old Fortress (walk through Spianada square on the way)
  • 3:00pm – Walk through Boschetto gardens & visit the museum of Asian art
  • 5:00pm – Relax at Falikari beach
  • 7:30pm – Dinner

One day in Corfu Town Map

To help you best navigate your way around Corfu Town, here is a map of all of the sights and restaurants listed in this itinerary.

To save the map to Google Maps on your phone or computer, click on the star next to the title. You’ll be able to find the map in your “saved maps” list on your phone. To see a list of all the items on the map, click the box with arrow on the left. To enlarge the map, click the box on the right.

How long do you need in Corfu Town?

One day in Corfu Town is plenty of time to see the main sights. You will be busy going from place to place, but you will have time to see everything.

If you want to spend more time going shopping, relaxing at the beach, and soaking in the Greek culture, then two days might be better for you.

How do you get around Corfu Town?

The best way to get around Corfu Town is to walk. The town is quite small, and you can easily walk to all of the sights within 10-15 minutes.

There is a local bus system that you can use to get to the port from the old town, but you won’t need to use the bus for this itinerary.

Where to stay in Corfu Town?

We recommend staying in the old town during your visit to Corfu Town. This is the most convenient place to stay, as everything on this itinerary is within walking distance from the old town.

We stayed at Hotel Bella Venezia and absolutely loved it. The staff was incredible helpful, kind, and their garden and breakfast were dreamy.

Another option is to stay at the Corfu Palace hotel if you’re looking for a place that’s centrally located with a pool.

Tips for visiting Corfu Town in One Day

  • Get started early – This itinerary is pretty packed, so we suggest getting out earlier in the morning in order to see everything.
  • Wear comfortable shoes – You’ll be walking a lot and will be grateful to have them.
  • Bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen – Corfu Town gets really hot during the spring and summer, so make sure to protect yourself while you’re out walking all day.
  • Wear your bathing suit – If you plan to visit the beach, wear or pack your bathing suit, so you don’t have to walk back to your hotel to change.
  • Get to lunch early to avoid waiting – The lunch spots can get busy and the wait times can be long. Arrive before the lunch rush to avoid having to wait for so long.
  • Book hotels in advance – We waited last minute to book our hotel and were lucky to get the last room available. Almost everything else was sold out. We suggest booking at least couple of months in advance to reserve the best spots.

Additional Information for your trip to Corfu:

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